Why do we feel like we are constantly defending ourselves against other moms, in the same sentence as we are judging them?
It is human nature. I look at other people, and assume things about them, with zero knowledge to back it up. This works especially well on strangers, but is also extremely effective on our friends and family.
The mindset of judgment comes from doubt. The idea that there is a right way and a wrong way, to live or eat or parent etc.
Assume you know nothing about someone’s motives for their actions.
Assume this is the only time they have ever done that thing that you think is unacceptable. Or that they genuinely believe it is the right thing to do.
Assume that person is actually extremely capable, loving, mindful, generous, whatever is the opposite of what you witnessed.
Now, afford yourself the same grace.
Can you do that?
Can you overlook the cookies you gave your kid to just be quiet while you were on the phone with your friend? Can you overlook the ice cream you ate last night while watching the new x-files? Can you look at your body as a whole of its best parts and not as a vessel of it’s less so?
You are judging others, but you are judging yourself far more harshly.
Give you a break.
You work hard, you don’t get enough sleep, you have too many plates to juggle and a kid in each hand. You’re hungry, and can’t decide what to make for supper, and there are 3 other people telling you how hungry they are. You missed your workout cause you’re toddler needed a nap and he will only do that with you next to him.
That’s okay. In fact that’s amazing.
All these people, all these plates, they need you. You are amazing, you are a strong, capable, mother, a woman who can do it all.
Although, to other people, you probably look like a circus act.
So give them a break, assume the best, and your mind will give you a break too.
We are all just doing the best we can. Let that be enough.
I have a really high powered vacuum. It was expensive, I use it on a daily basis, it helps me do my job to the best of my ability (Co-ordinator of Internal Operations AKA Mom). I have two young children who are amazing at making messes and even better at spreading them to every inch of the house. I live in Northern Alberta and it is hella cold most of the year; so the majority of our activities happen indoors. I NEED my vacuum. I also need my refrigerator, to preserve the food that keeps my family alive and healthy, and my heat for those -40 degree Celsius nights( OH YEAH),
I also need a strong, healthy body that is able and energized at the drop of a pin… or glass or sword or cookie monster cause let’s be honest anything is possible with little ones. But…
I HAVE NO USE FOR A BIKINI BODY.
I love to workout; lift heavier, jump higher, sprint farther, cycle faster that last time. I love to get out my yoga mat in the morning and find my inner peace. I love exercise, I love healthy eating, but I have no use for a bikini body.
What exactly would I do with beach ready abs? If I had them would someone take me to a beach? Cause it’s hovering around freezing this week, six weeks out from the official start of winter. And I could use a vacation.
I know I know, it sounds like I am throwing shade on all those fitness professionals out there offering you a beach ready bod that will make all your dreams come true. But I am really not! I love them! They are spreading health and fitness to their people and that’s awesome. My point here is that I personally, as a mom, in a cold climate, with laundry to do and more snow pants than flip flips, have no use for a bikini body.
Those I can use.
Muscles keep a girl warm at night.
And during the day for that matter.
Cardiovascular endurance?? Heck yea! Ive got kids that need chasing, stairs that need climbing and about 20 minutes a day to do whatever I want and I WANT TO SWEAT.
HELLO LOOKING GOOD IN MY JEANS.
Just kidding I don’t wear jeans.
But my butt looks great in my leggings.
How about strong shoulders and back muscles?
For carrying babies, groceries, nursing sweet infants, opening wine bottles, and beating my husband in push up competitions.
Most importantly, I need my squishy bits, the ones my kids squeeze and pinch for comfort, and squish for play. These parts are familiar to them. My tummy was their home for 9 months, my breasts fed them for another year after, that’s their happy place. I need them just the way they are and so my kids.
I need exercise in my life, it is my therapy, my spa, my social life all wrapped up in one. But my goals go beyond “bikini body” “beach abs” etc. My goals are about making my life easier, making my kids happier. SO I have a MOM body. When did that become anything other than the body of a mother? When did that become lesser than having a bikini body? A bikini is a skimpy bit of fabric that has little to no practical function.
But a MOM body. I mean, it says so much. It tells a story.
I put my MOM body to use every single day and in everything it does it gets stronger and more efficient. So change up your perspective; why save up to buy a sports car if you don’t even drive? Why build a bikini bod if you don’t go to the beach? You already have a mom body, treat it right, and it will be everything you need and more.
I honestly don’t know from where this recipe originated. When I was at the end of my second pregnancy, my mom came to stay with me for a little while (okay it ended up being 6 weeks ha!) to help me out with my 2 year old and keep me from totally losing my shit. My husband works out of town during the winter, and at this point he had been away for about 8 months, and we only saw him for a short visit once a month.
So my mom saved us, flying out about 3 weeks before my due date. What had been a long monotonous winter became a whirlwind of crafts, baking and cooking, and a little pre-baby rest for me.
There were a lot of unknowns at this point, when the baby would come, when my husband would be done work, whether he’d make it home for the birth, how long my mom would be able to stay and help me out etc etc.
My mom and I are both control freaks, so in the face of all those unknowns we did what we could control, which was prepare. And prepare we did.
We made a dozen batches of soup, so I would have on demand food when I didn’t have help around. If you are having a baby soon, or if you are ever too busy to eat veggies, I recommend batching and freezing home made soup. It’s my absolute favourite. There are so many soup recipes out there that are totally beginner friendly.
Well needless to say we went to the grocery store over and over. Because I had pregnant brain and we are both easily distracted.
One night, we were kinda over soup, and ready for something different, except we didn’t really have a lot of groceries. But we did have the obvious essentials, or at least they are obvious and essential in my house ha! Cauliflower, garlic, noodles, broth, cheese, and a little leftover bacon. This, combined, makes THE most delicious quick supper, that kiddos love, and tastes even better tomorrow for lunch.
I will always look in the fridge before ordering take away. The fact is, I’d rather spend more money on my groceries, buying extra produce, a treat, the expensive cheese than ever order in. I love cooking, and as I mentioned, I have some control issues, I would always prefer to know what is going into my food. It is a great practice to try to find something to make with what you have, and it will help you learn to cook if you aren’t a wiz in the kitchen yet.
I love getting creative with what I have available, so try this, or a variation next time you’re stuck on what to have for supper!
Here’s what you need, and what you need to do!
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 cups of cauliflower (or broccoli or zuchinni)
A handful of noodles ( I use these ones, but any you like)
½ cup of veg broth
left over bacon (or chicken)
strong cheese for grating on top – I like parm or or something goat-y
First, get the water boiling to cook your noodles, a little less than al dente
Heat a little oil in a pan
Sautee the garlic and broccoli
Add a little broth to the pan
Let it all cook happily together
Add the noodles
Cook until the broth evaporates
Toss in your bacon and top with cheese
Feed your family the delicious quick meal you just created!
I want to know what your go to meal is! Tag @jillianbrittany on Instragram or Jillian Brittany on Facebook.
I have two kids. I have been pregnant twice. I have been through post partum twice.
My experiences with each of these pregnancies were totally different. Just like they are totally different from yours. The way I am pregnant, or the way I recover after birth, is and should be as different as the features of my face and yours. We may even have a lot of similarities, but the sum of mine or yours create something incredibly unique and special.
I was a hairdresser when I was pregnant with my son. I worked very long hours, on my feet, in high heels and tight jeans, with lots of hairspray and pins in my head, I got up extra early to put on extra make up because that was me, that’s how I felt really good.
At that point it my life, I was in my early twenties, I was in an industry that was totally focused on physical appearance and surrounded by other women with the same ideals.
So in my first pregnancy, my idea of self care was making myself look great. It was not good for my back to wear high heels, it was not good for my circulation to wear tight jeans, or pushup bras for that matter, but I’d never had curvy hips or big boobs before and damn it I was showing them off!
I went home every night with a pounding headache from the products and pins I had used to style my then platinum blonde hair.
I was so exhausted when I got home I could barely throw together dinner for my husband and I. But since it was just us, we ordered take out or went out any way.
The thing is, I didn’t have any one but myself to worry about, so at night I lazed around, ate mini oreos and sour keys, and watched tv until midnight, and by the time I woke up in the morning I was fully recovered from the previous days torture and ready and willing to do it all over again.
This was working for me, at the time. I still ate vegetables, I still exercised, but I also did a lot of stuff that was not really smart.
Would I behave like this today? Absolutely not, I couldn’t, its impossible.
But at the time I was unapologetically young and free, and it made me feel good.
I know that sounds crazy, but it made me really happy to focus on my looks. It gave me confidence to walk around in shoes that hurt. In a strange mixed up way, torturing myself was my self care. It was what made me, me.
Fast forward to my second pregnancy, I was a stay at home mom with a 2 year old, really focused on healthy eating, exercise, and balancing some semblance of a social life through play dates with my mom friends.
Totally opposite, totally different from my first pregnancy.
But my motives were the same. I still felt great, when I did the things that made me feel great. There was a lot less time for them, they were different from before, and I had to try a lot harder to make them happen. But they were what made me me.
I could never have reasonably stayed up all night eating oreos and sourkeys and binge watching Kardashians (although wouldn’t it be awesome? Just one time?) but I can have a little glass of wine, do a little yoga, and chat over text with my girlfriends after my kid went to bed.
As you grow, and grow up, your definition of self care will change. But that doesn’t make it any less important.
Being pregnant and being a mom involves a huge learning curve, you will do stuff wrong, you will lose sleep, sleep in, get it right, screw it up, and every one of those experiences will help you get to know yourself and your body better.
Remember to take time for you, dig deep and find out what makes you feel good. It doesn’t have to be anything major. These days for me its getting up before my kids so I can write. Other times its signing up for a new workout class. Whatever it is, do it right now today. Your family will love seeing the real authentic you shining through all the heavy mom stuff. They deserve that and so do you.
Self care is always important, not just in pregnancy and early post partum; but those are the times that they are hardest to make it happen.
I love the metaphor of filling a cup when it comes to self care. Your cup has to be full in order to fill any one else’s. And since you’re the mother, and in charge of filling many cups, shouldn’t you really have a pitcher?
When we are caring for others, it is so easy to get lost in other people’s happiness, try really really hard today to do things that fill up your happiness cup(or pitcher 😉 )
I’m getting a pedicure with a girlfriend today, and stopping for a big cup of coffee on the way. I want to know what you do for you today. Take a pic and tag me on instagram @jillianbrittany
I love to get up early. I love the peaceful quiet of 5 am. I like to start my day with a few sun salutations, coffee, and some writing. Plus it makes me feel like a ninja mom to sneak around while my kids are still sleeping.
But I’m not immune to my alarm.
I still don’t like the actually waking up and pulling my limbs out from under the warm blankets.
I’m just good at it.
And I know a few tricks.
We all have smart phones, so first tip is your alarm. Spend a few minutes on yours finding the perfect song or ringtone that is a combination of soothing and energizing. Something fun, but that doesn’t blare your eardrums making you instantly reach for snooze. Mine is currently Cheerleader by Omi. So embarrassing WHATEVER it makes me want to boogie.
Sleep with your clothes! Yep you heard me. I sleep with my clothes right next to me in bed. Sometimes it’s workout clothes and others it’s just the previous night’s sweats, but they’re always tucked in there with me. Having them right within reach makes the transition from yummy blankets to real world so much easier. I have heard of people sleeping in their workout clothes, but I am a creature of comfort and that’s a little hardcore for me!
Have a plan. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, but it has to be there. Decide the night before, if you’re going to exercise, read, relax, drink coffee and stare at the wall (been there, done that) so that you’re actually making use of the extra time. Because I work for myself, I block off a certain amount of time I am going to spend working, depending on how much needs to get done, and choose an appropriate workout from there. Just saying “oh Ill get up early and workout” isn’t enough, you’ll end up scrolling Instagram for 45 mins in bed because you cant decide which workout to try.
GO TO BED EARLIER. Sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to do. But when you think about the value of your day, how much do you really get it from late night tv binges? For me late nights are a minefield of wine and bad decisions. I could stay up and snack all night with the excuse that I work hard all day and deserve a treat. What I really deserve is a good night’s sleep and a great start to the next day. So next time you find yourself struggling with should I watch one more episode? Should I have one more bowl of chips, glass of wine, piece of chocolate? The answer is go to bed. Go to bed. Get some sleep. Wake up tomorrow and be a supermom.
It really is mind over matter. Do you want to be happier and healthier, or do you want to stay up late?
Like everything else in life, you just have to start. I can go on and on about the benefits of waking up early(trust me I do it all the time), but unless you feel how energizing and peaceful it can be, you will never believe me.
It also takes practice. If you’re used to staying up ‘til midnight then your internal clock will have some serious adjustments to make. Stick with it. This practice has been so beneficial to me as a wife and mother; getting some alone time with no one needing me I can work through my thoughts and find the focus I need to be present with my family.
Plus drinking coffee while it’s still hot is the bomb!!
I wouldn’t waste my time telling you all this stuff if I didn’t honestly think would change your life for the better. I get it, its out of your comfort zone. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, you owe it to yourself to try.
This week’s workout is so much fun, I had to share it with you! Okay fun might not the right word 😉 But it’s super quick, effective , and you can do it with no equipment!
I have been spread so thin this week. As I’ve mentioned before, my husband works out of town most of the year. I stay at home with the kids and he goes to work, and we visit back and forth as often as possible. Often in the winter we get some pretty long stretches and it gets pretty freakin hard. This time it’s been 6 weeks, of which we’ve been together for 48 hours. Crappy right?? My thoughts exactly.
That’s just back story though, we are talking about this week. My kids are sick. Up all night, whine all day, attached to me anywhere they can get a grip kind of sick. I have barely slept in two weeks, I am about to LOSE my SHIT.
But I can’t, and I won’t.
Not to say I’m perfect, I lose my temper too. I have had more than one mommy time out this week.
But I know that my children’s moods and attitudes reflect my own. And it’s going to make my life a whole hell of a lot harder if I am miserable.
So I CHOOSE to be in a good mood. I CHOOSE to look at the bright side.
I may not be in control of anything else in this world, but inside my own mind, I make the rules.
This is a mindset practice, to know that all the little crappy things happening aren’t about you, they’re just little pieces of life floating around and you got a few too many in your zone this week. I have to remind myself daily, hourly, on the minute, that it is up to me how I feel about that.
For me, it comes down to gratitude.
I can be pissed right off that my kids are sick, or I can be grateful that it is just a virus and not something worse. I can be grateful for my own health to be able to take care of them.
I can be pissed off that my husband is away working, or I can be grateful that he still has a job in a wobbly economy.
I can pissed off that my house is a mess, or grateful for the food that made the dirty plates, and the toys that distract my tired kids for a few minutes before they leave them on the stairs.
I can be pissed off that I have to do all the work myself, or grateful for every moment I get to spend with my kids, because I chose to be a mother, and I am so fortunate to be one.
When I choose to be grateful, to look at the bright side, whatever you want to call it, I can’t help but smile. I know it will work for you too. Put it into practice today.
When something shitty happens today, and it will because that’s life, choose to find something positive in the situation. Put this mindset to practice in every aspect of your life, slowly it will become automatic and you will find yourself with a very bright bright side.
Today I am grateful for my healthy body, so I will treat it to a workout, I hope you will do the same.
4 sets of 8 reps
(with weight or without, I used 20 lb DBs)
Split Squats (8 each side)
BW Squat (or with weight)
Rest As Needed
Ladder Style, Start with 1 Rep each, then 2, 3, up to 10. Rest as Needed, Watch your form doesn’t fail
Alternating Lateral Lunges
Pushups (Modify as needed, I make it to about 6 on my toes and then switch to knees)
Whoop! You did it!
Tell me what you are grateful for on Facebook Jillian Brittany and Instagram today @jillianbrittany
My husband works out of town rather often, and so instead of our weekends being fun filled family time, they are often a picture of my children and I watching too much tv and lying on the floor. This particular weekend, my kids were also sick, which meant no play dates, no swimming, etc. It was also cold as shit here in Northern Alberta. As it is for most of the winter.
So the scene is set, it is 8 pm, the children have been bathed, brushed, jammied, storied, and snuggled to sleep. I sat down to watch the PVR’d Kardashians with a glass of wine. Blissssssssssss. Am I right? Finally!! This is it! I feel great!!
Except it didn’t feel great. I was fidgety from a long weekend of nothing. I was full from grazing the fridge and pantry all day.
The wine didn’t taste that good.
So I dumped it out.
I turned off the tv.
I went upstairs to my yoga mat and lied on my back.
It felt good.
I stretched out my back a little, rolled around, found down dog.
I moved into a couple of sun salutations.
I stood in warrior and felt strong.
I tried dancer, fell over.
I went back to the movements I knew well and got lost in them.
When I made it back to the floor I felt so good. So Effing Good.
It was 9 pm, my usual bedtime.
So I jumped in the shower ( I actually managed to get sweaty!).
Then I jumped straight in bed.
I didn’t mourn the glass of wine, I didn’t even think about it. I had gotten my Sunday night to relax and do whatever I wanted, without the glass of wine. I felt strong and sleepy, and I had a great nights sleep (until one of the kids inevitably woke me up at some ungodly hour~ but that’s so not the point).
What I am saying here is that if something doesn’t feel right, even if it’s something that is typically gratifying and enjoyable for you, just don’t do it. As a mother, there aren’t a lot of time when we get to say “No I just don’t want to”, “no that just doesn’t feel right”. Just because it’s wine, or chocolate, or ice cream, and we think that is special, doesn’t mean we have to say yes to it. And once we have said yes, once we have ordered the dessert, or poured the wine, it is okay still to try it and move on, it’s okay to decide it wasn’t right, wasn’t perfect for that moment.
Treating your body to movement, treating your mind to quiet while your muscles take over, is a reward on its own.
Just do what feels good, whenever you can. Listen to yourself and decide. We don’t get that many chances, as moms of young children, to listen to our desires and impulses, so listen in, you might be surprised by what you hear.
Who just happens to be my son’s preschool teacher; and my neighbour, so I get to see her every day.
I am new to my town, to my neighbourhood, relatively new to being a mom and pretty recently moved cross country. So I need all the friends I can get! Lying to them is not in my best interest.
But when I first met this friend, I told her a BIG FAT LIE.
It was my three year old son’s first day of school, I was dropping him off and had my 6 month old (at the time) daughter with me.
She took one look at me and asked:
“How old is the baby?”
“Ahhhh 6months?” Because no matter how long you have been your child’s mother you can never recall their age on command.
But that wasn’t the lie. She followed up with a second question,
You’re one of those obsessive gym people that works out all the time, aren’t you?
“Yea! “I said, with the biggest smile.
What a compliment! I had just had a baby a few months before, I was not feeling my tip top self, and she thinks I work out like crazy? Just by glancing at me? Thank you!
Then she went on to explain to the other moms why she could never be like that and had no time for working out, hated all forms of exercise and so on. This then stranger, thinking I was in good shape and health, assumed that in order to achieve this I devote all my time, energy and attention to working out.
EXCEPT I LIED.
That is SO not me!
Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to work out. I love my time at the gym. But I do not workout all the time. When things go according to plan, I do 3-4 short (30 mins or less) workouts a week. I am a mom and sometimes life gets in the way and that doesn’t happen. I have learned through trial and error, through getting back up when I slip, that finding my own rhythm and learning to listen to my body was the most effective way to live a fit and healthy lifestyle.
It is my mission to break the ice surrounding the fitness world. We are all capable, deserving, and in need of regular exercise and nutritious food. This comes in so many forms and looks different to each and every one of us. The online fitness craze has created an illusion of an exclusive club of “fit” or “ healthy” people, but it’s exactly that, an illusion. Fitness is for EVERY BODY. The idea that you have to be fit to workout is keeping perfectly capable and willing people, out of the gym for fear of being an outsider, or behind everyone else.
Exercise brings me so much joy, and I want to teach you how to find that in your lifestyle, too.
At the time the teacher made this comment, I was both shocked and while I’m not proud to admit, flattered. Thinking back now, I should have corrected her on the spot. Letting her think I spend hours in the gym to reach my goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle is deceitful and totally out of line with what I believe and teach. By saying YES, I perpetuated the illusion that fitness requires an all out “no excuses” approach in order to achieve success.
Fitness is for EVERYONE. Just like food, sleep, friendship, family, and all the other things we need to keep us healthy and thriving. You don’t have to go to the gym to get in great shape, you can just go for your health. You don’t have to go to the gym at all; I don’t go when my kids are infants, or when I’m really busy, or when my budget is tight. When you are armed with simple, straightforward information, working out at home or outside is equally effective. All you need is a little energy and a goal. All these things are available to you, as much as they are to the people who are already working out and living a healthy lifestyle.
Honesty and transparency is the only way we are going to the make the world of health and exercise welcoming to every body. Let’s include others in our healthy lifestyles, invite a friend to workout, share a healthy recipe, and encourage someone to start on their path to simple, healthy living.
You need to know something about me, I love to workout. But I do not want to spend all day doing it.
I love a ‘get in and get out’ type of workout. But I really want to work and sweat while I am in there.
I always go in with a plan, otherwise I’m flailing and wandering around aimlessly getting nothing done.
Now I don’t love to run, but I do love the efficiency of a quick sprint workout. I mean maximum effectiveness minimum time.
I am a mom of 2 running a business, and I like to enjoy my life!! Any workout under 20 mins is the dream for me.
Enter the 8 minute interval.
I was first introduced to concept when I was getting ready for my wedding. It was given to me by my brilliant coach Jessie Mundell of JMG Fitness Consulting (this girl is a genius) as part of my pre-wedding program. She gave me this short 10-12 minute interval workout to do on a treadmill, and man, I LOVED IT. I could get up in the morning and jump on the treadmill, and still have time to grab a coffee and a few deep breaths before my kids got up!
I should mention too, it is HARD. It is short, it is over quickly, but you will be SORE tomorrow.
So if you’re up for it, grab your water, take off as many of your clothes as possible cause, girl, you are about to get sweaty.
I insist you do a 2-3 min warm-up, especially if you are hoppin up outta bed to do this one. You need to activate the appropriate muscles and increase your range of motion in order to run safely.
Quick warm up
Arm circles 10x forward, 10x back
10x BodyWeight Squats
Alternating Forward Lunges 10x ea side
10 Hydrant Rotations each leg (on hands and knees, lift one leg(knee at 90) out to the side, rotate in a circular motion)
Glute Bridges x10
OK JUMP ON YOUR TREADMILL
Life Altering 8 minute Intervals
You are sprinting, I like to do a level 10 or 11, but this is individual, whatever speed has you launching yourself forward and spinning your legs like you’re riding a bike.
30 sec sprint, 30 sec JUMP OFF and stand on the sides
Do this four times..
15 sec sprint, 15 second JUMP OFF
Do this 4 times..
10 sec sprint, 20 sec JUMP OFF
Do this 4 times..
Walk to cool down for 1-2 mins.
There you have it!
Disclaimer for pregnant and early postpartum: Running and all other high impact exercises should not be performed unless it is a regular part of your exercise regime, and/or you have taken the proper steps to restore and rehab your core and pelvic floor function. If you are currently pregnant or have given birth in the last 12 months, I recommend seeing a pelvic floor physio therapist for an assessment before starting any new exercise program.
This same interval frame can be used with any other exercise as well, if you don’t have a treadmill. Do lunges, squats, burpees, squat jumps whatever gets your heart racing. I recommend a low- to no-impact exercise for all the mamas who are expecting or early postpartum; stick to step-ups, lunges(side, front, reverse, walking), squats are awesome for this type of interval workout.
Give it your all and let me know how you like it:D
I want to know what you do to get sweaty! Find me on Facebook Jillian Brittany and let me know!