Fit4Mom Body Back: Weeks 5 + 6

I’m tracking my progress through Fit4Mom’s eight-week, mom’s-only fitness program, Body Back. Never heard of it? It’s from the same company that offers Stroller Strides.

Read Fit4Mom Body Back: Week 1.
Read Fit4Mom Body Back: Week 2.
Read Fit4Mom Body Back: Weeks 3 + 4.
Learn more about Body Back.

Week 5 + 6 Recap

The excuses continued into week 5 and 6, with a lot of missed workouts due to a busy schedule as well as knee and shin pain, which seems to be getting worse. I ran a 5K on Sunday, October 19, and since then, other than the Body Back classes, I’ve been laying relatively low. Unfortunately, I think a trip to the doctor is going to be inevitable.

Despite knee pain though, October has just been an insanely busy month. I’ve tried my best to focus on eating better especially since I haven’t been able to give my workouts my all. For what it’s worth, the strategy has worked thus far, and albeit slowly, the scale is going in the right direction.

We’re headed into the final weeks of this session’s Body Back program, and with Halloween behind us as of Friday, I’m hoping I can give the last week my all. I’m excited to see the results of the last two months of work!

Workouts Weeks 5 + 6

Monday, October 13: Planned rest day
Tuesday, October 14: Body Back
Wednesday, October 15: Couch to 5K workout
Thursday, October 16: Planned Rest Day
Friday, October 17: Skipped workout
Saturday, October 18: Body Back
Sunday, October 19: Frank Lloyd Wright 5K
Monday, October 20: Planned rest day
Tuesday, October 21: Body Back
Wednesday, October 22: Skipped workout
Thursday, October 23: Couch to 5K workout
Friday, October 24: Skipped workout
Saturday, October 25: Body Back
I know I say this a lot, but Saturday’s park workout was tough. We did a ton of running, including hill repeats, with intermittent strength exercises.

Nutrition

Neither week five nor week six were perfect, but they were both pretty good. I made a solid meal plan for lunches and was able to go two weeks without eating out once during the work week (the weekend is a different story). I had this Creamy Crock Pot Chicken Chili for lunch (I’m experimenting with a few crockpot chili recipes lately), and I also made this Skinnytaste Spinach Lasagna Rolls recipe—an oldie, but goodie, which I had for lunch and dinner a few times. Bonus: The toddler ate it too!

Progress Report

Week 1: -.2
Week 2: -3.1
Week 3: +1.2
Week 4: -1.4
Week 5: -.7
Week 6: -.8
Total: -5 pounds

Follow Lou @ Mommy Sanest’s board Body Back Approved Recipes + Resources on Pinterest.

Fit4Mom Body Back: Weeks 3 + 4

I’m tracking my progress through Fit4Mom’s eight-week, mom’s-only fitness program, Body Back. Never heard of it? It’s from the same company that offers Stroller Strides.

Read Fit4Mom Body Back: Week 1.

Read Fit4Mom Body Back: Week 2.

Learn more about Body Back.

Week 3 + 4 Recap

The last two weeks have had their challenges. During the week of September 29, our family was on vacation in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. This past week just got away from me—I’ve taken on a few side projects, had an all-day workshop to attend over the weekend, and October just always seems to be a ridiculously busy month. These two weeks were excuse-filled, but honestly, sometimes I think that’s OK. More on that below.

Workouts Weeks 3 + 4

Monday, September 29: Planned rest day

Tuesday, September 30: Skipped workout

This is the first of many excuses you’ll find in this recap of my workouts, but FWIW, we were traveling to Wisconsin on Tuesday, and time just got away from me. Traveling with a two-year-old is hard, yo.

Wednesday, October 1: Couch to 5K workout

Thursday, October 2: Body Pump group fitness class

The resort where we stayed had a full-on gym, and I took advantage of the perk of free group fitness classes. If you’re not familiar with Body Pump, it’s basically a weight lifting class that hits every major muscle group in 50 minutes.

Friday, October 3: Couch to 5K

Saturday, October 4: Body Back Bootcamp

On Saturday, we headed inside for a circuit workout.

Sunday, October 5: Couch to 5K

Monday, October 6: Planned rest day

Tuesday, October 7: Body Back

Tuesday night’s workout was a tough one. It was another circuit workout, but with a twist. The instructor set up four stations, each with five to six exercises. Two stations were primarily strength exercises; two were cardio. Here’s how it worked: At your first station, you did each exercise listed eight times, then seven times, then six times, then five… you get the picture. Once you finished the station, you moved on to the next one and started the process over.

Wednesday, October 8: Skipped workout

Thursday, October 9: Couch to 5K

Friday, October 10: Skipped workout

Saturday, October 11: Skipped workout

On Saturday, I went to an all-day workshop for creative entrepreneurs–more on that in another post–so I skipped my Body Back class.

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

So here’s the thing about excuses: I know I’m not supposed to make them. Here is the other thing about excuses: Sometimes they are legit. Here’s the other other thing about excuses: Sometimes they aren’t legit, but you just need a break, which is legit. I try really hard not to beat myself up over “bad days” or “bad weeks.” In fact, I find that classifying something like a day, week, or even a meal as “bad,” is exactly zero help.

The truth is, I have a lot of priorities, and I do the best I can to juggle them all. But when things start to fall apart, sometimes the best thing I can do is step away for a week, get my life back in order, and start fresh. At this point in my fitness journey, a few missed workouts does not mean that I’ve given up–I’ve been in the habit for long enough now that I know the difference between needing a breather and just being lazy. This past week, I needed a breather to catch up on some other aspects of my life.

Nutrition Week 3+ 4

Week 3: Honestly, it was tough to stay on track while on vacation. I did the best I could, eating breakfasts and lunches in our room, which had a kitchenette. However, I was not vigilant and it shows in my progress report.

Lunch and Snacks at My Desk

Packed lunch: Chicken salad with a low-carb tortilla and lettuce; hummus with chopped cucumber; two mandarins; string cheese.

Week 4: I got back on track and did pretty well this past week. A big help was that our instructor asked us to post our meal plans on Facebook, and I pretty much stuck to mine. I made healthy lunches and snacks all week, including the chicken salad recipe I’ve adapted from the Body Back journal. I’m going to post the recipe here later this week. I also made Cincinnati Turkey Chili, which is one of my staple recipes, and I ate that for dinner several times.

Progress Report

Week 3: +1.2
Week 4: -1.4
Total: -3.3

Follow Lou @ Mommy Sanest’s board Body Back Approved Recipes + Resources on Pinterest.

14 Must-do Fall Toddler Activities

Happy Autumnal Equinox! If you’re in the central time zone like those of us in the Chicagoland, the equinox happens at 9:29 tonight. So since fall is officially upon us, I wanted to share our plans to enjoy the season and keep the toddler entertained with fun fall activities over the next few months.

14 must-do toddler fall activities for your family bucket list.

1. Go to a football game.

We got a jump on this one when we took Emme to a Northwestern football game in early September. Both my husband and I went to graduate school at Northwestern, so we try to go to at least one game every season. We found out at the last minute that it was Local Heroes Day, and my husband, a police officer, was able to get discounted tickets. We also had the opportunity to go on the field for the national anthem, which was kind of neat. Here Emme is enjoying a snack in the stands and sporting her new hat. I had no idea what to expect from her behavior- and attention span-wise, but she was actually pretty good and seemed to enjoy herself.

2. Check out a local fall festival.

Again, we crossed this one off the list early and attended Oktoberfest in Berwyn. But it rained on and off, so we cut our time at the festival short. Maybe we’ll get to another one in the coming weeks.

3. Visit a farm with animals and a pumpkin patch.

We’re going on a mini-vacation to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin because my husband will be attending a conference there. One of the activities I’m planning while we’re there is a trip to Green Meadow Farms in East Troy, which is about a 20-minute drive from where we’ll be staying. I’ve been wanting to check this farm out ever since I read about it in the Chicago edition of Red Tricycle in July.

4. Go on a hayride.

Quintessential family fall fun.

5. Splash at an indoor water park.

We’ll be going to Timber Ridge Lodge in Lake Geneva, which has an indoor water park.

6. Decorate a pumpkin.

Tiny pumpkins can be decorated with markers. Perfect for tiny people.

7. Go to the zoo.

We’re planning to go to Boo at the Zoo at Brookfield Zoo.

8. Dress up for Halloween and trick-or-treat.

I have given zero thought to a Halloween costume this year. I should probably get on that.

9. Have a dance party or two.

Because duh.

10. Explore a new playground.

Temperatures are dropping, and soon we’ll be stuck indoors. We want to make the most of the mild fall weather and visit a few more playgrounds in 2014.

11. Take fall photos.

Fall means it’s time to update our family photo, just in time for the holidays.

12. Visit an art museum.

We’re planning a visit to The Art Institute in Chicago. I was a little skeptical about this outing, but my husband and I did some recon this week, and it’s far more family friendly than I was expecting.

13. Visit a children’s museum.

There are three to choose from in the western suburbs of Chicago.

14. Learn about Thanksgiving.

Sometimes I underestimate the ability of young children to grasp less concrete concepts, which is dumb and probably partially lazy on my part, but honestly, my first instinct was to wonder if this was necessary. But really, is it ever too early to talk about the meaning of Thanksgiving and how we should be thankful for the good things in our lives? I’m going to start by getting books about Thanksgiving that are age-appropriate. We’ll see if I can come up with anything else.

Want to see how we did with our bucket list of fall toddler activities?

Best Toddler Summer Ever: A Recap

Though it’s not technically the end of summer, vacations are winding down and my work’s reduced Friday hours have officially come to an end (sad face). I feel like it’s a good time to do a recap of our best toddler summer ever… so far.

We managed to pack our summer full of toddler fun, with new experiences, day trips, backyard play, good food, and lots of water.

Butterfly Festival at Garden Patch Farms in Homer Glen

We kicked off our best toddler summer ever in June at Garden Patch Farm’s Butterfly Festival, where Em tried to grab some butterflies, fed chickens, and picked berries in Homer Glen, Illinois.

Toddler Playing in the Backyard

The backyard became our sanctuary and proved to be an invaluable resource for toddler entertainment. We could regularly get Emme and Cousin Cliff to entertain themselves for ten, sometimes 20, minutes at a time, allowing Aunt Sarah and me some much-needed lounging complete with wine.

Grilled Pizza | Mommy Sanest

Speaking of the backyard, I tried my hand at grilling pizza. It’s actually very easy to do, and it quickly became a family favorite. Our go-to grilled pizza used cherry tomatoes and basil from our garden.

Playgrounds in the Chicago Western Suburbs

We visited dozens of neighborhood playgrounds, trying out multiple slides…

Swinging in the Chicago Western Suburbs

… and swings too.

Boat Ride in Ohio

In July, we traveled to Ohio to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa who live on a lake. The toddlers loved the pontoon boat.

Mommy Sanest Family Photo

Emme was less thrilled with the family photo session we did while in Ohio.

Splash Pads in Chicago, Brookfield, and BerwynSpeaking of water, we tested out a few local splash pads and even ventured into Chicago to see how Millennium Park’s fountain compared. Brookfield Zoo

We made good use of our Brookfield Zoo membership, visiting the zoo’s splash pad (yes, more splash pads), Sting Ray Bay, the playground, Hamill Family Play Zoo, and various animals (or as Emme says, “elmos”).

Emme is 2!

And finally, we celebrated one very special birthday.

Up next: The best toddler autumn ever!

Breastfeeding Resources in the Western Suburbs of Chicago

Find breastfeeding resources in the Chicago western suburbs to help you navigate the often bumpy road of breastfeeding. You can find me over at {Kidlist} today writing about breastfeeding resources for Moms in the western suburbs of Chicago. If you’re not familiar with {kidlist}, it’s a fantastic local blog for parents in the. Here’s a taste:

Breastfeeding, more than anything else, consumed me after giving birth to my daughter in 2012. And if I remember correctly (which I probably don’t, let’s be real), breastfeeding is all I talked about for the first year of my daughter’s life. Not exactly a fun topic for non-mom company.

Read the rest over at Kidlist: Breastfeeding Resources in the Chicago Western Suburbs.