Welcome to “A day in the life of a fit mom”! In this series I feature women who are passionate about healthy lifestyle and consistently make fitness a part of their lives despite it all. Because “momming” is HARD. We wear so many hats, raise little people, and put the needs of our families first. Fit moms featured in this series show how they balance mommy duties and taking care of themselves. They know exercise and clean eating helps them be a better version of themselves and a positive example for their kids. I always feel inspired learning about how other fit moms make it work . Hope you find this helpful too!
Fit Mom of the week: Lindsay Swoboda
When Lindsay agreed to write a guest post for me I did a little happy dance. This fit mom is absolutely amazing and an inspiration to many, including myself. Lindsay is a military wife, mom, and writer. As a former professional dancer you can find her doing pirouettes in the kitchen whilst also flipping pancakes. She finds solace in hearing the sound of her sewing machine and a hot cup of coffee. She’s lived and traveled all over the world but believes there is always more to experience. Her blog Uplifting Anchor encourages mothers and military spouses.
I am a military spouse, mother of one toddler, and a freelance writer. Our family has lived and traveled all over the world. I still think there is so much more to see! We’ve explored Thailand, Cambodia, S. Korea, China, Singapore, Australia, Austria, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, and our last duty station was in Hawaii. It sounds pretty magical right? There are large parts of it that are, especially when we are all together. I believe we are making the most of our time in the military lifestyle, and experiencing all we can. However this time is also weighted with lengthy training separations, living very far from our loved ones, and also the dreaded deployment cycles.
Hawaii was where I became a mother, and also where we were in a heavy deployment time. I leaned into a tribe of mothers I found there within The Stroller Strides program, and it changed my life. Before motherhood I was a dancer. I was fit because I had to be. I also struggled to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I was obsessed with being “thin enough” instead of strength.
During pregnancy and after the birth of our daughter, for the very first time I had to learn how to take care of my body in a real way. I had to be accountable for the negative things I was saying about myself because I didn’t want her to carry those around- EVER. I also had to have grace and patience with gaining and losing the pregnancy weight.
With her now watching my every move, I want to work to be an example. Living and loving my life, and who I am is so much more important than the physical perfection I used to focus on as a performer. Now I am showing her how to be a strong woman.
This year we have moved to a third world country as a post, and it has been a roller coaster of emotions. All of my routines have had to be rebuilt to suit life here, but I’m making it work.
I typically wake up at 5:30 am- 6:00 am to write and have time for myself before my daughter wakes up. It gives me a great start to my day to feel like I have a little productivity with writing and deadlines before I put on my mom hat.
One of the newest swaps I’m making is to drink a glass of water first thing, before coffee. Then it’s onto my cherished morning cup. There is no creamer here, which is good! I now just enjoy it with milk.
Around 7-7:30 am my daughter gets up and we have breakfast. I then do a workout around 8:30. She was already in this routine with me in Stroller Strides, but now instead of sitting in the stroller, she runs around and plays as I complete my routine. I either do a Tabata or HIIT style workout in our backyard. I find lots of good ideas on Pinterest. Having my AFAA Group Training certification does not hurt either! I’m able to pull a lot of different ideas together for myself.
I certainly like to mix it up. I still love to dance, so I pop in a Zumba DVD from time to time, and also enjoy the PopSugar Fitness Channel on Youtube. I can usually get in a good hour, or at least 30 minutes 3-4x a week. I just have to do it in the morning or it will not happen at all!
My husband recently purchased a bike for me too, so I’m sure we will start incorporating that into our day. Do not be fooled though- I usually have to stop three or more times a workout to help with sitting on the potty, catching a random toy or just balancing her as she climbs on me! The struggle is real but good.
The hardest swap in life for me here is to not have fellow moms to workout with. I really enjoy being with others while I sweat! But I’m thankful that Stroller Strides gave me a good start and also taught me how to incorporate my daughter into the workout. One of my big goals this summer is to bring my yoga practice back too. It’s not something I like to do with my daughter, so I need to make time for it in the evenings or the morning before she wakes.
After that I usually take a very fast rinse. Depending on the day we then set up for at-home preschool activities, complete our chores, meet up with another mom for a playdate, and walk for groceries.
It’s been an interesting adjustment to not have a big superstore to visit for food. Here, we visit the butcher. Then we visit a fruit and vegetable stand. That’s followed by the small shop that carries dairy and dry good products. You must pay for everything with cash. I also haul it all back via a back pack or strapping it with big clips from my stroller.
Food prep takes up a lot of my time as we need to rinse or soak much of our fresh goods in soap and vinegar to make sure we kill off harmful bacteria and unknown pesticides. Really, this is a practice I should have had State-side too! I see it as we are building good habits.
Family sends me favorite seasonings (taco packets!) and we use Amazon to get favorite snacks and oatmeal. I have to be on top of our ordering because if I don’t do it in time, we just don’t have it till the mail comes again. Yes, mail is slow here too. How I miss that 2 day quick order turn around!
Real talk here guys: I do also get BBQ kettle chips and dark chocolate covered espresso beans shipped to me. I don’t believe in all work and no play!
I find it fascinating that you cannot get every single item you need here. The fruit and veg are all seasonal. Sometimes the butcher has what you want- sometimes you make do. I had gotten into a big habit in Hawaii of purchasing healthy but really FAST ready-made meals like hummus cups, guacamole cups, pre-cut veggies, rotisserie chickens, fast heat up quinoa pouches. None of that is here in that form. We do it all from scratch.
However I can see the blessing of this now. In the afternoons when my daughter wakes up, we read and then we cook together. She loves to be part of the action! A huge win lately has been utilizing a spiralizer. We make zucchini or carrot noodles and love just have raw cucumber or apple spirals.
We finish our day like most other moms I know- doing bath time, reading again, bedtime, and then a little “us” or “me” time before we hit the pillows ourselves.
Living in a different country and culture is far different from being a tourist in one. Living here has changed how I approach our family’s eating and how I run my own workouts. I’ve had to get creative, and as we say in military life, just “embrace the suck”. But of course the longer we are here, the more I am getting used to what/how we are living now. The biggest swap was leaving how convenient we have everything in the states. I have to work for it a bit more now- and that’s okay.
My motivation is to stay in good health for my family and for myself. I am no longer working out because I think I need to fit some ridiculous societal expectation for women. Our health is one of our most precious gifts. I am taking care of me to set the example for my child. Exercising and eating right helps me live the life I want, and it makes me feel good. I am strong and agile and in better health in my thirties than I ever was in my twenties. I want to keep being able to hop on planes, trains, climb mountains and seek adventure. I want the same for her and my husband. Together we will keep trekking round this globe!
Want more? Connect with Lindsay here:
Join in the encouragement at: www.upliftinganchor.com
Uplifting Anchor’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/upliftinganchor
Uplifting Anchor on Instagram: www.instagram.com/upliftinganchor
And yes, UA is even on Pinterest!: www.pinterest.com/upliftinganchor
Previous Fit Moms’ Stories:
If you are a mom with passion for fitness and healthy life style and would like to share your story in “A day in the life of a fit mom” please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.