Monday, February 21, 2011

Becoming a Hot (Sweaty) Mama

This is Mamacat.

Mamacat is a long-time friend of mine. This is a woman who lights up a room with her smile, is bubbling over with enthusiasm, and keeps me awestruck with her ability to be both kick-ass mom and business super power. She refinishes antique furniture, gardens, and loves to sail, too, by the way.

In December we celebrated our birthdays over lunch and she asked me if she could be a “test case” on Mama Sweat. She struggles to “find time for fitness in the chaos of motherhood” and needed some help.


That’s what Mama Sweat is all about, really. Sure, I can be a little self-indulgent every now and then, droning on about my own personal fitness escapades (and fitness model escapades), but all of these posts, at their core, is to inspire, motivate, encourage, and... help.

So readers? You up for helping?

If I must say, I’m a good cheerleader and I know Mama Sweat readers are, too. Could we do this? Could we help Mamacat become a Hot (Sweaty) Mama?

In order to get her going I’ve set her up with a few goodies:

For Inspiration: An advance copy of “Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom.” Mamacat will give it a read and we’ll hear what tidbits from the book get her up and moving.

For Motivation: Entry into the Iron Girl Duathlon in Bloomington on September 24, plus access to Iron Girl’s training program. There is nothing--and I mean nothing--like a goal to get you motivated to move.

Encouragement: The Polar Activity Monitor, of course, The Hot (Sweaty) Mama escort service is always there to tell you how you’re doing.

Help: A local program called “Moms on the Run,” which offers training runs and bootcamp classes throughout the Twin Cities, has generously offered to take Mamacat into their program (Mamacat and I live about an hour away from each other so I needed to put her in good hands!)

We’ll check in with Mamacat every few weeks or so to hear about how these goods and services are working for her and, of course, how she’s progressing. But first, let me introduce you to our Hot (Sweaty) Mama in-the-making, and tell you a little about what she wants, and what her obstacles are. (Some of this might sound familiar.)

Name: MamaCat (Not her real name of course, that’s what she signs in as for comments)

Age: Really? Can I just say "about 40"?

Children: 8-year-old boy/girl twins and a 5-year-old diva.

Occupation: Advertising Operations Consultant. (Kara’s note:The job title on her business card is “Director of Radical Efficiency,” which sound like the person I want to hire to run my life.)

I want to be more active because: I like to be active. I FEEL better when I'm active. My mind works better, my stress level is much more manageable and for Pete's sake an endorphin rush is better than a caffeine crash any day! I also want my kids to grow up with fitness as a part of their everyday life. And I'm envious of all those couples who have couple workouts. My husband hates the gym, dusts me on a bike ride and takes one stride for every eight of my own. Be that as it may, he needs to build a strong and healthy heart now that he's had heart surgery. I hope to get old and fit together!

My biggest obstacle for finding time for fitness: I love my children, I love my husband and I love my job. But they all come first. I also work hard on my recovery program, which is a priority in my life. (Did she just say “recovery”? Yes, she did and we’ll get into more details about that in later posts, too.) So by the time it comes around for 'me' time and the gym, it can be hard to find time. I go through phases where I get to the gym at least five times per week and then something will break the cycle (an injury, a business trip, a heart surgery, a deadline) and it can throw me off my rocker for weeks.

Kara’s Note: Mamacat was literally thrown off her rocker two weeks ago when she fell off a ladder trying to remove an ice dam from her roof. Girlfriend has three broken vertebrae and a concussion so bad her docs told her not to think. She is healing and ready, albeit gingerly, to move again.

My vision of me as a fit mom is: Being comfortable in my own skin (and skirt) and having ease of mind. I'd also love to feel fit enough to try a mini tri.

To test her seriousness about becoming a Hot (Sweaty) Mama, I went right for her weakness: Diet Coke. I knew she drank a lot of Diet Coke, which I considered a slight impediment to a healthy lifestyle. Check this out if you don’t believe me:

Harmful Soda

But then diet soda has it's own problems (don't let the word "diet" lead you to believe it's better for you), some even think the caramel coloring might be cancerous (I know mamacat, it's the fizz and the caramel color you adore...)

I wasn’t out to take what she calls her "last vice" away altogether, but suggested she seriously cut down. Since we met for lunch almost two months ago she is down from about eight (8!) a day to two or less and drinking more water instead.

Mamacat already has her first victory! And as you all know, that is how it’s done. One little victory leads to another little victory, which leads to another little victory. Momentum!

Please say hello to Mamacat and let her know she can do this!