Monday, January 30, 2012

Beauty Short Cuts for Hot (Sweaty) Mamas

Do we ever grow out of playing dress up?
When it comes to putting myself together each day I usually find myself choosing between hair or make-up. Rarely is it hair and make-up.

Fit moms are always slicing and dicing their day to squeeze in a workout, so it goes to reason we'd skip on the beautification process. Still, I want to look like I tried. Over the 8+ years of being a fit mom, I've accumulated my top ten beauty shorts cuts:

Daily showers are non-optional, so make them quick. Sure, like most postpartum moms--crusty with a mix of bodily fluids that were mine and the babies--the days blurred together and I lost track of my mornings and nights and personal hygiene, too. But once the fog lifted I realized that not only did having human beings change me profoundly, they profoundly changed my body odor. The miasma of motherhood.

Only wash hair if you have to. Typically my rule is to wash my hair either after a good sweaty workout or after two days, whichever comes first. The fun in this is to try to coincide the sweaty workout on the second day. Still, there are times when the washing and drying and styling eludes you. And that's when you...

Hide dirty hair with a hat. Hats are all the rage. Most definitely capitalize on style trends and hide your sweaty hair under a stylish hat. Fashion with purpose!

Grow a high-tolerance for body hair. Here's where I luck out. The hair on my legs is light and fine, grows in relatively soft--and bonus! The longer it gets the softer it is! Even the underarm hair is understated. So, yeah, I take advantage of this physiological windfall and shave twice a week, picking up a third day in the summer. Still there are times when I should but don't and that's when you have to camouflage. Hirsute moms, can use this option when they need to to take a break from the razor, too. Cover the legs, skip the tank, and use the extra insulation to sweat a little bit more in your workout.

Keep nails short and unpolished. I file when necessary and every now and again buff them for shine. For me, having long painted nails is a major time suck. My toes are a different story. I really like pedicures. That's my summer-time treat.

Don't fall prey to the anti-aging industry. This one is a "do as I say, not as I do" tip. Now that I'm in my 40s I'll admit I've succumbed. A few years ago I used a single jar of face cream from the drug store. That was all. Now, I own two different kinds of cleansers (one exfoliates!), a moisturizer for day and one for night, and--here's where they can really suck you in--an eye cream. Once you start I don't know if you can ever go back, so hold off as long as possible!

Prioritize make-up application. You and only you know what you need to feel good when you walk out the door. The lucky ones can get away with nothing at all. I go with a slathering of tinted moisturizer and mascara as my bare-bones basics. If time permits my cheeks get color and my nose gets a dusting of powder. On rare occasions I break out eye-liner. I think I wear eye shadow five times a year. I carry Burts Bees lip tint in every bag I own and keep some in the car.

Accessorize light. Bling. It's important. I have a drawer full of goodies. However, on a day-to-day basis I stick with the basics so I'm always adorned: Wedding ring and the diamond studs my husband gave me 15 years ago. They never come off so I'm always accessorized. If an occasion calls for a different look, then I can switch out, if time allows. But if it doesn't, I still have my sparkle.

Take time to eat nutritiously. A healthy meal takes effort, but eating healthy food is important for your inward and outward appearance. Taking the time to treat yourself to good nutrition is more effective than face creams or make up.

Redirect with self-confidence! There are days when I leave the house ready to be featured in a fashion magazine "Don't!" Here's when you let your inner-beauty shine. Especially if you've successfully finished a workout, let your sweaty glow ooze that inner-confidence and own it sister!

I'm sure you have your own fit mom beauty short-cuts to share. Let's hear them!

Monday, January 23, 2012

What is a Feminine Athlete?

New meaning to mom at the end of her rope.

Last week I had the pleasure of guest posting on the Skirt Sport Blog, a company you all know I love. So I was honored they asked me to fill in on the blog series while Nicole DeBoom is away on maternity leave (she was also a guest on the Hot (Sweaty) Mamas book tour).

I'm still smitten by the reminder that I am, indeed, a feminine athlete. That teenager from the 80s--the pom pon girl who complained to the squad's sponsor that her uterus might fall out if she made her run laps--now has embraced the athlete within. Her uterus, despite 7 marathons, 2 Ironman triathlons, and 4 children is still safely tucked inside her.

I'm sending you over there this week to read about trading in my pom pons for finish lines and being a Feminine Athlete today.

P.S. Me and The Boy also traveled to last week. I share what's in my gym bag!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Family Fitness is Not Sitting Out Storytime Yoga

This pose is called "There are days when I still need a nap."
Last week I took The Boy to a special story time yoga at our local library. He's already been exposed to yoga at our house in various ways: Watching Mom do sun salutations out of the corner of his eye while he watches Thomas the Train; Knowing I'm going to a class while he plays in the child center at the gym; or together, as we read one of our favorite books, My Daddy is a Pretzel. The Boy knows Tree Pose, Triangle Pose, Downward Dog.

I wouldn't go as far as to say he's an above-average nearly 3-year-old yogi, but he likes yoga. That's enough.

Story time and yoga? Yes! In fact, I've stopped going to the regular storytime events because he won't sit still for them. He lasts all of 30 seconds before I get a look that says, "Let's cut out and play with the train set."

Quite honestly I don't want to just sit there either. I get it!

So there we were eager for our yoga session (me especially so after running hills early that morning) among a room full of tots and their caregivers: moms, dads, grandparents. Who all took a seat. Or stood there. Not moving. For the whole. stinking. storytime.

Except me. But, of course.

I was the only adult besides the yoga instructor making monkey sounds, roaring like a tiger, hopping like a frog, stomping like an elephant, barking like a dog.

I tried real hard to focus on having fun with The Boy. And we did. Yet I felt--and you are not supposed to feel this way in yoga--pissed off at all those parents and grandparents. Sure I get it. I've been that mom who just wants to sit there with her coffee. Zone out. Score 20 minutes of someone else entertaining the kids.  Still I had to work at not passing judgment while I was making monkey sounds, roaring like a tiger, hopping like a frog, stomping like an elephant, barking like a dog.

Because, come on!, I was the only grown up involved. Apparently no one looked at me and said, "Well, she doesn't look that stupid, I'll go ahead and do this too." Nope. Just sat there.

Talk about a missed opportunity--not just for the chance to move and stretch for themselves, but the chance to show their children that fitness is a family affair, for the pleasure--the privilege, really--of being active together.

I'm judging.

And I know what that means. I will never again be able to sit in storytime with my coffee and zone out.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Here I am

Over here! Spending the day with a local writer, blogger, mom, Nina Badzin.

Nina, aside from entertaining me and inspiring me to read, has taught me a lot about how to navigate social media. Still trying to figure it out? Go see her!

Nina just had baby #4 and is ready to eat healthier (we have many things in common, including a deep affection for sugar) and to get going on this Fit Thing; and do it for real this time. She wants to lose the last of her baby weight. She wondered about her daughters. How does she do this without driving them crazy?

Well, I think as mothers we're entitled to drive our daughters a little crazy.

I mean they need something to talk about behind our back when they're adults.

But, we have enough crazy around that our body image doesn't need to be part of it.

So read more over at Nina Badzin's blog and join the conversation. She's giving away books!

Monday, January 2, 2012

First Post of 2012

Me and my sister, Erin, after climbing to the North Peak of the Franklin Mountains
in El Paso, Tx., on Dec. 30, her 40th birthday. Good bye 2011!

My mother-in-law gave me a six-word memoir calendar for Christmas. Each day showcases someone's six-word memoir and it encourages you to write your own six words each day.

I woke up on January 1 feeling this way in six words:
I want to do it all.
What is it about the new year that fills us with initiative, expectation and possibility? And why still? I hope that even into my old age I feel this way with the start of each new year.

So naturally I started January 1 cleaning out my refrigerator. Clean start! I didn't mean to do that. I just wanted to empty out the fuzzy leftovers. One thing lead to another and next thing I knew I was scrubbing the sticky shelves and washing out the fruit bin. God it felt good.

But I was already worn out with my ambition and it wasn't yet noon.

I certainly didn't want to spend the day--or 2012--cleaning. I wasn't sure what I wanted for the rest of the day--or 2012. Yes, definitely there was so much I wanted to do. But do it all? What did that entail, exactly?

The barking seal cough from my son, heralding another round of croup, brought me back to the present. I wasn't sure how much I could do with my day, or where to begin. So I just decided to see what happened.

There was a group of friends heading out for a trail run at noon. So I joined them.

My husband took the kids to a movie. So I stayed behind, crawled in bed and read a book. (This might rank as a slice of heaven for me.)

I went to the 5 pm church service.

I watched my kids' perform a magic show.

We had dinner--what I could cull together after cleaning out the fridge--then we all curled up on the couch to watch Dolphin Tale.

Without any planning at all, I think it turned out to be a near perfect day. When I got into bed, I changed my six words to better represent the day, and the easier approach I'd like to take into the new year:
I want to do just enough.
Ahh, yes. I don't want to tamper my enthusiasm but darn it, setting out to do "just enough" feels right for 2012. It's a little like starting out thinking I wanted to run a marathon this year and coming to the conclusion that setting my sights on a personal record 5K was not only a respectable goal, but would work better for my life right now. I could funnel ambition into "just enough" so that I could stay grounded in the present, which is to say, take advantage of opportunities to curl up in bed with a book or stop for impromptu magic shows. If the opportunity presents itself to summit a mountain, chances are, I'll go for it.

Now, it is January 2.
I'll just see what happens next.
Do you have a six-word memoir to share?