This is a guest post from my friend Tiffany Lee Gaston – she is a National Figure Competitor, freelance writer, Paleo chef, wife and mother of three children, based out of Arizona. She is an advocate for health and fitness and aims to help inspire and educate others along their journey and I truly admire her for that. She’s in wicked shape and is a very successful figure athlete. Enjoy 🙂

Jon-Erik Kawamoto fitness coachLooking back 10 years ago to a time prior to having children, I was always active, healthy and fit. It has been a top priority of mine for as long as I can remember. There was never a question that after having children I would want to feel the same, if not better and to maintain my active lifestyle for my kids. Now, I have three wonderful kids ages 10, 9 and 4 years old and I still practice what I preach. They keep me young, active and always expecting more out of myself. They help me to push myself harder, constantly improve and lead by example.

Just because you’ve had children and become a “Mom” does not mean that you drop the ball in that department. Making time for yourself to be able to do the things you’ve always done simply becomes a bit trickier. Here are my top 5 tips for getting back in shape and staying there in the busy world of Mommyhood.

1) Be active!

 
Put yourself first. Now I know this sounds self -absorbed, but hear me out. By putting yourself first, I don’t mean you should neglect your husband or children, rather you prioritize your needs better. If it makes you feel good to workout everyday, then you will need to find a way to work it in without disrupting the flow of things. For me, I wake up before what feels like the rest of the world most days, to get my workout in. There’s no guilt this way and you are free to handle the rest of the daily grind. Some of my favorite workouts are done with nothing more than bodyweight or a sandbag. Functional training can be done right from home and you can get a phenomenal workout in just 15-20 minutes. Strength and cardio all in one! Sounds doable, right?

[Jon’s 2-cents: Tiff’s bang on – you don’t need fancy equipment or an hour time slot to get in a great workout. Choosing the most “bang for your buck” exercises can get you hot and bothered in just 20-30 minutes. Make time for yourself and make the necessary changes in your life to ensure you always come first.]

Jon-Erik Kawamoto Personal Trainer

2) Eat right.

 
Making healthy food choices serves to reinforce your efforts with your fitness. Get rid of any junk in the house and enlist your kid’s assistance with the grocery shopping. Schooling them on healthy fuel for their bodies can be fun and time well spent together. Better yet, involve them in the preparation and cooking of a meal. You never know, you may just have the next Iron Chef on your hands! In allowing my kids to play and help make a mess in the kitchen, my middle daughter turns out to have quite the love of cooking and baking. Because of this, I’ve noticed her interest in trying lots of new foods she may otherwise not be exposed to.

[Jon’s 2-cents: I couldn’t agree more! Exposing your kids to the process of eating healthy (buying, food prep and the most important, eating) will develop the knowledge and awareness for hopefully better food choices as they age. Instilling good habits at a young age is what all parents should strive for.]

JKConditioning Fitness Coach

3) Retrain you brain.

 
As a mom, it is especially challenging to take care of you. Taking care of the house, the kids, the husband, the shopping, the cooking, the laundry and cleaning consume much of your time. Taking time to meditate or relax in any form that inspires you to keep going strong should be an important part of your day no matter how brief. Read a good book, take a bath, get a massage, have a girls night, a date night with the hubby, whatever it takes to focus on what’s important to you. Pampering yourself a little goes a long way since many moms put ourselves on the bottom of the to-do list.

[Jon’s 2-cents: Life is all about balance and at times, I know it’s hard to make time for everything. Being fit and healthy means having balance in your life and doing what you love. Remember to never “look” for time in your schedule, actually “make” time in your schedule. It will take work and more organizing, but it will pay off in the long run.]

4) Treat yourself.

 
If you’ve made healthy meal choices all week long and exercised, you deserve a little splurge. In fact, your body benefits from it. Refilling your body’s leptin levels by going off the rails for one meal a week helps this very important metabolic regulating hormone. I do this every Saturday night whether it’s a date night with my husband or the whole family. I enjoy indulging with them and my kids really get a kick out of seeing mom off the wagon.

[Jon’s 2-cents: You can’t be perfect 100% of the time. There’s no balance and you’ll probably go insane and go on a crazy binge (that you’ll likely regret). Treating yourself from time to time and indulging in the not-so-good-for-you snacks or foods is part of human nature. Be “good” 80-90% of the time and truly enjoy your treats when you have them.]

Jon-Erik Kawamoto Personal Training

5) Play hard!

 
Being a mom is no doubt trying at times. Never lose sight of the fact that you are the very first and often the most valuable role model in your child’s eyes. Structure is a necessary part of raising responsible, well-behaved little people, but spending time playing with your kids is invaluable. A family hike, camping trip, bike ride or any fun activity together shows your children how to be active, healthy and promotes a greater sense of self. These will often be when some of the greatest memories are made.

[Jon’s 2-cents: Again, instilling good habits at a young age, whether it’s in the kitchen or regarding physical activity, is invaluable for future decisions about eating and exercising. Involve the entire family and make sure to do things you all enjoy. As Tiff said, you’ll create memories that will last forever, all the while, getting and staying healthy in the process.]

Jon-Erik Kawamoto Fitness Coach

In closing, being a fit mom is not finding success in any one area of the above. It is about learning the delicate balance of each element and seamlessly blending it into your own family’s needs. We can excel in one area and be deficient in another, and that does equate to success. A healthy balance is the number one key ingredient to being your best YOU!

*****

 
Jon-Erik Kawamoto Personal TrainerTiffany Lee Gaston is an Arizona based freelance writer, Internationally published fitness model, National level figure competitor, Paleo chef and mother of three. She has a varied athletic background from gymnastics to long distance running and is currently competing on the NPC figure circuit as a Team Bombshell Athlete.

As a health and fitness advocate, Tiffany aims to inspire others to achieve their optimum health goals through proper nutrition and exercise and regularly shares her Paleo recipes on her website www.tiffanyleegaston.com.

Among other things, Tiffany’s greatest passions are living a healthy and fit lifestyle. Her top priority is educating her own children about the importance and benefits of being fit and healthy, as she leads by example. She enjoys inspiring and motivating others on their own journey as well.

Web: http://www.tiffanyleegaston.com
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @tiffanylgaston
Facebook: Tiffany Lee Gaston

Photo credits: Jenna Mayer and Mike Byerly

I started strength training at JKC in the Spring of 2021. I am in my 60’s but happy to say I feel much younger since joining this gym. I joined JKC upon the advice of a doctor. I went through some difficult medical issues last year, that’s when one of my doctors recommended strength training at JKC. I have been physically active most of my adult life but mainly running and completed many road races as I am a distance runner. Strength training has definitely benefited me by increasing my stamina and energy. It sure has enhanced my recovery over the past year. I have the added benefit of becoming a stronger runner as well.

I had been struggling with work-life balance resulting in not exercising or playing hockey as much as I had been doing in the past. In addition to being out of shape, I was starting to experience some back/shoulder issues and realized I needed to make some changes. Around this time, a friend (who was also a client) recommended JKC and that’s when I started!

You really feel part of a community where everyone is welcoming and supportive. You get a program that is designed specifically to achieve your goals, with the ongoing coaching, progress tracking and support required to achieve them. The JKC team are very knowledgeable about fitness and conditioning, and very engaging with everyone to answer questions or discuss anything and everything training related. I also like the flexible scheduling and gym times that work for my schedule (I like early mornings and evenings).

I’m 34 and started at JKC in 2015. My wife joined while I was working away in 2015 and started making amazing progress while also completing exercises I’d never perform on my own. I felt I was missing out so I signed up. JKC helps in establishing goals while also having clear direction of what to do, and how, in each session. They also measure your progress which is another means of motivation! At other gyms I wouldn’t have a clear plan and would just use whatever equipment was free, it was hard to see any results. Between setting some personal bests and making good friends its hard to identify a favorite memory.  One that does come to mind was when I hit my target goal/PB in both bench and squats in the same session, big day.

I’m 36 Years Old and started with JKC in 2013. In the past I’d often have motivated spurts of a gym routine but they would usually only last a month or so. It’s pretty easy to press the snooze button at 530 am when there’s no one waiting for you. The fact that the guys are always on time/prepared and motivated for your session adds a level of accountability to your shoulders to “get out of bed” and bring your best effort each time. From the pressure free trainers to the camaraderie that you create over time with the individuals you’re working out with, JKC is able to offer an experience many other gyms cannot.

I heard really good things about it from my sister, and I could see the positive results she was getting.  I needed to do something.  I was overweight, depressed, and recovering from a back injury.  I had reached a point where simply getting up out of a chair was becoming difficult.  I knew that if I didn’t do something about it my senior years would be very burdensome to the people close to me.  I’m so glad I did!  After just a few weeks my day-to-day pain was drastically reduced, and my mobility increased. I had the confidence to try sea kayaking, and I now play ice hockey twice a week!

The key difference is the expertise.  The trainers know the gym equipment and the exercises, but they also have degrees in kinesiology, and can apply what they know to your workout.  As someone who was in poor physical condition starting out, I was worried about hurting myself.  Previously I tried an outdoor weekly bootcamp and injured my knee by pushing too hard.  The trainers at JKC constructed a program that started at the right level for me, evolving it as I grew stronger and more fit.  I feel well looked after.

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