Sunday, September 30, 2012

কলা + সংস্কৃতি = শক্তি

This week, overwhelmed by work and all that life throws at us, I felt on the brink of something dark - but that’s best avoided. On Thursday evening, I’d pulled together a small networking event and felt a degree of trepidation about it - it was informal, but that kind of makes me over-compensate. Of course, everyone who came along was full of life and so deeply involved and enthusiastic about their work, it was the tonic that I needed. More of that in a moment.

Thanks Holly ar the RNCM
It emerged this week that former Home Secretary and MP for Blackburn, Jack Straw has experienced his fair share of mental distress, and spoke eloquently on the Today Programme about his experience of serious depression. Apart from delivering a glib, ‘you have to be mad to be a politician’ one-liner, he did stress the normality of mental ill health and like Alistair Campbell, emphasised that the prejudice that surrounds mental illness is harder to overcome than physical ill-health. I’d like to see more of the politicians and public figures admitting to their vulnerabilities when they are in office. For me, (and its a mantra I often repeat) the statistics about 1 in 4 of us experiencing mental health problems, is useful when we think about slumping into a clinical crisis; but the truth is, we’re all on that spectrum of what it is to be human and its the strangest things that can lift us out of it, or push us deeper into it. 

Last weeks blog posting on Ben Goldacre’s, Bad Medicine got a lot of hits, and I’m particularly thankful to one keen-eyed reader for pointing out my subtle medicinal error! Did no one else notice? All sorted, thanks to the observations of a forensic scholar. So, that networking evening - a small group of intelligent, articulate and passionate people. We met because we believe in something - something essential about the human condition and how this thing we call arts/health might just be part of the way we address some of the inequalities in life.

Inequalities: they sound dull don’t they, but they are interesting! Do you know that access to this blog and the billion other opportunities that the internet offers in the UK, is restricted by vast numbers of people who have no access to the web. This digital divide is an extension of the inequalities we all know about, but that further strips away opportunities that should be available to all of us. ‘While the majority of people in  the UK have access to the  internet, there are still 10 million people who do not. Of these people, 4 million are are the most socially and economically disadvantaged in the country.’ For those of us who use the web to read, catch up with friends, buy and sell, ask questions, give answers, or even find love - the thought of not having this incredible resource is completely shocking. How bereft would you feel without the world at your fingertips. So it’s an outrage, that those of us marginalised by poverty and issues like our age, are yet again isolated by our lack of internet connectedness. Click on the image below for more 21st Century Challanges.

Over a third of older people feel lonely, says new research...

Following a recent poll by AgeUK and YouthNet, that was published this thursday, a tiny little article by Yvonne Roberts in the Observer highlights the need to move beyond just asking the questions that we surely all know the  answers to, to addressing the issues. The work, which is focused on thinking about how younger people can teach older people the skills of social media, isn’t under criticism, but it is reiterating what’s blindingly obvious. Roberts’ focus is very much on the social and emotional divides of loneliness and takes our diversity and our introvert/extrovert natures into account. She call’s for ‘fewer polls and more imaginative support’, and critically for us to think about how throughout life, we might make ourselves resilient against loneliness in later life.

Talking of ‘imaginative support’, some of you will have met Claire Ford when she presented her research from her Churchill Fellowship at a networking event in January. Her work bringing some of these IT skills and creative passion to people experiencing dementia, is flourishing and if you go to her blog, you’ll be able to catch up with some exciting developments in her ongoing iPad engAGE project. Brilliant stuff Claire - and like the ongoing work of Anne Basting, great leaps can be made in human flourishing by focusing on imagination and new possibilities, over reductionism and pathologising. Click on the iPad for more info and Claire's latest newsletter.

So at that networking event, that I was overcompensating at, bringing along ideas to share...well, it was a doddle. People were lovely and had so much to share. I took along a copy of the latest incarnation of the manifesto and shared some of the key points. I also took the National Charter for Arts, Health and Wellbeing, which the National Alliance for Arts, Health & Wellbeing will publish in October. Of course, our manifesto with all its allusions to the troubles that life can bring - the lows as well as the highs, resonates deeply. For all of you who contributed to manifesto part one, a lovely hard copy of part two will wing its way to you in the post, free of charge, once I take delivery. More of that in a couple of weeks.

I was thrilled to share news of a new and incredibly exciting arts/health opportunity that is emerging in Greater Manchester. I hope to be able to share something that we can all be involved in, very, very soon.

So my malaise has lifted. I can feel it lurking somewhere, but a mix of friendship and seeing the possibilities of what life throws at us, has restarted and gently lifted me upwards.*
Hey ho.      

Tesco Charity Trust Community Awards 
(UK) - Autumn Deadline
Charitable groups who are working locally across the UK to support elderly people and adults and children with disabilities have until the end of this month to submit their application for funding. The Tesco Charity Trust offers its Community Awards scheme four times a year to registered charities and not-for-profit organisations working on local projects that benefit communities close to Tesco stores in the UK.

The scheme has two strands: one which supports elderly people and adults and children with disabilities and a second which supports children and their education and welfare. There are two funding rounds per strand per year. Last year, the Trust distributed nearly £700,000 to local community charities through the scheme.

Groups can apply for one-off awards of between £500 and £4,000 which will support practical things such as equipment and resources. Projects previously supported include luncheon clubs, specialist equipment for disabled people, day trips and social trips for elderly or disabled people.

Decisions are normally made about three months after the closing date by the regional Community Co-ordinators who are based in Tesco stores across the UK. The closing date for applications for the current round for Elderly People and/or People with Disabilities is 30 September 2012. Full details can be found on the Tesco Charity Trust website. 

People’s Lottery Dream Fund
Deadline 31st October 2012
Now in its third year, the Dream Fund has already helped to transform communities across the country. The £400,000 funding pot offers charities and organisations the chance to work together and apply for up to £100,000 for an innovative 12 month project that will enhance the local community. Registered charities and community organisations in Scotland, Merseyside or Greater Manchester can apply. This year, they are encouraging applications from projects seeking to: 
  • Encourage active living
  • Bring communities together
  • Tackle climate change
  • Expand life opportunities

Heritage Lottery Fund Announces New Funding Programmes (UK)
The Heritage Lottery Fund has announced that the “Your Heritage” grants programme will be replaced by two new funding programmes.  The new Sharing Heritage programme will make grants of up to £10,000 to not-for-profit group wanting to explore, share and celebrate their community’s heritage. This can include:
  • Events
  • Exhibitions
  • Festivals and celebrations
  • Producing local history publications
  • Conservation of individual heritage items
  • Volunteer training and support. 
The new Our Heritage programme will make grants of up to £100,000 to all types of heritage projects. For example:
Smaller parks and green spaces
Community buildings
Museum collections and archives as well as activity projects exploring languages
Cultures and memories. 

Both new programmes will open for applications in February 2013. Read more at: 

Arts Council Launches Creative People & Places Fund Round II (England)
The Arts Council England has launched the second funding round of its Creative People and Places Fund. This is a new £37 million fund to help people living in places where involvement in the arts is significantly below the national average to participate in the arts. The Creative People and Places Fund will operate over three years.  It will invest in around 15 programmes of activity that use radical new approaches to developing excellent, inspiring and sustainable arts experiences for communities not currently engaging with the arts.  The Arts Council is keen to encourage long-term collaborations between local communities and arts organisations, museums, libraries and local authorities.  The Arts Council anticipate that the majority of funds awarded will be for between £500,000 and £3 million over three years. Projects supported during round 1 include:
  • Transforming lorries and vans into flexible artwork and arts spaces
  • Touring to local festivals
  • Schools
  • Workplaces
  • Towns and villages
  • Providing opportunities for people to get involved with art on their doorstep.  
The closing date for applications is the 12th December 2012. Read more at:

Two footnotes:

1. *After torrential rain, the sun emerged and walking out away from the city, I saw a stunted and windswept old oak that I know, bathed in a moments sunlight. The sight of its little shivering leaves turning golden, shocked me. Within the hour, the sun had set and a beautiful old full-moon rose over the eastern sky. did you see the moon that night?

2. A glib and slightly offensive Andy Williams anecdote.
When I was a small boy, my parents had an Andy Williams single - Almost There. The b-side was On a Street Where You Live. I always claimed it was naff, but secretly loved it - both sides. Years past and I covertly collected ‘Andy’ albums. Velvety crooner, all nostalgia, and discreetly camp. Of course, I inherited the single too.

I went to see him at the Bridgewater Hall a few years ago, and it was great. I was thrilled to be one of the youngest people in the audience too, which after being one of the oldest at Grimes recently; was a real treat. Anyway, after the show in which he sang Almost There and reduced me to a gibbering wreck, I decided, I had to meet the man, and at the very least, get my program signed. Sycophantic? You bet.

At the stage door, I asked the bouncers if he would be coming out to the fans. A rather large man  told me that under no circumstances would Mr Williams be signing autographs - he doesn’t do that any more! Shocked, and not one to be put off, I went with a friend to where the tour-bus waited. It was a wonderful moment. There were at least 8 people in wheelchairs waiting, who like me, wanted to meet their idol. After what seemed an interminable length of time, he appeared - small, bronzed and perfectly preserved - better, he was accompanied by that very same bouncer. Immediately, Andy was there, bending down to the massed, adoring fans, signing photos, shaking hands. seeing the opportunity, I rushed forwards, knowing it was now or never. ‘Andy,’ I shouted, moving closer program held high, but that bouncing brute had seen me, and with a cuff of the back of his hand, screamed, ‘Mr Williams only does the disabled.’ I fell to the floor - horrified, dazed and confused. Shocking eh? And I am sorry if it causes offence, but here is my souvenir photograph of said incident, captured by the ‘paparazzi.’ (this is a sanitised version)

Thank you so much...C.P.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Thank You!

Good morning Sunshine!  I hope you all woke up to a beautiful Saturday!  I decided last night that we are working out at 9:00 a.m. today to get it over and done with for the day. My Saturday workout is going to be a ten minute warm up on the treadmill, lift weights for back and biceps, and finish with 200 abs.  Then get on with my day feeling GOOD.  I'm planning to cook turkey chili and then I'll be taking 100 photos, trying to get a few properly exposed and focused shots that I can share with you next week:)

Most importantly, I want to give y'all a big ole hug for reading, commenting, following, and subscribing to my new blog.  The first day the blog went live, it had nearly 40,000 page views!  That is BANANAS!  It's because YOU read multiple posts while you were here.  Thank you.  I'm humbled and thrilled.

Many of you are helping spread the word and I really appreciate it.  If you have blogged about Honey We're Healthy or added my button to your blog, please let me know and I will give you a shout out in a future post with your blog header and a link to your blog.  I think it's so important to support each other and I'm happy to return the

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Loc Maintenance || Tips for Loose Hair and Frizzy Locs

Youtubers Franchesca and DynamicRunner use the following technique to tame loose hair and frizzy locs:


Curls Confessions || Truth About Curls

If you have not heard about it yet, do check out Paul Mitchell's "Truth About Curls".  You can share "truths about life" with your curls, coils, or kinks at

What is your "truth"?

5 Healthy Snacks

Ever get so busy with your day that you "forget to eat?"  Then you are STARVING for dinner?  Yeah, I've done that too, but I really try to be conscious of eating every three to four hours now.  I do get hungry that often, so having healthy snacks in my fridge, at work, or in the car are essential.  Here are five of my favorites.  I'd like to hear what your favorite snacks are too.

I like most varieties of applies.  The one pictured above is a Honey Crisp- so pretty and crunchy!  I'm trying to get in the habit of washing my apples when I bring them home from the grocery store so they are ready to slice and eat.  I pair them with natural peanut butter for a satisfying treat.  I always bring apples to work and my own jar of peanut butter for snack time. 

Nutrition:  Natural Peanut Butter (2 tbsp): Cal 200; Fat 16g; Sat fat 1.5g; Protein 8g; Carb 6g; Sodium 90g.
Apple (1 medium):  Cal 100; Fat 0; Protein 0; Carb 25g.

Carrots are another wash, peel, and slice item I like to keep in my fridge.  (You can buy them that way for convenience if you prefer).  I buy the giant tubs of hummus since my whole family (including my son) eat it.  This is most likely the snack you'll find us eating while dinner is being prepared if we're too hungry to wait.  Pictured above is two carrots, but I probably would only eat one large carrot.

Nutrition 1 Carrot: Cal 30; Fat 0g; Protein 1g; Carb 7g.
Hummus (2 Tbsp): Cal 80; Fat 7g; Sat Fat 1g; Cart 4g; Protein 2g; Sodium 125g.

Nuts (preferably unsalted), the ones pictured above are a combination of unsalted and lightly salted.  I find that my body really bloats up if I eat too much sodium, so I eat unsalted.  I keep these in my car for "emergencies" since they travel so well.  

Nutrition 1/4 cup:  Cal 170; Fat 16g; Sat Fat 1g; Carb 6g; Protein 5g; Sodium 0g.

I love Edamame.  I actually enjoy the process of popping the peas out of their little shell with my teeth.    It took me too long to realize I didn't have to go to a sushi restaurant to enjoy edamame, you can buy it frozen at the grocery store.  I sprinkle it with a teeny amount of salt.  

Nutrition (1 cup unshelled/ 1/2 cup shelled): Calories 110; Fat 3.5g; Sat Fat 0g; Sodium 0g; Carb 12g; Protein 9g.

These little pre-packaged bundles of cheese are high on my list of grab and go.  I buy the "light" and eat two at a time.  The sodium isn't great, but the protein is. 

Nutrition (2 pieces): Cal 100; Fat 5g; Sat Fat 3g; Sodium 400g; Carb 2g; Protein 14g.

What snacks do you like?  

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Caprese Salad

A caprese salad (tomato, mozzarella, and basil) is probably one of my three favorite appetizers to order when eating out.  It's light, delicious, and pretty with the vibrant red, green and pure white ingredients.

Sprinkle on a few drops of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar too. 

What's your favorite healthy appetizer to order when eating out?

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Welcome to Honey We're Healthy!

Thank you for visiting Honey We're Healthy!

I'm Megan, and we might already be friends from my  home decor and organization blog, Honey We're Home.  If we haven't met yet, I'm glad you're here!  I'm a 37 year-old mom to an adorable 2 1/2 year old son, James.  He's the love of my life, but I will admit, pregnancy was not so hot for me- on my 5'1 frame, I gained over 50 pounds.  To read about how I lost the weight and got back into shape, go HERE.  

As I approach my 40s and raise my young son, being active and healthy has become more important than ever.  I'm not a nutritionist or personal trainer, just a regular working woman who wants to raise a fit family and look and feel the best I can.  I want a lean figure and shapely muscles.  Many of you have the same goals.  I know that my body runs better when I nourish it with natural, unprocessed, low sugar foods and that I feel strong and energized when I workout and lift weights.

My approach to living healthy has been shaped by lots of reading and research from people like: Dr. Oz; Fitness Models/Writers Jamie Eason, Monica Brant, and Tosca Reno; Chef Ellie Kreiger; Personal Trainers Bob Greene and Jillian Michaels; and Food Writer Michael Pollan.  I also read magazines like Oxygen and Whole Living.  I'll digest the information and bring it to you here.

My hope is that Honey We're Healthy will be a place of encouragement, support, and motivation to make our journeys toward health and fitness more doable and fun.  I plan to share meals- healthy ones but also yummy desserts for once in a while.  I admit to having a major sweet tooth and wouldn't dream of eliminating chocolate from my diet.  I'll also post fitness tips and my workout routine, as well as all things related to living a healthful lifestyle.  

I hope you enjoy visiting and come back often.  You can follow Honey We're Healthy HERE or subscribe HERE.  

I'll leave you with very wise words from my loving Grandma, who always signs her handwritten letters to me with the sweetest sentiment . . . 

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The Legal Stuff (Disclaimer): The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from this site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician.  Please consult your health care provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition.


*Here's a great song to add to your fitness playlist (and a reminder to lift your spirits). 

Made a wrong turn, Once or twiceDug my way out, Blood and fireBad decisions, That's alrightWelcome to my silly life
Mistreated, misplaced, misunderstoodMiss "no way, it's all good", It didn't slow me downMistaken, Always second guessingUnder estimated, Look, I'm still around
Pretty, pretty pleaseDon't you ever, ever feelLike your less than Fuckin' perfect.Pretty, pretty pleaseIf you ever, ever feelLike your nothingYou're perfect to me.
You're so mean,When you talk, About yourself, You are wrong.Change the voices, In your headMake them like you Instead.
So complicated,Look happy, You'll make it!Filled with so much hatredSuch a tired game.It's enough, I've done all I can think ofChased down all my demons, I've seen you do the same.
Oh, Pretty, pretty pleaseDon't you ever, ever feelLike your less than perfect.Pretty, pretty pleaseIf you ever, ever feelLike your nothingYou're perfect to me.
The whole world stares so I swallow the fear,The only thing I should be drinking is an ice cold beer.So cool in line and we try, try, try,But we try too hard, it's a waste of my time.Done looking for the critics, cause they're everywhereThey don't like my jeans, they don't get my hairWe change ourselves and we do it all the time
Why do we do that? Why do I do that?Why do I do that?
Yeah~, Ohh~ pretty pretty please, Ohh~
Pretty, pretty pleaseDon't you ever, ever feelLike your less than perfect.Pretty, pretty pleaseIf you ever, ever feelLike your nothingYou're perfect to me.
You're perfect, You're perfectPretty, pretty pleaseDon't you ever, ever feelLike your less than Fuckin' perfect.Pretty, pretty pleaseIf you ever, ever feelLike your nothingYou're perfect to me. 

3 Sample Weight Training Programs (by Monica Brant)

I found what I think are three good weight training programs in Monica Brant's book, Secrets to Staying Fit and Loving Life.  For those of you who don't know Monica Brant, she was a fitness and figure competitor and champion from the 1990s to now.  She also runs fitness camps and does personal appearances.  Keep in mind, she's got a lot more muscle mass than I strive for (she's been dedicated to wight training/muscle gain for YEARS), but I think her training principals are sound.

These programs assume you have a general knowledge of how to lift weights for different body parts.  In her book (which I ordered online for $1.50) she has photos of how to perform different exercises.  I will write a separate post on specific exercises for each body part in the future.

Always warm up with medium-intensity cardio before weight training.  I usually start on the treadmill and do 2.5 mph at a 15% incline, for 8 minutes.  Monica does 3.5 mph with a 5% incline for 10 minutes.

SAMPLE PROGRAM 1:  Train 3 Days a Week for General Conditioning

*Each time in the gym, you'll do a total body circuit, going from one exercise to another without resting in between.  You can do the circuit once, twice, or three times, depending on your time and conditioning level.  You rest more more than 30 seconds between exercises.

Monica says doing circuits are one of the best ways to burn fat and condition your body.

Example Exercises 

Body Part        Exercise
Shoulders          Dumbbell press
Chest                 Incline dumbbell press
Biceps               Seated alternating dumbbell curl
Triceps              Triceps bench dip
Back                 Dumbbell bench row
Legs                  Lunges
Abs                   Basic ball crunch

Frequency:  3 days a week, skip a day in between

Exercises:  If you do a second or third round, you can choose different exercises or do the same

Sets:  Do one set per exercise

Reps:  15-20 per exercise.  Add weight if you can do more than 20.  It should not be so heavy that you can't do the last reps by yourself, but should feel challenging enough that you're ready to quit at 20.

Rest:  No more than 30 seconds between exercises

Cardio:  If you have time and these are the only 3 days you are at the gym, do 15-20 minutes of cardio before your circuit and 15-20 minutes after.

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SAMPLE PROGRAM 2:  Train 4 Days a Week for General Conditioning

*This is still a circuit workout, but your body parts are split into two days.

Example Exercises 

Frequency        Exercise
Monday             Arms/legs/abs
Tuesday             Chest/shoulders/back
Wednesday        Off
Thursday           Arms/legs/abs
Friday                Chest/shoulders/back
Saturday            Off
Sunday              Optional cardio day

Exercises:  Pick two exercises per body part.  If you do a second or third round, you can choose different exercises or do the same

Sets:  Do one set per exercise

Reps:  15-20 per exercise.  Add weight if you can do more than 20.  It should not be so heavy that you can't do the last reps by yourself, but should feel challenging enough that you're ready to quit at 20.

Rest:  No more than 30 seconds between exercises

Cardio:  If time allows, do cardio before, during or after your circuit training.  Otherwise, save it for another day.  Monica says that doing cardio, even 15 minutes, will help you see results faster.  She also recommends mixing it up- higher intensity on some time and lower intensity others.

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SAMPLE PROGRAM 3:  Train 5 Days a Week for Muscle Definition and Conditioning

*This is good for the woman who wants to build muscle definition throughout her entire body.  The program is a three day training split.  (THIS IS WHAT I'M DOING NOW).

Example Exercises 

Frequency        Exercise
Monday             Chest/shoulders/triceps
Tuesday             Back/biceps/abs
Wednesday        Legs
Thursday           Off or Cardio
Friday                Chest/shoulders/triceps
Saturday            Back/biceps/abs
Sunday              Off

Chest                 2 exercises
Shoulders          3 exercises
Triceps               2 exercises
Back                  3-4 exercises
Biceps                2 exercises
Abs                    2-3 exercises
Legs                   4 exercises

Sets:  3-4 sets per exercise

Reps:  1st set 15; 2nd set 12; 3rd set 10

Rest:  One minute between sets

Cardio:  Monica recommends doing some cardio for conditioning and to control body fat.  She says, "Interval cardio sessions after weight training are best for optimal performance and results.  Do not do your cardio before weights if you are trying to build muscle.  Keep in mind that heavier training requires more attention and energy, so make sure you don't exhaust all your fuel by doing your cardio first."

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Getting Started Getting Fit

If you haven't been working out and find yourself struggling just to make it through the day, ending up in an exhausted heap on the bed at night, finding time to workout can be an added stressor, instead of a stress relief.   If I am just too busy in a day, I will purposefully decide to skip the gym.  Then forget it and go the next day.

It's often difficult for women to take/make time for themselves (because there is no time left to give after giving it all to your work and/or family).  If you are struggling with starting a workout routine, or can't seem to find the time, a great place to get started is to just get moving.

A short 15-30 minute walk/jog in your own neighborhood will do you wonders.  I love to get outside in the fresh air and feel so much better afterwards.  Of course, I prefer running in our local park around the 3-mile track because it is such a pretty scene and I love the energy of the people.

Realistically though, I know that the park is about an hour out of my day because I have to drive there (7 minutes), find a parking spot (3 minutes), commit to 3 miles (at least 30 minutes), and drive home (7 minutes).  If I really only have 20 minutes, I'll just grab my ipod, and head out the front door for a quick jog.

Sometimes, the mental energy for gearing up for the gym or park is just too much for people to handle.  But, hopefully, just walking out your front door is doable.

I really also love it when the family takes a walk before or after dinner.  A walk is still getting your body moving!  In my neighborhood, we see lots of families doing this. One person can run ahead if they want to go faster- or use a running stroller if you have little ones.  My son really likes riding in his.

I have found that if you get moving, you will start to like how you feel and want to do it more.  Just starting can be the hardest part- figuring out how to fit it into your day.   But it is an investment in you that you deserve and, frankly, NEED to take care of yourself.

Making TIME to Workout (My Schedule & Tips for You)

When I announced that I was starting a health and fitness blog, I was thankful and humbled by the support from readers in the comments they left and in the private emails I received.  I think most everyone desires to be fit,  and by far, the overwhelming question I got was,

"How do you find the time to workout" or "How do you balance it all?"

With jobs, commutes to jobs, kids, after school activities, a household to run and clean, bills to pay, groceries to buy, laundry to do, not to mention trying to catch up with friends, shop, or date-  making time to work out often falls to the bottom on the list of priorities.   It can feel overwhelming to try to fit working in on top of all the other commitments we have on a daily basis.

For me, the first thing I had to do was decide that working out is a priority for me and that my health matters.  I am worthy of taking time for myself.  You are too.

If you're not feeling good, you're overweight, sluggish and don't have the energy or vibrancy you'd like to have, you NEED to take time for yourself.  It can get better.

That having been said, there are only so many hours in a day.  You have to figure out where you can carve out the time for yourself.  You have to put yourself on your priority list.


In my household, I only have one young child that isn't in any after school activities or sports and I normally work full time.  There have been periods in my life where I got up at 5:30 a.m. twice a week to meet my girlfriend at the gym to workout from 6:00 to 6:45 a.m.  Then I'd get home around 7:00 a.m. and get ready for work to be out the door by 8:00 a.m.

Morning workouts are perfect for early risers and make you feel good and accomplished!  The workout is over first thing and you don't have to think about it again all day!  How good does that feel?  It's what I highly recommend if you can commit to it- even just a couple days a week.

I lean much more toward the night-owl end of the spectrum and prefer to workout after work.


This only worked with one parent being home while the other went to the gym- and I did this because our previous gym did not have a daycare.  We recently changed gyms to one with a daycare so that the family could all go at the same time, instead of taking turns.

7:00 a.m. Wake up, eat breakfast, get ready for work.

8:00 a.m.  Take my son to school.

8:45-9:00 a.m.  Arrive at work.

10:00 a.m.   Eat a snack.

12:00 p.m.  Eat lunch.

3:30 p.m.  Eat a snack

5:00 p.m.  Leave work, pick up my son

5:30 p.m.  Make dinner (or have leftovers)

6:00 p.m.  Dinner

7:00 p.m.  Son's bath and story

7:30 p.m.  Son's bedtime

8:00 p.m.  Go to the gym

9:00 p.m  Home/shower

9:15 p.m.  Eat a snack

9:30-11:00 Clean the kitchen/prepare lunch for the next day, watch tv, Blog/Pinterest, return emails

11:30 p.m. Bedtime


My new gym has a daycare that is really well run and my son loves to play in.  It's more like a large indoor playground where he can read, color, play on the jungle gym, play with cars/trains/puppets and the other kids.  They also have dinner tables where the kids can eat.

I am mindful that I don't want my son to be in daycare all day, then go right to another daycare for an hour when he gets home, so I might only do this two times during the week and then do two more workouts on the weekends.  With this schedule, we tend to go right after work and let James eat dinner with his friends.  He also goes to bed 30 minutes later so we all get a little more time together.

7:00 a.m. Wake up, eat breakfast, get ready for work.

8:00 a.m.  Take my son to school.

8:45-9:00 a.m.  Arrive at work.

10:00 a.m.   Eat a snack.

12:00 p.m.  Eat lunch.

3:30 p.m.  Eat a snack

4:00 p.m.  Husband picks up son (an hour earlier than before)

5:00 p.m.  I leave work

6:00-7:00 p.m.  Eat snack.  Go to the gym (son eats dinner at the daycare)

7:30 p.m.  Home dinner/Son's bath, and story

8:00 p.m.  Son's bedtime (30 minutes later), Shower

8:30-11:00 Clean the kitchen/prepare lunch for the next day, watch tv, Blog/Pinterest, return emails,

11:30 p.m. Bedtime

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On Saturdays, I like to wake up, eat breakfast, enjoy my coffee/magazines on the couch, fiddle around the house some, then go workout around 9:30.  It feels really good to get it out of the way early and then you have the rest of the day to do whatever you want.

On Sundays, I don't like to workout before church, but sometimes like to go for a run during my son's nap or in the evening before dinner.

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Below are some general time savers that will help you add time to your day.

Turn off the TV.  (And when you watch TV, record the shows and fast forward through the commercials).

Turn off the computer- yep, blogs, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook.

Put your phone down.

Say "NO."

Decide the house doesn't have to be spotless every day.

Hire a housekeeper once or twice a month, if possible.

Set out your (and your kids') clothes the night before.

Prepare lunches the night before.

Get up early.  Go to bed early.


Below are some suggestions to help get you thinking outside the box and how to realistically incorporate working out into your day.

Can you find a gym with a good daycare?

If you are married, can you and your husband take turns going to the gym/watching the kids?

If you are married, can your husband do dinner and feed the kids two nights a week while you go workout and then you come home and do bedtime duty?

Can you commit to waking up an hour earlier to workout?

Can you workout at night?

Can you turn your "date night" into a workout, then go eat afterwards?

Can you meet your girlfriends for a walk/workout instead of a happy hour/lunch/dinner?

Can you trade babysitting with a neighbor/friend?

Can you get a jogging stroller so you and your baby/toddler can go together?  My son used to nap in his when he was younger.  Or what about a bike with a kid seat?  Or bikes for the whole family?

If you are a parent who's always at your kids' sporting practices in the afternoon/evening, is it weird to walk a few laps during the practice?  Or could you skip out (I know that sounds bad) and trade "babysitting" with another parent who's there?

Can you leave work early and workout before you get home or go at lunch once/twice a week?

Do you have a neighborhood pool where you could swim laps?

Can you do a neighborhood bootcamp?

Can you combine everyday errands with fitness- like parking way in the back and walking to the store or taking the stairs instead of the elevator?

If you don't belong to a gym or just cannot get there, you could try workout videos you can do at home.  (I am researching to see what good ones are out there and will write a separate post on that.)

Great home exercises also include pushups, crunches, lunges, jumping rope, jumping jacks, lifting hand weights.

Could your family play in a sport together- like soccer or tennis?

I am always a fan of just starting to walk or jog in your own neighborhood after dinner.


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