Tag Archives: Mamavation

Managing Stress with Fitness {#Mamavation Monday}

I can’t control what other people think of me, especially when they choose to take my words out of context.

I can’t guarantee that my children will grow up happy and well-adjusted. Hell, I can’t even ensure that they will in fact grow up, though up until September 10, 2011 I sure thought I could.

I can’t control the damming of Amazonian tributaries, or the rapid depletion of populations of tigers & leopards in Asia, but those things stress me out and I wish I could do more to help.

All I can do is my best.

What I can control is what I do with my own body. I am 100% in charge of what I put in my body, and I am 100% in charge of my fitness.

Running helps me relax and gives me peace.  I feel empowered taking action for my health, and the time I spend running with girlfriends is invaluable for working through life’s little challenges. It’s also blessed time away from work and family that I don’t have to feel guilty about! We may not be solving the giant problems of the world, but it’s nice to have other women to consult with on everything from school choices, parenting challenges, sex, career advice and even fashion. In other words, no topic is off limits during the morning mama runs!

I dread and long for my morning runs. Dread because… duh. Who really wants to get out of bed at 5 a.m.? But the discipline gives me peace, and knowing I’m taking care of myself helps me deal with all the other stresses of life. If I can get up and run nearly every day, then I can handle just about anything.

So… speaking of handling just about anything, I’m about to launch in to another 2 Week Challenge through Mamavation. It involves daily check-ins on work outs, accountability for food choices, and the amazing support of the whole Mamavation community. Last time I finished the whole two weeks, I lost 3.3 pounds and several inches. My weight has not gone down any further since then, but as of this week, I am fitting in to pants that I haven’t been able to wear for a long time, so I know I’m making progress.

Here is my benchmark for starting this challenge:

February 12, 2012
Bust    40.5
Waist    33
Hips    41
weight    161

Want to join in the challenge? The sign-up form & workouts are here.

Think Mamavation is for you? It’s a great community!

This post is sponsored by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway.


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Mamavation Monday: heart healthy food

I come from a family of “apples.” You know: back fat, midsection weight gain.

Diabetes and heart disease runs in the family on my mom’s side, and of her 4 siblings, one died of a heart attack, another had a heart attack, one has a pace-maker, and the other had quadruple bipass surgery. Fortunately, my mama has managed to avoid all those problems. I can only hope that keeping myself healthy will help me avoid heart problems as well.

So… what I believe is that eating low-fat, high fiber, lots of dark leafy greens is the secret to keeping my heart healthy. It could be that I think that type of diet is good for anything, but it seems especially true for the heart.

Also, red wine. I’ve embraced the recommendation to drink red wine! It’s good for me, right?

I’ve been adding spinach to my smoothies, and eat salad every day. I haven’t cut red meat out entirely, and I probably drink a little too much red wine… but I’m getting there!

My downfall is fried food, chips & salsa, you know. All the really bad stuff. I can pass over a cupcake any old day of the week, but it’s much harder for me to turn down some good chips and salsa!

I look forward to learning more about heart healthy foods, and checking out David Grotto’s articles on Real Life Nutrition on WebMD.

More to come as I learn more!




This post is sponsored by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women.

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Mamavation I have never been a skinny minnie. Ever.
I don’t necessarily want to be a skinny minnie, because that’s just not my body type.
However… I do want to be in my best shape possible.
I worked hard and lost all the baby weight before Anna’s first birthday, but right now I’m still 20 lbs heavier than I was when I got pregnant with Eric (who is now 4!).

So what is a Mamavation Mom, you ask?

Mamavation is moms I’ve never met encouraging me to make healthy choices. Take this time almost a year ago, when two Mamavation Sistas encouraged me to get my butt to the gym, even though I didn’t feel like it. I knew I needed to go, but their encouragement helped me do what I knew was right.

Mamavation is a community of moms (and dads) dedicated to living healthy lives in order to be our best possible selves, and raise our best possible families. Mamavation was created by Leah Segedie, who lost a bunch of weight herself, and uses what she learned about changing her life to help others change theirs. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that?

During each Mamavation Campaign, two moms lose weight in a virtual boot camp. They are given support, tools, and professional coaches to help transform mind and body. As they are learning healthy living and losing weight they live their lives on a stage for seven weeks. The campaign becomes a virtual docudrama with real challenges and victories as they become the stars of the campaign.

I want to get to a good place of fitness, and then KEEP IT THERE.

Being a Mamavation Mom would be the kick in the pants I need to get where I need to be, because I sure haven’t been able to get there on my own so far!

It will be a lot of work, but I have a fantastic community to help me, so I know I can do this with all of your support. I’m a natural cheerleader, so I know I can help inspire other people – including my own family – to stay healthy as well.

Here’s my application video:

So that’s it! I want all the applicants to get in, so I almost didn’t apply. But I really want this and need this!

You can help me by sending a message to Leah on Twitter:

Hey @bookieboo! I want @kristalswan to be the next #Mamavation Mom. She has my support! http://bit.ly/aorv3Y

Not on Twitter? that’s ok! Just pop over to Facebook and let Leah know that you are supporting me.

Thank you!

I know I can do this with your help!



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Mamavation #2weekChallenge Results

I’ve been participating in a fitness challenge the last two weeks through Mamavation. The first week I was really strong, even with Anna’s Birthday parties. I feel like I eased up on my intensity the second week, and didn’t finish as strong as I would have liked.

I intend to keep doing the workouts, though, and of course I’ll keep watching my food intake. At minimum, I feel like I’m on the right track. And even though I only lost 3.3 pounds over the two weeks, I lost several inches – and that is way more important than the actual weight. I still want to lose another 24 pounds, though! I don’t know why 136 seems like such an important number, but that’s where I’m headed.

Here are my results:

Bust    42.185
Waist    35
Hips    41.25
weight    163.8

Bust    40.5
Waist     33
Hips     41.25
weight    160.5

Total difference
Bust      1.69
Waist      2.00
Hips       0.00
weight     3.30

Wait – is Jack pushing on the scale???

Notice my hips didn’t change at all? Weird considering how sore my glutes have been from the kick-backs. But I have an “apple” body shape so it makes sense that my losses would occur around my torso.

A huge thank you to @mrbookieboo and all the Mamavation Sistas for all the support, accountability and encouragement.

I’m looking forward to continuing progress!


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Just Jack, my running buddy

Just Jack

Jack, waiting on the chair outside of Ristretto Roasters.

Just Jack, the great protector.

I’m training Just Jack to be a good running dog. He’s a little exuberant and aggressive at this point, but I’m confident that if I keep working with him, he’ll be the perfect running companion.

For now, though… it’s a little stressful running with him.

Dog out for a walk? Jack thinks they should rough-house.

Man strolling by? Jack wants to rip his throat out.

While this is frustrating 99% of the time, the other day on my morning run, I was extremely grateful for my protector doggie.

My friend Annie and I were running at 5:30 a.m. It was (obviously) still dark, and Jack started focusing on something very seriously off to my right. When he sees a dog or a man, he usually gets all growly and jumpy. But this time, he was icy calm,  supremely focused on this street corner. Annie and I noticed a man coming out of the shadows, with a big backpack or cello case or something on his back. I’ve never seen Jack so focused and intent and… well, serious.

The man in the shadows halted and stepped behind a tree. Weird, right?

We really think that guy was up to no good. And I’m convinced that the presence of Just Jack prevented something bad from happening to Annie and I.

I know women who run with mace or pepper spray, and I’d certainly do that if I didn’t have a dog. But I’m feeling so grateful for my pup, even though he’s still a bit … ahem… untrained. I’d rather put the time in to training him to not rip the throat out of normal guys walking by, knowing that he’ll gladly rip the throat out of anyone trying to cause me or my running mamas any harm.

Be safe,


***Update: December 27, 2011***
I’ve been working with Jack diligently, as has Brian, and I’m proud and happy to report that Jack now completely ignores other runners! Mostly he ignores strange men lurking in the dark, and he still has a hard time with other dogs. The funny thing is, though, that when we’re off leash at the dog park, he is so meek and timid. He approaches other dogs 100% submissive, and plays really well with them. We’ll continue to work with him, I know he can do it!

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Family Fitness {Mamavation Monday}


I am entering week 2 of Mamavation’s Two Week Challenge (#2weekchallenge on Twitter).

I’m wearing a pedometer and trying to get at least 10,000 steps in a day, tracking my food with Weight Watchers and working out every day.

I feel a little embarrassed to post my meals to Twitter – not because I don’t want the accountability of the Mamavation community, but because sharing what you are eating is the epitome of Twitter Overshare. Isn’t that the example people always give of why they don’t like Twitter? “Why would anyone care what you eat for breakfast??” I need to get over it!

After one week of The Challenge, I’ve lost 3 pounds. It’s the same 3 pounds I always lose then gain, so I’m holding off celebrating until I get another 7 or so down!

My kids have been “helping” me this last week by doing sit ups and push ups with me, or helping me count as I do my exercises. I asked them how else they could help me in my fitness efforts, and here’s the result:


Mamavation Mondays are a chance to connect with other women who are making healthy living a priority for their families. I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway hosted by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women.



Filed under Family, Fitness

Holiday Budget: don’t blow it!

I don’t actually go shopping very often for anything other than groceries or things for the kids. I think about it quite a bit, but I rarely take time to do it. Mainly because I have other things to spend my money on than fun things for me. I get most of my clothes from naked lady parties and my fashionable friends’ castoffs.

So whenever I have an excuse a need to actually go buy things – like presents for other people – I inevitably find a lot of things I want to buy for me.

So how does one stay on budget with all of this temptation?

Easy: I don’t use credit cards.

I make a list of all the people for whom I am buying presents, and jot down ideas for each one {Actually, I have a running list going pretty much all year}. Then I figure out how much I have to spend based on – wait – this is radical – how much money I actually have. I know this seems crazy and weird. And maybe even un-American. But there you have it.

This year, I plan to use my Marqeta card to do as much of my shopping as possible. Marqeta is like a pre-paid debit card, where you commit to spend a certain amount of money at a merchant, and the merchant then gives you additional dollars to spend. For example, I load my card with $125 for Finnegan’s Toys & Gifts, and I get an additional $25 to spend there. Who doesn’t love free money? One of their merchants is a kitchenware/household goods store – and it looks pretty good, with everything from kitchen gadgets to toys.

All this won’t stop me from actually taking a day to go shopping downtown with Dayl, mind you. It’s too much fun and such a rare pleasure!

How about you? How do you stay on budget during the holidays?

Cheerfully and frugally,

Mamavation is a community dedicated to healthy living for women.

Disclosure: I am a Marqeta Mom Ambassador, but as always, all opinions are my own.


Filed under Fitness