I’m More Than a Number!

I’m more than a number.

Neither my weight nor my clothing size defines my self-worth.

I say this now, like it’s easy. But it’s NOT. It takes constant reinforcement to remind myself of that in this day and age.

Just look in any women’s magazine and you’ll find multiple articles about how to shred fat and drop 10 lbs in 2 weeks… all surrounded by super-lean models.

Scroll through instagram and see “fitspo” everywhere… it’s supposed to be motivating but so many of those models are crazy lean—skinnier than I’ll ever be.

It’s easy to get down on your body and your looks when constantly surrounded by all of this. Especially if there is part of your body that is sometimes hard to love. =)

More than a number

My superpower is getting outside each and every day this year with our two boys. Trading the tablets for the trees; spending our time in the light of the sun rather than the light of a screen. It’s challenging us and changing us and that’s good.

So when People Magazine launched a campaign geared toward “proving that women are more than just a number”, more than just their size, I was initially happy to see a mainstream media outlet taking on this issue.

But unfortunately, the campaign is asking people to share their picture with… you guessed it… their number! People’s #ShareYourSize campaign is asking people to post pictures with their clothing size.

I get that the idea is to show that all sizes are beautiful and that there are many different body types out there.

All that is true, but I’d rather learn something about those people and what their bodies can do for them. I’d want to hear about my friend who is a grandmother and is training for her first triathlon. Or my friend in the Navy who has three kids and who did a tour in Iraq. Or my friend who is bravely recovering from an accident that destroyed her knee.

I couldn’t care less what size clothing they wear. I want to know what they do.

I want to learn about women who constantly grow by pushing themselves out of their comfort zone and challenging themselves. I want to be motivated and inspired by their example, whether big or small. Because that’s how I will become a better version of myself.

So we are launching an alternative to People Magazine’s campaign.

Share your picture on Twitter or Facebook with a sign that says something about you, but nothing about your size or weight!

Share your Secret Superpower—something that you are proud of or that challenges you in some way.

Use the hashtags #shareyoursize AND #morethananumber. Tag @People and @FitMomsforLife and let’s change the conversation!!

We are more than a number. We are strong. We are healthy. We are Fit Moms for Life!

Update (4-29-16)

So many beautiful women who are Fit Moms for Life agree… we are proud to share a few of these amazing people!
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more than a number 2

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Tips from 2-time gold medalist and mom Lindsay Tarpley

2008-7-12-US-WNT-Denver-Practice-8436s-412x600Today I’m excited to share an interview with Lindsay Tarpley, a 2-time Olympic gold medalist in soccer, an owner of Sweat Cosmetics, and a mom of two young kids—Jacob and Alexandra, who she calls her greatest accomplishments.

Lindsay won her first gold medal in 2004 and played on the Women’s National Team until 2011, when she suffered a career-ending knee injury during a send-off match for the 2011 World Cup against Japan. Since her injury, Lindsay has had five surgeries and is still rehabilitating her knee. You can learn more about Lindsay’s history here.

Just this summer, Lindsay joined the Fit Moms program at our Transformation Center in Madison, and we are looking forward to working with her in a budding partnership with Sweat Cosmetics—a company that shares our values of empowering women and encouraging sweat.

I wanted to talk to Lindsay to learn a bit more about her background and her takeaways from competing at such a high level.

And, at the end of the interview, you’ll see a link where you can enter to win one of Sweat Cosmetics’ twist-brush mineral foundation sets. They have generously provided us with several to give away, and my team members tell me that the product is awesome. =)

1) As an elite athlete, what does it take to compete at that level? How do you maintain that level of excellence and still pay attention to the other important areas of your life?

Being an elite athlete is incredible, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. In order to be my best and play at such a high level, I had to make sure I took care of my body, mind, and overall physical well-being. I loved competing at the highest level and it was always an honor to represent the USA. Now my passion has turned to Sweat Cosmetics, which encourages and empowers women to embrace their beauty and live an active lifestyle.

2) Now that you are a mom, what has been your biggest challenge when it comes to taking care of yourself and how have you worked to overcome it?

I learned quickly that being a mom is an all-consuming wonderful challenge! It has taken me a long time to realize that after having my children, I still need to create time for myself. As soon as I walked into the Fit Moms Transformation Center, I felt like it was a community where I could work hard and reenergize myself. It is an encouraging environment that pushes me to be my best. I’ve learned that in order to try and get the best out of my children, I need to set the example and try to get the best out of myself first.

3) Lots of women feel overwhelmed when trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle, whether that has to do with getting fit, eating healthier, or just making the time in their busy lives to take care of themselves. What advice do you have for women who want to make a change but struggle to get started or to make time for themselves?

The hardest thing to do is start. It is always easier to say, “I’ll start tomorrow.” I would encourage you to make the decision to start TODAY. Be your best. Do something for yourself. Do it now. Believe me, I understand how hard it truly is, but I am a better mom because I have found time to take care of myself. Fit Moms for Life has provided me a supportive community that pushes me, challenges me and encourages me. As a result of making the time, I am a happier, healthier, more fulfilled person, which makes me a better mom for my family.

4) What’s the story behind Sweat Cosmetics? What are you all out to accomplish?

Our mission at Sweat Cosmetics is to narrow the gap between beauty and fitness. We want to empower women, embrace beauty and encourage sweat. We are all former/current professional soccer players and we appreciate wanting to work hard while embracing our beauty. We launched at the Women’s World Cup this past June with our all-in-one convenient, Sweat Stick. Our mineral-powder is a makeup and sunscreen that contains skin-loving ingredients which will protect and repair active skin. Our stick comes with a magnetic brush for easy clean-up. We are a brand that active women can trust to keep their skin healthy and beautiful. So, go ahead and SWEAT!!!

5) Finally, what is your favorite thing to do for fun?

I feel fortunate that I am very passionate about Sweat Cosmetics. I enjoy being part of a great team of people who want to empower and encourage women. It is important for women to know that they can live an active, healthy lifestyle while embracing their beauty. I love my morning workouts at FM4L and feel thankful that I found a community that helps push me and makes me a better all-around person. Also, I enjoy cooking healthy meals, shopping anytime, and exploring the outdoors.

I hope you got something out of that—I think it’s always helpful to hear from others who are successfully balancing a busy life and still managing to take care of themselves.

TP2-white-standing-with-refill-squareNow for the fun stuff…

I’m excited to announce that we are partnering with Sweat Cosmetics because our companies are so closely aligned in terms of our values.

Sweat has developed an all-natural mineral foundation and sunscreen that my team tells me is very easy and quick to apply, workout-proof, and lasting.

We will be giving away several of their twist brush set + mineral foundation Sweat Sticks ($42 value) over the next few weeks.

Please click here to enter!

When you do, you’ll get coupon codes good for 20% off at both Sweat Cosmetics and Fit Moms for Life.

Good luck!

Lessons Learned–100 Pull-Ups a Day for 100 Days

Even as a fitness professional, I struggle to stay consistent with my workouts. I know that may surprise you, but I’m human, just like you and I struggle with the same issues. I’ve learned that I need to create challenges every once in awhile to keep my motivation high.

Most recently, I decided to challenge myself to 100 pull-ups a day for 100 days—that’s 10,000 pull-ups in a little over 3 months.

I am proud to say I completed this with near perfection. The only slip up was one day I forgot and went to bed with 20 to go. Waking up the next morning I realized it and did those plus that day’s 100.

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->-> Click here to watch my pull-up video on my personal Facebook page <-<- 

This in many ways was one of the toughest challenges I have ever put my body through. It was so tough because of the grind of 100 consecutive days. It didn’t matter if I was traveling, working 18 hours, had a nagging injury, or so on, I had to get it done. No excuses, I did it.

Why… Because I try my best to live up to my word and my commitment, both to myself and to you. I publicly put it out there to the world, which in turn gave me extra support and accountability.

On day 94, it was 9:30 at night and I was completely exhausted. I hadn’t done any pull-ups and had no desire to do so. Instead, I decided to take a 2 hour nap on the couch and wake up at 11:30 pm and do my 100.

I have had many trainers, clients and friends ask me how it was. I will give you a few pros and cons.

Cons:  

  • My lats (major pull-up muscles) became severely overtrained starting around day 25 and never really recovered. It became nearly impossible for me to raise my arms completely up because it felt like they were going to rip from the bone. The first 10 pull-ups each day made me want to cry it hurt so bad. This is why we trainers say to not lift similar muscle groups on consecutive days.
  • The daily grind of the challenge decreased my desire to lift and workout the rest of my body with weights. I am embarrassed to admit it, but I hardly lifted during the three months. I trained hard in stair climbing and biking, though, during this time.
  • I lost the joy of pull-ups because it became a chore and a burden.

Pros:

  • When starting the challenge I could do 14 pull-ups in a row at 190 lbs and 6’5. I can now do 29 straight pull-ups at the age of 32. A couple years ago, I trained hard in pull-ups and did 21, so I am blowing those numbers out of the water.
  • It forced me to be extremely disciplined each day regarding the pull-ups. I would have to seek it out and be very intentional. It became a non-negotiable in my life to go to bed having done 100 pull-ups. It became part of who I am.
  • My back, biceps and grip are extremely strong right now, and despite the fact that I didn’t lift much else, my body looks very fit and strong.
  • This experience has given me confidence that I can set a seemingly overwhelming goal for myself and achieve it.

Now it is your turn… What goal or challenge would you like to set for yourself?