Happy Easter, Blessed Pascha!
In continuity with what I wrote on Holy Thursday, let’s discuss the joy of being a fit Catholic mom.
Proverbs 31 helps set the tone for how moms should go about their lives in a conscientious stewardship of body and soul and yet…
I see the struggle and feel the mud that moms are experiencing in today’s crazy, secular and fast pace life. I know, it’s not easy! That’s why I started Fit Catholic Mom, to help give you hope and show you a different way to live out your vocation as wife and mother in your best possible health.
Here we go…I am going to provide three ways that a fit catholic mom can start to implement transformation in her life. The moms that I've seen experience incredible turnarounds in their lives have had the brilliance to focus on 3 things:
1) Making time for their growth
2) Finding balance in their faith and fitness
3) Making this bigger than just about themselves
When you have all 3, you've got it! The time you need. The commitment and conviction that makes it happen and the satisfaction that comes from sharing the new life that you’re experiencing…because now you’re not just focused on yourself but you are helping to make your very own confident contribution to the world.
That's what it's about…His peace and your purpose.
But these 3 things aren't free. They don't happen by accident, rather when many parts of your life - morning routine, prayer life, making meals and many others align and work in concert…as directed by you. It’s something that everyone is chasing and not many seem to find.
Over the years here at Fit Catholic Mom, I’ve guided many clients to all 3 of these important things. The backbone to this kind of transformation is having a step-by-step strategy to follow, abundant support, accountability and coaching which understands what today’s faithful Catholic moms are experiencing.
If you’ve been through other programs, you know that they don’t have a fraction of this. If you feel that you don’t have this in your life, don’t worry. None of my clients did either. I showed them how and I look forward to helping you reset your life.
Take a hard look at where you’re at. Be honest. Right now, do you have the time you want? Do you have the joy and freedom that comes from working out and remaining fit in a way that magnifies your faith? Are you making a big enough contribution to your family and the world?
If the answer is no, it means that your joy is broken. But if you do have them, happiness and holiness come almost automatically.
Wouldn't now be a good time to fix it?
In his grip,
P.S. The best, most-transforming change you can possibly make this year is to work with me. Book a call here.
P.P.S. The Fit Catholic Mom Facebook Group is thriving right now. You should be in there!
Greetings to you on this Holy Thursday,
Let’s talk about the joy of being a fit catholic mom.
Maybe it's been a while since you felt it. Maybe you started off with great zest, joy in your heart, spending time with the Lord in a quiet holy hour or out on a winding trail run where there was time to reflect, push your body and elevate your soul. You felt strong and life was beautiful!
You were not stressed out. You ventured forth with your children at ease...each nerve seemingly alive with passion for your health, happiness and holiness and being that creative active mom made you tick.
Do you remember that?
But now, the all-consuming daily task of raising saints and the workload surrounding it has left you pretty weary. You’re a little shell-shocked and wondering why you're so run down, why you have gained weight, why you don’t make time to exercise or pray. The task of getting out the door with the kids seems impossible, you eat with emotions and feel a deep dissatisfaction….where did you go wrong?
When you lose your zeal for life’s true goodness, it’s the beginning of the end. Things crumble, bit by bit...until one day you look in the mirror and the dream you had just isn't there anymore.
These verses of Proverbs 31 help set the tone for a good reflection on how we as moms should set about our lives in a joyful stewardship of our body and soul.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Good news is, there is a cure…
There is a way back up for YOU. If you’re wondering where that route is for you personally, I’d love to show you. Being a fit Catholic mom is rather simple…and so full of joy.
Hang tight and I’ll get to that when I write again soon. Until then, pray about where you’re at. Are you living your calling, letting yourself be healed and loving your family…and yourself?
May the graces of this Holy Thursday and the True Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist be enough for you for now…
P.S. If you haven’t heard or haven’t joined then here’s my call to action to come on board and join my new Fit Catholic Mom Group page. We already have over 1000 members in less than 20 days. Share this around. I’ll be posting some more in-depth writings and videos regarding how we live out our vocation as fit Catholic moms! It’s also a great place to share your struggles and victories and interact with other moms who might be carrying similar burdens and stresses in their lives. Get inspired and ready yourselves for transformation and a new mindset to tackle every day with a renewed spirit that is totally Catholic and simply healthy! Click the link below to join!
P.S.S. Fit Catholic Mom is proudly sponsored by Rudy Project and XX2i Optics. If you're gearing up for the summer sun and need new glasses, use this code to receive 30% off: ba-dussault
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You wake up. You get dressed for success.
Chic pastel sweater? Check.
Cute hairdo? Check.
Miraculous Medal? Check.
You think this is the day that you’re going to turn some things around and get life pointed straight ahead again…
You even managed to sit the squirming family down to pray Morning Prayer and make that resolution.
You’re sure you see the GREEN LIGHTS ahead…finally!
But, it isn’t 10 o’clock before you’re getting wobbly…and your day’s structure seems unstable all of a sudden because…
Baby threw up on you and so you changed into sweatpants and felt less go-getter…
The teenager back talked and you blew your cap, so you had to add to your Confession list…
…all this before your husband called reminding you that the car must go into the shop in 15 min.! and he forgot to tell you…and isn’t there someone who could pick you (and all 4 kids) up and shuttle you back home?
So…by 11 o’clock you’ve already been buckled onto the rollercoaster of that day as it ratchets up and goes uncontrollable fast and flying back down…with your jaw agape and some high pitched sounds escaping at random between breaths…
Turning to food to feel better for your sorry self you EAT.
It may have been 6 Oreos, another coffee with creamer, a handful of overly salty nuts, a sugar filled juice to fire up your energy, a microwavable hot pocket of frozen who knows what and just one little handful of candy, cause one never hurts….
Then you bonked and hit RED LIGHTS you never saw coming.
You’re back into a cycle of broken and down trodden…that slide back down into the muck.
Just yesterday, Our Lord was triumphantly welcomed to Jerusalem and heralded as King.
Upon the donkey, he trampled the cloaks of the people who chose to lay them before him.
They wagged their palms and said their Hosanna’s…and you did too, but did you let him trample your cloak?
… of independence, the clock of self-righteousness, the cloak of superficialness, the cloak of despair, the cloak of self sabotage, the cloak of uncaring, the cloak of indifference…
Palm Sunday was the start-line of a great trampling…an uncovering and laying down of all of our mess for the Lord to trample this week.
Your problems need trampled and you feel like you can’t even get your cloak off to lay it down.
But He is passing by…now.
I know you want the cloak removed and trampled once and for all, so do I and so does He.
The simple truth is, there’s so much more to starting your day off on the right note than putting on amazing clothes, so much more to creating a new routine that sets up your day to win.
Here at Fit Catholic Mom, I am aiming to give you tools to make adjustments, break bad habits and help inspire you to take up your cross and run with it.
Here's one simple step to help you motivate this week:
Get dressed with intention and let that flow into how you eat, how you interact and how you pray! Know your clothing speaks volumes about your person.
May God richly bless your Holy Week!
Healthy Wife, Happy Life.
I know you've all heard "Happy Wife, Happy Life," and while this saying holds water, I know there is a deeper component to making this a reality. Is a woman truly happy if she looks in the mirror with self-hatred? Is she without chains if she never has time away from house, spouse and kids? Is she living intentionally if she's melting away her sorrows resorting to emotional eating again...and again?
Here's the Come to Jesus moment! We need the Holy Spirit to get our rear in gear! Truly! As St. Paul exhorts us to "glorify God with our bodies" so should we do. Are you?
All women keep up conversation. Unfortunately, the internal one often sounds something like this:
· I'm ashamed of my body.
· I have no time for who I am.
· I'm a disappointment to others.
· My jealousy grips me.
· Everyone knows what's best for me, but me.
I believe woman need a new internal conversation!
She needs a reason to hope...
Maybe she will get hungry enough to find help. Most cannot do these things alone as even coaches need coaches. There needs someone to break down the process and increase the outcomes.
· You will be happier.
· You will be healthier.
· You will be holier.
It's going to sting on the way up, but less and less as you show up...
“I am not the strongest, the biggest, the fastest. I am the most consistent, persistent, resilient. I will not give up.”
Success trains while failure complains.
BREAK A NEW TRAIL!
No one can do the work for you, but someone can help you find the easiest route to success! You will have a happier home if you take care of yourself. Your vocation as wife and mother depends deeply upon it...
Ever upward to a life of more authentic joy,
P.S. Welcome to each and everyone of you new subscribers out there. There have been so many lately and I am very grateful for that. Please don't think twice about forwarding this on to a friend who needs a new internal conversation and a little help on the way up Fit Catholic Mom- style.
All for the glory of God!!
We don’t have to enroll our kids in every sport around because it sure can be costly, time consuming and energy draining in so many ways. I know it gives you a break from them, makes them accountable to other good authority and helps their character development, but I routinely watch the health of parents decline whence they become the athletic chauffeur, logistics support and super fans of their children. I think there’s a better way out there where we can instead raise fit kids from anywhere we are and include ourselves to benefit all.
I have done a lot of moving around, my real insiders at Fit Catholic Mom know to what extent, and part of what that has meant for us is being athletes no matter where we are. The reality of this hit a few short years ago when I got really tired of driving my child to the same field, at the same time, to play with the same kids and kick the same ball. I also had to load up all my kids to do the same crazy routine routinely! Argh...I am not taking a dig at team sports, I love them, but go with my endurance athlete's mindset for a minute here. I actually burnt out on the travel to and from the place for practice and the drop off, pick up, drop off, pick up, etc. I just needed to be able to motivate and challenge myself and my family all at the same time without conforming to another’s schedule and demands.
My husband and I decided we would encourage our kids to develop as athletes right from our door wherever that door was. This meant installing a zip line, slack line and trampoline right outside our house. We made sure everyone had adequate running shoes, a good functioning bicycle, a ball mitt and a tennis racquet. When we're on the go we made sure to also bring a stocked traveling gym with bungees, weight bar, med balls, free weights and other props as well as swim stuff and tennis racquets. You might think you can’t play tennis as a family, but if your employ your 6 year old to be the ball boy for part of the time, he’ll run his legs off to do it! The baby will crawl, the littles will run or play to the side and the big kids can rotate in and out. It doesn’t function perfectly, but it is perfectly functional for a family.
The other angle worth taking here is the real need to bring other families together and play even bigger games, pool even better ideas and watch your kids rise out of their attitudes to perform for the group. Anyone who’s been through the public school system or played sports at any level can use what they’ve learned about sports and modify them for the size and skill of the group. Who doesn’t love a game of kick ball, wall ball, pickle, tag, kick the can, sardines etc? If you don’t know what to play, listen to your kids who’ll probably have ideas.
If you’re looking to get your kids and yourself active and out of doors, look no further than what you can have on hand at home. If they struggle to get into it, just invite others to join you at home, at a park or on the trails. It’s amazing to watch our kids develop a sense of physical discipline.
Don’t over complicate this. Get creative! Be resourceful! Integrate others!
Make fitness happen and have some fun unto the health and sanctification of your body and soul.
Endure and enjoy,
I am asked periodically what I think of yoga and specifically of Catholics participating in its practice. Here is my response of limited scope:
In 2003 the Pontifical Councils for Culture and Interreligious Dialogue created a working document on the New Age called Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of Life. Its purpose was to put New Age challenges in context, and to help teachers of the faith in particular to dialog with those in the New Age movement while teaching the truth without compromise.
“Even if it can be admitted that New Age religiosity in some way responds to the legitimate spiritual longing of human nature, it must be acknowledged that its attempts to do so run counter to Christian revelation.” (1.4)
The need to involve the senses in interior prayer corresponds to a requirement of our human nature. We are body and spirit, and we experience the need to translate our feelings externally. We must pray with our whole being to give all power possible to our supplication. (Catechism of the Catholic Church p. 2702)
With Yoga having known Hindu roots and being undeniably of the Hindu religion in expression and experience, it is in no way safe for a Christian to participate in. Yoga is made up of poses for the 330 million Hindu gods. Sometimes in America we get a watered down version and it may even be called Piyo or other (Pilates/Yoga combined), but it is nonetheless, not of Christian orientation at all. Wether you make your coffee strong or weak, it is nonetheless, still coffee!! Get my drift?
We should all love to strengthen, stretch, meditate and relax just as much as the next, but we must choose an expressly Christian, better yet, Catholic approach to it and they're out there.
Furthermore, when we practice yoga, and claim as yet to be faithful Catholics, we give scandal to our fellow Catholics, and ones of especially weaker faith, who may fall away after having followed our example and partaken of the New Age. We cannot risk it and if you pay for attending then you really condone it. Can you imagine a total non-Catholic tithing into our collection basket at Mass? That would be saying something!
Lastly, you might think you can just "take Jesus in there with you" like I used to think, but you have no idea what god the person next to you is praying to or what spirit they might be channeling. I'm totally serious here! We had better acknowledge the unseen amongst us and not pretend it isn't influential.
...so pick up your Rosary beads and strengthen and stretch while you "FIT" in that daily Rosary, Chaplet of Divine Mercy or both!
Note: I produce videos for my clients which address the human need to stretch, strengthen, relax and be at prayer. (Try this one with me https://vimeo.com/205714592.) They are easy to follow and are always faithful to the Church's teachings. I enjoy Pilates which doesn't seem to be of any religious bent and is therefore presumed to be safe to practice. There are others doing good in this arena too. Check out www.soulcore.com as another possibility.
For a much fuller explanation please read this 2 part article below:
PraiseMoves Christian Alternative to Yoga:
Be fit and FAITHFUL always!
“Good Catholic women don’t feel like this. Surely I’m the only one.”
As a mama of four and a three-time overcomer of postpartum depression and anxiety, these words have echoed through my mind countless times. Postpartum depression is so very isolating and deceiving.
I’m happy to know the truth now — that 1 in 7 mothers will develop postpartum depression within the first year after their baby’s birth, that PPD can happen to anyone, and most importantly, that hope and healing are possible.
Whether you're a new mama or a veteran, the first year postpartum can be one of the most beautiful and most difficult of your life.
Real life with a newborn isn't the highlight reel that we see on so many social media feeds. The sweet snuggles, tiny toes, and milky smiles go hand-in-hand with sleepless nights, crazy hormones, and a big dose of "How am I going to do this?!"
Throw in a postpartum mood disorder -- like postpartum depression or anxiety -- and you can feel like you're drowning.
So how do you know if you're experiencing the “baby blues,” or something more? What are the hallmark signs of postpartum depression? And how do you begin to heal?
If you find yourself asking these questions right now, you’re not alone. Here are three facts every mama should know about PPD, and two things you can do to begin to feel better right now.
PPD is not the “baby blues.”
The “baby blues” are a common experience after childbirth, affecting up to 80% of new moms. Symptoms include mood swings, tearfulness, irritability, and anxiousness that usually begin 3-4 days after childbirth. They resolve on their own within 2 weeks postpartum.
While PPD and the baby blues share some of the same symptoms, they are very different. Because it’s an actual mood disorder, PPD is much more serious.
Symptoms of PPD have a wide range and don’t always match our idea of what depression should look like.
PPD can actually begin anytime within the first year after childbirth, and symptoms will last for more than two weeks.
Many women experience depressed mood, drastic changes in appetite, or a loss of interest in their normal activities. Others will also have symptoms of increased anger, feeling “out of control,” or a deep sense of guilt or worthlessness. Often, a mama with PPD has difficulty bonding with her new baby, or will excessively worry about her baby’s safety. And some mamas will also suffer recurring thoughts of death or suicide. (For a detailed symptom list, go HERE.)
The bottom line: if you’re consistently just not feeling like yourself postpartum, then PPD may be an issue. It won't hurt to bring your concerns to your doctor or loved ones.
PPD is not your fault.
It’s so easy for a mama with PPD to beat herself up with the lie that if she just loves her kids more, or if she just prays harder, or if she were just a better mother, then she wouldn’t feel this way.
No! Sweet mama, this is not your fault. There are a myriad of factors that can contribute to a postpartum mood disorder — hormonal changes, life stressors, lack of social support, thyroid problems, and sleepless nights can all wreak havoc on a postpartum mom’s mind and body.
So don’t blame yourself. Instead, ask the Lord to help you to find healing.
Because there’s good news! PPD is treatable.
When I was at my darkest after the birth of my second baby, I was sure that I would be depressed forever. It seemed impossible that I would ever be happy again. If you feel this way, too, take courage!
There are many effective ways to combat PPD. Among them are counseling, medications, targeted supplements (such as with progesterone), consistent exercise, and excellent nutrition — and often, the best treatment is a combination of some or all of these.
It does take time and effort to discover the best ways to treat PPD in each woman. But if you’re suffering now, there are two things you can do to begin to feel better right away.
First, open your heart to your spouse or a trusted friend.
Let them know that you’re feeling badly, that you’re scared, and that you need their support. Just saying the words out loud will bring some peace. There is no shame in needing help, and no sense in carrying your burden alone.
Second, ask a loved one to assist you in seeing a professional.
Something as serious as PPD can be resolved best when under the careful and gentle watch of a doctor, midwife, psychiatrist, or other provider. The sooner you make the call, the sooner you will be on the road to getting the help you deserve. But you shouldn’t have to figure it out by yourself. Tell your loved ones that you need their support in finding and calling a doctor; they can even go with you to the appointment. Ask them to help you today!
Dear beautiful mama, PPD is not forever, and you do not have to go it alone. I’ve been there three times, and from the other side I can say, there is hope — you will be well again!
For more information on postpartum depression and other postpartum mood disorders, see Flourish in Hope or Postpartum Support International.
I make a lot of EXCUSES when it comes to exercising:
Excuses, Excuses, Excuses!
Most people make excuses for why they can't get fit: lack of money, time, motivation, encouragement, resources, neat venues, the right companions, healthy joints, disastasis recti, lack of a gym, the fullness of each day, the past in which they weren't an athlete or the future in which they don't know how to be one...
I'm here to point out to you and I that non of these are truly valid, not now, nor at any future time we want to try and use them as an excuse! Even I pull out some of these and I know better!
We live in the age of the internet where you can watch workout videos and DO THEM from the comfort of your own home. It's like having a private training session for free! Granted the operative words are DO THEM! You can watch them all day and not loose an once or an inch. If you carefully weed through the trashy ones you can find the most decent of trainers to come in and take over your screen while you get to sweating and working toward better health. I do this for my clients and I do this for myself.
Can you spot the mess making monkeys?
Excuse me if I clean that up later!
While you're at it you might even think to play a video leading your family in the mysteries of the Holy Rosary in the month of May in which we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary more acutely. She is the awesome mother given to us from the cross in one last and painful act in which our Blessed Lord even gave his mother away stripping himself void of everything.
Let's use the good tools we have for the transformation of body and soul. The internet and the t.v. are worth their weight in gold if they bring us into a place of better health, happiness and holiness. Will you use them this way too?
I love my new workout tank from www.pioprints.com. They have incredible sayings printed on them.
Leave it to St. Catherine of Siena to hit us hard with her motivation as the words on my tank remind me.
Now let's go and translate it into our lives. Still today, yes! Somehow, someway. Tomorrow is too late!
If you missed my 6 Week Lenten Challenge, I hope you'll join me for the next one! If you joined me, congratulations, and get hungry for more!
Telling one of my clients this weekend that I was suffering from a plugged duct she said how she feels sometime she gets spiritually plugged ducts. I thought that was a great analogy!
We seem to formulate a concrete plan of how to conquer a physical plugged duct, so here's a few steps to conquer the spiritual:
1. Get some alone time with God before the Blessed Sacrament and formulate your Confession while doing so.
2. Confess your sins and the open up the Word.
3. Read the Word and write down opposing terms / themes. Example:
-When I am WEAK: he is STRONG
-When I feel UNPRODUCTIVE: he will produce the fruit of RIGHTEOUSNESS
(real productivity unto the glory of God)
-When I am EMPTY: he will FILL me.
Grab a theme for convincing yourself of his nearness and goodness and let him get you up and rolling toward holiness. It's all in HIM!
A little motivation goes a long way!
I have never regretted getting a workout in that I can remember. I have, on the other hand, regretted not getting one in...purposely.
Seems we sometimes forget how powerful a school of virtue sport is. It's not easy to curb our will, but the more often we do it, the better we become at it. Our human default setting doesn't naturally gravitate to things which are laborious, painful or foreign. Sport can throw all that at us at once.
So continue joyfully to work on your workout, to see more than just temporal benefit. When correctly applied, the lessons gained through our training will help transform us from the outside in.
Likewise, what we do for the training of our soul will transform us from the inside out.
Be mindful and intentional of applying your training investment correctly!
Do not be conformed to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. Romans 12:2
Transformed for freedom in Him!