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Measuring Wellness: Why Scales Aren’t Always the Best Way to Track

We all know the battle with the scale!  We watch as the number creeps up and the number creeps down.  But, is the good old scale really the best way to track your wellness?  Connie, from our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad gives us her take on why scales aren’t always the best way!

measuring wellness

Measuring Wellness:

Why Scales Aren’t Always the Best Way to Track

Scales are evil.  I almost threw mine out of the window this week.  I got a very harsh reality check from the scale.  One that I needed.  I am of the mindset that life is too short to be crazy strict with your diet.  If I want a cookie, I eat a cookie.  I just generally try not to eat 5 cookies when I want one.  Everything in moderation.

Lately, I have let moderation go and have been overindulging.  It was this that led to the nightmare weigh in this week.  In the past, a rough weigh in would have led me to excuses.  I would have blamed a lack of exercise or too much water, or my thyroid issues and the fact that I was stressed all summer.  But this time I decided to take a completely different approach to my nightmare weigh in.

I’m using it as motivation.

I needed a reminder to eat better and get back to life in moderation.

If our weight was determined by only the amount of exercise we get, I would be thin as a rail.  I love the gym, and the feeling of a good workout.  Unfortunately, there is a whole lot more that goes into it than that.  Not only is healthy eating important for weight loss, its vital.  It’s more important than working out.  And it is hard.  It shouldn’t be, but it is.  Cookies are delicious.  As are cupcakes and candy bars and chicken nachos (don’t even get me started on chicken nachos).

It used to be that a bad weigh in would send me reeling.  I would start beating myself up for eating anything other than veggies and chicken.  I would go on some harsh fad diet that I wouldn’t be able to stick to and throw my metabolism all out of whack.  Once I even decided I would only eat one meal a day until I lost 20 pounds.  You can guess how that turned out.

It took me a long time to figure out that the scale didn’t define me.  I have stuck with my workouts and possibly even over trained a little bit.  I am as fit as I have ever been, and stronger and more muscular.  All of these things are what is important.

Fit looks different on everyone

Did I need the scale to remind me to stay on track with my eating?  I did.  But I didn’t need it to tell me whether or not I am healthy.  I am healthy and active and constantly improving.  I am not perfect when it comes to my diet or anything else for that matter, but I am always working.

Often, I also have to remind myself that while this weight is higher than its been in a long time.  It looks so much different than the last time the scale read this high.  There is more muscle involved, less fat.  More workouts and less nights out.

There are changes coming.  I am back to tracking my food, making sure I eat something every 3 hours and eating more whole foods.  Hopefully these changes will create the change on the scale that I would like.  But even if they don’t, and for whatever reason I am stuck here for a bit, I am okay with that.  I am healthy, and I am happy and I am comfortable in my own skin.  So, take that Scale!

From iFamily to Yours,

 


Work It Wednesdays: The Ugly Truth About Fitness

Happy Wednesday, Kansas City!

We are so excited to share today’s Work It Wednesdays post with you because, like many of you, we each struggle with finding the motivation to get to the gym (or out for a neighborhood walk, or downstairs to hop on the treadmill) on a regular basis. Connie, from our Mom Squad team, is sharing the ugly truth about fitness and heading to the gym with you this morning on the blog because, guess what?! You’re not alone. Take a look…

 

work it wednesdays

Work It Wednesdays: The Ugly Truth About Fitness

I go on and on about how much I love working out, how great I feel after I get a good sweat on, and how centered and calm I feel when I’m ready to face the day.  But let’s be real.  The gym, my fitness journey, working out, all of it is not always sunshine and rainbows.  Some days are just plain hard.  There are times when I feel defeated.  Some mornings it’s the last thing I want to do.  Now, while these days are few and far between for me now, they are definitely still there and should be addressed and talked about.

Sometimes I’m tired.

I get up between 5:00 and 5:30 every morning to get a workout in before my family wakes up and needs me to Mommy.  And most mornings I wake up before the alarm even goes off.  I am ready to get my day started and get my sweat on. And then there are those mornings every 3 weeks or so when I audibly groan when my alarm goes off.  I hit snooze three times and it’s not enough because I am tired and don’t want to leave the warm comfort of my bed and my pillow.  My head feels cloudy and I don’t want to get up.

Sometimes my body is tired.

I work out twice a day 5 days a week.  Some days I work out three times in a day between my own workouts and teaching classes.  And then I teach on a 6th day during the week.  Which leaves Sunday as my rest day.  And I love it. But I’m not 20 anymore.  My 35 year old body desperately wants to be 20 again, but it’s just not.  So sometimes my body is done.

Sometimes I just want to be lazy.

I feel fine physically, I got enough sleep the night before, but I just want to be lazy.  Lay in bed all morning (and by all morning I mean until 7 or so when my kids get up) and then lounge around with them on the couch all day watching cartoons.  I want to be a human slug.

Sometimes, I just need a change.

I get annoyed with someone or something at the gym and I just need a change.  I need to not see that person or do that thing that is annoying me for just a bit.  Just long enough to get over the irritation.

Sometimes the weather makes me want to curl up in a ball and stay under the blankets all day.  I hate cold, so winter is especially hard for me, but I am also not a huge fan of rain.  Dreary days seem to dampen my energy and often times my mood, which can make it hard to get motivated to get done what I need to do.

The Solution

What’s the solution (and the point of this post), you ask?  Well, the answer varies.  Sometimes I give in to whatever excuse I have that day.  If I am exhausted and need sleep, I take the day and I sleep in.  I can always hit up the gym later in the day when I am feeling more rested.

If my body is really tired and telling me it needs a break, I listen then too.  I can’t afford to injure myself, not to mention, I am a horrible patient and just basically loathe being sidelined.  If it is just a lazy day, I try to make myself go anyway.  Once I get there I always feel better and shake off the urge to be a slug.  Or I can go home and slug it up after I’ve burned some calories at the gym.  When I need a change, I find a new workout or try some new machines, or a new class.

Luckily I have a membership to multiple gyms just because I am on the staff, so I can move around if I need to.  And the weather issue, that one is tough.  We live in the Midwest, so winter and rain are inevitable.  I try to prepare myself with fun winter workout gear, and remote start on my car for those cold winter mornings.  And I remind myself that the rain doesn’t have to drain me.  In fact, a couple of friends and I finished our outside run the other morning in the rain.  It was fun.

Sometimes I just have to get out of my own head.

Working out is something I love and yet I still sometimes struggle to stay motivated.  What I will not allow to happen again is my lack of motivation for a day or two to turn into a week or two and then into quitting.  I take my rest days, I listen to my body, but I don’t quit.

I’ve quit too many times before and starting all over is the hardest part.  I can’t go there again, so I keep going.  And I remind myself that I don’t have to be perfect and get every workout in to be fit.  I can give myself a little grace and a little space to get my head right on the days it doesn’t feel like what I want to do.  I don’t ever want to let a day of feeling defeated completely throw me off track.  So in your own routines, when you find yourself feeling like giving up, or being tired or sore or just plain over it, embrace that feeling, take that day, make whatever change you need to and then get back at it.  You’ll be glad you did.

From iFamily to Yours,

emailsignupforblog3


10 Places To Drop Off Your Meds – Prescription Take Back Day

Happy Friday, Kansas City!

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably got several bottles of old medication from over the years that you’re not sure what to do with. Did you know that they have a whole day dedicated to just that?! National Prescription Take Back day is here to help and we’ve got a list of locations that you can go across the metro to dispose of your old drugs. Take a look…

prescription take back day

One safety precaution that often gets over looked is the danger of disposing prescription drugs.

Many of us are guilty of holding onto prescription drugs even after they are expired. Often times it is because we think we may “need” them again someday. Chances are if we were taking a medication for a tooth pain, which we eventually had surgery for, the pain is now gone .Therefore the need for the medication is now gone also. The likelihood that you will have tooth pain again is rare. If you were to experience the same dental issue the Dentist would write you a new prescription. So, long story short, there is no need to hold onto it. Or, we fear if we throw them away them may end up in the wrong hands. We fear that a drug seeker may make their way into our trashcan. Which is a very valid concern. In all reality this does happen and is worth avoiding. Throwing your prescriptions in the trash is never a good idea. Even if they do not end up in an addict’s hands they still in up in our landfill. Another reason people fear throwing away their expired prescription medication is due to their personal information being on the bottle. Which does make perfect sense. Our privacy and personal information is worth being protected.

Many people admit that they dispose of their medications in the toilet. By flushing them down the toilet they think that is the “safest way” of disposal. However, those medications end up in our sewer systems and possibly even in our drinking water. You can see how this could be potentially very hazardous to many people. All of these concerns are very valid and are worthy of being addressed.

The Drug Enforcement Administration took all of these concerns into account. They in return created a day to where you can come and safely dispose of any of your expired unused prescriptions this Saturday all around the Kansas and Missouri areas. This event will be hosted nation -wide.

Saturday from 10 AM- 2 PM there will be sites that safely dispose of them – no questions asked.

This take back day protects not only our environment but it also protects addicts from finding them in the trash.

Use this direct link to The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Website that tells more about The National Take Back Initiative Collection day. I have also included several locations around the Metro area that offer drop offs. Saturday, October 22, 2016  from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.

10 Places To Drop Off Your Meds – Prescription Take Back Day

#1 City Hall – Independence, MO  

Prescription drop off will be across the street from the police department in downtown Independence. 111 East Maple Independence, MO 64050.

#2 Children’s Mercy – Kansas City 

2401 Gillham Road Kansas City , Missouri 64108

#3 Main Corp – Kansas City 

3215 Main Street Kansas City, MO 64110

#4 Gladstone Police Department – Gladstone, MO 

7010 N Holmes St, Kansas City, MO 64118

#5 Kansas City Police Department – Kansas City North 

1001 NW Barry Rd, Kansas City, MO 64155

#6 Sugar Creek Police Department – Sugar Creek, MO

1001 Heroes Way, Independence, MO 64053

#7 Shoal Creek Police Department – Liberty, MO 

6801 NE Pleasant Valley Rd, Kansas City, MO 64157

#8 North Kansas City Police Department – North Kansas City, MO 

2020 Howell St, North Kansas City, MO 64116

#9 Roeland Park Police – Roeland Park, KS

4950 Roe Avenue Roeland Park, KS  66205

#10 Prairie Village Police Department – Prairie Village, KS

7710 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS 66208

From iFamily to Yours,

Leah

iFamLeahV2

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Three Creative Ways to Stay Active This Fall

The weather is (FINALLY) cooling down, and fall is here! It’s the best (in my opinion) time to get out and active, especially for those of us that aren’t exactly thrilled with working out. Our Mom Squad Ambassador has a few creative suggestions to get us all out and moving this fall! Check it out!

Three Creative Ways to Stay Active This Fall

 

3 Simple Tips for Staying Active This Fall

I love working out. I love getting up in the morning before anyone else and just sweating out all the stress and toxins. It is my favorite thing after a long stressful day to put on my running shoes and just run for miles and then for good measure round it off with a few burpees—the perfect ending to my day. I am also lying to you—every single word of this is a lie. To me, a burpee was a rag that I used to save my work clothes when I had to throw one of the kids on my shoulder before putting her in the car seat! Am I anti-working out? Of course not!

I appreciate those women and men who make it a part of their routine to get in workouts before and after work. I have a good friend that is now in the best shape of his life—it took a lot of work and dedication but he did it. I personally, just don’t have it. I can’t think of any part of it that I do like and you know what, that is okay because I have found other ways to be healthy and keep my sanity in the process. So while you are running on the treadmill tonight feel free to take a glance at some ideas to stay healthy this fall and winter!

 

First of all, put the candy down!

 

Three Creative Ways to Stay Active This Fall

 

Yep, I realize that it is just sitting there; the Halloween stash, the Easter stash, the Halloween stash still from last year—all of it going to waste right before your eyes. It’s okay to throw this away, in fact it will help on organizing as well. I would love to give you a tip on somewhere that you could donate it to but it’s just better to go ahead and throw that out. I once used leftover (and on sale) Easter candy in a St. Patrick’s Day parade (yeah, a year later) and to my surprise, chocolate does go bad! Throw it out!

 

Get outside!

Three Creative Ways to Stay Active This Fall

 

I don’t know about you but I have been waiting for this weather for about four months now, so the excuse of “It’s just too hot outside” won’t work any longer. It’s amazing how much better you feel when taking in some of that fresh autumn air. Bring the kids and spouse, or don’t! If I had to guess there will be other people outside as well—don’t be alarmed, they are good people called neighbors! No place to walk around your house? No problem, there are also a number of amazing parks and outdoor shopping malls in this city, getting out and walking some of them wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

 

While you are outside, you may notice there is some work to do in the yard.

Three Creative Ways to Stay Active This Fall

 

Take a Saturday and do some honey-do’s around the house. The average person can burn about 350 calories in an hour of leaf-raking, and then they will burn another 350 calories raking them up again when the kids come and jump in the piles! And just you wait for that first snow! 400-600 calories per hour shoveling snow! You will be at the window hoping for snow just as much as the kids!

Ever carried a pumpkin across a field that is “somewhat” cleared of corn stalks and vines? To some this may make them very angry—to me this is my work-off-the-caramel-apple-croissant- donut-from-this-morning-workout! Those pumpkins can sometimes be 10 pounds or more which is a pretty good little arm workout! Plus when you are dodging vines, other pumpkins and children it adds a whole other dimension to the workout. And you have to take that pumpkin to the car, then take it out and either decorate or carve it when you get home—all calorie burners!

All joking aside, working out is essential to keeping our bodies healthy so we can do the everyday things we need to do. But I get it, it is really hard with life getting in the way and taking time out for a class is sometimes the last thing on our minds. However, it is also really important to take some time for ourselves. The everyday things can pile up quickly and that health can go away just as quick. Consider making a 4th quarter resolution to yourself– paying attention to that inner voice that keeps everything in check. And if you can squeeze in a Zumba or Yoga class when possible; there are always Groupons for studios around the city improving the health of your wallet too.

Enjoy this time of year, pretty soon we will be complaining about how cold it is or how much snow we are expected to get. But remember those 400-600 calories burned! Makes you kind of want to do a burpee doesn’t it?!

From iFamily to Yours,
ifam_sarah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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3 Reasons To Be More Active This Year! Fitness & Fun With The Running Well Store

Good Morning, Friends!

The school year is coming in like a freight train sneaking up on us – and the kids will be back in the classroom before we know it. My daughter, Charlotte, is an incoming Kindergartener and I’ve made a promise to myself that I’m going to make the time to be more active this year now that she’s going to be in school. Maybe you’re like me and you haven’t always been the best at self care or maybe you’re just wondering what to do with all your spare time this fall (just kidding, I know you’re busy!) but I want to encourage you to join in this journey with me. I recently had the chance to attend an event at The Running Well Store in Lee’s Summit and they’ve inspired me to write today’s post. Take a look…

The Running Well Store

First things first, I need to get this out of the way: That photo (pictured above, where the woman is obviously excited for her run) is not me. I’m a terrible runner and my face is not nearly as excited when I’m venturing out to put the rubber to the pavement. Think of a cat about to be hosed down with water for a more accurate representation of my pre-run face. That said, however, I have a desire to be a better runner walker jogger and am more motivated now than I’ve ever been before.

My Top 3 Reasons To Be More Active This Year

#1 I Want to Feel Better

Simply put, my energy level is not where it should be and I know it’s because I’m not as active as I should be. Studies show that exercise fights fatigue and I think we can all agree that we FEEL better after a good workout. I attended The Running Well Store’s Run Pop event last week, which was a free community walk/run out in Lee’s Summit. I’ll be the first to admit that I was a little intimidated by the runners that were participating but the community that they’ve built there is so welcoming that I fit right in, even as someone who isn’t very fast. The event drew out people of all fitness levels, which I thought was a true testament to what they’re doing with their group activities.

#2 I Want to Set a Good Example

I genuinely believe that people who are active as children have an easier time staying active as adults and knowing that my five year old daughter models her behavior after me gives me the motivation to be more active as she grows. It’s a lot harder to re-learn behaviors than it is to naturally do them and, as a parent, I want to be the kind of person I hope my children become one day – A healthy, happy, active person. Perhaps the thing that impressed me most about the event last week was the amount of parents that came out with their kids – and the kids were AMAZING. It was so motivating to see moms out there strolling along with their kiddos in tow. At this point, I’m pretty sure my five year old could smoke me in a foot race but maybe, hopefully, not for long.

#3 I Want Something That’s For Me

As moms, we really need to make sure that we’re setting aside some time for ME time. I don’t mean the time you spend hiding in the dark closet pretending to play hide and seek, I mean the time you set aside to do something that will benefit you in the long run. Your family needs to see you taking time to DO things that don’t involve changing a diaper, chauffeuring the kids to and from activities, or any of your other regular day to day activities. Being more active is the perfect way to demonstrate how to do something for YOU. I grabbed a friend for the Run Pop event last week and it was so nice having the time to just chat with her as we made our way through the two mile course.

No matter what you decide to do (run/walk, do yoga, swim, etc), it’s important to remember to just stay active – A body in motion stays in motion. I look forward to hearing more about what you guys are doing and what your reasons are to stay active. Join in one the discussion here on the blog and over on our social media channels!

From iFamily to Yours,

Holli

Holli_iFamilyKCTeam

 

More About The Running Well Store

In addition to their adorable line of workout gear and amazing selection of running shoes, The Running Well Store also offers FREE group runs (/walks, don’t worry) every single month. From their upcoming Yoga Run this weekend to Beer Runs and more – they truly have something for everyone. Check out their online events calendar for more information on fun activities headed your way all across the metro.

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4 Tips to Battle Common Pregnancy Aches & Pains

Pregnancy can be tough. Your body is thrown into constant crazy changes for 9 months, and while it leads us to the wonderful realm of parenthood, it’s still not all that glamorous. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Emily shares some of her own tips and tricks to take care of yourself during pregnancy. Check it out..

.4 Tips to Battle Common Pregnancy Aches & Pains

4 Tips to Battle Common Pregnancy Aches & Pains

Eight hours a day, on your feet, always seem to drag on. Add being pregnant, and sometimes work can be unbearable. Swollen ankles, tired feet, sore backs, and constantly hoping you won’t have morning sickness at work. I’ve put together a list of ways to help alleviate the occasional discomforts that come with pregnancy.

Morning sickness

Google, Pinterest, and probably your mother in law all have various ideas for dealing with morning sickness while pregnant. Some ideas to help you at work include chewing peppermint gum and using ginger or lemon drops. It is also helpful to keep hydrated and have small snacks throughout the day. I kept a stash of peppermint tea, crackers, nuts, and granola bars close by. Frequent snacking led to less nausea for me. I always craved ice cold water so I bought a new water bottle and kept it cold at all times. Along with morning sickness, I was  (and still am) frequently dizzy or light headed. Make sure you take frequent breaks and inform coworkers that you may need to take a moment to sit down.

Fatigue

This pregnancy has completely drained my energy from the start. I stopped drinking caffeine, so I struggled with that for a while as well. My advice for fatigue is to take multiple short breaks if possible instead of one long break. I would suggest moving around, taking a brief walk, or stretching if you are confined to one area. Talk to your employer to see if it is possible to take a later shift. I always try to go to bed as early as possible and usually you will find me napping as soon as I get home from work. Bonus: chewing peppermint tea will not only help alleviate morning sickness, but it can also perk you up as you work.

4 Tips to Battle Common Pregnancy Aches & Pains

Tired/Swollen Feet

I’ve found that my feet hurt so much worse now that I’m pregnant and working on my feet. To help combat the pain, it is important to take shorter, frequent breaks. I keep a stool nearby to lift one foot at a time and alleviate the pain. My next step will be purchasing better shoes with supportive soles and using compression hose to prevent swelling. The second I step inside my house, my shoes come off and my feet go up.

Back Ache

As your belly continues to grow, it is important to have proper support. Make sure you avoid lifting anything heavy as advised by your physician and be sure to use proper lifting techniques. Always bend at the knees. Use a maternity belt or wrap to help support your growing stomach in the second and third trimester. I find that swimming usually helps alleviate pain after a few days of work.

 

The most important thing is to listen to your body and accommodate the needs of you and your baby. Discuss other options and ideas with your physician and employer. Let’s hear from you! What are some tips that you have for pregnant women to help handle pregnancy and working at the same time?

From iFamily to Yours,

EmilyM_iFamilyKC_MomSquad

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Pampers Splashers Review

By: Keri Nichol

So Memorial weekend was just here and we headed to the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks with the family. Although the water was a little on the chilly side we couldn’t kick off the summer right without swimming. I dug out the Splashers that I had left over from my daughters when they were little and figured they would work for my 10 month old baby boy since no one at the lake would care (or see) that he had Dora the Explorer on his diaper.  After getting him all dressed in his swim suit he sat with his Papa while we got the girls ready for the day and after about 10 min. Papa said that his shirt was wet. He swore that Jacksyn, my little boy, had peed on him. But how could that be, I had just put him in a brand new Splashers so I thought maybe it was a spilling Sippy. So we get into the car and get to the dock where we swim and carrying Jacksyn on my hip I became soaking wet. He had peed through that Splashers all over my side as if he was in nothing but underwear.

 

To be fair, I chalked this up to the idea that I had used my daughters old Splashers which are girls. I assumed the idea of boy/girl Splashers were related to the design of either Dora or Diego but just maybe they were made different to. Maybe the absorbency in the girls is more in the bottom and the boys is more absorbent up in front. This is the reasoning I gave for these not working.

 

When I got home from the lake I looked it up online to see if I was right about my theory with the absorbency location thinking maybe I could get by with turning the Splashers backward to still work for my  son since I still had a large package left and didn’t want to waste them. I was super surprised by what statements I found online from the company.

If you go their website and read the customer reviews you see that there were several issues with sizing and also people complaining about the absorbency (and yes they were using the correct sex diaper). The part that shocked me was that they say the diapers were designed to help children in the pool and not to swell like ordinary diapers when wet. They are not to be worn like ordinary disposable diapers. However, what is the point in putting a diaper on a child if they are going to have urine running down their leg the first time they potty. Doesn’t that mean that that urine is getting into our swimming pools? I could save myself $10 and just let my baby go in the nude.  And, just for the record, nothing I found distinguished anything different between the girl/boy Splashers other than the printed design. It doesn’t appear to be made different at all. I also found that many people recommended the use of Huggies swim diapers over Pampers even when they normally prefer Pampers disposable diapers on a regular basis. Maybe that will be an upcoming review as well.