Round up of reader questions 2: staying motivated, healthy living, Orangetheory, and kids

A Fit Mess
October 28, 2016

Heyyyy. How did your week turn out? Everyone ready for the weekend festivities?! We have a parade and Halloween party on the horizon and I’ll be sweating it out at a class once or twice.


Today I wanted to answer a few reader questions. This is a mishmash of topics. Some of these I may have already answered via email or Facebook, but I thought it would be helpful to share my responses with you. If you have additional questions, please feel free to comment below or contact me directly.


Round up of reader questions 2


How do you stay motivated to exercise after having children?

Time and energy are two things you have very little of when you become a parent. My routine has changed significantly since having my kids. Now that I have others who depend on me, I can no longer spend as much time as I want at the gym or on a run…or anywhere, really. My workouts have to be planned and they have to be smart. Once I stopped thinking about exercise in the “traditional” sense (i.e., 60+ minutes running on the treadmill), I began to understand that there are better, faster, and more effective ways to train. Strength training, high intensity intervals, and body weight workouts got me in better shape than I was before having children. And it was easier to motivate myself to workout when I knew it would only take 20-30 minutes. Check out my workouts page for more of these exercises.


Other things that have helped me stay motivated include: putting my workouts on my calendar as if they were a real meeting, planning my workouts in advance, signing up for group classes, packing my gym bag the night before and leaving it by the door. I addressed some of these tips in this post.


How can I get my whole family on board with a healthier lifestyle?

I have to admit – I’ve never had to deal with this concern. Matt and I have always been on the same page when it comes to healthy eating habits (of course, we didn’t always eat the same things when I was a vegetarian). That being said, I often hear from others that their spouse won’t go along with a healthier meal plan or their kids will revolt if they try and feed them vegetables. This is where I think you need to take a tough love approach. If you are shopping/buying the groceries then YOU control what is going to be kept in the house.

Similarly, if you are preparing the meals then what you serve is what’s for dinner. This is really more for those of us with young kids. My kids throw a fit when I serve them certain veggies or even eggs (their preferences change by the hour). I try to be firm and tell them that that’s what we are having and they can take it or leave it. Sometimes they will eat it, other times they won’t, but at least they know our house isn’t restaurant. 🙂


Is diet or exercise more important?

I used to think it was exercise, but I also had a very different view of what activity actually constituted as exercise. Today, I believe that getting movement in every day is essential. That includes common activities like taking a walk, working in your garden, or playing in the yard with your kids. That being said, when it comes to living well and maintaining good health, your diet is more important. As the saying goes, “You can’t out train a bad diet.” If you aren’t nourishing your body well then all that effort you put into exercise is lost. You might want to read this interview with Matt. He addresses many of these things, too. You can’t always make it to the gym, but you do have control over what you eat each day.


Why don’t your children eat dairy?

Both my husband and I have issues digesting dairy. I’m lactose-intolerant and Matthew just avoids it in general. So we suspected the girls may have issues with it, too. We discovered very early on that Madison would have an eczema outbreak if she consumed dairy. Numerous times this would need to be treated with a prescription from her doctor. Both girls get mild digestive symptoms when they consume dairy so we avoid everything except yogurt and goat or sheep’s cheese. They seem to do fine with these items.


You manage to take Orangetheory classes regularly. How do you find the time to go?

I regularly make it to at least two classes per week. I take one evening class during the work week and one early morning class on the weekend. I wish I could go to more classes, but I don’t have the time in my schedule. I’ve already worked out my weekly evening class with Matt so he knows he is on kid-duty that night. And Saturday morning I go to their earliest class (7 AM) so I can get in and out before Matt leaves for work at 8:30 AM.


Are your twins fraternal or identical?



Where do you shop for your kids?

I get a lot of hand-me-downs from my sister (love you, sis!) who was thoughtful enough to save her kids’ clothing for me. Our nanny, my mother-in-law, and friends also give the girls many darling outfits. My favorite places to shop include Old Navy, Target, and ThredUP. I find Old Navy clothing to be good quality and stylish. They are constantly having sales, too, which can really save you big. I also love Target’s clothing section and the seasonal outfits it offers. We started using ThredUP a few month

s ago and I love getting the girls’ apparel there. I’ve purchased tops, bottoms, and shoes so far. Everything is in excellent or new condition. If you are interested in trying ThredUP, please use my affiliate link.


  1. This is great advice, especially your ideas on how to incorporate exercise into our busy lives as parents. My wife and I just recently discovered your blog and can relate to so many of your posts. We have two kids under four and have struggled with both diet and exercise for nearly four years. My wife’s diet history (vegetarian, pescatarian,etc) is nearly identical to yours so we have been experimenting a lot lately adding new foods. In the just the past couple of weeks I have joined Orangetheory (and love it), made homemade almond milk (it really is easy and tastes amazing), purchased the wonder vegi slicer, tried a svelte shake, and have been gluten free. I already feel that I’m in a better routine.

    Thanks again for the advice and keep up your awesome posts.


    1. Thanks so much, Jonathan! I’m really glad you have found this to be helpful! It’s really challenging to find a good rhythm – especially when you have little ones – but it’s worth it. Really happy to hear you are feeling well!

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