excercise

Ep 093: Stop Over-Complicating Exercise

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I don't think there is anything that has been more blown out of proportion and overly complicated than exercise. People obsess over the form, the type, and the amount of exercise. They read massive books on the topic all while procrastinating the actual task of exercising. And so many people set a New Year’s goal around exercise that quickly becomes overcomplicated and they give up within the first few weeks. But exercise doesn’t have to be overcomplicated.

Exercise is a good thing - it decreases stress, improves sex, improves mood, and so much more! Exercise gives you a really great life and improves so many things. But you’ve got to make it happen! You're in charge. You are an action-taking problem-solving woman and that type of woman ditches excuses. Don’t overcomplicate it. Just make it happen!

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • The benefits of exercise and the improvements it can have on you physically, mentally, and emotionally.

  • Why it is important to create consistency with exercise (even if it is just for 10 minutes a day!)

  • Ways you can create a rhythm with your exercise routine which will help you ditch the excuses when it comes to exercising.

  • Ideas you can implement in order to stop over complicating exercise.

Mentioned in this Episode:


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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From the dawn of time, mothers have warred through unmatched trials, the pain of child bearing, seemingly insurmountable piles of laundry, PMS.  The time has come. Mothers all over the world will gather, trash bags in hand, war paint on their faces, an unstoppable force against the clutter that fights to steal their time.

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Hey, beautiful friend! Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, good middle of the night breastfeeding session. Wherever you are and whatever you're doing, I'm super glad that you're here. And I love that technology allows me to have a seat with you and get in your earbuds and just talk to you. I love that. I absolutely love it

So today we're talking about something that's not my favorite subject and that is exercise. I don't think that there's anything that's gotten more blown out of proportion and overly complicated than exercise. I really don’t think there is anything.

People obsess over the form, the type, the amount of exercise. They're reading massive books on the topic all while procrastinating the actual task of exercising. It's one thing if you love fitness, it's your passion and you do it all the time while also reading, learning and furthering your form and your expertise.

There's nothing wrong with learning about exercise, but a lot of the time that's not the case. It's an average person procrastinating actually doing something that's going to change their life. And that is what happens with so many things so often. I did an episode recently called Stop Overcomplicating Things. It was a short, to-the-point pep talk style episode that came from some things that I tell myself regularly and I was sharing them with you to kick you in the butt too.

And everyone loved it and I love doing it. So, I'm gonna make this a thing. We're going to have these regular ‘stop overcomplicating things’ pep talks here on the podcast and today we're going to talk about how you can stop over complicating exercise.

So I want to know how many of you have made it your New Year's goal to exercise more, whether it's for fitness reasons or the mental benefits of exercise? How many of you have over complicated it so much after you set the goal that you're already not meeting the goal even though we're just a little bit into the New Year? If that's you, definitely share that you're listening to this on Instagram and tag me. You can search for my name or just type allie_that's me.

I love seeing that you guys are listening. I'm not just saying that so that you can share and the podcast can grow (although I love that and I appreciate it) but I really love seeing that you're listening. I love it when you guys type your little blips over the screenshot and tell me, “Oh my gosh, me, I overcomplicate,” or “Yes, I totally do this,” or “I've done this a million times,” or “I've done this already and it's only January 16th.”

I love when you guys share your struggles and what's resonating with you specifically about episodes. So, let me know. I always see them and I love to see that you guys get it. It helps me keep going in all of this. I want to encourage you. I want you to be real with yourself and share, “Yeah. I struggle with this. This is something that I do and I'm going to overcome it because you are.” Because you're action-taking problem-solving woman, right?

I just want to be real myself and share that I spent years overcomplicating exercise. This specific area of my life has been a struggle for me. I always envied women who would make it to the gym every single day no matter what. And also women who loved it. I just never loved it. I never have loved really any type of exercise. I've definitely got my favorites, but I don't love it. I don't super look forward to any form of exercise, whether it's running, yoga, Pilates, dancing or going to the gym. I don't really love anything. I have come back to the same few types of exercise again and again because I like them better, but I've never been one to love exercise. I always procrastinate it. I spent years overcomplicating exercise in my life all while staying 40 to 50 pounds heavier than I am now. It's not just about the weight. That's a very unhealthy place for me to be with my height and my BMI and just the way that my body is.

It was unhealthy. So, don't send me hate messages that “you're focusing on the weight and it's not about that.” I was multiple sizes larger and that size for my height and my body type was very unhealthy. What's more is that my skin was telling me, “I need you to stop. I need help.” I had breakouts like crazy. I had stomach issues. I had leaky gut syndrome. I had adrenal fatigue. I was feeling crappy and tired all the time and that's the point.

All of this was happening while I knew a lot about exercise, but I was overcomplicating it so much that I just stood still and did nothing about it. I wasn't taking any action. Brian did the same thing until he decided to find what he loved and just start, and then fine tune and make changes and adjustments along the way. Now he's lost a bunch of weight and he's still going.

He works out almost every day because he loves what he's doing and he's consistent. He's a person that can learn to love it. And I know that you guys are out there. I know some of you listening do love a form of exercise. Maybe you do procrastinate it. That doesn't mean you don't love it. You're the lucky ones who love something, go do it. When it comes down to it, weight loss, ‘unhealthfulness’ loss is about what you eat.

So, we're going to get into the inspiration for making exercise happen and some ideas to help you stop overcomplicating exercise. Some things that have worked for me that I've seen work for other people. And really shift your mindset from ‘this has to be a certain way.’ It has to be perfect. It has to be so premeditated and preplanned. It's got to be a routine. I've got to get myself set up to do this. Getting yourself out of that ‘all or nothing’ place and just making it happen.


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So first, some inspiration for making exercise happen. You guys, exercise does so many amazing things more than just shift your body and make you look and feel better. Exercise decreases depression and anxiety, which is huge. And not only does it decrease it if you're suffering from it, but it prevents depression and anxiety from setting in if you don't have it.

Exercise decreases stress. It improves sex. It improves mood. It gives you better sleep. It increases self-confidence. It gives your brain a boost, specifically surrounding your memory. These are long-term benefits.

Think about all those things I just listed…less depression and anxiety, decreased stress, better sex, better sleep, better mood, more self-confidence, a brain boost, better memory. That's basically a really great life. Exercise gives you a really great life and improves so many things.

So let's not focus on weight. Let's get out of that diet culture and this like, oh, I need to change my body and, and shame myself.

If you're struggling with that, please go listen to I think it was episode two of this podcast. I'll link to it in show notes, but I have a lot to say on that. If you're struggling with that and you want to shift your perspective on your body, go listen to that episode.

There's just so many good things that come from this.

So, if you need inspiration, dive into some of the scientific about all this stuff. When I exercise, I feel sexier, I feel more confident. My mood is definitely different. Simple exercise is what got me over adrenal fatigue. It was. That was so hard. I would just literally not be able to stay awake at 1:00 every single day. My body was just shot and so exhausted.

I didn’t go to the gym. I didn't start running. I didn't do anything major. I just started to move for 10 to 30 minutes a day. I stopped overcomplicating it and I healed my body. I healed my leaky gut syndrome. When I exercise, I'm more likely to make healthy food choices. There's so many benefits, it's too much to not do this.

So having said that, let's talk about how we can stop overcomplicating exercise and just do it. Okay?

The first thing I want to say is that you have to decide to do something every single day. No excuses. Practice makes perfect. So here's an example. When I decided that I was ready to start writing my book, the first step of that is to write the book proposal. I used to write all the time, but in order to focus on some really big business goals I wanted to meet last year, I put writing on the back burner and I focused on other parts of the business.

And podcasting doesn't leave room for a lot of writing. I definitely jot down a couple of talking points and an outline before recording episodes so I don't forget anything, but it's not writing. I write my emails to you guys every week. That's pretty much it. So I was very out of the practice of writing.

What I did was I decided that I was going to start writing a thousand words every single morning, no excuses, because practice makes perfect. As I wrote a thousand words every single day, it started out pretty crappy. It was unusable. I was just writing. I didn't let myself edit myself. I didn't let myself stop if I got distracted or lost my train of thought. I just wrote whatever I was thinking. It was almost like starting an article on a certain topic and then you would see where my mind started to get distracted because the sentences would change topic and it would not make sense with the rest of the things I had written because writing is kind of like meditation. You just let your mind go and you acknowledge that you're distracted and then you come back to it. Then the writing would kind of circle back to what I had started writing about in the first place.

I did this every day and I got back into the practice of writing. I didn't want to start writing my book (that's my dream) or working on my book proposal out of practice and so I just started to do it every single day. No excuses. Even on Sundays before we go to church, I would write a thousand words every single day. I'm still doing that and I'm probably not going to stop because it's really therapeutic and it's good for me. It's flexing that muscle that I need to get my message out to the world to help women, so it's important.

And it’s just like that with exercising. Decide that you're going to do some part of exercising or bodily movement. Don't call it exercise if it’s an unhappy trigger word for you because I totally get that. Move your body in some way every single day. No excuses. Intentional movement.

Taking a walk with a timer, like a 20-minute walk. Having a dance party with your kids in the living room or something. That's a new tradition that you can start. Maybe you turn on some loud music and you have a living room dance party with your kids while dinner's cooking on the stove. Even two songs is almost 10 minutes and that's great for your body. Do something every single day. No excuses.

Let's revisit the episode of The Purpose Show with Greg McKeown where he talked about taping the $100 bill to your wall and deciding you're going to do something every single day, no excuses, and if you miss a day, you have to rip up the $100 bill.

Not all of us can afford to just have a $100 bill sitting there, but you get the point. Do something that makes you like, “I can't not do this.” What was the other example he gave? The other example he gave was a guy who had his favorite bottle of wine and if he didn't do this thing that he promised he would do every single day, if he missed a day, he had to dump the bottle of wine down the drain. Sometimes wastefulness like that is just such a hard thing. It's such a trigger for people that they will do whatever that deal they made with themselves is rather than dump that wine down the drain.

Even if it's 12:00 midnight and you're up really late, you've had a crazy day with the kids and you're finally going to go to bed, but you haven't done your exercise for the day. Just walking around your house downstairs. Just pace back and forth and listen to calming music or something. Just something. Don't let yourself not.

The next thing I want to say, other than just doing something every single day no excuses, is how much power there is in 10 minutes. Doing something, and since we're talking about exercise, we'll go into that specifically. Exercising for 10 minutes is so powerful. Ten minutes is better than no minutes and a lot of time saying, “Okay, I'm just going to do this for 10 minutes,” often leads to more.

I love Robin Long. She is the founder of thebalancedlifeonline. It’s a Pilates membership that's a whole blog and website with lots of awesome things on there. She has a Pilates subscription, a monthly membership that I'm a part of and it's awesome. She always says she'll start to just do 10 minutes - she'll do squats and arm dips on the toilet while her kids are in the bath - and it's so easy to squeeze in 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there. And 10 minutes leads to more.

Realize that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. You don't have to go to the gym for an hour three days a week. If that works for you, great. But it might not; it doesn't for me, that's for sure.

So just think 10 minutes. I'm just going to go for a brisk 10-minute walk. That's it. And just let that lead into more if it can. If your kids are being good and you can squeeze in another 10-minute yoga video then do it. If not, okay, maybe you could try 10 minutes later or just let it be 10 minutes a day.

If you were to do intentional movement for 10 minutes a day, every day you would see a difference in your mood. You would feel better. You'd feel more confident. You'd make better food choices. And you would notice a change in yourself.

I think the point is to keep moving throughout the day (and we moms are pretty good at that already, so not a lot of worries there) but just where? How can you make changes? How can you sit less? For me, I sit when I work. I sit at my desk and so I will break it up and just stand up and do some squats, go for a quick walk around the block, or just stand up and stretch my legs and do some arm movements. Just something. Get up. Keep moving. Do whatever you can to just sit less.

Have that mentality. Decide that you're going to take a walk in the morning, in the evening, or both and make that a rhythm. I always am talking to you guys about the importance of developing rhythms and this is a huge one. Just take a walk.

If it's winter and it's freezing, bundle up. If it's not something you want to do, then literally just walk around your house. Make it a ‘pickup’ walking party. Set a timer for 10 minutes and walk briskly through your house just picking up and putting things away. That's it. It doesn't have to be complicated.

Don't forget the living room dance party idea. That could be a new tradition that you start to get your body moving every night when dinner cooks or every morning after your kids eat breakfast. Set up a trigger so that you can say, every time we do this, I do this. And it's an exercising rhythm that you don't even have to think about.

Also, the power of noise canceling headphones for a living room workout is strong. It's very powerful. I love yoga videos on YouTube as well as, like I mentioned, Robin Long’s Pilates membership.

If you are a person that gets frustrated by a lot of noise or sibling bickering in the background while you’re trying to get your workout done and your kids are old enough to be okay with you having headphones in, somebody could know to come and get you if something happens (don't put headphones in and block out your baby or little toddler that needs you to pay attention) but get some noise cancelling headphones. Get them, do your workout, put some music on and just zone out for a few minutes.

Ask yourself where in your day or week you can fit in a new rhythm. For example, I've got a great one for you. Every time you listen to The Purpose Show on Wednesdays, you take the kids for a long walk. Find something. The point is you've got to ditch excuses because you know what the truth is? People who meet goals, the doers out there, they don't have excuses.

The kids can come with you. You can do it while they nap. They can be watched by someone else. You can go to a gym. It can be as simple as a walk. For example, when I hurt my ankle, it was easy for me to just be like, “Oh, I can't exercise. I don't really like it that much anyway.” But you know what? I went to yoga classes and opted out of the positions that hurt my ankle.

There are no excuses for the ones who make stuff happen and are constantly moving forward in their lives. You can make it happen. That is so over said - make it happen - it's super over said, but it’s true. Make it happen. You're in charge. You are an action-taking problem-solving woman and that type of woman ditches excuses.


This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

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Ep 021: Food, Exercise & Perfectionism (feat. Robin Long)

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Robin Long is the founder of The Balanced Life, which started as an online platform for her to teach Pilates but has grown to much more than that. She is a well of wisdom when it comes to living in the balance of food + exercise. We often get into the mindset that “exercise equals all of these hard things, so I can’t exercise” or “well, if I licked a donut, then I might as well just eat burgers, fries and a milkshake for lunch, and also have pizza for dinner, and two beers.” But it doesn’t have to be that way. Having exercise fit into your life is the key to actually getting something done and making progress. My goal for this episode is to get you to actually do something. Anyone can listen, get inspired, and think they are going to do that. But I really want you to do it!

Disclaimer: In this episode, we discuss some things that you may not want your kids to hear, especially if you have a little girl who might be receptive to some of the things we are discussing. I encourage you to pop those headphones in and enjoy this episode. Robin is amazing and I am so excited for you to hear what she has to share!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie + Robin Discuss:

  • What “whole health” really means.

  • How to overcome the “all or nothing” mentality when it comes to food + exercise.

  • Practical ways you can implement small workouts into your daily routine.

  • How to get back on track after things fall off track (from vacations or busyness).  

  • Meal planning + tips for healthier choices (especially with kids!)

Mentioned in this Episode:

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A library of inspiration

Want more inspiration than just the podcast? Do you want videos? Do you want pdf’s? Do you want to download things and get your hands on something to really get you started when it comes to minimalism and simplifying your motherhood?

The Supermom Vault is for you! 


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If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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Hey friends! I wanted to pop in and talk a bit with you before I bring Robin on. Robin Long runs The Balanced Life.  She is really special to me and holds a really close space in my heart. Robin had said “yes” when I asked to write a guest post for her. She was just so sweet and so excited about my message before everything took off.

My post actually ended up going viral.  It was the one that was really crazy and was trending over the first Presidential Debate in 2016.  It was such a big deal and it was so fun to watch it unfold. That guest post was on Robin’s website and we rode that wave together.  It was really a neat experience.

She is so dear to me. She is such a sweet person, one of those people that you wished you live near so you could be really good friends and have coffee all of the time. Her philosophy of ditching diet culture, taking good care of yourself because you deserve to feel great, is something that I really love about her.

This conversation is really, really good. I encourage you to create the time and space you need to listen to it. We do discuss some things that you may not want your kids to hear, especially if you have a little girl who might be receptive to some of the things we are discussing. I encourage you to pop those headphones in and enjoy this episode. Robin is amazing and I am so excited to have her on!

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ALLIE:  Hey ladies!  Welcome back to another episode of The Purpose Show! I am here with Robin Long, my friend who runs The Balanced Life. Hey Robin!

ROBIN:  Hello! I am really excited to be here!

ALLIE: I have some real practical questions to ask you. I am looking forward to getting your expertise on exercise, healthy eating, and balancing all of that with motherhood.

Guys, The Balanced Life is really the perfect name for Robin’s business, your blog, and everything that you do. That’s your whole thing! It’s not “eat whatever, who cares?” And not working out, sweating an hour every day. Not “if this is what you want, you have to work hard, and sweat it out.” And also not “running so you can eat tacos”. It is a lot of hope, grace, and realistic advice.  It is so real. I really appreciate your voice, especially as a busy mom. It is very grace-laced.

ROBIN: Thank you! That is exactly I was hoping people would experience, so thank you!

ALLIE:  Robin runs The Balanced Life, which is a Pilates- based blog. Tell us what you do and a little bit about you.

ROBIN:  Sure! I started as a Pilates instructor. I took that online originally as a blog and it has evolved into a membership site for Pilates’ workouts, specifically for busy women. That is the “meat and potatoes” of it. There are lots of great, efficient, work-at-home Pilates workouts.

In addition to that, my heart, passion, and what I have learned is that it is not just about the workouts in terms of what “whole health” is. There is a much bigger approach and picture that we incorporate into everything, a balanced approach, and what that practically looks like. It is one thing to say, “life balance” but what does that actually look like when it comes to how you feel about food, your workouts, how you talk to yourself. That’s what the Balanced Life site is about. My membership is called the Balanced Life Sisterhood. That’s where the majority of all of this takes place.

ALLIE:  I am in the Sisterhood. It is such an encouraging space. Even from a business standpoint, I have often wanted to ask you how you keep it so positive. I feel like you are dealing with a niche that is very, maybe not controversial, but opinionated. You are talking about bodies and health.

What is organic. What is OK and not OK. It is just a really amazing space. Everyone is so supportive and encouraging and they are all at different levels. Some of these women have been doing Pilates with you for years.  I saw one girl that was in there for 4-5 years! It is really neat. When they come, it seems like they just stay. They love it there because it is such a supportive community. It is really a neat place to spend time.

ROBIN: Thank you! We work really, really hard to keep it that way. It is helpful whether you are Vegan or Paleo. Whether you believe cardio is or isn’t essential. On top of that, it is related to spirituality for a lot of people. Emotion, relationships. It is definitely a challenge in terms of that but we are so dedicated to making sure that it is a safe place. It is something that I am really grateful for and proud of. We have great people.

ALLIE: You should be proud. It is such an amazing space. I recently took a trip to Santa Monica and it was nice in the hotel room to do even a 5-minute workout. It calms you down, and relieves your stress. You just feel like you got something done. Something is better than nothing which is a huge part of what you teach.

We would love to know, in general, how you fit in exercise in the midst of such a busy life?

ROBIN:  I get this question a lot. It is funny how it has shifted over the years. As a Pilates instructor people assume you just do Pilates all day. The reality is even when I was teaching 8 hours of Pilates all day in the studio, once I started actually turning this into my career it became a lot harder for me to fit in my workouts.

Just like anything, you spend eight hours at the gym training other people, the last thing you want to do is spend another hour at the gym; you just want to go home. That challenge for me has increased in a lot of ways since this has become my career, adding children to the picture, and working from home.

For me, I really practice what I preach, which is small, short, effective workouts and really having to embrace that mentality that something is better than nothing. I still have to remind myself of that on a regular basis.

What does that looks like practically for me? Sunday, I spent most of the day thinking “I have got to do something today.”  “I have got to work out somehow.” I was thinking that it was just not going to happen. We had church, lunch and then it was bath time. I gave the kids a bath around 3 in the afternoon, I propped up my phone, and told myself, “ten minutes at a time.”  You know with kids you can barely get ten minutes before they are fighting in the bath. But you can at least try and I think that is the main thing.

I did ten minutes and they were still playing, so I did another ten minutes. Before I knew it, I had 30 minutes literally in the bathroom while they were doing their bath.  It was a mixture of Pilates, triceps dips on the edge of the bathtub, bar, and then some light weights. And I felt so good when I was done. When I could have spent that time on Instagram thinking, “I really need to workout today.” It’s just that. It’s always about getting started.

Realistically again, Tuesday night I hadn’t done anything and it was 8 o’clock. So, I went in the bedroom, opened my laptop, and told myself 30 minutes of Pilates. I ended up doing 45 because it felt so good. Went to bed.

Yesterday, I sat my timer on my phone. My son was waking up from his nap. I didn’t think I would have time since he was already crying. We went out in the backyard so he could play quietly and I got my whole 20 minutes in.

For me, it is just that - sneaking it in. Obviously, I try to go to the studio when I can, when it works with my husband’s schedule, but that’s definitely not what I can rely on in this season of my life.

ALLIE:  It feels good to hear you saying that because I respect you so much for the way you incorporate fitness into your life. You turned your livelihood into your business and you can’t even find the time to get dressed, leave the house, childcare, the whole thing. And it’s also really expensive.

You get the kids at the gym with the childcare. We did that for a while. And honestly, my kids have never been so sick! They were sick all of the time. You feel like “this is not worth it.”  And you fall off the wagon.

You get into that mindset of “exercise equals all of these hard things, so I can’t exercise.” Then I would get into this phase, “well I will just eat in a way where I don’t need to move my body at all”, which is eating nothing. That sucks and takes away your joy. It is just this cycle of trying all of these different things, getting motivated, and trying something else.

The only thing that I have found that works is being in the Sisterhood. Sometimes I just put my headphones in sitting in the living room, with the kids going psycho around me. Whatever works and just fitting it in right where I am at, before I start the day or in the middle of the day.  It’s not every day. Having it fit into my life is the key to actually getting something done and making progress.

ROBIN:  Two things to mention really quick. Season of life matters so much. When the kids were little, I could throw them in the stroller and go for a walk or a long run. I am in the season right now where they just won’t sit in the stroller, so that is out.  Unless I have someone to watch them, I have to be here at the house. Childcare is hard to come by. To use 1 ½ to 2 hours to get to a studio or a gym is time I could have spent working or getting things done, so that’s not an option right now either. But do something.

ALLIE:  And feeling that your season of life won’t always be forever. Motherhood seasons are pretty brief. Your kids change and things ebb and flow all of the time.

I would like to know how you overcome that “all or nothing” mentality that comes after you eat something that you shouldn’t have, or you miss a workout?  That “well, if I licked a donut, then I might as well just eat burgers, fries and a milkshake for lunch, and also have pizza for dinner, and two beers.” You get into that mode of “well, I already messed up.”  How would you overcome that, because that’s a struggle for me.

ROBIN:  I was thinking about that this morning because that was a huge struggle for me. I was always doing good or bad. Either doing good with my workouts or food. Usually it was never both at the same time. I can definitely relate to that.  I was thinking, “why don’t I struggle with that anymore?” It’s what I teach, but I was thinking what practically happened that I don’t struggle with that anymore?”

I think in a lot of ways it is just literally putting the “ditching the all or nothing idea” into practice. The idea of doing a 10-minute workout every day. I am still tempted to not do it. Until I finish that 10 or 15-minute workout and I am reminded every time of the shift in the way I feel.  After that workout, my energy is up. I felt proud of myself. There is a shift every single time.

I honestly believe that shift does help reframe your mind each time. Each time you do that it is like reinforced behavior. It does reinforce the belief that it does have a positive effect. It does overwrite those old beliefs and patterns that it has to be a killer long workout. I think a lot of times it is rewiring the story we have been telling ourselves for so long.

What that looks like is really just changing the story each day, over and over. I think its first the awareness of that conversation you are  having and realizing that it doesn’t have to be your story. It’s continuing to change that conversation each time. It’s making it always about how you are going to feel after. After that 10-minute workout. After you decide, “instead I am going to drink some water, go for a walk, and see if I can overcome that ice cream.”

ALLIE: Sure. You can have things in moderation and live your life. I don’t subscribe to the whole diet way of doing things. It doesn’t work, at least not for me or anyone else I have ever talked to.  Also, if you want to feel good, and you want to be happy with the way you look and feel, then you can’t just keep getting in that cycle.

What do you do, especially with things like traveling or moving?  When we were moving it sent me into this 2-3 week spiral. I couldn’t get my house set up to get groceries and get back into it. That was really hard. Then coming out of that I felt myself almost feeling addicted to junk food. Getting back to how I used to be is hard.

ROBIN:  You learn to trust that you will get back to your meal planning. For a long time I never had that trust in myself. Maybe I was just young and couldn’t see the whole picture. Maybe I hadn’t lived through enough seasons yet.  You can get that belief back in yourself that this isn’t forever, then you can trust that and then follow through with that.

ALLIE:  Going back to the workout part, I wanted to know why Pilates?  What is that your main thing? What are the benefits of that? Maybe it is just me, but before finding you, Pilates is one thing I didn’t know a lot about. I always knew the benefits of Yoga. To me, Yoga is definitely less of a workout than Pilates. I just didn’t know much about Pilates until I found you. Can you maybe talk a little about the benefits of Pilates and why you are such an advocate of it?

ROBIN: Absolutely. Pilates doesn’t get as much “air time.” I can’t even tell you how many people, even that are close to me, still call me a Yoga instructor.  A lot of the reasons for that is that it is not very accessible to take Pilates classes. Pilates classes, especially when you incorporate the equipment, is very expensive.

For a long time, it has been reserved for celebrities, people with a lot of money, people that can spend that money because they are in need of it for an injury or whatever. I think that’s one reason it hasn’t been as mainstream as Yoga.

What I love about Pilates, is it teaches you how to use your muscles, essentially to get the most bang for your buck. Every exercise focuses on alignment and proper muscle engagement. You are not just powering through doing exercises and 100 crunches. Instead you are doing 10 repetitions of one exercise.  You are striving for proper form, proper muscle engagement.

But you are never really there. You can always lengthen your legs a bit more. You can always lift your chest a little higher. That’s what I love about it. You are always working and challenging those muscles.  I fell in love with it because I saw results so fast because of that. You are actually using the proper muscles with proper timing and engagement.

You can get an hour of forced exercise in 10 minutes of intentional, precise, Pilates movement.  In addition to that it is a mind to muscle connection. Because you are thinking about your form, your breath, what muscle, you are constantly thinking about what you are doing.

Essentially, you get the benefits of meditation while working out because you are focused.  You are not doing Pilates right if you are just going through the motions and thinking about your to-do list. Instead you are thinking about your breath and your movements so when you are done, you feel surprisingly rejuvenated and energized every time.  You literally get a high because you have trained your body and your mind at the same time.

ALLIE: That makes total sense. Thank you for clarifying that. I have always wondered about that.

What’s a way that you would say we could be active throughout our normal day routine.  I know you said just focusing on the 10-minutes. Are there certain exercises that you will do anywhere?  I started to do squats while I am waiting for my espresso machine to make the coffee because it takes forever. Unfortunately, I found that I can get in 45 good squats, so now every morning I am dying.  We both work from home on a computer and we sit often. Is there anything that you would suggest like that. Maybe if you are not even in workout clothes.

ROBIN: First of all, I workout in non-workout clothes all of the time. I work out in dresses all of the time.  We just have to overcome those excuses. We can’t be Pinterest people all of the time.

ALLIE:  That was such a hard shift for me, but that’s how it needs to be so we can actually fit it in.

ROBIN:  The big thing is that you don’t sweat that much with Pilates. When my kids were little and we would hang out on the floor, I would sneak in some ab exercises that I know from Pilates, or a few planks. I used to do that all of the time. Also, take the kids out to ride their bike or their tricycle, and I would get a walk in. And I do a lot during bath time.  Bath time is gold.

ALLIE:  Well, they’re contained. Any time the kids are contained is great.

One of my goals with this podcast is to get women to actually do things. Anyone can listen, get inspired, and think they are going to do that, but I really want them to do it.  I think that was really helpful.

ROBIN:  In a season of life where you are having trouble just getting those workouts in, I just commit to do pushups and maybe a plank every night before bed.  Then if nothing else, that consistency adds up. You would be so surprised. Sometimes it’s just that simple.

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ALLIE:  Ok, so let’s circle back to food before we wrap up. What is it like feeding your family healthy? What is your rule of thumb or go to? How do you handle healthy with kids and yourself?

ROBIN:  We have always had an extra challenge because we are trying to work through some food allergies. For that reason, we have been forced to be really intentional. We can’t wing it that much because we always have to have something on hand for my son. He is off gluten, dairy, and all nuts. That’s pretty much everything.

At some point since I have been breastfeeding for the last five years, we have been on some kind of restrictive diet. That has really forced me to be a planner, to plan ahead. To make sure that we always have the kitchen stocked with options for everyone.

Pretty much every time we leave the house, I have a snack and waters. If we go to restaurants with my son, we have to have something for him because he can’t eat anything there. I would say in that way, just getting in that habit of always having a stocked kitchen with your healthy go-tos that your kids love. Always think one step ahead with what you might want to have on hand. That has been huge and helpful with keeping the kids fairly healthy.  We are getting to the point with my daughter of trying to balance healthy food and not healthy food.

ALLIE:  I can relate to that. My daughter has realized we have a scale now in the bathroom.  She got on it one day and said, “Oh, 60, is that normal? Should I eat less?” We ended up having a really good conversation about food not being good or bad, but everything in moderation. It is such a hard balance with girls. Bella just turned 9 yesterday and it is so hard. I think what you just said is a good way to come at it.  I feel like we could do a separate episode about girls and food.

ROBIN:  You’re ahead of me in that. Your daughter has more of an awareness of that than mine.

One of the things we are doing (I honestly think this is from Sesame Street) we talk about what are the “all the time foods” and what are the “sometime foods.” If you follow me on Instagram you might think my kids eat all healthy, all of the time. That is not true. To me, I don’t want them growing up totally restricted in their life.  We eat like normal kids sometimes. We use that “all of the time foods” and “sometime foods.” For example, apples are an “all the time food.” The gummy fruit snacks are a “sometime foods”. We are using that and trying to get away from that good/bad.

ALLIE:  How do you do meal planning in your house?

ROBIN:  Our routine is I will typically do it Sunday mornings. I write out Sunday through Thursday, breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. I pick a meal for each day. I figure after Thursday, we will figure it out. We will either eat leftovers or do take out because by Friday night I am ready for a break. Then I write down what I need to get and go to the grocery store on Sunday and stock up the house. Then ideally, if I can, I will come home and wash all the fruits and veggies, prep a meal or two and something that I can use for lunches. Something that I can grab and go – chicken salad, Lentil salad, egg salad.

In my four-week programs, this is the stuff that I really teach, what this looks like practically.  We all do it together. I will do live videos from my kitchen. This is definitely something I have perfected over the years.  It has become my world.

ALLIE: It is so helpful to talk with you about this.  What do you do for breakfast? Any ideas?

ROBIN:  I do a lot of eggs because they are healthy.  It literally takes 3 minutes. With breakfast, I think “how can I throw in some nutrients?”  Eggs are a great way. I throw in some spinach or peppers. Smoothies, because you can sneak in all kinds of things – greens,  protein powder, chia seeds. Both are quick and packed with nutrients. And both put you in a great frame of mind. Rather than having a bowl of cereal while you are running out the door.

ALLIE:  That’s the thing - you take in so many bad things but you never really get full.

ROBIN:  That is the chemistry in our body.  That’s something that I also teach in my programs.  When you start your day with something that is more protein, fat, and good carbs heavy, you will stay more stable the rest of the day. I know when I have cereal in the morning that I will be more hungry the rest of the day.  That’s just our bodies responding to what we eat. Having that protein and fat in the morning, less sugar, is going to help me all the way until bedtime.

ALLIE:  What’s your take on coffee and caffeine?

ROBIN:  I am a decaffeinated coffee drinker. I went through a season in my life where I really struggled with anxiety. It’s pretty paralyzing.  When I went through that, I made some dietary changes and one of them was trying to eat more proteins and fats to keep my blood sugar and my mood stable. That had a huge impact to make sure I didn’t get that “sugar drop” during the day. I also cut out caffeine.  I never really thought I was affected by caffeine because I wasn’t jittery or anything like that. But I noticed a huge difference in my ability to handle my anxiety and stress when I took out caffeine. I think that and being pregnant and breastfeeding, I never went back.  But I don’t think caffeine is bad in moderation. Your coffee in the morning is not going to make or break your health or your weight unless you are doing the frappuccino with whip every morning.

Have your coffee. That’s not going to make or break you.

ALLIE:  I used to have coffee with cream and sweetener. I would go and get the pumps at Starbucks and buy them for the house, but I got myself all the way down to eventually having black coffee.  But then the acidity started to mess with my teeth and my stomach. Now I do a dot of raw cream and it’s fine. But I enjoy having something in the morning and in the middle of the day.

ROBIN:  I think we all have our things like that.  You just have to know what things in our lives we hold onto and balance that out in other ways.

ALLIE:  Thank you so much!  Where can people connect with you deeper?

ROBIN:  My website it thebalancedlifeonline.com.  There you will find my blog which has links to Youtube workouts, resources, articles.  Then I am on Instagram quite a bit. @thebalancedlife.  I run three Pilates challenges throughout the year.  It’s a good way to give it a try. There is always a way to give it a try and get involved.  Then you can decide if the membership feels like a good fit and something you would like to try.

ALLIE:  We will link to everything that Robin mentioned and her Sisterhood.

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  Thank you so much for tuning in.  If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!