As fitness enthusiasts continue to up the ante, some of us fit-goers are now having kids. And with this, we are witnessing a huge movement: more and more fitness-enthused parents are striving to imbue their children with an awareness of the same healthy habits they themselves have adopted, the kind of habits that they will carry with them for a lifetime.
Some of my fondest memories of my childhood back home in Toronto, Canada, were surrounded by food. From as early on as I can remember, my parents were into health and nutrition. My mother, who cooked dinner most nights during the week, would always start with a serving of fruit – a slice of papaya with lime, a half of a grapefruit, or a bowl of berries.
My goal is to make my life look effortless in that “fake it till you make it” type of way. Meanwhile, as I sit down to write, I’m staring at the clock knowing my 13-month old daughter, Mia, is going to wake up from her nap soon. I’m an entrepreneurial mommy who, like most, is juggling many roles daily and constantly working towards that dreaded, clichéd word “balance.”
I met Sweat Life founder Aly Teich about three years ago in a Fhitting Room class, and we were immediate friends. She was a total badass who knew when to push herself and those around her, but, and also more importantly, she knew when to laugh. We connected in so many ways, and one more significant than either of us knew at the time. We were both supporting parents through their toughest battle ever — cancer.
The years I worked at Pepsi were filled with incredible experiences, like producing live concerts starring artists such as Beyonce, Kanye West, Green Day, and John Legend, and VIP access to major sporting and entertainment events. At the time, I remember thinking I had the best job, but no way was I going to be one of the women who were juggling the demands of a skyrocketing career with those of having young children. As someone who still cannot go to sleep without answering all the emails in my inbox, I just couldn’t see a path to both having a satisfying career and taking care of children.
How to balance it all? It’s that million dollar, super cliché question that subverts playground chatter and mom-blogs constantly. It’s such a hot topic because regardless of how you become a parent, if you work outside the home or don't, if you have 3 nannies or are on the parental clock 24-7 — balance is an enigma and every mama is trying her best, promise.
In my 33 years, it feels like I’ve already worn many hats and lived many lives. Mom. Wife. SoulCycle Instructor. Holistic Nutritionist. Blogger. Just to name a few current “hats.” And on any given day, the priority order shifts all the time. BUT THEY ALL ALWAYS EXIST. And much of what I perceive my job in this world to be is managing expectations on what I’m capable of doing in a day’s time.
I've never been one of those people who "just LOVES" to workout. I guess I just don't have it in me. It's always been something that I do, because I know I should (health and blah, blah, blah), or because I have an important event coming up that I have to cram in extra workouts for. My weekly exercise attendance was pretty abysmal even before I had kids, but after kids? Well, let's just say that adding in the daily stresses of being a busy mama gave me even more reasons to skip out. And then I found barre3.
New York Health and Racquet Club, founded in 1973, is still to this day a family-owned business. With nine locations in NYC, they pride themselves on their community feel in a luxury Manhattan gym that reflects the energy and culture of the city. NYHRC is also committed to giving back to the community they’ve embraced for over 40 years, raising scholarships funds at the Armory Track in Washington Heights each year, for teens who might not be able to otherwise attend college.
By Eve Lynn Kessner, SoulCycle instructor and holistic nutritionist
Dedicated to my husband Richie
Let me start by saying that the SoulCycle journey I’ve been on has been the single most rewarding and demanding adventure of my life. A labor of love, it has challenged and stretched me, made me examine who I am, who I want to be, and how far I’m willing to go to get there. I have sacrificed so much of my old life to find light in this new one — and I’d do it again in a second. What I mean to say is that I could not have done any of this without him.
My husband, Andrew, and I have been working out at the Fhitting Room ever since it opened its doors, and it quickly became an integral part of our fitness routine. The founder, Kari Saitowitz, and I met the first day of our respective oldest child’s nursery school, first year, and soon discovered we both loved fitness — and I knew that whatever she was going to come up with would be amazing. And it has been!
I’ve made some really misinformed choices in my life. There have been YEARS of my life spent laboring away at the wrong career choice. I was lucky to get home several nights in my youth, thanks to choosing to surround myself with the wrong people. I ‘chose’ not to finish college, because I couldn’t ‘choose’ what to focus my attention on.
Even as the weather turns colder and the days get shorter, I can’t help but have a true love for this time of year. The smell of fireplaces, leaves decorating the streets, our boots and sweaters coming back out (yay!), and my favorite holiday — Thanksgiving.
Does paying $30 for a kids class make you cringe a little? This is a story about why it’s the best (and most far-reaching) $30 you can spend on your child. Don’t worry, you can still cringe after you read it — but you’ll do so knowing that $30 is well worth it.
You know that thing your parents did that drove you crazy? Telling you not to make that face because it would freeze like that, or staying up until the wee hours to wait for you to come home, or insisting on packing the strangest food in your lunchbox. Well, it may just be that as you've had your own kids, you've caught yourself doing some of these things you swore up and down that you would never, ever repeat. Welcome to the lovely circle of parenting.
Each day is filled with choices, starting from the second we open our eyes in the morning. Do I hit snooze, or get up and get my butt in gear? Coffee or tea? Choices, even the little ones, are what make up our days and experiences.
As parents, we all know what a great feeling it is to see our children smiling, laughing, and slightly flushed from being physically active — whether that’s at the playground, on a soccer field, or just chasing fireflies in a yard. Being active does not only mean organized sports. Some kids will crave the structure and camaraderie they feel from being on a team, while others might prefer a more solitary pursuit. Either way, kids need time to be active, carefree, and adventurous.
I had decided to go the “natural” route. I made my own baby food, carried my baby everywhere, and used amber for teething. Natural seemed, well, like the natural choice.As my baby got older, and then I had a second little girl, I found I was becoming an expert in home remedies, and more and more friends were coming to me for suggestions for their colicky babies and teething toddlers. Here are some of the holistic remedies that saved us over and over again.
As parents, we love our children and naturally want what is best for them. As a psychotherapist in New York City, I hear parents worrying about what is best for their children and their families every day. These concerns often center around about being the best parent possible, and how to achieve a balanced life. It can get tough when there’s so much to juggle, but sometimes as a parent, the best advice is just to keep it simple. A few basics to remember:
“In it to win it.”“Go hard or go home.” “Just do it.”
Athletic competition is a great metaphor for life. Facing challenges is universal — we find the lessons we need to overcome, move forward, and change for the better. As such, sports are the perfect classroom to teach young athletes the truest lessons, to serve them long after they’ve left the field, the court, or the stadium for good.
Two years ago, I was in the best physical shape of my life. I had just finished dancing and singing in a Broadway show 8 times a week for almost a year, and then practicing Pilates, daily, for 10 months while working towards my Pilates certification. I felt fantastic and extremely confident in my own skin. I was beyond thrilled when I found out we were pregnant. I couldn’t have been more prepared physically.
Some friends of ours were in town, a couple that we hadn’t seen in years. A few years ago they moved halfway across the country twice, had two children, and she’s also changed jobs twice. She has an MBA. She is bright. She had a 6-figure salary. And she now stays home with her girls.