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Monthly Archives:May 2016

Do You Want To Be A Phit MOM?

Lisa Folden No Comments

Wanna be a “Phit Mom?”

Happy to announce the launch of a new Wellness Program at Healthy Phit. If you are pregnant, recently had a baby or not so recently…or planning to have one later, there are some significant and specific fitness concerns for Moms. We at Healthy Phit can help you address them. Motherhood comes with LOTS of challenges and much sacrifice, but what you CAN’T sacrifice is your health and well-being. Let’s work together and develop a plan for your wellness. Let’s discuss exercise, nutrition, supplements and let’s get you the mental peace you need. You can do this, but we all need help. There’s no shame in that. We are NOT SUPERWOMEN…she doesn’t exist!

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Excuse Me, But Are You Lost?

Lisa Folden 10 comments

Have you ever been lost driving somewhere? I’m sure we all have. It’s an incredibly humbling, frightening and/or stressful feeling, right? Failed GPS, no map and you’re all alone. Much like being physically lost, feeling emotionally lost can take a toll. Feeling completely lost is like acknowledging that everything you’ve planned and worked for is withering to dust and being blown away by the wind. The direction you imagined your life moving in seems so very different than your reality and you feel powerless to do anything about it.

 

I’m not ashamed (not entirely at least) to admit that I have felt that way…as a matter of fact, I’m feeling that way right now. I’m feeling defeated and completely overwhelmed. While this is not out of character for a mom/wife/business owner or HUMAN, for that matter…it is a little odd for me to feel this way while I am so close to reaching some major accomplishments and fantastic business moves. I should quite actually, be very HAPPY and very positive right now. I think I usually am, but I’ve got to be honest and say that I’m not feeling it today.

 

So, I’ve decided to just go with it. Sometimes I believe we dismiss our negative thoughts before we understand why we’re having them. And instead of taking the time to move THROUGH them, we choose to ignore or temporarily bury them.

 

The truth is I’m not feeling happy or bubbly or excited, because despite my progression, I feel a little lost…as if the things that I’m doing to move to this “next phase” of my life are futile and insignificant. I’m sure (somewhere inside myself) that they’re not, but I’m having a hard time believing it at this moment.

 

I, like many of you, have been going full speed ahead leaving very little time to assess my feelings and deal with them head on. So, that’s what I’m doing now…and encouraging you to do as well. Considering what’s going on in our world right now it’s not far fetched to think that you or I may be carrying some extra anxiety, stress, anger or even fear around with us. As much as I may try to avoid news stories on television and online, I am very much aware of what’s happening and it is somewhat depressing. Pile that on top of whatever other genuine personal stress you might be juggling and that is a recipe for a mental or emotional breakdown.

 

So, lets all just STOP, for one moment…take it all in…and then LET IT ALL GO. Take an inventory of the problems you CAN address versus the problems you CAN’T and make a decision to dedicate a small amount of time or action to each of those that you can and leave the others to prayer and someone else’s capable hands. We cannot all be activists for ALL things. Quite simply put, choose your battles in life and fight them strong. But leave the rest of them to other soldiers.

 

In the midst of your challenges, remind yourself that it’s okay to be upset (though I’m still learning this myself). I occasionally feel a deep sense of regret when I get angry and want to curse or scream. I suppose having a conscience about those things can be good, but I’ve also found that sometimes you may need to scream, curse or punch a punching bag to reduce the stress that is inherent to you if you walk this earth long enough. And I think that’s okay. As long as you leave that stress right there and bring yourself back to a place of peace, I believe you have done something healthy…for you and for those that share your space. Get it out, let it go. Pray, cry, yell, stretch, write, run…whatever you need to do…but don’t allow that toxic energy to spend an extra minute festering in your soul.

 

Most importantly, when you think you’re lost and at your absolute worst, just know that you are STILL quite awesome and amazing. In case you haven’t heard it in a while, tell yourself now, “I am awesome, I am amazing and I am enough.” Though you may FEEL it (and those feelings are valid), you are not lost, you are right where you need to be right when you need to be there. Take it ALL in, then push some of it away, adjust, address and LIVE. Your spiritual, physical, mental and emotional health are completely dependent upon it.

**Ends pep talk to self and steps off of soapbox.** ūüėČ

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Self-Reflection: Trying to Figure Out My Fitness

Lisa Folden 6 comments

I just celebrated my 35th bday! A milestone of sorts I suppose. As many of us do on our birthdays, I spent some time reflecting. Reflecting on the year, my life and goals. And unfortunately on the fact that 35 was the last birthday that my dad got to celebrate. When he passed suddenly in 1998, it hit us like a ton of bricks because he was a pretty healthy guy. My dad was in the fitness industry and made exercise and good nutrition a regular part of his life. He was actually awarded the bodybuilding lightweight title of Mr. Michigan in 1989.

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Talk about big shoes to fill, right? I mean, don’t get me wrong…I don’t have any significant medical conditions, but I am struggling severely, with my fitness and weight loss goals. This is something that I have a very hard time admitting. I’m the self-proclaimed “PhitMom,” daughter of a former bodybuilder, licensed physical therapist, wellness coach and STILL more than 35 pounds OVER what I believe to be my ideal weight. What’s worse is the number of “before” mirror selfies I’ve taken in an effort to show my “amazing results” when I finally “get it right.” Instead, I’m facing the hard, cold reality that I’ve GAINED several pounds since my last picture. It’s annoying and frustrating at best.

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The simple truth is, while I highly value physical activity and good nutrition, I frequently over-indulge in things that are directly counterproductive to my goals. For example, I will order pizza for the family and instead of one or two slices, I’ll have FOUR. My digestive system will pay for it later but like clockwork, I’m doing it all over again the following week. It’s literally the definition of insanity…I know. I’m sure that I’m not alone on this BUT as a health care practitioner and advocate for fitness and wellness, I feel an incredible sense of failure when I allow these things to offset my goals and purpose. I KNOW that I can do better! I HAVE done better! So why is it so hard right now?

 

That question has been plaguing me for MONTHS. And I FINALLY sat down to figure it out. Initially, I went with the obvious….I’m a wife, mother of three small children (emphasis on the “small” for exaggerated sympathy…lol), a business owner and still an average, normal human being with typical desires, wants and weaknesses. I have to make time for all of my roles and still keep in mind my spiritual, mental, physical and emotional health.¬†Addressing all of that requires alone time, family time, husband time, friend time, prayer time and work time. Where exactly is all this “time” coming from? But other women in my shoes manage, so? Maybe its because of my IUD increasing my appetite and decreasing my ability to burn calories. Is that even possible? ūü§Ē¬†Or maybe it’s depleted energy from not sleeping as deeply as I should and not taking my supplements right now. There are so many “probable causes” to consider and all “reasonable excuses,” right?

 

Let’s be clear though…it is LIKELY all of those things in any combination plus additional factors that I’ve failed to identify or mention. But what I’ve learned in my self-reflection is that it doesn’t matter what’s keeping me from being my best self…all that matters is that I act IN SPITE of those things. I have to make a conscious effort to take each and every day as a new and seperate challenge and attack it as such.

 

I’m a pretty routine based person, so I have to be practical about my fitness and exercise routine. It has to be ON MY CALENDAR. I need to SEE it, set an alarm for it and create the type of accountability that inspires me to get it done. But that alone, isn’t enough. I have to somehow address the wiring in my brain that tells me that exercise is tiring and tedious. It needs to be something that I look forward to again. I know the benefits but it seems as if once I start feeling “out of shape” I no longer take pleasure in exercise.¬†I imagine that this is how many people feel and why it can be so challenging to get back on the bandwagon with exercise once you fall off. But we have to keep moving!

 

If exercise were the only (or even biggest) issue, We’d probably all be in decent shape, right? But since nutrition likely accounts for more than 70% of weight issues, we simply can’t ignore it (anymore). And when I say we “ignore” I don’t mean that we avoid it because we simply want to eat whatever we choose…but because it can be such a TOUGH undertaking. Just look around…there are sooo many diets, cleanses, shakes, wraps, supplements, teas and the like! How are you to pick what’s best for YOU without spending a ton of money, wasting a lot of time and compromising your health with strenuous nutrition regimes? I am still struggling to answer these questions for myself…but what I DO know this far is that I have to approach my nutrition from a very basic and practical position. Simply put…I need to eat REAL food at least 80% of the time and leave all the boxed/processed foods to a small window that accounts for 20% (or less) of my diet.¬†This “resolution” is far easier said than done but I’m¬†up for the challenge.

 

Additionally, I have to combat another mindset that I have fostered over the years…and that is that food provides SIGNIFICANT pleasure. So much pleasure that it is actually WORTH my health. Sounds ridiculous when I say it (or type it) out loud but that’s EXACTLY what my actions are saying when I CONSISTENTLY choose 4 slices of pizza or I eat 6 ¬†cookies or I skip the salad and order a large platter of fries instead. It doesn’t matter what my mouth is saying…only what my actions are showing. Food is good, don’t get me wrong but there is definitely something to the idea of eating to live versus living to eat!

 

By far, the most important thing I have to do is GET OUT OF MY OWN WAY! This idea seems pretty abstract so let me make it plain. Simply put, we often paralyze our progress by comparing ourselves to other people and failing to acknowledge our own efforts! I know this from experience. When you find your emotions surpassing “pride” and going beyond “inspiration” while you’re watching someone else’s fitness journey, be careful. Because what comes next can be envy, jealousy, anger, self-loathing, embarrassment, disappointment and other not-so-happy emotions. You never want your wellness/fitness experience to come from a place of low self-esteem plagued by incessant internal complaints asking why you don’t look like “her” or how much better “he” is than you. We should all be proud of every little accomplishment and motivated by others and ourselves, to keep going but NOT to do or be like someone else. This thing has to be personal and I would argue that it has to be much deeper than what size pants you wear. That, of course, is assuming that you want this for the long term…to inspire your children and others around you to live better, to honor God by taking care of and using your temple for His glory and for the purpose of enjoying every second of¬†life. But those are MY goals. I only recently identified them but doing so has given me a new understanding of my journey and because of it, I believe that I can and will truly see some tangible changes in the way I feel, look and perform in the near future.

 

I hope that you too, will see the changes and progress that you are seeking. As you go along YOUR journey, let me leave you with a few points that I believe will help you. Remember, this is based on my own reflection of my journey…but hopefully it can serve as a guide for you to begin (or continue) your own process.

  • 1. Identify your goals…not just weight and size…but your “WHY.” The reason you want to lose weight, gain muscle, improve energy or endurance…what is in it for you, for others and how will you use your new found health in a positive way?

 

  • 2A. Identify your hurdles or barriers…the things standing between you and your goals. This can be mindsets (usually, the bulk of our hurdles), people, habits, schedules, hair styling options (my fellow naturalnistas know what I meanūüėČ) and MANY other things. Figure out what’s standing in your way and come up with a feasible plan to eliminate and/or avoid them. For example, you may have to decide that late night TV watching is no longer a priority…so instead you’re in bed early and up early to workout before work. Whatever it is, decide on a strategy to overcome it and JUST DO IT. ***WARNING: This process may take MANY trials and errors. As with any strategic process, you may not figure it out the first, third or seventh time…but DON’T GIVE UP.***
  • 2B. While you’re doing all this identifying, take this opportunity to also consider some outside sources that may aide you in your journey. This might be trainers, therapists, nutrition programs, coaches, fitness apps on your phone/tablet, accountability partners, etc. I’ve seen some jaw dropping results from people who have joined a fitness movement and stuck with their program. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with buying into these programs…as long as you do your own research and find something that is sustainable for you.

 

  • 3. Lastly, stick to the plan that best works for YOU (remember you spent a lot of time figuring it out in steps 2 a and b). And avoid comparing your process to anyone else’s. It doesn’t matter that you are losing weight faster or slower than your friend or that your cousin is gaining muscle faster than you or that your spouse is losing inches more quickly than you. What matters is that you are making a conscious decision every day to do and be better and that you are fueled by your own personal goals.

 

Maintain your laser focus, but stop along the way to be inspired by others and also to encourage someone else in their process. Appreciate where you are (whether you’ve come a long way or not) and acknowledge that things could be far worse than they are. Let your journey be positive and full of light. But most importantly, let it be YOUR journey.

 

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My Daughter CAN: A Mother’s Resolve Through Disability

Lisa Folden 26 comments

img_8474I was sitting on the sideline watching my daughter participate in her dance class. This is her first year and all dressed up in her leotard and tights, I realize she’s growing up so fast! All mothers say that, I know. But I promise, she really is. Her mannerisms are so mature…her jokes are beyond her years…even her speech seems advanced for a three-year-old. Looking at her now, you might not know about her small struggle entering and acclimating to this world.

 

Addyson is my second child…born full-term and weighing in at 8 lbs 15 oz! After delivering a 6 lb 7 oz baby girl less than two years earlier, Addy’s size was quite the surprise. I can remember the delivery so clearly…so different from my first. My epidural stopped working a few hours in and the pain was so unbearable that I called for additional medication TWICE. I wish I could have been able to bear through it but I gave it my very best shot so I’m okay with that. Hours later it was time to push and I was ready. It took quite a while to get her moving but I did and finally, her head was successfully out. Unfortunately, that is where things got complicated.

 

Basically…Addy was stuck. Her shoulders were so broad that it took several minutes and strenuous pushing to finally birth her completely. I recall looking up a my OBGYN…a seasoned man with well over 20 years of experience bringing babies into this world…he looked absolutely terrified! This obviously, did not ease my mind…but it did motivate me to push like my life (and my baby’s) depended on it! So I did and by the grace of God, she made it. My doctor later confirmed what his facial expression meant…he said that he’d performed tons of deliveries but only a few stuck with him. He said that mine was one of those. He wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to get her out before irreversible damage was done. ūüė≥

 

The joy that my husband and I felt was overcast by worry and concern when Addy was quickly taken away to be evaluated as opposed to being brought to our arms. Apparently her left arm wasn’t moving and they needed to determine why. Now, you have to understand…as a physical therapist with a heavy focus in pediatrics, I was still pretty calm. I realized that if her arm was their biggest concern, we were extremely blessed. Situations like mine could end in far more difficult conditions such as cerebral palsy or even death. My husband, on the other hand, was not quite as relaxed. He didn’t get to hold his baby girl or cut her umbilical cord. He was watching me through the most unbearable pain that I’ve ever felt. He was essentially helpless when his identity and purpose revolve around providing protection and security for his family. It was a challenge to witness.

 

After Addyson was checked out, it was determined that she had Shoulder Dystosia due to Erb’s Palsy from the excessive force needed to pull her out. Nerves on the left side of her neck were damaged causing her left arm to be paralyzed. Without imaging (MRI) it is impossible to determine how much damage (stretching versus severing of the nerves) has actually occurred and subsequently, how much return of function you can expect to see over the course of a child’s life. It was up to intensive physical therapy (provided by yours truly) to see what would become of my baby girl’s left arm.

 

We worked long and hard, saw multiple pediatric neurologists, considered surgical intervention, followed-up constantly with our pediatrician…and three years later, here we are. She’s in dance class. She’s taken a few trial classes of gymnastics. She can write, cartwheel and use both of her arms…ALMOST equally. She’s right handed…although I’d be willing to bet that she would have been a lefty if she had been able to fully use her left arm early on. ūü§Ē

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She has acclimated quite well, almost unaware of her very mild disability. As a therapist and mother though, it was important for me to make her knowledgeable and well educated on her diagnosis…not to limit her potential but to encourage her to see beyond it. A dear friend/Sorority sister of mine sent me some great books to read to Addy that discussed issues common to children affected by Erb’s Palsy over the course of their lives. We’ve read two books in the four book series and Addy seems very comfortable with the topic already. My daughter really CAN do anything other kids can do…but if you look closely, you can see her left scapula (shoulder blade) poking out of her back with the slightest left arm movements. The muscles that hold her shoulder blade down are extremely insufficient. You might also notice that raising her left arm above the height of her shoulder requires excessive recruitment of other muscles which leaves her looking a little ‘lopsided.’ Additionally, she has issues with supinating her left forearm (turning her palm to face the ceiling) and overall, she’s just much weaker on that side. Considering these things, we still work on exercises to challenge her left arm and upper back strength, but we are proud beyond belief. She’s come a long way and we are teaching her to avoid placing limits on herself.

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Addy’s situation is a common one and while the effects are far less devastating than navigating through a condition that could limit her ability to walk, talk or even breath…a disability is STILL a disability. And it can hurt everyone involved. Struggling through the “what-ifs” and the “whys” and the “hows” can be emotionally draining and overwhelming. Advocating for your child with physicians, therapists and other healthcare professionals can be exhausting. I have experienced this from both sides as a therapist and a parent of a child needing specialized care. Some people literally give up…the burden is too much to bear and other relationships become strained. It’s no wonder that the divorce rate for parents of children with disabilities is far higher than the general population. It takes a very resilient mindset to lead your children to success, most especially when they have a disability. And it takes a truly committed person/couple to maintain other factors in their lives as they help their children. It’s easy to get consumed and lost in your children’s battles, neglecting your spouse, friends, other children, work and mostly importantly, YOURSELF.

 

So as as I am still embarking upon this October challenge to encourage and help women to STOP and take care of themselves, I offer some specific advice to women/moms (and men/dads) that have children with disabilities…both physical and mental.

 

First and foremost, TAKE A BREAK. Yup, get some respite care either weekly or monthly where you have the freedom to go out (or sleep in) while someone else manages your child(ren) for you! You are no good to your child if you are sleep-deprived, stressed, unhappy and lacking joy.

 

Next…research and advocate for your child. Make sure the health care professionals that you have on your “team” have your child’s best interest at heart. Don’t be afraid to get second or third opinions and always speak up. Ask questions and stay up on current research so that you know what things might be available to help your child and your family as a whole.

 

Third, be a committed member of your child’s team. Once you feel comfortable with the “village” you have in your child’s corner, take their advice seriously. Accept that they each have an area of expertise that you do not possess and follow through on their recommendations and instructions. They can only be as helpful as you are serious.

 

And lastly, avoid further disabling your child by discouraging them from the next challenge, no matter how big or small. If the idea of speaking sounds far fetched for your child or walking or rolling over independently or even competing as an Olympian one day…SO WHAT. Let them keep at it. There’s a difference between being realistic and killing dreams. Children are quite tenacious and they are truly forces with which to be reckoned. Their unlimited capacity to dream is what makes them successful and why they seem to recover from the most difficult blows in life. So, as a parent, your role should be to encourage and support their dreams as much as you can and within reason. And be there to wipe their tears if/when they fail as well as to celebrate and jump for joy if/when they succeed.

 

Every child is unique and their struggles are individualized. This is no different for the child with a physical or mental disability. All life has value and if you were chosen to guide a little person through life managing a disability of any type, consider yourself called to a great and high purpose. Remember, to whom much is given, much is required.

 

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Falling Into Phitness, Wellness & Joy

Lisa Folden 3 comments

A few days ago, I was sitting alone at the dinner table, preparing to eat my dinner. It was barbecue meatballs and mixed vegetables. My children and husband had already had their meals so I was fully ready to enjoy mine alone.

All of a sudden, I felt a great sensation fall over my entire being. I’m still not sure if it was sadness, anger, anxiety, depression or a combination of them all. I instantly stood up from the table, walked out onto the back patio, sat down on the couch and began crying. It was a very scary, yet eye-opening experience for me. I mean, of course, I cry…we all do, right? But I had never done this…stopped in the middle of my meal and cried, aloud, outside, in plain view for my three children, husband and even neighbors to see. For the first…or maybe second time in y life, I felt hopeless and useless.

Now, let’s rewind…maybe I should shed a little more light on the events that I believe led up to this “outburst.” First and foremost, I had worked a semi-full day and had come home to serve my already-prepared dinner. My husband had also worked (a ten hour day) and come home starving and tired. I plated everyone’s meals (except my own) and got busy doing my normal prep work for the next day. For me, that includes pouring cereal into baggies with vitamins for the kids’ quick breakfast, packing my oldest daughter’s lunch into her lunch bag, signing off on her behavior chart in her school binder, logging our reading from the night before and collecting her worksheets to review; also laying the kids’ pajamas out for the night, ensuring clothes are set out for the next day and tidying up any lingering messes (with the help of my family of course). While “multi-tasking” all of these items, I was also intermittently helping to feed my one year-old.

When the kids were finally finished and I’d gotten everything prepped and ready for the night and following day, we sent the kids off to play and that’s when I sat down to eat. No more than two minutes after I sat down, each child came into the kitchen requesting SOMETHING of me…my food, their water bottle, to kiss a “boo boo,” to get dessert or a snack, to go outside, to do ANY FREAKING THING other than LET MOMMY EAT. Meanwhile, back at the ranch (our living room), my husband is laid back on the couch with an empty plate and full stomach, resting and letting his food digest…which he absolutely deserved (no, this isn’t a post to bash my husband because while he’s not perfect, he’s a great husband, father and provider…and to be honest, I learned something from him this day, despite his imperfections…but I’ll get to that in a second). It was at that moment, that I completely fell apart inside. I could no longer take the STRESS (yes, that’s what it was) that was filling my body, mind and spirit. I had to step outside.

Now, in hindsight, maybe I should’ve gotten in my car and taken a drive…because within minutes of stepping out, my husband and oldest daughter had followed behind me. I expressed to them through a tear-stained face that I needed some time alone. My husband asked a few questions then finally gave me my space. My daughter being the empathetic, sweet child that she is, could not. She stayed with me, laid on my chest, rubbed my face, wiped my tears and told me that she was sorry if she did anything to make me sad. Obviously, this did NOT help my crying situation…lol. But I was able to tell her that she didn’t do anything, but that it was sometimes “hard to be a wife, mommy and business woman” and sometimes “Mommy just gets tired.” Her response was something I never expected…though I don’t know why, considering she has ALWAYS been an old, sweet soul. She said to me “Mommy, I know it’s hard. I see you everyday do so much things for us all. And that’s why I want to help you do stuff, because I don’t want you to do things by yourself.” She then proceeded to pick some flowers (weeds) from the backyard and presented them to me. I nearly collapsed (from a seated position). Who was this small child preaching to my soul like this? I thanked her, kissed her and told her how very much I appreciated all of her help.

At the time, I was simply overtaken with her thoughtfulness and I didn’t really give the situation very much thought…but a few days later, the light bulb went off. God had literally used my family to speak directly to me. That fact for me is humbling and amazing all at the same time. Essentially, I had hit my maximum peak of stress at that moment and I was overwhelmed at the fact that my children would walk right past my husband to ask me for things that he could easily and obviously do. It was as if, they saw it as my job ALWAYS and their dad’s job SOMETIMES (but mostly when mom is not home). So I had to figure out why they clearly felt that way and what I could do (if anything) to change that perspective.

After thought and prayer, I realized that many of these standards had been set or defined by ME. And since it was my idea, no one bothered to challenge it (much). So, since I established them, I decided that I could also change them. Listening deeply to my daughter made me realize that I NEED and SHOULD HAVE help! Not just from her, but from my other children, my spouse and OTHERS as well. I recognized that as a wife and mother, every time we reject the help of others, we are adding an extra pinch of stress to our lives. Each time we avoid being direct with our children and spouses about our needs/wants, we are wounding ourselves deeply…wounds that we will later blame on others. Every time we lay awake at night stressing about the tasks of the next day or the day after that, we are trimming YEARS off of our lives. Simply put, we are KILLING ourselves. It’s NOT our husbands, partners, parents, children or others…IT IS US. And we HAVE to take responsibility for this. Period.

We can not (and I refuse to any longer) sit idly by while we broadcast our disdain for ourselves through constant and consistent neglect. It is our job to take care of ourselves. No one else will ever be able to do it because no one else knows you like YOU do. And the more we expect others to do our jobs, the more disappointed, unfulfilled, unhappy, depressed and broken we will be. This is no way to live ladies. The worry we carry that leads to stress is a choice. So it’s time to choose differently.

How do we do that? The reality is that the answer is multi-faceted. There is no magic pill, no one or two step program. It begins with a series of individual choices to do things (some big and some small) that bring us joy and pleasure, that ease our minds, bodies and souls. For some of us, we may not even know what those things are. In that case, I encourage you to figure it out. If you still have life left in your body, you have an opportunity to breathe, live, learn, love and walk in your purpose. Go back to school for your passion, take a small pay cut to work in your dream field, sleep in on a Saturday (or two), get your monthly spa services faithfully, take up your trustworthy neighbor or family member on their babysitting offer. Paint, draw or color, dance, run or do Yoga. Meditate, pray, binge watch TV. Have a healthy OR unhealthy snack (from time to time) and DON’T SHARE! Learn to be stingy when necessary…with your time and your energy, because if you don’t have enough of YOU for yourself, you can’t share with anyone else anyhow.

We have to face facts here…stress is a part of life, but we MUST have strategies in place to manage it so that it doesn’t cripple us. In the story I told about myself, I initially felt annoyed with my husband for lying back on the couch like he didn’t have a care in the world. But I eventually realized that he’s had this stress thing under control for a while now. He purposely takes time to relax and care for himself via running regularly (even when I think it’s inconvenient), playing the video game for some healthy competition, watching TV, napping on his off days, hanging with his friends once weekly and other things. My list has been FAR shorter and definitely less consistent. And it’s completely my fault, because when I’ve mentioned creating more opportunities to care for myself, he’s given me the thumbs up and encouraged it. However, I find excuses to avoid doing so.

Also, I initially felt some sort of way, breaking down in front of my babies, but in hindsight, I am glad that that happened as well. My oldest is only five, but I think it’s healthy to start this conversation about the stress we as women put on ourselves and others (directly or indirectly) as early as possible. Perhaps by grasping the fact that “mommy is not perfect and can not always do it all,” she will avoid creating an image of perfection for herself that will later cause her stress, pain and depression trying to live up to and emulate. My daughters will grow up in a world much different from the one that I have, but I trust that the tools that I am instilling in them now will still be very applicable as they journey through adulthood, marriage and motherhood, God-willing.

In the end, we all have a choice…the stress of life can be manipulated to strengthen and teach us or we can allow it fully defeat us. What will you do today to seal and solidify your fate?

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Summer Time Workout Tips

Lisa Folden No Comments

Hey Phit Family!!!

We hope everyone is enjoying their summer. It’s a great time of year to vacation, relax and enjoy all the BBQs, beach days, family outings and time with friends. While enjoying all of these things, don’t forget to address your PHITNESS! Make sure eating clean and exercising are a part of your regular routine.

The biggest deterrent to exercise is a lack of time…so start incorporating your workouts into your regular life. For example, when planning to meet up with friends, suggest taking a brisk walk rather than meeting for dinner. When you want to have some quality time with your children, move the fun to the backyard and chase them around a bit. Or when you’re planning a date for your and your significant other, look for a fun physical activity like rock climbing, hiking or make it an exercise date at the gym or in a workout class! Let’s stop making exercise a dreaded chore that requires too much time, planning, equipment or money. Health, phitness and wellness are FREE…but it’s up to us to actually buy into it. ūüėČ

Try some of these summer time activities with your children, friends or spouse to mix in a workout with FUN:

  • Neighborhood walk
  • Hiking Trail
  • Bike Ride
  • Hopscotch
  • Relay Races
  • Local 5K Walk or Run
  • Hula Hoop Competition
  • Jump Rope/Double Dutch
  • Corn Maze Outing
  • Swimming
  • Mall Walks
  • Walking Tour of the city
  • Dog Park
  • Yoga in the Park

This list is absolutely ENDLESS. So, spice it up a bit and make exercise a LIFESTYLE!

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15-Day PhiT Challenge Starts Mon 7/4/16!

Lisa Folden No Comments

Are you ready??? Let’s start this challenge again TOGETHER! See details and picture for exercise instructions!

15-Day Phit Challenge

 

 

Do 15 reps of each exercise cumulatively

Day 1: Reverse Table Top Kicks

Day 2: Straight Arm Plank Rotations

Day 3: Side Plank Crunches

Day 4: Lateral Lunges

Day 5: Quadruped Hip Extension Pulses

Day 6: Squats

Day 7: Plank Jacks

Day 8: Reverse Planks (hold 15 sec x 15)

Day 9: Side Plank Dips

Day 10: Knee Repeaters

Day 11: Jumping Jacks

Day 12: Push Ups

Day 13: Trunk Twists

Day 14: Single Leg Bridges

Day 15: Side Kicks

On day 1, do Day 1. On day 2, do Day 1 AND Day 2. On day 3, do Day 1, Day 2 AND Day 3….and so on and so on.

Good Luck!! Don’t forget to post pictures on social media and tag @HealthyPhit and use the hashtags #15DayPhitChallenge #PhitMom or ¬†#PhitChick #PhitDad or #PhitGuy

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Phit Mom/Phit Chick Guide: 10 PhiT Tips to a Healthier You

Lisa Folden 2 comments

So, the #TakingCareOfMeChallenge has officially ended. Thanks to everyone who participated. This morning, I selected the winner and will post later this week. Although the challenge is over, the initiative lives on. And in the spirit of keeping this mission alive, I’m happy to share my Phit Tips with you below. Enjoy… ūüôā

Taking care of yourself is an especially important piece of advice for women and mothers. We have a tendency to take care of everyone else before ourselves. We somehow think that putting ourselves first is selfish…but what I’d like to¬†impart to the listeners today is that it is the exact opposite. If you don’t take care of yourself FIRST, you won’t be able to help take care of your loved ones.

I want to share with you all 10 “PhiT” Tips…to truly take care of yourself. I firmly believe that if you put these 10 tips into practice in your life every day, you will be on the road to optimal fulfillment and a truly healthy life.

Tip #1: Exercise 5 days/week! By exercise I mean…get your heart rate up for a consistent 30 min. I recommend to most clients that they do two 15-minute workouts per day. 15 min should be cardiovascular exercise like walking, jogging, running, bike riding or dancing. And the other 15 min should be strength training exercise using free weights, resistance bands and/or your own body weight.

Tip #2: Drink 64-96 oz of water per day. That’s 8-12 8-oz glasses per day. This will help curb your appetite, keep your skin clear and help with regulating your bowels…amongst other things.

Tip #3: Stretch your body’s muscles AT LEAST every other day! I can’t speak enough about how important stretching is. Think of it like this: Your muscles are like rubber bands. Brand new out of the pack they can stretch super wide and resume their former size without issue. But if you put that brand new rubber band in a drawer for 5 years and never stretch it, the first time you attempt to lengthen it to use it for something, what happens? It pops. That’s how our muscles respond to a lack of stretching. In addition to that potential injury, stiffness and pain also develop from muscular tightness. This is completely avoidable. Focus on large muscle groups such as the calf muscles, hamstrings (behind the thigh), quadriceps/hip flexors (front of the thigh) and paraspinal muscles (along the spine) as these have the greatest potential for injury.

Tip #4: Spend time in prayer/meditation/devotion DAILY. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes each day, I wholeheartedly believe that this is crucial to success and peace in every aspect of your life. We all need these “centering moments” whatever your religion or spiritual perspective. Being aligned with God gives you clarity in understanding His true will and purpose for your life. Without this, you are merely spinning around from task to task unsure of your impact or interest. I personally like to start and end each day with a short prayer, brief devotion or scripture reading and I make a point to speak with God all throughout the day. That constant communication gives me opportunities to “check in” for guidance, reassurance and direction.

Tip #5: Get yourself on some vitamins and supplements based on YOUR body’s specific chemistry. Whether you’re aware or not, your body’s needs are likely NOT the same as your friend, spouse, parent or trainer. We all need different things in different ratios. So, to accommodate for these differences, I always suggest that my clients get blood work done to determine if there are any deficits in iron, vitamin D, etc. and to ensure that hormones and other levels are optimal. This information gives you the ability to select supplements and vitamins that will round out your body’s chemistry and give you exactly what you need to function properly.

Tip #6: Go outside as often as you can to breathe in fresh air. Get some natural Vitamin D from the sunlight and feel the cool breeze on your face. Increased time outdoors in sunlight (safely) has been linked to lower rates of depression, anxiety and other mental/emotional disturbances.

Tip #7: Make regular time for yourself. This can be via a number of avenues like hair/nail/massage appointments, hanging with friends and/or family or enjoying a meal by yourself. Or use this time to better yourself mentally…take a class at a local community college, complete an online degree, finish reading a good book or start writing one. Whatever your heart desires…just never stop learning, developing, becoming. This will be the best example you can ever set for your children (especially your daughters) or anyone that you come in contact with. We’re all role models to someone.

Tip #8: Replace your white starches with better stuff, like quinoa, brown rice and sweet potatoes. It sounds like a lot, I know…I LOVE white potatoes and Jasmine rice, BUT, trust me, you will be just as fulfilled with some flavored quinoa or seasoned sweet potatoes. In general, I recommend that you get used to making dinner only lean meat and vegetables, only add in a starchy component once in a while, and when you do, choose more wisely. Those white starches take over as your energy source when you finally get in a workout and because they’re full of energy to be burned, we never get to all that stored fat many of us would like to burn. So, to make your exercising more effective and actually burn some fat, let’s leave the white starchy foods alone (most of the time).

Tip #9: Get in at least 2-3 servings of vegetables per day. Ideally, these should be raw, whole and possibly organic veggies. Make them a part of your lunch, dinner and snacks for the day. And if you really want to show out, include them in breakfast. Vegetables provide more nutrients than I have time to discuss and they’re low calorie so they’re perfect for optimizing health and lowering weight…if that is one of your goals.

Tip #10: Stop looking for short cuts and DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE. This is in no way a knock to the weight loss gurus, “fat burner” suppliers, body wrap distributors, waist trainer representatives or anyone else…but, THERE IS NO SHORT CUT TO WEIGHT LOSS OR HEALTHY LIVING. You have to put in the work. Anyone that has lost weight using these “additives” have simply maintained enough discipline to exercise and eat well for a prolonged period of time. But many have simply gained the weight back because they did not adopt a lasting healthy lifestyle. Don’t be mislead by celebrities or other figures misrepresenting what “healthy” looks like. True health has far more to do with how you feel rather than how you look.

Bonus: Oh and GET SOME SLEEP!!! Don’t cut your resting hours short. Aim for 8 hrs each night.

We can all live optimally in abundance, but it begins with you. Start with yourself. Make the changes/adjustments/commitments I’ve noted today and you will find yourself in a much better place physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally. Stay focused on your goals and you will achieve them. You will be what we call at Healthy PhiT a “PhiT Mom” or “PhiT Chick.”

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How’s It Going?

Lisa Folden 2 comments

The #TakingCareOfMeChallenge is halfway over! Have you posted yet??? If not, hurry! Final submissions will be counted on this Sunday, May 9th (Mother’s Day)!

But more important than the special surprise is the true mission of this campaign. We are trying to build awareness on this very overlooked topic. There are so many women/mothers that suffer from multiple physical and mental illnesses that are either directly caused by or negatively impacted by stress. The stress that we allow on ourselves by not taking time to address our own needs can literally kill us.

 

This is not a joke. As a physical therapist, I am seeing more and more young people for rehab needs following a stroke. My youngest stroke patient recently was in her late twenties. Some things happen by “chance,’ if you will…but most things happen by choice. The choices we make (and don’t make) everyday affect the outcome of our overall health and wellness…spiritually, mentally and physically. So, make a positive choice today…and then another one tomorrow and the next day. Eventually, these positive choices will become a habit…a regular, daily occurrence and you will be setting an example and leaving a legacy for your children, or someone else’s. That’s a big deal.

 

So take this movement as seriously as you would a Cancer, Heart Disease, Mental Illness or Stroke Awareness campaign, because this “little” act of “taking care of yourself” could possibly prevent the progression of any of those conditions in your life altogether.

 

#TakingCareOfMeChallenge #HealthyPhit #PhitMom #PhitChick

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It’s Time To Take Care of ME

Lisa Folden 2 comments

When I started this “Phit Mom” initiative, I was in quite a challenging place in life. A wife, mother of 3 small children and a private physical therapy practice owner. It seemed like it was entirely too much for one person. I thought about how inspirational it would be if I could tell and show people how to manage “it all” with simple steps and detailed routines and to be honest, I fell flat on my face. And that wasn’t the only time.

But what I learned from those falls is that although outlining the “perfect” program for your life is likely unrealistic, there are some strategies that you can keep in place to optimize every aspect of your life at any given time. It really is possible. The first step is the hardest for many women/wives/mothers because it requires you to do something you’ve probably forgotten how to do…PUT YOURSELF FIRST!

You might even be convinced that this is selfish or impossible, right? Well, I will argue that it is the exact opposite. Think about it this way….. When your body¬†malfunctions¬†because you fail to take care of it, who is going to have to take care of you? Who’s responsibility will it be to care for your children? Your spouse? So, who loses when you don’t do your part in maintaining your very best health? The answer is EVERYONE. Simply because as a woman (whether a mother and wife or not), you often carry the weight of managing the lives of your family and possibly friends around you (which is a bad idea to begin with but we’ll save that for another blog). But there is nothing glamorous or healthy about being a martyr for this cause, trust me.

Life is to be lived to the fullest and you are standing in your own way if you don’t ensure that what you put into and do for your mind, body and soul are positive and healing. Plainly put, you can’t expect to move mountains and achieve greatness in your life if you are fueled by artificial “food,” refuse to exercise regularly and neglect your spiritual well-being. Every day you should be addressing these 3 aspects of your person and everyday that you don’t, you are shortening your lifespan thus, decreasing the time you will have for those around you that need you the most. Additionally, if you have children, you are providing them with a poor example that they may likely repeat for generations to come.

Okay, yes, I know that sounds depressing. But don’t fret…you have the power to take control today, like at this very moment. You can literally stop what you’re doing and commit to living a healthier life by putting yourself first right now. That may mean, walking for half of your lunch break at work or taking a 15 min break to do squats, lunges, planks and push-ups near your desk. It could also mean taking the kids outside in the backyard and racing them back and forth or giving yourself a 3 min timeout to meditate or pray. It may be for some of you, honoring a hair, nail or massage appointment or finally reading a book that’s been on your wish list. It could mean any of these things and it SHOULD mean several¬†of them.

 

Taking charge of your life is important and to illustrate just how important it is we at Healthy Phit are proud to announce our “Taking Care of Me” Phit Mom/Chick Challenge! This challenge begins on Sunday, May 1st, 2015 and will run through Sunday, May 8th which just happens to be Mother’s Day! We want to see you Ladies (moms and non-moms alike) DISPLAY to the world how you are taking care of yourself. Post a picture with a short note explaining how you are taking care of your physical, mental or spiritual well-being and how it is positively impacting you and/or your family/friends around you. Use the hashtag #TakingCareOfMeChallenge and #PhitMom or #PhitChick and tag us @healthyphit All those who post will be entered into a drawing to receive a special surprise as a thank you for supporting this initiative and as a reminder to continue doing so beyond this challenge.

 

So, get ready. We want to see you squeezing in time to exercise, prepping a healthy meal, reading a divine word of inspiration, walking in your neighborhood, enjoying a movie date with friends and leaving the little ones with dad or a sitter, etc., etc! You get the idea. Can’t wait to see all your amazing and inspiring posts. Don’t forget to hashtag #TakingCareOfMeCallenge and #PhitMom or #PhitChick

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New Things on the Horizon!

Lisa Folden 2 comments

Hello Phit Family!

We are excited to launch our first blog through our updated (though still under construction) website! We hope that you all will appreciate the new look of our site AND our office space if you haven’t¬†visited us¬†in a while.

After almost 3 years in business, Healthy Phit has made some wonderful upgrades and we are excited and happy to share them with you. We realize that we would not exist if it were not for our current, former and future clients/patients. You have made the decision to trust us with your well-being and we do not take it lightly. As a small token of our gratitude we will be offering give-a-ways throughout the months via our social media outlets and this blog. So, keep us with us and please participate in the discussions.

We’re proud to announce a¬†couple of¬†things upcoming this month…

 

FREE PHYSICAL THERAPY SCREENS!

Healthy Phit is offering PRO BONO (that’s free) Physical Therapy Screens!! This is our way of giving back to our community to help meet the needs of those who do not have health insurance and/or can’t afford therapy services out of pocket. This offer is for new clients only and includes a free 30-minute screen with a verbal home exercise program. We will offer these services on a monthly basis (one Saturday per month). Our first Saturday will be SATURDAY, APRIL 23, 2016 from 8AM-10AM and 1PM-3PM. Interested persons can email [email protected] or call our office at 704-462-6720 to sign-up for an appointment slot.

 

15 DAYS OF PHITNESS WORKOUT PROGRAM!

After TONS of research, planning, trialing, prepping and perfecting, we’re proud to announce that our 15 Days of Phitness Workout/Wellness Program will officially launch at the end of this month! Our owner, Dr. Lisa, has been actively completing (while designing and adjusting) the program and so far, has seen very favorable results. We’re excited to share the details with those of you that are interested in signing up for wellness services in the near future! This program coincides with our other wellness plans and we believe that participants who stick with it and vow to make lifestyle changes will be VERY pleased with their results!!! Email us at [email protected] or call our office at 704-462-6720 for more information.

 

Please share this blog on your social media outlets and help me get the word out! Start using the following hashtags: #HealthyPhit #PhitMom #PhitChick #PhitDad #PhitGuy #HealthyPhitPTWellness and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @HealthyPhit  We are looking forward to interacting with you all, sharing useful content, conducting fun give-a-ways and using this platform for all great things!!!

 

Thanks so much for reading!!

 

Yours In Health…..Healthy Phit!

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