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Healthy Mom

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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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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Pregnancy Related Back Pain

Lisa Folden No Comments

So many people are unaware of the numerous pregnancy related injuries that often occur with us new (and seasoned) mommies. Upper back pain is a very common side effect of a frequently nursing mommy. Just like in regular life, we all tend to lose our nice upright posture and fold forward a little bit…especially when we’re trying to nourish a hungry infant. But we can’t allow this wonderful experience to cause us long term pain and suffering.

A very simple solution is a good nursing pillow. It will bring baby closer to you, decreasing the pressure on your upper back from folding too far forward.

If the pain has progressed beyond the point of fixing on your own, come see your favorite physical therapist. We will help you regain your spinal range of motion, strengthen your upper back muscles, stretch your anterior chest wall muscles and give you the postural stability and education to rid yourself of this unnecessary pain.

Give us a call to set up your evaluation/consultation. 704-462-6720.

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phit-research

Phit Research – Committed to Your Health

Lisa Folden No Comments

Healty Phit is Working on some new research!

Most people don’t realize how many musculoskeletal injuries/issues are directly related to pregnancy (during and after). Healthy Phit PT & Wellness Consultants is on a mission to identify the risks, address the causes, rehabilitate and prevent many of these injuries from ever occurring.

Our Mission

  • Identify risks
  • Address causes
  • Rehabilitate
  • Prevent

Our Committment

We want to ensure that you are truly a Phit Mom!

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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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