Kids, Exercise and Fitness Motivation, Responsibility and More

One of the problems with the computer age is motivating the kids to actually (gasp!) leave the computer screen and (dare I say it?) move their bodies in outdoors activities.

Heck, I’ll even forgo the word ‘outdoors and settle for ‘move the body!’. Sitting for hours on end in front of a computer, flexing only their mouse fingers, is a recipe for fossilized clam-ation (ie, becoming more and more lethargic and overweight).

I generally alleviate this with my kids by giving them a Dance Dance Revolution time – they love the music and consider bouncing about on the mat to be great fun. The exertion they accomplish is a side benefit for them….and a major benefit for me! :)

It took me awhile to finally accept the following (hey, I’m a nerd, okay?), but sports is also a great bonus for kids in which to participate. It doesn’t even have to be marching band!

What really frosts my petunias, however, are the kids who sign up for extracurricular activities (like karate) and then whine to their parents, I’m tooooo tired! I don’t wannnnnnnna go!

Actually, it’s the parents who do the megaFrosting. As parents, we are responsible for helping kids make the right choices…and if they balk, then simply enforcing said right choices even if the kid complains is the only solution. Tired? Welcome to the real world! Mommy gets tired too sometimes with everything she does, but she doesn’t shirk her responsibilities….and neither should the children.

High expectations are a must when raising kids! If we allow our kids to wimp their way out of exercise and physical exertion, we’re simply setting the stage for them to fail later on in life. And alas, that… not something the kids own….it’s something for we we have a direct responsibility.

Here are some helpful resources for kids and exercise:

My morning musings,


ps – Want to know what’s available in kids exercise? Consider:

When life throws you a curveball and messes up your exercise schedule


Well, this morning I was less alert than a chunk of concrete due to my lack of sleep, getting up at 3am, and massive writing frenzy. I had planned on getting to the gym to do my 45 minute fast cardio workout on the treadmill when my husband mentioned, gee! I can take down the shutters on the house myself! (yes, this is actually a logical conversation flow; we were debating about getting new shutters and realized we had to remove the ones currently up first).

The thing is, though…once they’re down, what do you do with them? Recycling won’t take them; either I have to break them down myself, or bring them to Large Item Recycling Day (that just happens to be on tomorrow).

So! The husband removed the shutters and I stacked them up. Then I thought, hey, it’s not a treadmill, but this is definitely exercise! What else can I recycle!

To make a long story short, 2 hours later I had made several trips to the dump with a van-full of ‘stuff’ that had been begging for a new home for centuries. What a workout!

True…it’s not traditional…but hey, if life throws you a curveball and messes up your schedule, work with it! Don’t say, wheeeee! an opportunity to miss the gym…instead, see how you can really push yourself, break a sweat, clean up the garage, and make a spouse delirious with joy (all at the same time!).

I’ll probably still go on my circle walk later today….but it certainly was a good effort spent.



PS – here’s what we used to conquer the shutters!

My get-up and go, she got up and went


So! At 3am I was seized by an insane desire to write. Having learned never to ignore such impulses, I rolled out of bed, rolled down the hall, and bonked up smack against that necessity of life – my coffee maker. Soon afterwards, I was diligently at my computer, typing up a storm.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is I’m less alert than your typical 3-toed sloth that had just taken Ambien. I did manage to sleep-walk my way thru making 4 kids’ lunches and one husband’s breakfast, plus I also managed to negotiate thru the hallway hazards of toys and homework to uncover the shower. ‘course, the challenge will be after the school bus arrives – do I push myself to visit the gym (my usual schedule) to tackle my 45 minutes on the treadmill (today is cardio day!) or do I take a nap first?

You know, I think reality shows must have blossomed off such conundrums. :)

To help me with my decision, I ventured over to TV Guide Listings – of course, it’s down at this particular moment. Joy joy joy. I normally catch How It’s Made or possibly a great history documentary – it really makes the time fly by.

Anywhos, I hope y’all are awake and alert and have a splendiforous day!



ps – thinking, as am I, about coffee? How ’bout:

When Diets Attack


I have officially decided that given a choice between enjoying life and dragging myself thru it like a ladybug towing a Mack truck, I much prefer the first. :)

I was reminded of this after my gym workout. Today was supposed to be my bash-the-body day (the day in which I joyfully become one with the iron in the free weights room and also tackle the Cybex route)…but my muscles were still a bit flabbalated from my Monday workout. So! I dropped the poundage by 5 pounds did a slow-steady workout instead. It went well.

While driving home, I was quite ravenous, so I immediately whipped up my beloved beef bone soup which I’m currently devouring as I type. Made with tofu, eggs, chili peppers (my particular quirk), shitake mushrooms and other goodies, it really hits the spot in a filling fashion.

And that reminded me of the following. So many people will “fail” at diets because the portions they eat don’t fill them up, their calories are restricted, their food choices are as anticipated as shower-mold-on-a-stick, etc.

That’s why diets by themselves will never work! If you want to get healthy, it’s a lifestyle change. You have to be able to eat the foods you enjoy, you have to give yourself permission to get rid of the foods that cause you to balloon up, you have to be content with your dietary choices.

After all, if you’re not….all you’ll do is fall off the wagon with a resounding crash bigger than Godzilla playing dead…and all of your previous hard work will be for naught. And you’re much too important to that; you should never be a victim of when diets attack.

My morning musings,


ps – When I started losing weight, one of my favorite helpers was the Richard Simmons videos and DVDs. RS has to be one of the most supportive individuals out there…and his workouts include people quite over 300 pounds as well. I can vouch for the magnificence of his series – his ‘Sweatin’ to the Oldies’ III’ was the first time I have ever danced in years and years. Check ’em out!

I’m Hot, Part II! Kendo, Swords and Hakumas, Oh My!


Life is utterly magnificent when you can look at yourself in a mirror and go OHMIGOSH I HAVE A WAIST AND IT’S LESS THAN MY HIPS AND WOWOWOWOWOWOW!

I experienced that zen moment yesterday evening; I attended my kendo (sword) class and for the first time, put on my hakuma (like a long skirt that covers the feet – samurai wore them ‘way back when). I had to do a double-take on just how superb I looked – I can honestly say I am quite the fab fit mom!

You know, when you’re dieting, working out and losing weight, you know intellectually that you’ll appear different – your body will change, your muscles will grow and your stamina will increase. But what you cannot truly internalize until it actually happens to you is emotional punch to the gut you receive when you’re faced with the stark reality of an honest mirror!

Gad I love swords class. :-) If you’re looking for super resources for Kendo, here’s what I’ve found:

  • E-mudo – Super Kendo supplier, excellent customer service
  • Kendo America – Dedicated to the promotion of Kendo in the USA
  • Kendo World Forums – Everything you could possibly ask about Kendo



ps – And if you’re in the market for excellent martial arts thingees, consider:

When computers kill

Good morning,

Did you hear about the Chinese gamer who died after a three-day session on the computer? Apparently “Police have ruled out the possibility of suicide,” the newspaper said, adding that “exhaustion” was the most likely cause of death.

Wow. Talk about obssessions!

While most of us probably use our computers with more moderation, it does bring home the point – sitting motionless for hours and hours on end is as intelligent to do as is walking with your eyes closed in the traffic. Being oblivious to your body’s needs is sheer insanity.

This should be a wake-up call for you and your kids! True, I’m a fine one to speak, as I can easily spend 5 hours writing straight (and freezing my muscles into rather creative contortions as well)….but no more! Today starts a new era in the Ling Family like so:

Every hour or so, I now have my kids and husband extract themselves from their computers (crowbars are sometimes useful, mind you) and simply stretch. Then we walk thru our house 3 or 4 times (I’ve already created different routes and ‘treasure hunts’); this chews up about 10 minutes and gets their muscles much more flexible. And then they return to their computers happily ever after (need a freeware alarm clock that you can set to beep every hour? I just found the Swiss Army Knife of Alarm Clocks!).

There’s lots of desk exercises you can do while sitting as well! Consider:

Definitely check them out. Being sedentary can be the kiss of death (and the enlarger of your rearas well) – indulge in some creative exercise and get the blood flowing again.



ps – sometimes a great ergonomic chair can make all the difference! Check out what’s available now….

Shopping Cart Fitness!

You know, back when I was el-grando mommo, I found exercising to be very difficult indeed. Hated it then (love it now, mind you, you simply can’t help to adore it when you feel your body’s reactions to pushing yourself – it’s really enjoyable) and would think of every excuse NOT to waddle about.

That is, until I discovered shopping carts!

Did you know that you can push a grocery shopping cart up and down a strip mall…and eventually walk 1 mile? I found that out myself when I carefully drove my car down by the stores….3 one-way trips exceeded an entire mile in length. AND, it took me 20 minutes to walk!

Now, true, this isn’t marathon-preparing effort….but it WAS a start. And since them, I’ve realized that starting is key. You don’t have to throw yourself into aerobics or cardio or what have when you’re just beginning….you simply have to move your body in a positive direction.

I still have fond memories of my baby boy sleeping in the cart or waving to people as I walked on by. :-)


ps – looking for some great pedometers? Consider:

A neat benefit to sleeveless tank tops!

One of the neat things about losing weight is you start to wear clothing you’d never have considered ‘way back when….when your main exercise was averting your eyes so you’d never look in the mirror.

After losing 27 pounds or so, I started wearing tank tops (this was during the summer months). I really liked the fact I no longer resembled a pregnant eggplant.

Well, yesterday, it was a weee bit nippy…and the wind on my shoulders felt most exhilarating indeed! I never before realized how many sensory experiences I was missing back when I was uncomfortable with my body.

It’s truly a hero’s journey.


And if you’d like to see some neat workout outfits, consider:

9 Plus Months of a Diet Lifestyle Change


My name is Barbara Ling, and I’m the Fab Fit Mom.  I’ve created this journal to immortalize all of my get-healthy adventures.

Right now, I weigh about 135 pounds on a 5’3.5″ frame (and that extra 1/2 inch is ‘way important!  :-)  ).  But it wasn’t always like that….last December, I was 170+ and getting more lethargic than a fossilized clam.  My thighs resembled parking lots that were never finished, my shape could have won a 4-H contest in eggplant-growing, and I was, well, huge.

I woke up, so to say, those 9+ months ago…when I realized if I didn’t choose to commit to changing my ways, I might not be around to see my family grow.  And so I took the first step that now has seen me lost 35 pounds.

Keep your eyes on this site – I plan on sharing a lot of my secrets!