One Step at a Time

For many people, cravings (and sometimes addictions – both mental and physical) for sweet, salty, high-fat foods are what hinders them from their progress and goals.
As I will reiterate over and over, making lifestyle changes can be difficult. Some people try to take on too many changes at once, and that can become overwhelming so they give up (and unfortunately feel like a failure). Instead of letting a ‘failure’ stop you from achieving your goals, learn from it instead!
If making changes is hard for you – try it one step at a time. Find your most challenging negative habits or addictions and slowly cut them out/replace with healthy behaviours. For example: someone barely ever drinks water, craves and snacks on high-fat sweet snacks at night, eats fast food several times per week, and does not get get much exercise. They could still snack at night, but instead of always choosing chocolate and other high-fat sweets, they could replace some snacks with something that is nutritious, still tasty, and has significantly lower calories (see example below). They could also try slowly increasing their daily water intake (adding in 1-2 cups per week). Once they are comfortable with making these changes (and they become habits), other changes such as adding in more exercise that suits their schedule and cutting down on fast food can be made. This is just one example, and would be different for every person, but hopefully you get the point!
If you have trouble with craving sweets, try this yummy, healthy, nutrient-dense snack to satisfy your sweet tooth!
– Layer (low sugar) regular or Greek yogurt in a glass pan or comparable, add your favourite fruits, nuts, and/or a bit of dark chocolate, freeze for a few hours and enjoy!

Felicia Newell, BScAHN, MScAHN(c), RD(c)

Official NEM Nutritionist

For the past several years, Felicia has been working at a university research centre with a focus on food security (Food Action Research Centre), and has taught university level nutrition courses. Her passion lies in working toward a future where everyone has access to enough affordable, healthy, safe and culturally appropriate food, that is produced, processed and distributed in socially, economically and ecologically sustainable ways.

 

The No More Excuses Program

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No Excuse Moms is a supportive group of women who prioritize health. It was created by Maria Kang and led by a team of volunteers including our online admins, regional managers, local leaders and NEM experts. We don’t believe in quick fad diets, the newest workout craze or abiding by any specific diet rule. We believe in: DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU, just don’t stop working.To order the No More Excuses Diet Book please click here.
All of us are at different fitness levels. Some of us are marathon runners, others have a goal to run a 5k. Some are fitness competitors, others have a goal to lose 100lbs. Some like to follow a Paleo diet, are gluten intolerant, can’t consume lactose, or are addicted to wine and chocolate. Regardless of your goal, ALL of us are women who understand how tough it is to prioritize health in the midst or work, school, family and events. Even deeper – it’s tough to follow through when you’re stressed, depressed, anxious or unmotivated.
That’s why we are all here.
Regardless of where we are in our personal fitness, in order to get there or stay there, it requires us to continue STRIVING. That means, you don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to follow a strict diet. You don’t have to have the best workouts. BUT, you have to keep striving to become the best person you can be! Your best is different in your 20s, 30s, 40s…with kids…without kids..with work…travel…health issues…injuries…hormonal fluctuations (you get the point!)
Some of you need a baseline to begin your journey – so the program below is written just for you! You’ll notice there’s not too many specifics because as I mentioned above, you need to find what work for you, however, here are some guidelines in our No Excuse Mom program that you can take with you.
Disclaimer: You should consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any other fitness program as well as making any nutritional changes in order to determine if it is right for your needs.
Opening thoughts:
In Scott Peck’s opening statement of his famous book, “The Road Less Traveled“ he writes: ‘Life is difficult.’ It is not meant to be easy – and if you think this No Excuse Program is going to be a cake-walk then be aware right now that it will not. According to Peck, a fulfilled human being is a disciplined human being. Components of disciplines include delaying your gratification for future gains, accepting responsibility for your choices, dedicating yourself to seeking truth and balancing life’s conflicts.
Discipline.
Remember that word, because it will come up often in this “3-month No Excuse Program”.
Why THREE months? I use it because the number 3 is a sacred number. It represents balance, growth, abundance and clarity. I also believe you need to set timeline’s for your goals, whether it’s to run a 5k in 3 months, lose 20lbs in 3 months or wear your favorite jeans in 3 months. Set short term goals and once you reach it, set another one!
There are 3 evolutions in this process:
1. Your mind
Your mind has the power to create and the power to destruct. It will find a way or it will find an excuse. This fitness journey will require you to control your mind and the negative, self-defeating thoughts that stream through it on a daily basis. If you can discipline your mind, you can control your actions, if you can create positive works you can dictate your own destiny.
2. Your body
Your body is your temple – it’s the only thing you own in this world. It houses your incredible spirit and will be your savior or your setback in your long life on this earth. When you begin to treat your body with love, nourishment and respect, your body will begin to serve you.
3. Your spirit
There are feelings – felt in the mind and influenced by the body – and then there is intuition, which is felt in the soul. Your spirit is the invisible energy that will train when you’re tired, work when you’re weak and drive when you’re drained. Your spirit will unmask itself when you challenge it to fight for something you truly want.
There are 3 components in fitness we must focus on:
1. Strength
Muscle building is absolutely key to sculpting a toned physique. Muscle speeds your metabolism, increases your flexibility and protects your bones. Muscle is what literally shapes your body.
2. Cardio
Cardio requires you to challenge your heart and the blood and oxygen that flow through your veins to vital parts of your body. Cardio increases circulation, boosts endurance and burns fat.
3. Flexibility
Flexibility is having an optimal range of motion. Focusing on your flexibility helps prevent physical pain, loss of balance and risk of injury. In other words, it keeps you young.
There are 3 Macronutrients in our foods that we NEED to survive:
1. Carbohydrates
Don’t hate carbs, love them! It gives you energy! Whether you consume them via bread, oatmeal, fruit or honey – they are all meant to give your body the energy it needs to perform activities.
2. Proteins
Proteins are amino acids, which are primarily helpful in building and repairing tissue in your body. It can be found in animal meats, fish, tofu, eggs and protein shakes.
3. Fats
Fats are key to brain health and overall energy. It can be found in avocado, olive oil and nuts.
There are 3 key people who will keep you accountable:
1. Your mentor
That’s me. I will guide you. I will answer your questions and I will be your inspiration because I have walked your path before.
2. Your supporter(s)
That’s someone of your choosing. You may have to do this alone – but I assure you, if you really wanted to find someone who wants the best for you, you can find someone, even a stranger online. You need someone (other than me) who will be your support in this process. Find your local NEM group online and at your local park here.
3. Your follower(s)
Life is about give and take – it’s about balance (remember Peck’s statement?) So in order to receive, you must also give. Find someone who you will inspire, motivate and guide. There is always someone who needs more help than you, so find that person and help them. Becoming a role model creates a level of personal and social responsibility that most first born children are “blessed” to be given. In helping others, you are in essence, helping yourself. So post on the page and share your story! Others will always resonate with you.
Lastly, there are 3 stages in this transformational process:
1. 3 days to overcome a craving/excuse
2. 3 weeks to develop a new habit
3. 3 months to see a significant transformation
This is my “No Excuse” Fitness Program. This isn’t (all) about how to eat right and exercise. This is about Goal Setting. It’s about getting to know YOU: your strengths, your weaknesses, your excuses and most of all….your motivation.
I get countless emails asking ‘how I lost weight’ after carrying three kids in my belly for three years and the answers can be summed up like this:
– I conditioned my body through exercise and healthy eating years prior
– I gained the recommended pregnancy weight (30-38lbs for me)
– I performed various core exercises and massaged my belly after every birth
– I constantly set short term goals.
– Most importantly: I was MOTIVATED to get back in shape.
Motivation is the KEY principle in this fitness journey. If you examine the lives of those who are incredible shapes you will see an invisible energy constantly pushing them to stay disciplined and train harder. It’s motivation. It’s motivation because their career depended on their physical body and beauty (celebrities). It’s motivation because their personal identity is closely tied to a fit body (athletes and models). For us ‘normal’ people, it’s because we set a life stage where we set higher expectations for ourselves.
I really want you to examine what motivates you.
There is a philosophical principle that states all human behavior is motivated by two things: seeking pleasure and avoiding pain.
For some of you, your desire to get incredible shape stems from wanting to look amazing in an outfit or walk confidently into a room without feeling physically insecure.
For others, focusing on your health means avoiding health-related diseases or escaping the torment you felt as a child for being overweight.
You need to find what motivates you – and WRITE IT DOWN.
After I gave birth I was motivated by both pain and pleasure. In my twenties I feared childbirth because of how it would destruct my body. At the gym older women would constantly react to my fit physique by saying, “What until you have children…”
I wanted to prove them wrong.
I also wanted to feel confident in my skin. After recovering from an eating disorder my weight ballooned into the 150’s and didn’t decline for several years because it became unresponsive to my yo-yo dieting. I wanted to feel sexy, firm and fit again. I was driven by the pain of failure and the pleasure of success.
You need to be too.
This plan is not about perfection. It’s about progress. It’s about not giving up. I will be honest with you by confessing that I ate a couple cookies earlier tonight. I was premenstrual, incredibly stressed from work and fatigued from days on end with the kids. Do I feel bad? No. Will I begin anew tomorrow? For sure.
My point is that I’m not going to ask you to be perfect. I’m going to ask you to try to be perfect, knowing that it is impossible. While unachievable, it’s the strive that I’m seeking you to master…
As I stated (a couple sentences ago), The goal is to get to the end without giving up. You will achieve your fitness goals this year if you make a personal promise to not give up until you get there. This mentality makes success a matter of ‘when’ you will reach your goals and not ‘if’ you will.
In the next 3 months I will continue giving workout routines, nutritional advice and fitness motivation. However, since this is a community effort and I’m a busy mom with 3 kids, a business and hopefully a life, this effort will require a set of rules you will need to follow.
Program Rules:
1. Eat Breakfast every morning.
2. Write down everything you eat
3. Workout 3-4 times a week (or more)
4. Drink ONLY water (or straight black coffee/tea)
5. Stop eating 3 hours before bedtime (preferably 7pm)
6. Eat small meals containing protein/carbs/fats throughout the day (calories are dependent on current weight)
7. Measure yourself every two weeks.
8. Plan your splurge meals, which you can have 1-2 times a week.
9. Reflect on your program weekly
Exercise Rules:
1. Warm up for five minutes before strength training
2. Stretch after you warm up
3. Focus a minimum of 20-40 minutes of strength training 3x/week (home workouts will be given later) Strength training can be broken up into upper/lower, push/pull, whole-body circuit splits.
4. Focus on intense cardio and focus on a minimum of 20 minutes at least 3 times a week (or more) making sure you’re at your target heart rate, which measures anywhere between 130-180 beats per minute. (put your finger on the side of your throat, count how many beats for 15 seconds then multiply that number by 4)
5. NOTE: I imagine you will be performing both strength and cardio training together, which is why you should be training 3-4 times a week for 40-60 minutes at a time. (see the math fits!)
6. Use proper form : shoulders back, stomach drawn in, hips squared, back slightly arched, knees straight ahead.
7. Stay hydrated at all times.
Diet Rules:
1. Don’t starve yourself. Get to know calories and how much is in the foods you consume. I strongly suggest not changing your diet drastically in the beginning, just cutting your consumption for unhealthy foods in half.
2. Don’t go low-carb. Enjoy bread, but just eat a slice. Enjoy rice, but try brown. Enjoy pasta, but measure out one portion size. Carbohydrates are your main sources for energy so don’t eliminate it.
3. Don’t drink high-calorie, sugary drinks at Starbucks or Jamba Juice. (your body and budget will thank me)
4. Don’t drink alcohol. You can indulge in one glass of wine a week (I would say totally omit it, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t indulge in one glass per week) Just know that it’s best to eliminate it totally if you seek faster results.
5. Drink water but add lemon to it if needed. The acidity in lemons helps balance and detoxifies the body.
6. The day after your treat meal, get right back on track.
7. Prepare your meals in advance (invest in Tupperware) to ensure consistent consumption
8. Speaking of which – make sure you eat every 2-3 hours.
Personal Rules:
1. Create a successful environment. This requires you to get rid of junk food in your house (nobody needs it there, not even your kids).
2. Tell everyone you know that you are changing your lifestyle. (sometimes people like to be hush about this – but it doesn’t create a level of social accountability required to push you to the next level)
3. Befriend other people who are on a similar journey (you will find many on my page, I encourage you to ‘friend’ each other)
4. Write down your long term, specific goals and secure it in a place you see every day. (I would choose my bathroom mirror)
5. Envision what you want every day. Envision your day, your meals, your workouts and your positive attitude every morning.
6. Write down motivational quotes and post it in places that will assist you in making better choices. For example, I post “you’re not hungry when you’re sleeping in my bedroom” – I have posted “take action” above my TV and “Nothing tastes good like being fit” on my refrigerator. Find the quotes (and people) that motivate you and post it!
7. Reflect on your past Excuses. Was it lack of time? Lack of support? Stress? What was it?? Most often, the end answer is ‘lack of motivation’
…..because if you truly wanted it, you would make it happen. Regardless of excuse. I suggest you find what has prohibited you from succeeding in the past and create action plans on how to battle them in the future. Sometimes you will fail in the battle, but you get up and try again, and again and again…until you master the ‘excuses’ that prevents you from progressing.
Other thoughts:
1. Enjoy the free service that ‘Google’ and ‘YouTube’ provides. I get so many questions, but the answers are also online. Find healthy recipes, home workouts, core training and nutritional information all on Google, Youtube, Bodybuilding.com and even my own websites: www.mariakang.com
2. Get organized. If you have a cluttered house, a messy room or a dirty car, clean it now. Your outward life is a reflection of your internal energy.
3. Invest in a jump rope, pair of dumb bells, workout bands and a fitness DVD. If you don’t have a gym membership this is a $30 investment towards your health.
Homework:
1. Write down your goals. Make at least 5 goals that are specific. I don’t want you to say ‘lose weight’ or ‘get a six pack’…I want it to be personal and realistic. I want to hear that you want to fit into old jeans, lose 20 pounds or run a 5k. Tape your goals to your bathroom mirror.
2. Invest in your End Date, which is set for March 31st. At this time I would like you to invest into something that will make you personally connected with that date. Is there a family event at this time? A birthday? Can you treat yourself to a photo shoot or a shopping spree? What will you do in exactly 3 months that will motivate you to stay on track???
3. Write “Thoughts becomes Things” and place it somewhere in your house, on your screensaver or in your car. You are telling yourself a story every, single day, so make sure it’s positive, uplifting and progressive. Don’t tell yourself excuses, tell yourself there are solutions. Don’t say, “I am stressed, fat, tired, busy….” Say: “I am beautiful, fit, strong, energetic, positive, and happy.”
4. Weigh yourself. Remember Progress is made where progress is measured. I need you to get on a scale and not be afraid of the number because that is your starting point. Put that number in your journal (which will be used for writing your daily food intake as noted in Program Rules #2)
5. Measure yourself. Take a measuring tape (soft one) and someone or yourself measure your neck, shoulders, arms, chest, waist, hips, legs and calves. (make sure you know exactly where you place the tape)
6. If you have access to a trainer at the gym, have them take your body fat via skin calipers. This is typically a free service (they might try to sell you training – which I am not against. I believe in the value of a trainer) If you can’t, that’s ok; this is just another measurement to track your progress.
7. Perform a series of fitness tests: how many pushups can you do (not on knees) without dropping? How long can you perform a plank? How fast can you run a mile? Put your results in your journal
8. Start writing down everything you’re eating right away. You don’t have to change your diet too much (I assume many are waiting for Jan 1st anyways) – it’s key to see what your habits are…when you do eat, or don’t eat. When you eat, how often and why you eat (or overeat).
9. Create a fitness calendar. You can color code it as you complete workouts but DO NOT write down workouts in advance. Only write when you’ve completed a workout. Find the instructions and download here.
10. Tell everyone in your life including those on Facebook you are starting a fitness plan and encourage them to join you. Accountability is important. Your friends will look for your updates, be inspired by your progress and support you in this process. Creating a successful environment requires you to be accountable to others.
With that said. Get to work. This is a ton of information and it’s only 10% of what’s going on in my mind right now! Print all the rules out and read it as a reminder to you. Remember, if it doesn’t challenge you, then it doesn’t change you. So get uncomfortable in your environment. Rid yourself from comfort foods, comfort people and comfort thoughts.
It’s time you start saying, No Excuses.
Join our private Facebook group HERE and Follow me (Maria Kang) on Facebook HERE
book
The book that launched the “No Excuse Mom” movement offers a detailed diet plan, home workouts, and strategies to overcome excuses. All food preferences and favorite workout DVDs can be applied to this diet. It is available in hardback and ebook wherever books are sold via Target, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million and Amazon (order online on Amazon here).  If you are international, please order at the Book Depository HERE.
For more info on the book please click HERE.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.
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Making Behavior and Lifestyle Changes

Food for thought: Does simply telling someone to do something, or judging someone for not doing what you think is right, actually help that person change their behavior?
As an Official NEM Nutritionist, I wanted to take a moment to bring what may be a different perspective to the table. Some may be familiar with these concepts; some may think I am way out in left field. Life is a lot about perspective, so even if I can give a new perspective to a few people I am okay with that. Here are two concepts that are just food for thought! They are usually very detailed and complex, but for the sake of this post I want to be as straightforward as possible.
1)   Behavior change. Our group is based a lot around the changing of lifestyles and behaviors. Behaviors are psychological, and deeply engrained. They are habits, and a lot of times when it comes to food-related behaviors they are even addictions. They are very difficult to change, which is why many different theories and models in the scientific field that are used to explain behavior change. I don’t want to go into detail of course because you are all busy moms and don’t have all day to read a post that sounds like a lecture. The key message I want to bring here is changing behaviors is HARD. It involves many different steps and factors to change a behavior (e.g., motivation, education, support, confidence, etc.). If you think  ‘clean eating’ and living a healthy lifestyle is hard and you are alone because everyone else is making progress or some people make it look easy – think again! We all have difficulties at some point or another (we just don’t always show it, especially on social media), and with the right support and motivation (and accepting that we will have set-backs and no success comes without failure), we can overcome them.
2)   Social Determinants of Health.  This is another concept I don’t want to bore you all with and go into detail, but I just want to introduce for those of you who may not have heard of it. This is a premise that lifestyle choices are largely shaped by many different factors, including: income and income distribution, education, unemployment and job security, employment and working conditions, early childhood development/experiences, food insecurity, housing, social exclusion, social safety network, health services, aboriginal status, gender, race, and disability. Each and every one of these factors influences the choices that we make, and we don’t always have control over a lot of these factors (a lot of these factors are set by society, and individuals have no control over this). Just one example (there are many other examples, but again for the sake of us busy moms): people in various family situations (from low to middle income; single to two parent households), cannot afford a healthy diet. This is by no means their fault for many reasons, one being the cost of living (has risen significantly, and increase in wages have not kept up with the many costs of living (food, shelter, transportation, childcare, etc.). This means many families cannot afford to eat healthy, but it is not their fault. Now there may be many other factors that influence say a low-income families’ ability to purchase a healthy diet – e.g., knowledge, skills, childhood experiences, stress, etc. So as you can see, a person’s decisions around food can be very complex!
We are all human. For the most part we have good intentions and want to support and help each other by giving advice and what works for us, and we do an incredible job! Some days we might have a bad day and post something in the wrong way. Misunderstandings can happen. I get it and I think for the most part we all do. We are all busy, and most times trying to post something in between other daily responsibilities. BUT, I do know there are moms in here who feel overwhelmed at times with conflicting advice, and/or they feel ashamed because certain things that they perceive as the ‘right thing to do’ doesn’t fit their lifestyle. These feelings can really hinder someone’s progress. Telling someone to do something is one thing, but again, we all have different factors that affect why we do what we do.
My 2 takeaway messages are: 1) try to be a little more understanding of just how many factors influence a person and the decisions that they make. If we all try to be a little more understanding of this, we may be able to support each other even more than we already do; and 2) if someone gives you advice and it works for them and not you – that is okay! We are all human, different things work for different people. It doesn’t make us any less of women or mothers. We are already doing so much and are hard enough on ourselves (but shouldn’t be) – so let’s not be hard on each other!

12-week Transformation Contest!

On September 1st we are beginning an international transformation contest with all our No Excuse Moms! For 12 weeks, we are asking you to eat healthy, get active and be purposeful in your daily intentions. This was created to connect us as No Excuse Moms, motivate us before the holidays and transform us in a limited period of time. Contest Ends November 24th.
If you lose a healthy average of 1-2lbs/week for the next 12 weeks, you will be 12-25lbs lighter in 12 weeks! If you are heavily overweight, you will lose more weight. Click here to submit payment and receive an application via email.
Rules:
1. Drink only water, black coffee/tea
2. Eat balanced meals comprising of 30% lean protein, 30% healthy fats, 30% carbohydrates. The last 10% goes towards a small treat or protein/fat (for rest days) or carbohydrates (for training days).
3. Track your calories. If you are trying training for weight loss, lower your intake by 300 calories every few weeks.
4. Enjoy 1-2 treat meals a week.
5. Perform cardio 4 times a week for 20-30 minutes. (the shorter your cardio time the more intense it should be).
6. Perform strength training 3 times a week for 30-40 minutes.
7. Stretch daily.
8. Take a Selfie monthly (in workout clothes/swimsuit)
9. Participate and connect with your local NEM group either online or in person.
10. Identify your Target Heart Rate: 220-age * 60-85% =
11. Create a 12-week Fitness Calendar. For tips and downloadable calender click here.
12. Find accountability partners: Mentor (group leader), Supporter (friend) and Follower (someone you can guide). Find your regional leader here.
13. Be a member of our online NEM Facebook group
Contest Rules:
1. $20 opt-in payment to place into the pot.
2. All application will be emailed after payment is received and must be submitted by September 5th
3. Submit before and after pics and story by November 24th
4. Must connect with closest NEM group (via online or in person). Identify your local leader.
5. Must follow NEM guidelines. No extreme dieting, diet pills, detox plans allowed.
Winners will be judged by Maria Kang and a NEM panel. Criteria will be based upon:
40% Transformation
30% Personal Story
30% Participation
The pot money will be divided between 14 winners:
1. TWELVE Regional winners (including our  two international NEMs)
2. ONE National winner
3. ONE NEM admin/leader
The way we will divide prize money will be:
30% NEM Winner
30% NEM Admin/leader Winner
30% NEM Regional Winners
10% Misc Fees and NEM Charity Bucket (everything will be accounted for and transparent for everyone to see)
For Example, if we have 500 entries this will be the breakdown:
$10,000 POT MONEY
$3000 Overall NEM winner
$3000 NEM Admin/leader winner
$300 (11 Regions: $3300) Regional leader
Leftover is $700 which will go towards any paypal fees and the NEM charity bucket (i.e. sponsorship races)
<<<CLICK HERE TO JOIN NOW>>>
FAQ:
1. Do I need to count calories?
No. We provided a general guideline for those who want to know how to get started.
2. How do you define Detox?
We don’t recommend any program that allows less than 1200 calories/day. This was a general term used to avoid quick fix dieting. (which is detrimental in the long term)
3. I am pregnant, can I still join?
YES! To be fair, you can either use a before picture at the same time you were pregnant prior (if this is your second child) to demonstrate a healthier pregnancy. If this is your first time, please just provide your most recent picture. (BTW: we’ve had a pregnant mom grace the pages of our swimsuit calendar)
4. Can I use a ‘before’ picture that was taken earlier this year?
Please provide the picture taken this month (August 2014). Please submit two photos. One holding a daily newspaper and one without. You can also include a picture taken prior but it will not be used in the final judging.
5. Do I need to be a mom?
No! Stepmoms, grandmothers, mom of doggies…are all able to join!
6. Do I HAVE to join a local group?
Yes – you can either create your own (if there is no one next to you) or join the closest group either online or in person. The reason why this is required is to align you with positive people and create lasting, healthy friendships.
7. Will I know the total pot money?
Yes! On Sept 6th we will announce how many people have entered and what is up for grabs! We will also announce pot updates the weeks leading up.

40 signs you are a No Excuse Mom.

You had 4 hours of sleep? Big Deal. You work 10-hour shifts? So what!? No sitter, no time, no excuses! When you’re a No Excuse Mom, NOTHING gets in the way of you and your health! If you’re uncertain whether you can join the ranks of being a No Excuse Mom, here are 40 tell-tale signs that you just might be in good company!
1. When you’re doing squats in the kitchen, squats while folding laundry, and push ups & planks with your children on your back – Alanna B.
2. After traveling from coast to coast, living on 3 hrs of sleep and struggling with a sinus infection, you still fit in a workout before the kids wake up. I couldn’t skip on leg day!!! – Kristin B.
3. When it’s your birthday and you don’t eat crap! – Kristin E.
4. When you have to stop your work out to breastfeed! LOL!– Tanja R.
5. Holding a yoga pose and your 1 year old, takes the opportunity to “climb you”…. and you still hold the pose – Stacy M.
6. While doing your workout your little one wants to be carried so you put them on your shoulders and continue with your workout with modifications of course; ) – Billy B.
7. While your toddler sees play equipment, you see impromptu gym (monkey bar pullups anyone?) – Jen R.
8. When your animals start rolling their eyes at you when you exercise. This cat is giving me the “Stop it” look as I’m getting my pole fitness in! haha! – Cilla D.
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9. When you have a fish hook to the face yesterday and a tetnus shot today…but still completed my 30 day challenge and took the kids on a 2 mile bike ride ! – Bobbie S.
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10. When my kids hear “work out” they think it’s fun!! (and they start playing with their fitness toys!) – Reina D
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11. When your 4 year old daughter ends up teaching her gymnastics class. (While improvising) lol – Brigitte J.
12. When you still cook dinner for the family while they help you practice posing for an upcoming competition- Kristina J.
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13. When you show up to work looking like you are about to move in! Gym bag, huge lunch cooler, uniforms on a hanger. – Amanda C.
14. When you prioritize your fitness during a move! Meal prep, workout then pack to move – Tai V.
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15. When your four year old goes up to complete stranger at a McDonald’s inside Walmart and gives the m an apple and says “this one is better”. I was embarrassed, but proud. – Les A.
16. After coming home from church, you help someone move furniture with your Sunday dress and tennis shoes. My daughter said to me “you’re pretty strong mommy, but those shoes don’t look good with your dress” – Ashleigh F.
17. When you decide to let your 4 year olds take turns hanging onto your back while you squat, then your 8 yr old takes a turn, then your 9 year old takes a turn, and you don’t stop even though you swear you have nothing left in you, and you keep saying “one more” until you break your own record. – Tina C.
18. When it takes an hour to finish a 30 minute workout…(pausing the DVD to tend to my daughters’ bickering!!! But I finished!!!) – Renee M.
19. When your toddler starts working out in the middle of class. Lol – Tanja R.
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20. When you wake up at 4am, workout, get ready, pack my munchkins meals/ snacks, my meals, my hubbies meals, get kids ready, go to work, run on lunch breaks, cook dinner, take kids to park, clean house, take baths, spend quality time with partner then….wake up and repeat! – Alyssa E.
21. You note milestones such as baby’s first plank – Jessica J.
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22. When your six year old tells her kindergarten teacher the ingredients during snack time are not healthy and she will not eat it! – Anna H
23. When your 7-yr-olds Mother’s Day project is a list of things mommy loves and #1 is “her biceps”. – Jodie C.
24. Running a 5k with my 9yr old daughter while 38 weeks pregnant. (I even ran with a baby stroller for the first two miles!)– Deborah P.
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25. When you carry your 28lb toddler on your shoulders during your 6 mile walk because he doesn’t want to walk or be in the stroller. While tough, you don’t mind because it means more resistance! – Patti M.
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26. No babysitter? Dog needs a walk? I need my run? I got this. P.S. my dog ended up in the stroller too in the end! – Nicole H.
27. When my kids read the labels to all the food in the house to see how much protein is in it!! – Jeanette B.
28. When you sign up for future races, while you were pregnant. I ran the Spartan military race in Colorado Springs 4 months postpartum and ran a full marathon 5 months postpartum. Now I’m training to be a standup paddle board yoga instructor. – Thai N.
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29. When you plank with your 32 pound 2 1/2 year old on your back – Lainie P.
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30. When you make your 9 month old join you in your workouts! Never too young to start right? – Krisitna O.
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31. When you shoot yourself in the wrist with a nail gun (damn you crown molding) and arm day becomes right arm day. – Oonagh R.
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32. When you have no sitter and perform all your workouts while pushing your children in a jogger or while they jump all over you during a home workout! Do we stop no, did we laugh definitely!!! – Jillian W.
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33. When your four year old is a yogi! – Julie D.
With beautiful form!
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34. When you buy your baby rattle weights! – Stephanie G.
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35. When you have multiple diagnosed chronic diseases and your health deteriorates, which leads you to sign up at the gym then soon getting injured after! Regardless of your setbacks and being a mother of an 11 year old YOU NEVER STOP!! You figure out what else you can do. In just 4 months I’ve been in better health than I’ve been throughout my life. And learned that I can still do this….. – Valerie A.
36. When your baby joins you for crunches on the AB lounge. – Kristina J.
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37. When you use a jogging stroller instead of a car to put your baby (who loves motion) to sleep. I don’t need car power, I use momma power! – Katherine K.
38. You know you’re a No Excuse Mom when you go to the Gym in a hurry and realize you have grabbed a diaper bag instead of your gym bag – Darlene V.
39. When your kids encourage you to try new things by “come on mom” “it’s easy mom” “you just have to flip over and land mom” they encourage me to think outside of the box for workouts. They also love gym time, it’s considered their alone time as well. I am a full time employee, full time mom, and have a husband who has a plate just as full as mine going to school to become a firefighter and working at full time. – Leticia H.
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40. You become part of the No Excuse Mom movement.
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Join us here: www.noexcusemom.com

#NOEXCUSEWATERCHALLENGE

There are so many benefits to drinking more water. Improved digestion, clearer skin, weight loss, increased energy, flushes out toxins, etc. Most recently some of our No Excuse Moms partook in this 30-day challenge and lost weight, eliminated eczema, decreased headaches, removed dark under eye circles and increased energy all through drinking water and changing nothing else in their diet and exercise routine.
I love focusing on drinking water because it is an available commodity for most people. It’s a simple addition to their daily life that seems actually do-able. Since I (Maria Kang) only drink water (most often it’s infused with lemon, cucumber, berries or mint) it makes sense to share and promote this fountain of youth and health. Not only do I drink primarily water but so do my kids. I remember a long time ago I used to dilute their sippy cups with some apple juice and water. One day, I stopped buying juice and while they sought it for a day or so, it is now commonplace to only drink water and juice on special occasions (like a friends birthday party).
So if you are going to start the 30-day No Excuse Water Challenge let me offer some rules and tips.
1. Focus on drinking a gallon of water a day. NO, do NOT drink it all at one time. Drink it in the morning, before and after meals, during your workouts and when you need to hydrate during work or running errands. You can also consider the water in unsweetened coffee or tea (yes you can have these) – as long as it’s consumed without additional sugar.
2. I chose to have this challenge in the hottest time of the year (in the western hemisphere), which is August. Many people are very dehydrated during this time so this is a great reminder to get some liquid in your system!
3. Some of you might not meet a gallon a day. After all, that’s a lot of water! I don’t even hit that mark often – especially if I break my routine, like not working out. However, even if you only drank 80 oz (gallon is 128 oz) don’t feel like a failure. The #noexcusewaterchallenge is not about perfection, it’s about progress. It’s about being more conscious of your water intake and drinking more than you normally would.
4. With that said, be aware that you should always consult your physician before engaging in any fitness or nutritional program. While too much water can be too much of a good thing, if taken in small doses throughout the day, it shouldn’t cause harm to your health. Everyone is different so seek consult with your doctor if you have any reservations.
5. So be prepared to urinate. For people like myself, going to the bathroom nearly every hour is commonplace. For people who are usually dehydrated, it might come as a shock to have to urinate every hour or so. Cleansing/flushing out toxins is a good thing – so is peeing nearly clear (versus urine that has too much color, like apple juice, a clear sign of dehydration)
6. Participate in this challenge with a friend. You will hold each other accountable.
7. Making dietary or exercise changes are not required – but of course, I always suggest everyone be active!
8. As many know, I believe in small treat meals throughout the week (usually two). So, in accordance to my No Excuse Philosophy, I DO believe it’s okay to indulge in a caloric drink (this includes alcohol) 1-2 times a week during your treats.
9. Hashtag #noexcusewaterchallenge on Facebook and Instagram (mine is @mariakangfitness). For the whole month of August I will be posting pictures of those participating. Be creative!
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10. Submit your progress pics and story to noexcusemoms@gmail.com by Sept 5th for a chance to win a Define Bottle. If you can’t wait until September for one of these cute infused bottles, you can purchase it here and get 10% off using the code NOEXCUSES