Parents In Fitness – Part 4

This is the final week of my Parents In Fitness series, for now. Stay tuned though as I will be running the next series again after Easter due to popular demand.

If you missed the others you can find them below:

Parents In Fitness Part 1
Parents In Fitness Part 2
Parents In Fitness Part 3

Now I know a thing or two about being married to a triathlete.

I was keen to get a woman’s perspective on the sport of triathlon so was super excited when my next guest agreed to be part of my Parents In Fitness series.

Meet Supermum, triathlete and genuine, all round great girl, Stacey Katelis…

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m 43 years old and married with two kids. My kids are both in primary school, aged 7 and 10.

I work five days a week part time, and have just qualified as a spin instructor so I hope to get some work doing that too.

2. What particular sport/activity are you involved in?
I am involved in Triathlon. I am now into the longer distances, Half Ironman, have myself a coach (Xavier Coppock) and train with Teamtricoaching.

You can find them on Facebook here.

Stacey in action.

Stacey in action.

3. How much time do you spend each week keeping active?
I am ALWAYS active, but training takes up approx 14-15 hours a week, depending on where I go cycling on the weekends.

4. How do you juggle family, work and fitness?
Juggling family, work and training is all down to good organisation.

I wake up early to train and fit most of it in before the day at home starts.

The rest, I squeeze in where appropriate. For example, the kids soccer train two nights a week, so I will train whilst they are doing that.

Also my husband is around to help out here and there.

Saturdays are the hardest as I am usually out training til about 11am, however I dedicate the rest of the weekend to my family.

5. If you could have dinner with your fitness hero, who would it be and why?
Hmmm, fitness hero. To be honest, my fitness heros are my coach and the amazing athletes I train with.

I see how much work they put in and I admire them greatly for it. They inspire me to achieve more.

So I guess I’d just like to go to have dinner with them.

6. How do you encourage your kids to keep active?
I am leading by example I hope!

My kids love that their mum does triathlons. They think its cool.

I get them involved in kids tris and fun runs, but they have their own sporting interests in tennis and soccer.

Their dad also encourages them and is heavily involved in their sporting activities.

Stacey with her beautiful boys.

Stacey with her beautiful boys.

7. Proudest sporting moment?
My proudest moment is every time I cross the finish line and see my kids there waiting for me.

I’m proud to show them that when you put in the work, you will get a result, and if you set out to do something, you should do it properly and finish it.

Having her family cheer her on at the finish line make all the hard work that much more worthwhile.

Having her family cheer her on at the finish line make all the hard work that much more worthwhile.

8. What piece of fitness equipment or gadget can you not live without?
Easy. My bike. It is my third child.

9. Are you a gym junkie or do you prefer the great outdoors?
Definitely prefer training outdoors.

I only head to the gym out of necessity when the weather prevents me training outside, or if I need a sleep in!

10. If you could teach your children one thing about leading an active lifestyle, what would it be?
Keeping active, fit and healthy is the key to a healthy mind and body.

If you have this under control, the rest just falls into place. Set goals and achieve them.

When you feel strong, you are full of energy for all other challenges in life.

You interact better with others and you are happier within yourself.

Keeping active, fit and healthy, key to a healthy mind and body.

Keeping active, fit and healthy, key to a healthy mind and body.

Wow Stacey! THANK YOU. What an absolute inspiration to not only your family but also other parents out there wanting to live active, healthy lifestyles.

It just goes to show that with a little commitment, determination, organisation and goal setting, you can achieve anything!

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The Perks Of Blogging + A Fitness Gadget Giveaway!

I’ve had my little bloggy-blog chugging along now for around 15 months.

Has it met my expectations? Sure it has. I had no aspirations of becoming a millionaire when I started blogging nor was my aim to top the Kardashians in the popularity stakes.

To be honest, I didn’t really have many expectations. All I knew was that as I stepped out of the corporate world, I needed something for me. I’m passionate about family, fitness and fun, so this has been the perfect opportunity for me to share my thoughts on each of these topics.

One of the things that I have loved about blogging has been building an awesome online community of mates (many of which have become mates outside of the virtual world).

I would be lying if I said that I didn’t enjoy the little perks that come along with tapping away on the lap top after the kids have gone to bed. This has been an added bonus for me as I honestly didn’t know that they existed.

There have been blogging events, invitations to lunches, trivia nights, sporting events, adventure weekends, products to review-the list goes on.

What has raised an eyebrow or two for me however has been the number of PR agencies out there that use the “flick and hope it sticks” approach without knowing who my target market is.

I mean seriously, would I really want to be involved in a smoking campaign or a campaign for men’s libido issues?? Delete.

A couple of months ago, I was approached by the lovely Sarah O’Brien from Square One PR. Not only was Sarah an absolute delight to deal with, but she had done her homework.

I was invited to the Australian Fitness Expo which I went along to last weekend. It far exceeded my expectations and just in case you missed the Melbourne event, the
Sydney Fitness Show is happening on the 18-19 October this year.

I was seriously like a child on Christmas morning. Arriving 45 minutes before the event started on Sunday morning was not something that I was going to admit but hey, I wasn’t the only one.

The hubster came along with me to ensure that the only workouts that took place were those that were on stage and not on his credit card!

I’m not very strategic when it comes to attending large events like this. I usually walk in, then make a bee-line for my favourite stands and before I know it, I’ve wondered around aimlessly for 3 hours bypassing some great exhibitors.

This is where the hubster came in handy. He had the event guide and knew exactly where we wanted to go and how to get there. It appears that he was on a mission to meet his idols as well.

Does anyone know who the guy in the purple is?

Does anyone know who the guy in the purple is?

Those that know me well, know that I’m a big fan of Michelle Bridges, so getting to meet her personally was an absolute highlight as was meeting the fabulous Teresa Cutter from
The Healthy Chef. Two of my inspirations under the same roof. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Having the kids looked after for the whole weekend – a close second.

I love this woman!

I love this woman!

If you don't already follow The Healthy Chef, get on to it.

If you don’t already follow The Healthy Chef, get on to it.

Two and half hours were all that this heavily pregnant mumma could handle. I could have spent the entire day there.

The new technology that is coming out in the fitness industry is phenomenal and I may or may not have got the hubster to purchase an early 40th birthday present for me from one of the exhibitors. More about that later.

Speaking of technology, I’m a big fan of tracking progress when it comes to fitness. It helps make you more accountable for your workouts, assists in pushing you to your limits and can be invaluable when it comes to goal setting.

Whether it be through a heart rate monitor, a watch or activity tracker.

Now for the GIVEAWAY! I bet you thought I’d never shut up. I have for one lucky reader a
Polar Loop Activity Tracker (valued at $159.95) to giveaway.

This clever little bracelet features:

-24/7 Activity Tracking
-Tracks Steps, Calories, Sleep and Time on a stylish LED Display
-A free mobile App that syncs with your device

Just to name a few.

Polar have got it right with this 24/7 Activity Tracker.

Polar have got it right with this 24/7 Activity Tracker.

To win, simply follow the prompts in the Rafflecopter Widget below, like my Facebook page and leave me a comment telling me why you would like to win a Polar Loop activity tracker.

The competition is open now and closes at midnight on 16/04/14 AEST. The winner will be announced on Thursday 17th April.

This giveaway is open to Australian and New Zealand residents only.

The winner will be chosen based on originality and within the terms and conditions of Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

I’m flogging my blog with Grace for FYBF today.


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Parents In Fitness – Part 3

Welcome back to My Parents in Fitness Series.

This is Part 3 of a series of four and if you’ve missed the others, you can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Let’s face it, as busy parents, we all need time out to do the things that we love to do.

If we don’t, then our lives simply revolve around our kids and before we know it, our lives have passed us by.

Hands up who takes the time out to do something just for YOU?

This weeks Parents In Fitness guest is the fabulous Susan Pettit.

Susan has a lot on her plate. Running a family, working and studying will fill up anyone’s week quickly, yet Susan still manages to find the time to keep fit, set realistic goals and do the things that she loves to do.

I just love the arrangement that her and her husband have made that ensures an active lifestyle for both of them.

Meet Susan Pettit…

Running her first half marathon!

Running her first half marathon!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m 37 years old, married to my wonderful hubby, Chris and I’m a busy mum to our two gorgeous children (Jarrod -7 years old and Lauren – 5 years old).

Since having my own kids, I realised that I wanted to be a midwife so I’ve returned to university to undertake a Bachelor of Midwifery degree.

The course is three years full time however I’ve been studying on a part-time basis since 2011 and will qualify at the end of 2016.

2. What particular sport/activity are you involved in?

I enjoy running and I’ve recently started personal training with Vision PT in Brighton.

3. How much time do you spend each week keeping active?

Approximately 2-4 hours

4. How do you juggle family, work and fitness?

In our household, I get the mornings to train and my hubby gets the evenings.

For a while there, I was doing 5:30am boot-camp sessions which meant getting up at 5am.

Lately though, I’ve been training for my first half marathon so I’ve been starting some of my longer runs at 5am which has meant getting up at 4:40am!

5. If you could have dinner with your fitness hero, who would it be and why?

Tough choice! Perhaps either Commando Steve from the Biggest Loser or Dwayne Johnson with those amazing biceps!

6. How do you encourage your kids to keep active?

Our 7 year old son, Jarrod, is currently trying different sports.

He does swimming lessons, plays basketball and soon he will be starting another season of AusKick.

Lauren, our 5 year old, is rather tired after school as she has just started Prep so we have removed all formal sports for her this term.

Both kids enjoy active play such as jumping on the trampoline or playing cricket in the street with the neighbouring children.

When I was training for the Tough Bloke Challenge, I used to take the kids to the park with me so I could practise on the monkey bars.

My hubby and I also often have to take both children to our PT sessions.

Sometimes they whinge, “Why do we have to go to the gym?” so we explain to them that we support them in their sports and that we expect them to do the same with ours.

7. Proudest sporting moment?

That will be completing my first half marathon on the hilly Roller Coaster Run course on Saturday 29 March. This is a trail run through the Dandenong Ranges.

Parents in Fitness - Part Three Susan 2

8. What piece of fitness equipment or gadget can you not live without?

My runners.

9. Are you a gym junkie or do you prefer the great outdoors?

Definitely the great outdoors.

10. If you could teach your children one thing about leading an active lifestyle, what would it be?

We try to teach our children about the importance of being active which is challenging given their desire to have so much screen time with TV’s, ipads, etc.

I think the trick is to just make being active fun so children want to get out and play!

Hopefully through role modelling this behaviour whilst our children are young, an active lifestyle will naturally become ingrained in them and be something that they choose to do as they get older.

Thanks Susan, you are a real inspiration and a fabulous role model for your children.

A BIG CONGRATULATIONS to you on reaching your goal and running your first half marathon!

Looking forward to hearing about your next challenge.

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Parents In Fitness – Part 2

Welcome back to my Parents In Fitness Series – Part 2.

I am incredibly excited to share with you my next guest. You may have seen him in the media once or twice before. I’ll give you a clue. A few accolades under his belt include:

Guinness World Record – Longest Team Ski Expedition 2012
First Unsupported South Pole Return Expedition 2012
Australian Geographic Spirit of Adventure 2012
Guinness World Record – First Kayak across the Tasman Sea 2008
Spirit of Mate-ship (between Australia and NZ) 2008
Australian Geographic Young Adventurers of the Year 2008

Meet James Castrission, a famous Aussie explorer who is constantly pushing the boundaries of human endurance.

James Castrission

On the 26th January 2012, James and his long time school mate, Justin Jones made history by completing the longest unsupported polar expedition of all time.

In 100 years of polar exploration no-one had EVER walked from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole and back without assistance. After 89 gruelling days they made it back to the coast after having skied 2275km with everything they needed to survive in the harshest environment on Earth.

Four years earlier the pair Crossed the Ditch – paddling 3318km without assistance across the Tasman Sea for another world first. They braved 10 metre swells, howling winds, endured severe food and sleep deprivation and adverse winds and currents.

James’ passion for the great outdoors began as a youngster when he went on camping trips with his family. Now a father himself, his commitment to ensuring that him and his family lead active lifestyles is enough to inspire any parent!

On the 5th and 6th of April, (this weekend) Mt Baw Baw are hosting the first of it’s kind
Kids Adventure Festival and James has been named as ambassador of the event.

The festival aims to raise awareness of Nature Deficit Disorder, a condition affecting many Australian children. To find out more or to book tickets head over to their website.

Here a few things you didn’t know about James.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself

Umm… where do you want me to start! I guess, I’m a dad, professional adventurer and passionate advocate of the value of getting parents and children into the outdoors.

In 2008 I became the first person to kayak across the Tasman Sea, then 2 years later completed the longest unsupported polar expedition of all time. I’ve written a couple of books & I speak at conferences all over the globe.

2. When did your passion for adventure sports begin?

The best holidays I remember as a child, were camping trips with my family.

As I “grew up”, I found myself pursuing a career (accounting) that just wasn’t right for me.

I faced a cross road-to keep going down the path of being an accountant or pursuing my passion and paddling a kayak across the Tasman Sea. I took the latter and have never looked back.

3. How much time do you spend each week keeping active?

I live up in the Blue Mountains with my family. Every day we’re in the outdoors. Instead of going to the gym, I go rock climbing. Instead of running on a treadmill, I hit the dirt tracks.

It’s a lifestyle that suits our attitude about the importance of getting outside!

4. Balancing a family, fitness and fun can be challenging. What are your top tips?

Ha! If you have an all encompassing answer, please share! I guess a couple of things I’ve found useful:

- Try and incorporate the whole family into your training.

Here’s an example: Yesterday when I got home, it was raining hard and I hadn’t trained all day. Instead of going for a run, we put a raincoat on our little boy, covered ourselves up in our rain-proofs then headed out for a 45 minute walk in the rain with the baby carrier. Jack loved it!

- Everyday, you need to do something for YOU. For me, that usually involves going for a climb or trail run.

5. If you could have dinner with your sporting hero, who would it be and why?

I’m looking forward to having dinner with Bear Grylls in May, should be a hoot!

6. You have been named as the Event Ambassador for Mt Baw Baw’s Kids Adventure Festival that takes place on the 5th and 6th April. What does this mean to you and what are you looking forward to the most about the event?

This is a brilliant festival that represents everything I believe in.

Australians, (especially children) are spending less time outdoors resulting in a wide range of behavioral problems.

These disturbing childhood trends have been linked to issues such as rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. I strongly advocate (along with a whole bunch of peer reviewed studies) the value of children spending unstructured time in nature which is critical for healthy childhood development.

This weekend, the inaugural Kids Adventure Festival at Mount Baw Baw, (April 5-6) is being held to combat this issue and raise awareness. It is designed to celebrate, inspire, encourage and equip kids with the skills to engage in adventure activities, and gives parents an ideal forum to plug their kids back into physical activity enjoyed amid a wild but safe natural environment.

There are a whole bunch of social challenges that our society is going to face over the next decade that weren’t issues for prior generations.

Its time that we start having a national discussion about the importance of kids playing outside!

7. You’ve had many proud sporting moments. In 2008, you became the first person to kayak across the Tasman Sea. Two years later, you completed the longest unsupported polar expedition of all time. That’s very impressive. What’s next?

Adventure is a massive part of who I am but at the same time I realise that my attitude toward risk and priorities have to evolve now that I have a family.

At the moment I’m really enjoying getting parents & children into the outdoors. If you’d like to join me, on a tailored adventure retreat for your family, please visit: www.MyAdventureGroup.com.au


8. What piece of fitness equipment or gadget can you not live without?

Garmin 610 wristwatch computer. Love running with it!

9. Nature Deficit Disorder is a term that I hadn’t heard of before. Can you tell us a little more about it?

This is a massively growing problem in our society: Nature-deficit disorder.

You don’t need to be a professor to realise that Australians, (especially children, are spending less time outdoors. What is frightening is the wide range of behavioral problems that this is being linked to.

Some include: obesity, attention disorders, and depression.

Effects:
• The effects from Nature Deficit Disorder could lead to the first generation being at risk of having a shorter lifespan then their parents.
• Although children have access to more information, they have limited respect/ understanding for their immediate natural surroundings.
• Sensory deprivation: learning via electronic media is 2 dimensional (visual & auditory). Studies have shown that learning through direct experiences engages more senses and promotes learning outcomes.
• Attention disorders and depression may develop. “It’s a problem because kids who don’t get nature-time seem more prone to anxiety, depression and attention-deficit problems”. According to a University of Illinois study, interaction with nature has proven to reduce symptoms of ADD in children.

According to research, “Overall, our findings indicate that exposure to ordinary natural settings in the course of common after-school and weekend activities may be widely effective in reducing attention deficit symptoms in children”.
• Following the development of ADD and mood disorders, lower grades in school also seem to be related to NDD.
Studies of students in California and nationwide show that schools that use outdoor classrooms and other forms of experiential education produce significant student gains in social studies, science, language arts, and math.
• Childhood obesity has become a growing problem. About 9 million children (ages 6–19) are overweight or obese in the USA. The Institute of Medicine claims that over the past 30 years, childhood obesity has more than doubled for adolescents and more than tripled for children aged 6–11.
• Lack of exposure to bright light (at outdoor levels) among children contributes to myopia due to lack of resulting chemical signals to prevent elongation of the eye during the growth phase.

Solution:

• Awareness
• Get outside now!

10. If you could offer one piece of advice to parents about maintaining healthy, active lifestyles, what would it be?

Let kids play. Unstructured time in nature is critical for healthy childhood development.

If circumstances make it difficult for your children to play outside, get involved in programs like the Kids Adventure Festival at Mt Baw Baw or contact me for a safe, fully immersive adventure weekend for your family.

Visit: MyAdventureGroup.com.au

Thank you James for taking time out of your hectic schedule to tell us a little more about yourself.

Such an inspiring dad who is so passionate about the great outdoors and raising awareness for Nature Deficit Disorder.

Don’t forget, if you want an action packed weekend the whole family will enjoy, then head up to Mt Baw Baw this weekend for the first ever Kids Adventure Festival.

Image Source – Stuff.co.nz
Youtube Source – Cas and Jonesy

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Your Bed or Mine?

1.16am – The strong kicks of this very active baby wake me. I lay there for a moment, pondering on whether bub no 3 will make its grand entrance as early as the other two did.

1.18am – I am slowly drifting back into the sleep zone that I was in before I was interrupted. At that same moment, I hear footsteps coming down the hallway. I know that they are little footsteps, they are short and fast.

“Mummy” a little voice whispers. “I had a bad dream”.

Half asleep, I wonder whether the little voice is that of Master J or Miss H. At this point I am too tired to walk whoever it is back to their room so I fling the doona open and scoop them into my bed and under my arm.

“What was your bad dream about”, I whisper still not knowing who it is.

“I dreamt that someone came and took all my lego away”. The bed-hopper is identified.

“It’s ok son, no one has taken your lego, now go back to sleep”.

1.47am – I am still awake. Tossing and turning – trying hard to get back to sleep. I get up and go to the bathroom for what feels like the twenty third time in one night.

1.49am – I climb back into my bed, turn the lamp on and smile contently at Daddio and Master J sleeping soundly.

At least someone is getting some sleep around here!

I toss, I turn, I try switching pillows around. I repeat this process four times. I get kicked in the back and then in the arm.

When I get booted in the belly, I know that’s my cue to leave.

1.50am – I climb into Master J’s single bed and I’m asleep faster than I can say Buzz Lightyear.

2.38am – I wake to a loud, screeching voice followed by crocodile tears.

“Mummy, mummy, come quickly”. I know instantly that it is Miss H.

I strategically manoeuvre my enormous belly trying to work out how to get out of a single bed quickly. It’s clearly not fast enough.

“MUMMY! WHERE ARE YOU? I NEED YOU HERE NOW?”

I waddle down the hallway and into Miss H’s room.

2.39am – “Mummy, my eczema is coming back – can you please put some cream on me”.

We have eczema cream in every corner of the house for moments like these where I can simply lean over, flip the lid and apply.

2.41am – “Mummy, can you lay with me?”.

I climb into Miss H’s single bed and start stroking her back. We both doze off.

3.45am – I wake to a sudden thump. I’m lying on Miss H’s floor. I pick myself up, tail between my legs and head back to my own bed. I wake Daddio and ask him to take Master J back to his own bed so I can get some decent shut eye in.

3.46am – Daddio decides to take himself to Master J’s bed instead as I climb into my own bed, on Daddio’s side because Master J is sleeping soundly on mine.

4.45am – My eyes open wide as I am startled by a little fur ball jumping onto the bed and under the doona.

The chiuaiua has taken herself out of her own bed and has decided that she would rather be in our bed under the warm doona. I doze back off.

How could I say no to this?

How could I say no to this?

6.14am – I am woken by a little voice.

“Mummy, can you move over”. It’s Miss H. She nudges me across to the centre of the bed and climbs into Daddio’s side. I am now wedged between my two children in the centre of my bed with an 8 month pregnant belly. There is no room to move.

Why do kids sleep so much better in mum and dad's bed?

Why do kids sleep so much better in mum and dad’s bed?

I have no choice but to lay there thinking about the daily tasks that lie ahead.

6.45am – The coffee machine turns itself on. I fly out of bed shouting,

“IT’S TIME TO WAKE UP KIDS – LET’S DO THIS!”

This my friends is what they do during the day after a restless nights sleep!

This my friends is what they do during the day after a restless nights sleep!

Just a typical night here really. Do you have bed-hoppers in your house and are you a lot more disciplined than me and ensure that they stay in their own beds?

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Copyright 2013 Fit Mother Hubbard

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