If you’re anything like me, you know that finding time to workout during the day is almost impossible – and certainly not number one on your priority list. Today I’m talking with health and fitness expert Kylie Senft about managing fitness as a mom, and she’s giving some great tips on how to handle what seems like a huge task. If you’ve ever struggled with the pressure to lose weight, especially around the holidays, then you know that what you see on TV is not achievable for many of us, and Kylie is fighting this battle head-on with health-focused fitness. We talked about fitting 15 minutes of exercise into your day, healthy habits for you and your kids, and finding an activity you love. Sound interesting so far? Join the UM Club to listen to this exclusive episode and many more!
When you’re done listening, head on over to the UM Club Facbook page to chat more about what we heard in the episode. Enjoy, and I’ll see you over at the Facebook chat!
Kylie Senft, is a local personal trainer and founder of Mini and Me Fitness who shares all about her passion for fitness with the mom community. Want to know more about Kylie? Check out her fitness group for you and your little one, Mini & Me Fitness!
In This Episode We Talk About
00:57 – Who is Kylie Senft and what does she do?
01:50 – The problem with weight centered diet goals.
7:12 – What kind of fitness goals should we be setting?
10:40 – Dealing with the guilt of taking time for yourself.
13:55 – Setting ourselcves up for success in our goals.
23:39 – Making exercise fun and finding the right thing for you.
27:10 – How to get over gym-phobia.
32:15 – Last thoughts on fitness goals and where to find Kylie!
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Kylie’s Instagram: @Kylie.Senft
Website: Mini & Me Fitness
Facebook: Mini and Me Fitness
Boulder House in Langford
Pelvic Floor Health with Kim The Vagina Coach
Reclaiming Your Hormone Health with Laura Martire
Read the Full Conversation
Welcome to another episode inside that Unapologetic Moms Club!
Thank you. I’m so happy to be here. I can’t wait to just dive in to this very close to my heart topic. I’m super excited.
Oh, awesome! I’m so excited too. I connected up with Kylie – I don’t know, we’ve kind of connected through Instagram – I want to say it’s been a couple of years now messaging back and forth. And I’ve done your different fitness classes through your lives and your Facebook group and stuff like that. So I’m really looking forward to having your perspective, especially as a mom working with moms to help us with our health goals.
Awesome. So let’s hear a little bit more about who you are and what you do.
Yeah! So I run Mini & Me Fitness. We run classes for moms, and they can bring their tots so I have parent and tot classes. And I also teach some ladies only classes, where the mums or ladies of all types can come to the class and feel comfortable in a safe space. I know a lot of people struggle with gym phobia and things so I try to make an all inclusive, really supportive environment for all of my classes. Myself, I’ve struggled with weight my whole life. I was once overweight, I was anorexic. And now I’ve sort of found this happy place where I am. And I really like to share that and just spread all of that wealth and knowledge that I’ve learned throughout that struggle to everyone I come across.
I love that. I’ve always loved how relatable you are and how approachable you make fitness, especially as busy moms with all the extra challenges. So you’re doing a really good job. So let’s dive in, we’re looking at health goals, this episode is coming out right around New Year’s Eve, we are seeing lots of ads for lose the weight, lose 15 pounds – very weight focused, which I think is just completely toxic. What have you seen, with your clients and even yourself, how these kind of weight-focus goals can affect people’s mindset?
Yeah, so I think especially with postpartum moms, and I think you have to remember that postpartum is always, it’s forever, right? Once you’re a postpartum mom, it’s always there. And I think the mindset of sort of bouncing back is really in the forefront of all of our minds, of wanting to look like we used to look, or losing the weight so we can look like we used to look. And I really want to bring to light that you’re never going to be that same person, you’re probably better, you’re probably stronger, you’re probably more resilient than you were before. So the bounce back mentality, and that “lose the weight,” is really so old school. And I think that moms need to focus more on striding forwards, or bouncing forwards, and really kind of honing in and realizing the power and strength that they have within. And if weight loss makes you feel better, and that’s going to make you happier, maybe we strive for it. But let’s focus on the mental side of it first. And getting away from bouncing back to who you used to be. Because that’s not you anymore, you’re a completely new person. And I really try to bring that to light with my moms.
I love that you touched on that because there is so much pressure to bounce back and kind of go back to the way we were before kids. And like we know, that’s just not going to happen, and that’s not realistic at all. And I don’t think deep down we really want that either. Becoming a mom is such a process, we completely change, and I think come more into alignment with who we are. Sometimes it takes more time than others. But same thing with our body. It goes through so much with pregnancy and giving birth and postpartum and breastfeeding and all the things. It’s incredible what our bodies do and we need to give them more credit and respect. And yeah, really just be thankful for what they do do and how we can work on that from that health and strength perspective.
Yeah, exactly. I mean, weight is just a number on a scale. The feeling you get from being strong and empowered and confident is a totally separate thing. So I try to avoid – I don’t own a scale anymore. You won’t ask me to hop on one. If I go to the doctor, I actually ask them not to weigh me – you’re allowed to do that, by the way. You can say no, or I just don’t look at the scale and I ask them not to tell me, because it can be such a trigger for a lot of people. And New Year’s just brings that on,. If they haven’t been in tune with that weight, or your body, for the whole year. And all these ads make you think, “oh, gosh, I gotta get back on track and have my New Year’s resolutions.” Don’t hop on the scale, don’t do it. Just “huck” it, let it go. You don’t ever need to see that number again. It’s not going to make you happy.
The number really doesn’t matter. Achieving a certain number, whether it’s a weight or a clothing size, does nothing for happiness. It really doesn’t. There might be that moment of gratification for like, “yes, I did it.” But then what? You still need to deal with all those things that truly do make you happy and feel good about your body.
It’s so true. And once that person reaches the goal weight, the fear – and this was for me, when I was losing weight – the fear of “okay, I reached my goal. Now what, and now I can’t gain weight.” And there came the eating disorder and the overexercising. So it can be a very kind of spiraling effect, that if you get that weight, it can be a very scary kind of hole to get into. So again, I’m just super passionate about not weighing yourself, not getting caught up in what you weigh. And more focusing on how your body feels and how your body moves from day to day. Are you able to run around with your children? Are you able to enjoy life? Things like that – just focus more on the tangible as opposed to just that that number.
Mm hmm. Exactly. That goes right in with what I was going to ask next. What kind of goals should we be looking at?
Mm hmm. So, I mean, if weight loss – again, I’m gonna say, if weight loss is a goal for you, if you’re 100 pounds heavier than you’d like to be, slowly getting your weight down and having that as a goal is a good thing. But not to focus on, or just have eyes for the scale. Like I said, things to focus on would be how you feel from day-to-day, do you have more energy? Are you sleeping better? How is your skin? How do you feel in your clothes? Now, I live in activewear, so sometimes the stretchy pants aren’t so good for that, because they just kind of move with your body. But just in general, how do you feel? Do you feel stronger? Do you feel like you’re able to, again, go play with the kids or walk up a flight of stairs. Just be more in tune with your body and how it’s moving from day to day.
Definitely, having more stamina, really the energy, the strength, and all of that with the mindset. And interacting with our kids.
Yeah, yeah, and another thing is do you have the energy to just be a mom? Because that in itself takes up so much energy. I found with a lot of my moms that they’re better able to interact with them and get down on the floor. Like that’s another huge thing, some mums just can’t get down to the floor. And that’s another thing is, are you able to get down there and interact and play.
Yeah, definitely. So what are challenges you see moms having when it comes to sticking with their goals. As we all know, mom life is crazy, it has a whole lot of extra challenges to it.
Definitely. So challenges I see – the main thing is just the children in genera, you know, they’re sick or they’re needy or they want to play, or the things surrounding the children like that guilt of “I can’t take 30 minutes for myself, because I have to play with the kids,” or “I need to do the laundry for them” or this or that. That is the biggest one. I personally don’t understand it because I take that 30 minutes to become a better mom, and so I’m better able to do those tasks. But that’s a huge one.
Currently surrounding COVID and classes or even any sort of activity is the kids are sick, or moms or dads or caregivers are sick. So the kids are just – you’re stuck at home. When they’re sick right now, you can’t go anywhere, it’s just kind of forbidden. So that’s another one.
And then the last one combines the guilt with everything else that moms have to do, whether it’s grocery shopping, or the laundry, or making sure the kids have breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s just all those other things that kind of get in the way of setting aside that 15 to 30 minutes for yourself, essentially,
Yeah. Let’s dive into the guilt a bit more, because that is something that comes up every single week, if not every day with my Instagram community, is the guilt that comes from taking time for yourself. And just gotta say – and you had even mentioned just 15 to 30 minutes – it doesn’t have to be a huge amount of time. And taking this time for yourself, you’re going to be healthier, you’re going to be happier, you are going to be more energetic, you are leading by example for your kids for how to take care of themselves. And in doing different things you offer, where the kids are there, they can have fun with it and really learn with that firsthand, too. We need to let go of the guilt, please!
Yeah, I’m working with – we started an accountability group within my Facebook group for the moms. And today is 10 Minute Tuesday. And honestly it’s – for a lot of us, it’s obviously finding 10 minutes to just move your body, whether that’s you go outside for a walk, or you put a timer on and you just make up your own thing and do push ups or squats or whatever you want to do for 10 minutes. And after the timer goes off, you can be done. Most of the time, you’ll want to continue because you feel good. You know, you’re gonna want to continue that. But if the 10 minutes is done, and you want to stop, that’s fine. You’ve done your 10 minutes. I’m never one that says you need to spend two hours in the gym. I think that’s ridiculous, and I’ve never been for that. So, as short as 10 minutes is a wonderful, wonderful thing to do for yourself.
Absolutely. And I talk about this in so many different ways. I just did an interview with someone about hormone health, and again, it’s the little steps. And that applies to everything. I know even myself, I’ll be like, “no, I need an hour workout. And if I can’t do that hour workout, or it’s not ideal, then I scrap it.” And so I’m working on overcoming that and realizing that a little bit of imperfect time is better than nothing.
Exactly. Yeah. It’s also important for the kids – again, the kids don’t need to see an hour’s workout. They don’t need to see that. And if you’ve got time for that, that’s amazing, good for you, get it. But I mean, I have kids in class that have been coming, and the older ones, the three year olds, are now doing push ups with their moms, and they’re doing mountain climbers, and they’re doing jumping jacks. And it’s just so awesome to see that those little eyes are watching. It’s monkey see monkey do, and 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there – they’re gonna catch on, and they’re gonna eventually be okay with you taking 30 minutes to work out because they’ve seen it, little bits and pieces here and there. And my kids aren’t even fazed by it anymore. They’re like, “oh, mom’s working out;” they know, and they leave me alone. I think you just need to start, little baby steps, little victories every single day. And they’ll get used to it. They’re resilient. They’ll catch on.
Mm hmm. Well, that leads right into the next one, is how can we set ourselves up for success with our new health goals?
Yes. So I always like to use the SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely). I always kind of preach on those. So you have to be very detailed with your goals. But they don’t need to be elaborate or huge. For the new year, a lot of people think they need to be these huge things. “I’m not gonna drink for three months or whatever.” It’s like, “well, is that really attainable for you?” So you need to sort of think “okay, well, let’s be specific here. I would like to work out three days a week, for 15 minutes.” Again, it doesn’t need to be elaborate. Let’s start small and we can add on as we need to.
Measurable – so again, that’s going to be that 10 minutes. Can I measure that time – it needs to be a time, not just “I would like to work out three days a week.” Because usually that means we’re going to just push things to the backburner. So if you have your set days, so let’s say it’s Monday, Wednesday, Friday, to keep it easy, 15 minutes a day.
And Attainable. Now attainable is 15 minutes, everyone can do 15 minutes, even if you put that timer on. So again, just making it simple. And then we have realistic. Again, I use this example, “I would like to lose 100 pounds in a month.” That’s not realistic, that’s just not a realistic goal. “I would like to work out for two hours every day.” For a mums, that’s not realistic. So just making it – again, starting small and getting more, adding little things on each week, or each month as we go.
And then Timely. So you always want to make sure you sort of have an end to that goal. So say you’d like to work out three days a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 15 minutes, for a month. And then we’ll reassess the goals. If you were able to complete those goals, the three days, 15 minutes for the month, let’s reassess and you can probably add more. If you’re having troubles, maybe we’ll reassess and go two days for 15 minutes. And again, I’m just all about keeping it small and then adding those little victories and baby steps as we go with the goals.
Exactly. I love that, just the small baby steps and building off of that. It really lays the foundation, all those small little things, and it builds up and up and up. I also really liked how you mentioned specific in terms of the execution, because I think that’s something that I know myself has experienced, and I’ve seen friends and all sorts of people, where it’s like, “yeah, I’m gonna do this three days a week,” but not actually choosing those days. So if these goals are really important to us, we need to sit and be intentional and reflect. Go “okay, how are we actually going to do this? Okay, you have your days now, when are you going to fit it into the day because things get crazy, right?” And so actually thinking about how you’re going to make it happen, you’re going to be set up for success so much better than just kind of tossing out three days it’ll happen, and it getting pushed to the side.
Exactly. So I always say you have your days, you have your time, and you have your amount. So day. So let’s say Monday, 5pm, 15 minutes. You put it in your calendar, you put it on your family calendar, in your phone – again, it may not happen, but the likelihood of it happening because it’s written down and you can visually see that that time is for you. The chances of it happening are way higher than it would be if I said “okay, I got my three days, I’m gonna do 15 minutes,” and then it’s Sunday and you’re like, “Oh, I didn’t do anything.” So I always suggest you got to be so specific with these goals. And it can be really annoying. And it can be hard to know how much to define your goals. And I say just define them as much as you can, and refine them, and just make them as specific as possible. And again, it might be annoying, and it might be annoying for your family. Don’t let that stop you.
Another big thing is having either an accountability buddy – I like to just use my husband because he’s kind of built-in and already here. I mostly use my exercise as a stress reliever. But for those that have those goals, tell someone, tell them that this is the time I’m working out. This is how long, take the kids, watch the kids, or just tell me to go work out, or tell me to do whatever I said I was going to do. Because having that external motivation can be a pretty strong factor. If you’re not very internally motivated and you have a million other things you need to do, I always suggest an accountability buddy.
Absolutely. And with that person you can really talk about the expectation for check in too, because everyone’s different. And maybe someone’s really excited to support you and is on it every day, but that might be too much for you. And then that can kind of cause frustration, disconnect, and you end up going off the wagon, right? So it’s great to kind of lay out those expectations to begin with, to really set yourself up for success.
Definitely, yeah. I’m super passionate about my SMART goals. I am just like you got to make them – and it’s so hard. Like I said, I started the accountability group in my group, and I put how to make your goals. And still you find them making them vague. And it’s like, I challenged you to make it more and do more so that you’re closer to that, you know, make it easier for yourself. You’re just making it harder when you have this super vague goal.
Mm hmm. Make it specific. And it’s okay to be flexible with it as well. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time.
And also to make it something you’re passionate about, and whether it’s specifically with your goal or kind of separate. But having your why behind it as well.
It really helps with that motivation factor. When you’re starting to lose the motivation, you can come back to your why, which really helps push you towards your goals.
That is huge. Yes. Yeah, that’s a good one. I got to add that. I got to add that to my group.
Yeah, there you go, add it in. It’s all about the why!
Yeah, it’s so true. I have my why – I didn’t even think about that! I got to get on that. There we go.
And I like how touched base on checking in with the goals regularly to reassess them. Because what we think will work might not work, or we can blow past them and we’re ready for new things. And so it’s really helpful to actually check in rather than just kind of like winging it and going with it. We can bring the intentionalness to it, and how we want to build on things or change them up.
Yeah, and I find a lot of people get so defeated and deflated when they haven’t met their goal. And I said a month, but honestly, you can adjust your goals week to week, it can be a fluid, ever changing thing for what works. Some weeks are crazy, like we know, and we have time for nothing. And some weeks, there’s time for more. So I think you’re right, not getting stuck on that certain “I have to do this, I have to be so rigid,” because we know that in motherhood, rigidity is just the kiss of death. There’s really no schedule, you kind of have to fly by the seat of your pants and kind of make your own. So I said a month, but honestly check in with yourself week to week, and don’t get defeated if you need to pull back and scale down the workouts, or if you need to have takeout for dinner. Don’t beat yourself up about it, that day is gone. Move on and don’t think about it.
Exactly. We got to be easy on ourselves, we’re not going to be perfect all the time. And when we fall off for a few days, or even a few weeks, sickness happens, we don’t pick up after. We just gotta hop back on that wagon, right? Don’t let that just blow the whole thing up. It’s okay to screw up and not do well. But we need to push ourselves to get back into it.
Definitely. It’s totally okay to screw up. It’s totally okay to take a break. You know, sometimes your body just needs a break. It’s not okay to not get back up and keep trying. Again, if you need to start from square one and those little baby steps, that’s great. You know, you fell down and picked yourself up again. And I think I saw it on yours, I’ve heard this quote before – you’ve made it through 100% of your days, so you’ll make it through this too. So I resonate with that one for sure. Another one I use is the rule of five. If it’s not going to matter in five years, don’t give it five minutes.
I love that one too.
That’s a really good one. We can get so caught up in health and fitness because it’s such a a huge money making industry, and they just pound things at you. But honestly, it’s not that big. You know, it’s just about moving your body, having fun with it, it’s not that serious. I tell my ladies all the time, it’s not that serious. It’s just a workout, you can smile. It doesn’t have to be this serious thing.
Mm hmm. So that’s perfect. I was just gonna go into for the people that hate working out, don’t like exercising. How can we make it fun? What are different options?
So I think this comes back to kind of our why a little bit. Why are you doing what you’re doing? And then the most important thing is finding something that you love, that works for you. Maybe the gym is not your scene. Don’t do it, do not force yourself to do that. Maybe you like rock climbing. I mean, I fell in love with Boulders, I absolutely fell in love with Boulder House in Langford, I love it. And it’s a fabulous workout. But you wouldn’t really think of that as a traditional sort of workout. I’m more at the mindset of move your body, in any way that serves you. If you like to dance, find an adult dance class. If you like outdoors, try walking, try hiking. I don’t suggest running it first, I suggest maybe trying the walking and hiking. But honestly finding something that serves you. And that could take a while to find, so don’t be afraid to try new things, and say no to them if they don’t work for you. Just taking that time to really find something that you have a passion for.
Absolutely. And that could be a great goal for someone that knows that they want to be healthy but hates traditional workout, or doesn’t know what they like. A great goal could just be to find an exercise or movement that you enjoy doing. And play around with that until you find it. And then you can move towards another goal.
Definitely. I also find as mums, and especially right now, sometimes monetarily being able to afford the dumbbells and all of that at-home equipment is really impossible. So don’t feel like for a good workout you need to lift heavy and have all of this equipment at home. Your body and a yoga mat, maybe a resistance band, is probably all you need. So don’t feel like you need to go spend a bunch of money on equipment. If you want to, great. If you don’t have that, it’s really overrated.
Yeah, that’s another thing that I loved about the first live video I watched of your workouts, was you using soup cans.
And I was like “yes, this is so approachable.” We really don’t need all the equipment. We have heavy things within our house. Kids can have fun with it too, If you have a chair you could do different exercises with the chair. We really don’t need all of the equipment. You don’t need the fancy clothes or anything either.
No, no, I’ve worked out in my PJs several times.
I really have. And it’s so true, I feel like we put ourselves in a box because culture tells us – diet culture, fitness culture – tells us this is what we need to like and what we need to do. But I really encourage you just to look outside of that box and find something that works for you. And don’t spend the money if you don’t have it, it really doesn’t have to be that fancy.
Yeah, I completely agree. It’s shoved on us from every direction, even going to the grocery store you see it on different magazines. The way we need to look a certain way and exercise a certain way, and look a certain way while we exercise. That actually goes into something you’d mentioned earlier that I wanted to expand on a little bit, is kind of the gym-phobia with starting out, because that can be kind of a roadblock for people wanting to get going.
Yeah, so it’s a real thing. Honestly, I was just scrolling through Facebook and an anonymous post popped up about that as well, and where to start. And I would say if that’s really a thing you want to do, is go to the gym and get in there, I suggest starting with a group fitness class, and touch base with the instructor as well. You know, tell them how you’re feeling. And then they can maybe sort of guide you in a certain way. A lot of gyms also offer orientations if you feel kind of like you want to step into that. And if you’re really, that’s not your scene, don’t worry about it. That’s not the only place you can get fit. You can get fit at home, you can find a dance class, you can find an alternative. There’s Zumba, there’s all these other things that aren’t in a gym per se.
So it comes down to, again, just finding what works for you. And again, try, try so many things. It’s limitless here. I mean, we used to have – I don’t know if she does it anymore. I did this years ago, but it was rebound fitness, and it was on those little trampolines. It was a friggin blast, you would like bounce to the beat, to the music. And again, it’s just so untraditional, but it was so much fun and I smiled the whole time. And who knew I would like to bounce on a trampoline. This was before kids.
Yeah, now we got to work on that pelvic floor repair, we’ve got a whole other episode for that!
That’s a whole other topic, the pelvic floor, oh my goodness. But yeah, just – I’ve seen posts about bungee fit, there’s just so much. I know this reaches a lot of other people other than here in Victoria, so just look in your community and see what’s out there, because I bet you would be surprised as to what is out there than just the gym.
Definitely. I am a dance person, I danced as a kid. So that tends to be the movement and physical activity I gravitate towards. I used to love pole dancing before kids, I want to try and find someone who does that out her in Sooke, I’m not sure it’s offered but we’ll see.
There used to be one I think in Langford, but I don’t think there’s one anymore.
Yeah, there was one in Langford, Pole Tricks is what it was called, I think she might still be around. Zumba is super fun. And then on the treadmill, I never liked doing it, but we have that down in our garage. And I was like, “you know what, I’m into this music. I’m in here by myself. This might not be how I should do it. But I’m just gonna kind of dance and look like an idiot on this treadmill.” I had so much fun and I stayed on it longer than I had any other time. So go with what you like. Don’t be afraid to look like an idiot. Try things and go with what brings you joy.
Definitely. I love that because I dance a lot. I’m an indoor cycling instructor as well. And I am obsessed with my Peloton. And I will just be grooving on the Peloton, mainly just listening to music, but moving my legs as well. And I say that a lot in my class too, and when I teach spin with the moms. If you just want to sit here and listen to the damn music, listen to the music, you know? If that’s what’s gonna serve you today, do it. Or if it’s a slow walk on a treadmill just listening to some awesome music, do it. It’s better than nothing.
Yeah, exactly. It’s in the baby steps, something is better than nothing. And that’s actually something I was going to say when you’re talking about your different affirmations that have helped you. One that I have used for over 10 years now – I feel old saying that – when I first kind of started my health journey when I was younger, was that I’ve never regretted doing it, I’ve only regretted not doing it. So just do it.
Exactly. And again, it doesn’t have to be for long. 10 minutes. If you want to stop, stop.
Yeah, exactly. It’s all about the baby steps, finding fun, specific goals, and accountability.
Yeah, huge. Accountability is a big one.
Yeah. Do you have any last messages for moms being bombarded by all of these lose the weight messages but wanting to do health focus goals?
Yeah, I think – just again, finding something that works for you, and serves you, and brings you joy, is going to make the world of difference. Don’t put yourself in a box, a gym box or a spin box or a running box, find something that works for you and roll with it. Take the little victories as you go, and if you stumble along the way, it’s alright, just pick yourself back up, brush yourself off, and restart again. Yeah, it’s all in those baby steps.
Yeah, totally agree. Well, thank you so much. Where can everyone find you if they want to connect with you more or check out your classes?
Yeah, so I have a website, Mini&MeFitness.com. I’m also on Instagram at @Mini.AndMeFitness and on Facebook as well, Mini and Me Fitness.
Perfect. Thanks again, and thank you to all of our UM Club Members for listening. We are going to dive more into this topic throughout the week in our Facebook group, our group chat and in our zoom hangout, so I will see you guys there.
And another great episode is done! We’ll be chatting over on the UM Club Facebook page about the fitness tips we learned from Kylie, so make sure to head on over to talk more about what you heard. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you at the next exclusive UM Club episode!
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