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Notable Minnesota Moms: Chris Freytag

Author, fitness professional
"Prevention's Shortcuts to Big Weight Loss"

by JulieBurton

Chris Freytag is an exercise enthusiast. She exudes energy (even over the telephone line). She is committed to making Minnesotans healthier people and has done that through various forms of educating. Her exercise videos, articles in Prevention magazine, her book and DVD: Prevention's Shortcuts to Big Weight Loss, her talks that she gives at national exercise conventions, her appearances on Kare 11 and the Today Show in New York, selling fitness related products on QVC, her group fitness classes that she teaches regularly at the Plymouth Life Time Fitness, and running her own company, Motivating Bodies, Inc., which is a fitness coaching program offering personal training, Pilates, nutritional consulting and motivational speaking are all a testament to how committed Chris is to "spreading the gospel" on health and wellness. Chris has been a fitness instructor for 18 years and has always had a love of fitness and exercise. She has a B.A. in journalism, as well as numerous fitness certifications and is a continuing education provider to the health and wellness industry. Okay...WOW!

And not only does she have an impressive resume, she actually practices what she preaches. "I eat well, take vitamins, and exercise, Chris says. However, there is one area that Chris continues to "work on." "I know I need more sleep," Chris admits. "When I'm sleep deprived, I'm hungry, tired, and crabby; I don't eat well, and don't feel well." But doing all that she does in a day, I'm not sure how she finds time to sleep at all. Chris is a fitness professional, but first and foremost a mother to three teens. Even though she has always done the juggling act to find the balance between working and mothering, her husband and kids come first. Chris worked as a trainer when her kids were little so that her hours were flexible and she was able to be home with her kids. Her daughter is now a competitive dancer and Chris has turned down jobs in order to be there to cheer her daughter on during competitions. Chris talks about how priorities will bounce depending on stage of life, but that being a mom to her kids has always been most important to her.

Although Chris, her, husband and their kids stay active and eat healthy, they do find balance. "Yes, I have been seen buying junk food at grocery stores," she admits. And her kids do "indulge" from time to time, "But I have taught them to be aware of how they feel after they eat the bag of Doritos, and they also understand what they are putting into their bodies," Chris explains. "Sometimes they still make those choices but at least they are educated. Many parents are not aware of the pitfalls of all the processed, high sugar, high fat foods. Products are sometimes even packaged as "healthy" but when you actually look at the ingredients and see that these snacks are filled with additives and preservatives, you realize that they are the furthest thing from healthy."

According to Chris, this misleading marketing of food is one of the reasons why so many people are unhealthy today. "People don't know what they are eating," Chris says. "We owe people, especially parents, the opportunity to be educated on nutrition. When we look at kids' behavior problems and obesity, we realize that we need to be more careful about and aware of what our kids are eating." Chris' recent book, Prevention's Shortcuts to Big Weight Loss, which she is very excited about, tackles a lot of these issues and helps educate us about food choices.

In addition to providing helpful nutritional information, the Big Weight Loss also addresses the importance of exercise and how to exercise most efficiently, given the fact that most of us struggle with time constraints. "You have to start with baby steps," Chris explains. "Make it doable: Can you do 10 minutes? If you move for 10 minutes, three times a day, you've moved for 30 minutes." Chris also explains that 10 concentrated minutes of movement is better than a half an hour of unfocussed movement. In other words, "Work smarter, not longer," she says. Chris talks about how most people don't like to exercise, and/or and have a lot of reasons to NOT exercise: they don't like to get sweaty, they've already showered for the day, they do not have the time, their feet hurt...the list goes on and on. Chris recommends buying or renting an exercise DVD and waking up an extra 10 minutes early to do a work-out, or doing some stretching and moving with your kids before bed. "Parents of little kids: take advantage of when they want to be with you," Chris says in a somewhat reminiscent tone. "Kids WANT to move. They are born with the desire to move. They want to play, catch, run, bike, throw a ball." Go for it! Then it doesn't even feel like the dreaded EXERCISE, you are just moving and having fun. "Or you can walk with a friend during your lunch hour or after work," Chris suggests.

According to Chris, the key to reaching your goals is to "strive for progress, not perfection. Perfection leads to disappointment, and there no such thing as perfection. Not every day is good, and you have to use mind over matter -- nothing productive can happen when you are having negative emotions." So, just remember that it is about "baby steps," which means you can't get down on yourself for falling. Just get up and keep moving forward.

Chris, her husband Jim, and her three children live in Wayzata, MN. Go to chrisfreytag.com for more information.

Categories: Advice, Ideas & Stories, MomShare,

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New FeatureRelated Articles: Notable Minnesota Moms: Elisa Knudson, Notable Minnesota Moms:Kristi Anderson and Stephanie Nelson,

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