- Nicole Villalpando American-Statesman Staff
Lisa Druxman wants moms to pick up her new book — she wants them to give themselves that gift.
Druxman, who lives in San Diego, founded Fit4Mom exercise program, which now has 300 franchises and helps new moms get back into shape after having a baby.
Classes include such things as a Stroller Strides, where you bring the baby in the stroller; you get a walking exercise class.
The Austin area has several Fit4Mom franchises, and last month, Druxman exercised with about 150 moms for a Stroller Strides Class at Zilker Park.
The reason Druxman wants moms to buy her new book, “The Empowered Mama: How to Reclaim Your Time and Yourself While Raising a Happy, Healthy Family,” is that when she meets moms from around the country, they all tell her the same thing:
They feel overwhelmed.
Their life is out of balance.
They can’t put one more thing on their plate.
They all want the secret to finding balance in their life between motherhood, career, time for their spouse, time for themselves.
And they want community and to know they are not alone. Motherhood, she says, is especially hard. “It’s very lonely and very isolating.”
We all know that we’re supposed to put the oxygen mask on first — to take care of ourselves so we can be there for our families — but “we don’t know how,” she says.
Druxman, whose children are 12 and 16, remembers why she started her business. She wanted to be a mom first and a business woman second. She wanted other women to be successful at having a business that could work around their “mom” schedule. That’s why she set up Fit4Moms to grow through franchising.
After 16 years of running the business and being a mom, she says, she realized she wasn’t thriving in business or as a mother. Something had to change.
That’s what her book is about: Creating a workbook with the tools to help moms create the life they want.
“It’s what I did to reset and make self-care a priority,” she says.
“The Empowered Mama” is divided by month, with a different topic to consider every month, and exercises around that topic. Yes, it would make sense to start in January, with January, but you don’t have to do that. You could start any time of the year and with the month that was the one that spoke to you.
The topics are Focus on Yourself; Find Your Purpose; Make More Time; Change Your Habits; Change Your Brain, Change Your Life; Lead Like a Mom; Fuel for You and Your Family; The Strength for Motherhood; The Healthy Home; Strengthen Your Family Bonds: Leave Your Legacy and Celebrate.
At the beginning, you figure out what your dream is and then turn it into plan with measurable goals.
The workbook allows moms to create a personal plan for themselves. “It’s different for all of us,” she says.
One thing she does know: Moms are really good at doing too much, too fast. “I’d rather see us build true habits.” This isn’t a New Year’s resolution book. This is a New Year’s (or any time of the year) action plan.
“As a business owner, we put together a project plan,” she says. “Here are the steps. We calendar it out.”
She’s applying the same project plan to motherhood, she says.
And with any self-improvement path, including Fit4Mom workouts, Druxman wants you to start slowly. If it is becoming more fit, she wants you to start with a 10-minute walk each day and then build up, rather then going full on into a high-intensity aerobics class. “Find the smallest bite that you feel is achievable and can be part of your habit,” she says.
Be patient, because it does all add up. “A 1 percent difference each time will add up to 100 percent over the year,” she says.
When it comes to practicing what she preaches, Druxman isn’t perfect, but she regularly does these self-care exercises at home. “My children would roll their eyes,” she says. “They live this. They are definitely used to having a mom all about self-development and tracking and those kinds of things. They would think I’m pretty authentic about what I’m teaching.”
They also remember the time when she wasn’t being an empowered mama. For her it was always about feeling torn, like she wasn’t spending enough time on her family and enough time on her business, and trying to multitask on both. “It was always, ‘One more minute, one more minute,’” as she was trying to be on her phone but be with her children, too. She says. “I wasn’t present with any of them.”
One of the key lessons in “Empowered Mama” is how to be present, to focus on one thing at a time and really give that your attention.
The other is about taking things off your plate. “Being busy is like a badge of honor,” she says. “Create a new conversation. It’s not about being busy. It’s about having purpose.”
Feel empowered to say no to something. “It’s actually refreshing when I ask someone for something and they say, ‘No’ to me. When they say, ‘No,’ they are too busy and I really respect that.
“It’s safe to say that if it’s not a ‘Hell, yeah,’ then it’s a, ‘No.’”
And if you do say yes to something, you have to say no to something else. Think about it as the professional organizer’s advice: If you bring something new into the closet, you have to get rid of something else. That works in life, too.
“Give yourself more space,” she says.
One thing Druxman wants moms to think about is their “minimum effective dose of wellness” — what do you need to do each day to be well, physically and mentally. It might be that you need to move 20 minutes a day, or meditate for five minutes or journal or pray. It should be a list you can check off: As long as I do these three things, all will be right in my world.
The book, she says, “is giving them the permission to take some time and check in on how they are really feeling in their life, the space to check in and ask, ‘Am I off track?’”
She’s hoping the book with help moms be more present, less busy, more fulfilled. And maybe then, we can see ourselves as thought leaders, she says.
“The Dalai Lama said, ‘The world will be saved by the Western woman,’” Druxman says, “I think the world will be saved by a mom.”