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The blog of pro athlete, businesswoman and mother of two Amanda Beard. 

SLaM

Paperback Release

Amanda Beard

Today is the official day that my book will be released in paperback. I will be doing a book signing April 18th in Tucson, AZ at the Barnes and Noble at 5130 E. Broadway starting at 7pm.

After a long journey, I'm healthy and happy!

Amanda Beard

“I had to work harder to be prettier. Even outside the pool, I saw the world as a competition. And if I wasn’t winning, I completely failed.”

“The perfectionist drive that made me a star athlete in the water, out of the water tore me apart. As I nitpicked every little aspect of myself, I discovered over and over again that I wasn’t good enough.”


- In The Water They Can’t See You Cry (Page 89)


Has anyone else felt this drive to be perfect, whether it’s in a sport, the workplace, social scene or family life? I struggled with this a lot when I was younger, but even as a grown up and a Mom, sometimes the pressure to be perfect can get to you every now and again.

Growing up in the public eye, I definitely felt the pressure to look like what society deemed as “beautiful.” Even though it seemed like I was on top of the world, with my first Olympics at 14 followed by a successful career as a model, sports broadcaster, author and now Mom, deep down I tore myself apart in every way to please the outside world. If you’ve read my book, In The Water They Can’t See You Cry, you know that this need to be perfect drove me into a deep depression with an eating disorder and other issues. Instead of having the most glamorous life, I despised myself. I was miserable.

And I used swimming to cope with my problems – it was literally my meditation, my escape. I know a lot of us try to workout, dye our hair, shop or do other external activities to make ourselves feel better in the short-term. I’ve learned through my long journey, that what really helps is working on the inside. I finally faced my reality with the help of my amazing husband, Sacha, and got help. Today I am very happy and healthy, and have a great life – with no regrets, believe it or not.  I’m a much stronger person from the things I went through.

Have you experienced similar struggles as a young adult or even a Mom or Dad, friend, family member, student, or athlete? I would love for you to share your story with me and how you recovered. My blog is a community where we can be open and honest, relate to and help each other. Can’t wait to hear from you!

Another CrossFit Day!

Amanda Beard

Today was another CrossFit day - I told you I was addicted to it!
Gene was my trainer today and helped me a lot with my form, especially on bench press. I'm actually a little under the weather right now, so unfortunately I couldn't push myself as much as I would have wanted to. But I will say, the tabatas surely kicked my butt! For those of you who don't know, a CrossFit tabata is performing as many reps of the assigned exercise as you can in 20 seconds - then resting for 10 seconds, repeating again and again for a total of eight intervals, or 4 minutes of exercise. The hardest tabata sets for me to do were definitely the strict pull-ups and bar dips. Doing them made me realize that I'm a little out of shape right now! But it also makes me excited to watch myself improve and get stronger. That's what fitness is all about, right?

What's your current fitness addiction? Mine is definitely CrossFit! 

Second CROSSFIT Workout of the Week

Amanda Beard

Today was another CrossFit day - I got my butt kicked! My trainer Shaun and I did chest-to-bar pull-ups and back squats, among other things. He really helped me with my form on my squats - it's important to have good technique otherwise you won't get the maximum results. It's also great to have a professional watch over you while doing strength moves to make sure you are doing the exercises correctly, even if you perform them on a regular basis. In addition to enhancing results, it helps prevent injuries too. Thanks to GTX Crossfit in Tucson for kicking my butt - I love it!!

Check out my workout routine from today and my battle scares to prove it! 





Lovely, huh? Hard work always pays off though!

Fun Kid Lunch Ideas

Amanda Beard


Every morning, I'm faced with the challenge of making a lunch for Blaise that he will actually eat! He gets pretty picky so I can't sway too far from the good ole fashion classics. But, there is a way to mix up the typical lunches for a better, more nutritiuos kid meal!

Here are some of my lunch go-to's:
  • Classic PB and J. And a great suggestion from one of my twitter followers: Mix it up by putting the peanut butter and jelly on banana bread. Or even slice a banana and put in between the bread. 
  • Turkey meatballs
  • Cream cheese and jam bagel
  • Cheese quesadilla
  • Pasta with parmesan cheese
  • Sliced-up hot dogs or mini corn dogs
  • Cereal with a side of milk
  • Granola with yogurt and fruit
  • Mini raviolis
  • Mac and cheese
  • Turkey wrap
  • Turkey and cheese panini
  • Rice with teriyaki chicken
Great sides to add to the above meals:
  • Green beans
  • Corn-on-the-cob or canned corn
  • String cheese
  • Cooked baby potatoes
  • Fruit. Some of Blaise's favorites are: Grapes, raspberries, blueberries, sliced and peeled kiwis, sliced apple/pears and watermelon balls.
  • Cooked broccoli with ranch side
  • Cooked baby carrots
  • Cooked sweet potato half
  • Rice with corn and peas

Hope some of these ideas help you pack more creative lunches in the morning! Let me know what your go-to lunches are for your kids.

 

My Crossfit Workout

Amanda Beard


About two and a half years ago, I started CrossFit, a core strength and conditioning program that incorporates fast spurts of intense cardio and strength moves for maximum results fast (yes, I do more than swimming!). It is amazing the results I have seen, especially after I had Blaise. I tried a lot of different exercise regimans to shed the baby weight quickly, but given my time constraint as a new mom, this was the program that worked the best! 

So, after a two-month break (I still stayed active, but with traveling, I wasn't able to commit to my usual CrossFit program), I got back in the gym - GTX in Tucson, AZ - yesterday. 

Check out my CrossFit workout below and try it for yourself. If you have any questions on the moves (they are in CrossFit lingo!) or how to effectively perform them, feel free to ask.


 
What do you think of my workout? And has CrossFit worked for you too? I want to hear from you! 

My Exclusive Interview with Sponsor Softcup

Amanda Beard

As you all probably know, I have been the spokesperson for Softcup since 2011. Today, Softcup debuted my exclusive interview with them in a blog as part of their "Fun Fridays" feature. I talk about my training, being a mom, my new book "In The Water They Can't See You Cry" and much more.

Check out part one of my interview with Softcup here.

Family Trip to Disneyland!

Amanda Beard

Yesterday, my mom, Blaise and I went to Disneyland and had a fun 14 hours!!!! We basically shut the place down! Parades, rides, everything was amazing! My mom's favorite ride was Pirates of the Caribbean, Blaise's favorite was The Buzz Lightyear ride and my favorite was the Peter Pan Ride. I think Disney is a place where you never grow old and can have an amazing/exhausting time with the whole family!

Has anyone else had a great family trip to Disneyland? Would love to hear about it! 



 

Being an Athena Warrior

Amanda Beard

If you didn't know, my partnership with Athena Water and their breast cancer initiative is very dear to my heart. Check out this video that tells why I decided to partner with them and the impact breast cancer has had on my family. I really do love being an Athena Warrior!




Has anyone else been affected by breast cancer? Please share your story - I would love to hear it.

Family Vacation Time

Amanda Beard

The last few months were a whirlwind with my book tour, training and Olympic Trials; I figured it was time for a much-needed vacation!

We decided to head to Apache Lake, about a 3-hour drive from Tucson, for a quick getaway trip this past weekend. We got to go boating, fishing, cliff diving, tubing, water skiing and the list goes on with some great friends.

It was actually Blaise' first time on a speed boat - he LOVED it. He also did some inner tubing; it took me forever to get him out of the water! While my husband was busy with a successful fishing trip, bringing home six large Mouth Bass, I spent the afternoon cliff diving, water skiing and inner tubing.

This trip was exactly what the family and I needed. It was so much fun that we are thinking of making it a regular tradition, especially in the Summer. There's no better way to enjoy yourself out in the Summer heat than floating in a refreshing lake. Wouldn't you agree? Plus it doesn't break the bank! Getting away for a weekend on the lake is definitely friendly on the wallet. 

What quick (and cost-friendly) getaway trips have you and your family taken this Summer? Sacha, Blaise and I are always looking for new places to go!

My Summer Reading List!

Amanda Beard

Summertime is the perfect time to catch up on the books you've been wanting to read forever. You can't beat sitting by the pool or on the beach in the Summer with a good book in hand.

So, I figured I'd share my top summer reading list with you:

  • Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov - An old classic.
  • American Psycho, by Easton Ellis - Whether or not you've seen the movie with Christian Bale, this is a fantastic book. My suggestion, read it then rent the movie!
  • Half Magic, By Edward Eager - A fun youth book that you can read to the whole family. My husband bought me this for Christmas because it's one of his all time favorite books.
  • The Pact, By Jodi Picoult - A modern day Romeo and Juliet that was turned into a Lifetime movie. I love romance and drama and this book has it all.
  • The Hunger Games Trilogy, By Suzanne CollinsI read these last summer while I was competing in Shanghai and quickly became obsessed with them. I know most of you have probably read them, but if you havent, go buy them NOW!
  • In the Water They Cant See You Cry, By: MeOk, I had to put my book on here of course. But I truly recommend it to anyone who has ever struggled in their life; any athlete, any father of girls, anyone in general. I would love for you to read and please tell me what you think. 


Please let me know of a couple of your favorite books to read so I can add them to my list!

 

Swimsuit Season

Amanda Beard

We’re in the middle of that time of year again – where our kids beg us to spend any free afternoon at the pool. I’m sure most of you can relate. When swimsuit season rolls around, it’s gym time!

Many of us moms don’t have the time to spend hours in the gym perfecting our beach bods and six-pack abs. That’s why it’s always good to have a few 15-30 minute workouts at your disposal. These quick exercise routines are perfect for women with a hectic schedule. Whether you’re waiting for your daughter to pick out her favorite suit or for your son to find his goggles, take those few extra moments to squeeze in a workout! These will help make your body tighter and more toned in your suit.

Try my suggested dry land moves below. Let me know if they work for you too!

Legs

  1. Backward lunges: 30 – In-place lunges, 15 each leg (can alternate too)
  2. Frog Jumps: 15 – Squat down, jump up and bring your knees to your chest
  3. Squats: 15 – Keep your legs shoulder-width apart, push your glutes out and make sure your knees do not go over your toes.
  4. Wall-sit: 30 seconds
  5. Repeat 3 times (or for as long as your body allows)

Core

  1. Bicycle Maneuver: 30 – While lying on your back, extend legs straight out at a 45 degree angle. Raise shoulders off the floor with your fingers slightly supporting the back of your head. Alternate reaching your right shoulder (not extending your elbow too far forward) to your left knee, and vice versa. Repeat 30 times.
  2. Leg lifts: 30 seconds – While lying on the ground, lift your legs (straight and together) about 6 inches off the ground. Hold for 30 seconds.
  3. Full body crunch: 15 – While lying flat on the ground, extend your arms and legs straight up in the air. Simultaneously reach your fingers to your toes, contracting your abs on the way up. Repeat 15 times.
  4. Repeat 3 times. (or for as long as your body allows)

Arms

  1. Modified Push-Up: 25 – Start in a plank position, lowering your knees to the floor at a 45-degree angle. Keeping your back straight, lower upper body into a push up; once your arms hit a 90 degree angle with your chest roughly an inch from the ground, extend your arms back up and repeat.
  2. Bicep Curls: 20 – Stand with legs shoulder-width apart and palms facing forward, curl your wrists up to your shoulders with a 3-10 pound dumbbell in hand (weight will very depending on fitness level and goals).
  3. Lateral Raises: 20 – With a 3-10 pound dumbbell, lift arms straight out to your sides, making a “T” shape with your body.
  4. Repeat 3 times.

*Remember, everyone has different fitness levels. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any fitness program.

Here we go!

Amanda Beard

This is it, folks! It’s a “make it or break it” kind of week – Olympic trials in Omaha, Nebraska. What better way to ease my jitters than to check in with all the awesome moms out there? Anything to get my mind off of the pressure and nerves is 100% welcome (don’t you worry – I’m still focused as ever – simply channeling my high energy elsewhere!). The competition is high and I’m feeling more ready than ever. Here is to hoping for a fast, impressive performance. But, enough about the meet!

Getting a chance to leave the house for any kind of trip is always an adventure with my two boys – it comes along with some good, bad, stress and most importantly, fun! While this week is not a typical trip for the family, it still involved running too close to our departure times and searching around the house to grab those last-minute, forgotten items (only to find that youactually did stuff them in your suitcase). Not to mention, this trip did not have days of relaxation to follow the hectic day of traveling! 

I’ll tell you what the rushed packing did give me, though: an even bigger appreciation for my Maytag washer and dryer. I realized before leaving for the airport that a load of laundry was sitting, still untouched and dirty, in the washer. Yes, like most of you have often done, I forgot to press the “start” button! Thank goodness those machines run so quickly and efficiently. My clothes were washed and dried in no time! For any moms out there searching the market for a new set, I highly suggest any Maytag appliances – they proved to be a lifesaver this week. 


I want to hear about all of your traveling experiences with your family – the good and the bad. How do you maintain your sanity when you’re running late to catch the flight or a suitcase goes missing? Share your stories with me!

Find Time for Fun Family Activities

Amanda Beard

I find it very important to get the whole family up and moving. It shows our children that exercise is not only important to staying healthy and fit, but it can also be fun! Exercise doesn’t always mean 30 minutes on the treadmill or an hour long training session. Make exercise something your kids look forward to too! 

Here are some fun ideas for you and your gang:

  • Grab your bikes and take a family ride. Pack a healthy picnic for a mid-ride rest stop.     
  • Take a stroll to your local park, bring a basketball to play a quick round of horse with the whole family.
  • Dust off your old clubs, make a trip to the local driving range and have a fun contest to see who can hit the farthest
  • A game of family dodgeball is always entertaining and you will definitely work up a sweat! Throw in a competitive edge and encourage everyone to get involved by letting the winner choose what's for dinner.

For any of those older kids who think they are “too cool” for family time, extend an invite to their best bud. They’ll be bound to get involved and have some fun with friends around.

So round up the troops and get moving – you’ll be amazed by how dynamic things become when your family’s competitive side kicks in!

 

Favorite Mom Time: Haircuts!

Amanda Beard

Kid haircuts are just another “mom thing” you grow to love to do! And when your kids are young, the first few are a BIG deal. So like every other mom – I took pictures!

Blaise would not stop wiggling in his chair. As you can see, we distracted him with a lollipop and it worked!

A big thank you to Jenni at Mad Max Salon in Tucson - my little man couldn’t look more handsome now!

Have pictures from your child’s first haircut? Please share - I’d love to see them!






 

Set Goals

Amanda Beard

Each day when you wake up you should have goals in mind: How can I be better today? How can I be a better mom, wife or friend?

Pushing yourself is the only way to grow and improve. While daily or short-term objectives are important, you should also keep a bigger picture in mind – making weekly, monthly and yearly goals. Goals can be as minor as striving to squeeze in a workout at lunch or as large as working towards achieving “employee or athlete of the year.”

For a little motivation and direction, I’ll give you a little taste of the goals I set for myself. Obviously these are for swimming, but they can be applied to anything you strive for in your life. I always approach a workout with more challenging times I would like to achieve during a swim. If I happen to fall short of my goal, I use the disappointment to fire me up to train the next day. As a long-term goal, I am aiming to compete in my fifth Olympic Games – without daily goals as stepping stones, I would not get anywhere close.

Goals are important for everyone. Focus on where you want to be in the next five to ten years of your life and put the ball in motion. 

Set your goals TODAY. Good luck!

Please share your swimming, work or personal goals here and continue to check-in. I’d love to hear from you and help motivate you to continue to achieve them!

Wake Up and Go!

Amanda Beard

If you’re trying to squeeze a workout into your already hectic schedule, always remember this:

The best time for you to get a workout in is early in the morning.

Wake up, put on your running shoes, grab your bike or swim bag and get going (without thinking about it). The snooze button is your enemy! 

 


Need help or motivation? Find a friend to train with and commit to each other – there is power in numbers. Working out in the morning will keep you refreshed and energized for the remainder of the day. Often, we find excuses during the day to avoid the gym. Even fitting in a workout midday can mean running on low energy, which makes it not only hard to motivate ourselves through a workout but it also often hinders how hard we can push ourselves too.

So here is my advice to you: Get up and get moving! Your life will change for the better, I promise. After a morning workout, you will be ready to conquer your day – you’ll be amazed by how much you will accomplish before the kids return home from school!

Good luck!