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The WebMD Healthy You Challenge: Two Mom Makeovers

WebMD's expert team helps two crazy-busy mothers transform their eating, workout, and life routines.

Four Kids and a Sweet Tooth continued...

•15 full sit-ups. Instead of crunches, do military-style full sit-ups where you come all the way up. Lie down, knees bent, with arms overhead. As you sit up, you can swing your arms over your body and touch the floor next to your heels when you reach the top. Keep your lower back rounded as you lower yourself back to the floor.

•10 lunges on each leg

•20 shoulder presses with dumbbells

•30 seconds to 1 minute of jumping jacks or jumping rope

Repeat this routine three to five times, with short, active breaks in between. If you're doing it at the gym, run on the treadmill between sets. At home, you can get the kids to do this routine with you -- call it the "Swanson Family Olympics." Make it a competition to see who can do a wall squat longer or who can do more jumping jacks in one minute.

The life coach's advice

Heidi, it seems that you get really distracted fighting fires and become too busy to take care of yourself. Your big challenges are both planning and saying no. Like running out of groceries -- you know you have four kids and how much they consume. How often is that happening? Is it because you haven't put your life on a schedule where you're able to anticipate what's needed, so that the things that are important to you can have some place in those priorities as well?

First, let's try to create some structure around your job, which is being a great mom. You need to be a good boss for yourself and manage your performance. Sit down and outline your job description as a wife and mom, your duties in that job, and then your "human responsibilities." Plan all those things into your weekly schedule -- and don't forget to add the gym, some reading time, and a non–work-related date.

Then, for anything that's not a part of that plan, begin a practice of pausing before saying yes to it.

If something falls outside your core, planned, weekly routine, you have to say, "Let me get back to you." That creation of space before you say yes to something is really important: It gives you a moment to ask yourself, "Is this really the best way for me to be using my time?"

Help! I'm Starving for Me-Time

Polly Johnston, 33, Springfield, Va., grade-school teacher and mother of two young children, ages 4 and 2. Polly is 5'7" and weighs 220 pounds.

What do I want to change about my life? Where do I start? My schedule is crazy. I'm up at 6:30 to get the kids going, drop them off at preschool, and I'm at work by 8:10. I pick the kids up at 6 p.m., then we go home, do dinner and bedtime routines, and after that I work until 11 p.m. on lesson plans. The weekends are a little better -- my husband takes the kids in the morning and lets me sleep in.

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