What's her secret?: 'Take care of yourself first'

abredeson@islandpacket.comOctober 7, 2013 

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Hilton Head Island's Laura Fromdahl is shown here with her two sons Luke, 11, and Lian, 10 Wednesday in the backyard of their Palmetto Hall home on Hilton Head Island.

SARAH WELLIVER — Staff photo Buy Photo

  • REAL MOMS, REAL ADVICE

    The moms featured in this column are not bragging about themselves. They often have no idea they are even being selected for the weekly feature until they get a phone call. Most are recommended by readers. Please send your suggestions of Lowcountry moms to features writer Amy Bredeson at abredeson@islandpacket.com.

Name: Laura Fromdahl

Husband: Jeff

Town: Hilton Head Island

Children: Luke, 12; Liam, 10

Occupation: Physical therapist at Drayer Physical Therapy

Go-to dinner: "Anything on the grill with some veggies and rice usually," Fromdahl said. "But my favorite dinner that we do a whole lot is breakfast for dinner."

Biggest pet peeve: "I had to give up on my pet peeves because they were making me crazy," she said. "I left them in the delivery room."

Hobbies: Swimming, biking, running, Jujitsu, surfing, water-skiing

Volunteer work: Fromdahl started a website called FitChicsMove.com, which is dedicated to empowering and inspiring women to get fit. Fromdahl said a group of women gather locally to go on field trips and workout together. Groups have started in different states and countries. She said she counts this as volunteer work because a lot of what she does is pro bono.

Favorite mommy moment: "When I see them being compassionate and caring to other children and taking on a leadership role, it just makes my heart smile," she said.

Most challenging moment: "Trying to balance the goal of having my boys become strong, independent men, husbands, fathers and leaders, and then trying to keep them sheltered from the world," Fromdahl said. "I want them to make their mistakes under my roof, and I want them to become independent under my roof so I can guide them all the way. ... You almost have to let them fall down and be there to pick them up."

Stress reliever: Jujitsu

Advice for other moms: "It's almost like when you're on a plane and they're giving you the speech, and they say, 'OK, if the plane goes down, you put the oxygen on yourself first so you can take care of your children,'" Fromdahl said. "When I first heard that, I thought, 'I can't do that. I have to help my kids first.' But it kind of makes sense. If you take care of yourself first, then you can better take care of the people around you. That's partly why I started Fit Chics. I noticed if the mom is healthy and is exercising and is enjoying life, then she becomes a better mother because she's got more energy, a better wife because she feels better about herself. ... I think a lot of times when you have children, you get so wrapped up in your kids that you kind of forget to take time for yourself. You've got to carve it out. So I don't have the cleanest house or the most organized house. Their clothes aren't always not wrinkled. But we have fun. We get through it."

Follow Amy Coyne Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.

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