Today I have a special guest: my fifteen-year-old daughter, Kate, on the podcast for the second time! As she gets older, she’s started to understand a little more about the world and how things work. So, let’s dive into hearing Kate’s perspective on raising body-positive teenagers.
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/249
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- What Kate learned about nutrition as becoming a vegetarian (7:31, 8:11)
- Body confidence during teenage years (11:05, 11:25, 11:55)
- Modeling confidence and how it can help boost body confidence among teens (12:38, 13:32)
- What do teenagers need most from their parents coming from a teens perspective (19:30, 20:28)
- You are not your body, you are so much deeper and more than that (22:44)
- If you want something, you have to actually go out and take the steps. Make progress towards what you want, rather than just looking at it and wishing you had it (26:16)
You're listening to Biceps After Babies Radio episode number 249.
Hello and welcome to Biceps After Babies Radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four. Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.
Amber B 0:46
Hey, hey, hey, welcome back to another episode of Biceps after Babies Radio. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke. And today, I have a very, very special guest; someone who has been on the podcast before all the way back in episode 39, and we thought it was high time that I invite my daughter, Kate Brueseke, back to the podcast.
It was time.
Amber B 1:06
It was time. I had multiple people reach out and say, “You should do another podcast with your daughter.” Did you know that?
I did not know that.
Amber B 1:13
And I actually went back and listened to the whole thing today.
Amber B 1:19
You were 12 years old because it was three years ago. And so now Kate is 15. And so we thought it was time to do an updated podcast with an updated, teenage daughter.
Look at me go.
Amber B 1:31
Look at you go and grow and talk about some things today. So if you want to listen to the first episode, where I interviewed my then 12-year-old daughter, you can go all the way back to Episode 39. But we are gonna dive in today and talk about some stuff. You ready?
Amber B 1:49
Okay. So the first thing I wanted to talk about was because– I actually, like I said, I went back and listen to that episode today. And it was funny to me to hear the answers that you had to some of the questions. So as you get older, you start to understand a little bit more about the world, you understand more about how things work. So I'm curious what you think Biceps After Babies is and what you think I do all day long.
A lot. You're working every single second. So that's really fun. But what is it? Yeah, is that the question? Basically, it's a company that you started because you're literally incredible in North Carolina. How long ago?
Amber B 2:11
Yeah, eight years ago.
Yeah. And you've grown this incredible business from you in your desk– in your bedroom to now you have– how many employees is it now?
Amber B 2:40
No, there are seven of us. Well, plus coaches.
Amber B 2:44
And so this huge, big thing. You have stickers. I have a sticker of yours– I have a sticker Biceps After Babies sticker in my room right now. That's incredible.
Amber B 2:54
That's when I made it.
Yeah, for sure. can I have merch?
Amber B 2:55
Made it. We made it in– so what do you think I do all day long?
Well, you're always on your computer and stuff.
Amber B 3:06
But what am I doing?
Every time I walk behind you, it's usually up to what's that messaging slack and stuff. Like talking to your employees and stuff and you're on Instagram and a lot of emails. And I don't know what the thing is like doing ads and stuff. Whenever I talk to you about your business, I was like, “Freaking Facebook ads.”
Amber B 3:29
I don't know what they're doing; they're not doing it right.
Amber B 3:32
They're not doing it right. They're in the doghouse right now
In the doghouse, for sure.
Amber B 3:40
So what do you think about me working?
I think it's literally incredible. Everything that you do all day is just you're working so hard for something and named to be able to see it grow is– even from my perspective, I don't have a great grasp on how much it's grown. But just to see you work for something and then actually come to fruition is actually really incredible. Really inspiring.
Amber B 4:01
It's awesome. But you said I work a lot? So do you wish I didn't work?
I think there was a period a few years ago where that was definitely something we talked about where it was I don't know, sometimes, I want to hang out with you like watch a movie or just we'd have girl's nights and stuff when the boys would go to where they went. But like we'd go choose to connect Cheesecake Factory and have a movie night. And there are times when I'd want to do that more. But you're just working too much. I think lately, it's gotten a lot better and you're maybe because I'm out of the house more. Like when I come back here good about being like, “This is our time. This is family time. And this is time we spend together.”
Amber B 4:38
Yeah, we do like to do Cheesecake Factory.
Cheesecake factory dates.
Amber B 4:42
Yeah, I think it's awesome. So one thing that's really important for me is to model a partnership between husband and wife and balance what previously has been seen as very traditional roles with an actual partnership where dad and I raise you guys together and split duties and tasks that have to do around the house. So what do you think about both dad and I both working?
Well, you're both currently working most days. You're both working, but I'm at school, usually. And I'm at doing out doing things. And so when I come home, it is usually you're already here and then dad comes home. And then we have time with the family. So I think that if you both have jobs that you are working with and enjoy, then maybe being able to come back and have that time with the family is something I feel that's really important to you guys. Anything you do is really well.
Amber B 5:36
Yeah, that's awesome. So one of the things I've shared on the podcast is that you went vegetarian.
Amber B 5:42
Almost a year ago.
Almost my anniversary.
Amber B 5:45
Is there a veggieversary?
Okay, no. There's not.
Amber B 5:51
There could be though.
There could be. But we're not calling it that.
Amber B 5:53
Okay, fine. So tell us a little bit about that decision and what prompted it and how it's going.
Yeah, it was literally Thanksgiving Day, a few last years.
Amber B 6:05
Last year because we did Thanksgiving the day before, and I went to Disneyland on Thanksgiving, which is a choice. And yeah, I kind of up to building up to that point. I'd kind of thought about it before the idea of just maybe not eating as much meat. And I tried to whenever I cooked for myself, I wouldn't make any with meat, but I would obviously eat with the family and stuff like that. But kind of on that day, we were just at Disneyland. And I was just actually just we're getting lunch and stuff. I was like, “I actually don't want meat because you're getting burgers.” And I was like, “I don't want it. I don't need it.” And so I got an impostor burger for the entire day. I didn't have meat. And that kind of was building up. Then I started working on that. And it just happened the next week, a few weeks after that. I just stopped eating meat, and I hadn't really gone back.
Amber B 6:54
Yeah. And part of me was like, “Okay, well, cool. We'll see how this goes. It's just a phase. Well, I thought it was a phase.” But it was just like, “We'll just see how this goes. I don't know, kids decide things all the time.” And yeah, you definitely stuck with it. So one of the things that I obviously do as well, I don't know, obviously, because sometimes vegetarians don't actually eat vegetables. But you have to eat a lot more vegetables. And so I'm curious about what you've learned about nutrition over the last year, or what have you integrated the things that you've learned about nutrition over the last year, especially as becoming vegetarian?
Yeah, I've definitely become a lot more aware of what I'm eating because I don't know with me, it's such a good source of protein specifically that you're just like when it's a part of your diet, you don't feel like you have to be less conscious. Or maybe just I was less conscious of what I was eating. That's also part of me growing up. But now that I've stopped eating meat. I have to be way more conscious of getting those proteins and vitamins and stuff from other places that I've had to be able to figure out what actually might be in certain foods. And instead of maybe just having a bowl of cereal, adding a bowl of cereal to make sure I'm actually getting the best I can out of certain food.
Amber B 8:11
Yeah, I've noticed that a lot. You're always very conscious about making sure you're still getting protein and having protein from different sources. Even if you're not eating meat. And having a variety of sources. Been really impressed with you paying attention to all your nutrition. Also, over the last couple of years, you've become quite the chef. And I think this is one of the reasons that it works is because one of the things that you told me or well, I told you early on, I was like, “Okay, cool. We can totally support you being vegetarian. I will cook some vegetarian meals. But the whole family is not going vegetarian.” So I'm not going to cater to just making vegetarian meals and you're unusual me what?
I'll do a lot of meals myself.
Amber B 8:54
Yeah, you don't have to change anything.
You'll have your food; I'll have mine.
Amber B 8:58
Yeah, if I need to, I can make food. And you've stuck to that really well. I do try to do at least one or two vegetarian meals a week and some at least that can we at least we leave the meat on the side. But there are some times it's not a vegetarian meal. And yeah, we're really a great job of going to the kitchen and making yourself something and putting something together that's in the kitchen and having it for dinner.
Yeah. And that's something I'm super proud of being able to figure out about myself and find the actual skill in the kitchen to be able to make that work for myself.
Amber B 9:32
So why do you think– one of the things I think well, actually, I'll ask you this question: Do you find that other teenagers your age think about nutrition or think about food. Is that something that you feel is unique to you? Or where did that come from that desire to eat vegetarian to pay attention to protein to eat vegetables?
I think other people my age are conscious of it. I always hear people talking about specific ages wanting to eat more healthy or something or but I do see a lot of people around me being conscious about the things they eat and trying to get a balanced diet and stuff, but I think, I don't know, maybe primarily eating well being entirely raised in this household where it is such an important thing to us. It's definitely helped me maybe see a bit more of it to be able to maybe latch on to it a little bit more even a little bit earlier than maybe some people around me.
Amber B 10:32
Do you hear kids at school talking about food? Or the girls at school talking about food, what they're eating or dieting, or any of those types of conversations?
Yeah, I do. And a lot of time, it's kind of sad to hear someone be like, “Oh, yeah, I wish I was able to eat healthier. I wish I was skinnier. I wish my body looked a little bit different.” And that's always sad to hear. But there are definitely also a lot of people around me who definitely have a really good relationship with food. And I see that. It's super exciting to see someone who's really happy about who they are.
Amber B 11:05
Yeah. What about body confidence? How have you felt your body confidence where do you feel that is for you? Because the teenage years are super hard with body confidence and being confident in who you are but also confident in your body? And where do you feel your confidence is right now? What does that been built on?
I feel like recently I've been at a kind of time where I'm trying to really accept who I am and loving myself for me and being able to then love others for who they are. And I feel like that's not always been the case. I've been in a really not great place with my confidence a few times and just having to rebuild from that is always hard. But I'm doing a lot better with it.
Amber B 11:52
Yeah, what do you feel shook your confidence?
Most times of transition in my life are always periods where everything in my life is kind of rocky. So it just adds on to that especially transitioning from middle school to high school and stuff. Is the time when everything's changing. It's just looking around and seeing everything changes and then looking inwards and being maybe this isn't the best either. Is always a hard period.
Amber B 12:18
Yeah. From a teen's perspective, there are parents listening to teens of all different types. But one thing I can say for most parents is that I think most of them want to raise healthy, body-confident, overall, confident teenagers. What is some advice that you would give to the parents to help them do that?
I think something that's really helped me is that kind of confidence and self-awareness don't come from anywhere. And even if it does come from you, it's way harder. And to be able to see that modeled for you is always way easier than just flipping the switch and being like, “Well, I'm going to be better about feeling confident in myself.” If you see parents modeling that confidence, it's way easier to reflect on yourself. I've always noticed you being super positive about your body and the people the body is the people around you. And that always reflects on me. And that helps me to have a better mindset about that.
Amber B 13:19
Yeah, I think it's such an important thing to reinforce that there's only so much we as parents can say. And there's a lot that is just cash-ins.
Yeah, actions speak way louder than words.
Amber B 13:32
Yeah, you just see, and you see modeled for you. Confidence has always been something that has been something that I've had from a very, very young age. And modeling that for you guys is really important. And that comes back to what we talked about at the beginning of my business that's part of the things that I want you guys to be able to see and to learn is for you to go after your dreams, for you to set goals, and, as you said, be who you are. And I think that's super wise. Okay, let's talk about CrossFit a little bit because I actually went back and listen to the episode I told you about this morning. And you were railing at me for not taking you to CrossFit.
It's been a long time coming.
Amber B 14:17
So we finally did it. So tell us about your first time at CrossFit.
Oh, yeah. So at the place we go to, I don't know if that's standard, but you have to do three foundations classes.
Amber B 14:27
So as everyone knows, this was over the summer.
Over the summer. Yeah, when I didn't have anything in the morning.
Amber B 14:32
So going into your sophomore year.
Summer after freshman year.
Amber B 14:36
She's turning 15, summer after sophomore year going into her– sorry, so I remember after Junior freshman year ago going into your sophomore year. How do you do foundation? So it's three, personal classes with a trainer.
It was me the trainer and this other girl my age. We were able to kind of learn the basics and stuff and it was good to be able to be in the gym. But separate from everyone else to kind of get the feel, for the vibe and like, “What are we doing?” But then we transitioned to actual classes, and I went with you, and then eventually dad to do classes together. And that was super fun. Terrifying but really fun.
Amber B 15:12
It was really fun. It was really fun to have you there. So what were your thoughts about CrossFit?
I really enjoy it. Yeah, there have been a few times where I just wake up with them around like, “I want to go back to bed, and I don't really want to go.” But then, not that big of a barrier for me because you're literally driving me there. And I don't really have to do much to wake up and sit in the car. And I come back and record driving home. And I'm always just so glad that I went, and I like alternative music was a good workout. It was a good day. I feel like I can have a good day now. And it's I really enjoy it when I'm there.
Amber B 15:46
I feel like what you just said is what so many people listening can relate to that idea of like, “Yeah, I don't really want to do it.” But then afterward, you're always glad that you did.
Feel so good.
Amber B 15:57
Yeah. And it always feels really good. Yeah. So that's been really fun to have Kate at CrossFit. And she can't do it during the school year. It just doesn't work with her schedule. But during summers
And days off.
Amber B 15:58
And days off. Then she can come in and CrossFit with us. Okay, one question that I had about our family, and specifically the family dynamic, is how do you see some of our family's food times, or our family's rituals around food, or the way that our family views food, or the way that we eat food, or whatever in contrast to maybe some of your friends, families?
I mean, I think there's the underlying feeling of, specifically our family, we eat together. At least one meal every day, we sit down and have with the family. And not say that other people don't have that. But that's just something I noticed in our family that is super important to us. And because it's that time when you get to sit and eat together. It becomes a really important time. And we have really good meals, and we sit down and enjoy each other's company. And so along with that, we also have to try and structure meals like we always talked about. Like who cooks the meal, who cleans up the meal, and stuff. And the food itself is just we always try and have a main dish, and a protein, and a vegetable, and stuff like that. So they can always plan out and then eat together.
Amber B 17:22
And do we force you guys to eat food?
No. I mean, try your hardest. Two fights, but no bites. But it doesn't always work.
Amber B 17:31
Yeah, so tonight, we had roasted squash.
Yeah, that didn't go very well.
Amber B 17:40
Yeah, Kate was the only child who ate them. But we had it. It was on the table. Yeah, Dad, I, and Kate ate it. And everyone else ate what they want. And the boys ate the other things on the table the chicken and rice they wanted. Yeah. So it's one of those things that is it's always there on the table. But we don't force anybody to have a lot of that. Okay, in the realm of family stuff, what are some of our family mantras?
Our family mantras? Well, the one I just said two fights, no bites if it used to be a really big thing. But kind of the sentiment is still there.
Amber B 18:18
Kids have kind of grown up a little bit.
Yeah, it's a grown-up. We've grown out of two bites, no fight. I think something that's been it's not entirely a mantra. But a theme is to try everything once. It's like try it, sees if you like it. And stick with it. And like always, have something that you–
Amber B 18:40
You're not talking about food?
No, hobbies-wise. I went through the rock-climbing phase. I went rock climbing with dad twice. And I was like, “Not for me.” But dad and you both are always pushing us to have hobbies and things that we enjoy. And try everything just to see if you like it.
Amber B 19:03
Well, I think that goes back to your point that you were saying this time of your life is really just figuring out who you are, what you enjoy, and what makes you happy, and things like that. And so whatever we can do to facilitate you kind of then that discovery process I think is one of the things that we want to provide structure for. So from a teen's perspective, what do teenagers need most from their parents?
I would say a lot of people my age are so busy and wrapped up in everything that they're doing maybe out of the home. That when they come home, the thing they kind of need most is just that support and love that they might need to go through if they come home from a sports practice and come home and still have two hours of homework just to be like, “I'm here. What do you like me to do? Bring you a snack? Or do you want to watch a movie later?” Just that support that makes going through all those busy times a lot easier.
Amber B 20:16
Anything else? You have all the parents listening right now.
Amber B 20:21
What else? Is there anything else that you would say about what teens need from their parents?
I think another thing is just acceptance of teenagers are, for the most part, going to be who they are. And to just accept them for that. And to not try and push too aggressively for what you want from them. But to guide them in their life, and just let them make their own decisions and figure out who they are and what they want in the world.
Amber B 20:58
Yeah, it's this balancing between providing a soft place to land, and providing some guidance but without the constraints or the reins of this is how it needs to be. I think that the balance that most parents try to walk is, how do we keep you safe?
It's definitely super hard.
Amber B 21:18
And let you experience it as well. So that's really good. Okay, I want to circle back around to something we already touched on. But I want to dive a little bit deeper and that is bodies. And I'm curious. Do you hear a lot of girls talk about their bodies at school or at practice? Or–?
Yeah, definitely, I think everyone's super aware of what their body looks like. And then consequently, maybe seeing other people and maybe comparing or judging. And it's a topic that comes up not often. But every once in a while and it's kind of just a slap in the face when you hear someone else criticizing or talking even overly positive comments about other people's bodies are just–
Amber B 22:09
Yeah, tell me more about that.
I think when it's always it's obvious that if you hear someone talk negatively about their body or someone else's body, it's always gonna be sucky. But even if you hear someone overly compliment you all the time someone else's body, also grates on you. And then just to behave that kind of I don't know, it's almost a pressure to be always telling someone that they're perfect. Definitely also gets you and them down.
Amber B 22:39
Yeah, well, it's an overall focus on the body. Why is happening to focus on your body positively or negatively? It can just be a vessel or a thing that you use–
Rather than who you are.
Amber B 22:44
Right. And I think that the big thing is can we separate who we are, is separate from our body? You are not your body, you are not what you look like, you are so much deeper and more than that. And so I think I appreciate the wisdom that you just shared in that, that it's sometimes, we say you shouldn't do the negative, you shouldn't criticize your body, you shouldn't talk bad about your body, you shouldn't like, “Oh, we get that.” But we'd don't want to do the negatives. But it's sometimes more insidious when we start talking about the positives of complimenting your body and things like that. And it's insidious because if you have the positive aspect, you automatically have to have the negative, right? If you have a compliment, then when you don't look good, then you have to go to the other side. And so becomes really insidious because we think, “Oh, we're doing this great thing about complementing people's bodies or complement our own body.” But then inherently the other side of the coin–
The dark side.
Amber B 23:48
–there's always a dark side to that. Then the other side of the coin has to be well then we have to think bad about our bodies when they don't look a certain way. And so I think the much more healthy approach is kind of one that I'm hearing you say, which is much more of like a neutralize, it's like, “We don't have to say positive or negative things.” It's just like–
And yeah, even if you want to compliment someone about that, you can be more about the way that they chose to dress that day or the way they chose to do their hair that day, which are way more expressions of themselves. And the way their actual body looks is the way they dress their body. Or the way they, I don't know, what shoes they're wearing, or what earrings they have. Those are something they chose for themselves rather than something that they just have.
Amber B 24:33
Yeah, it's so good. But see the converse or things that people would say is like, “Oh, well, their choices created their body.” But I think it's just a damaging thing to make those assumptions about people and–
Amber B 24:45
Yeah and genetics and predispositions and I just think it's so silly to think that there's a standard– one standard for health and beauty and that health is what really grates my ears. Irks my tater.
Irks your tater.
Amber B 25:03
Is the fact that people feel like there's a look for healthy. Yeah. And that it just frustrates me to no avail. That there's one look that you can look at somebody and tell if they're healthy or not is not true. Are Eating Disorders a thing in high school? Are they anything that's talked about in high school? I'm sure that they are a thing. I'm just wondering if that's something that people have been talking about.
I think the only people you hear talking about eating disorders are people who have experienced them or themselves, or from another person like someone who's actively going through something like that is, from my experience, not likely to talk about it. Maybe it's just me. But I haven't heard of someone currently going through something like that to be open about it like that.
Amber B 25:53
It's usually a shame-based experience, which is sad because it makes you don't get the help that you need. Okay, a couple more questions. The first one is what are some things that you've learned from me?
Amber B 26:10
I think one of the big things is the way that you achieve your goals and your dreams. I've definitely learned that if you want something, you're not going to achieve it by sitting around and waiting for it. You have to actually go out and take the steps, even if they're small steps. But to actively make progress toward what you want, rather than just looking at it and wishing you had it. It's something that you've taught me a lot about, and I definitely tried to emulate it the best I can.
Amber B 26:53
Yeah, you pretty rock– you rock up pretty well.
I pretty rock it?
Amber B 26:57
You pretty rock it.
I pretty rock it.
Amber B 26:58
She's pretty rocking. And then the next question is what are some of the things that you feel you've learned on your own or you feel you've discovered over the last couple of years? Maybe about yourself?
I think a part of growing up is just becoming that much more self-aware about–
Amber B 27:21
Oh, it doesn't stop.
Oh, oh, no, it just keeps going.
Amber B 27:25
This keeps going to becoming more self-aware at 38. Look at you go
And just kind of learning what things you enjoy and where you want to go. We're still not there yet, but we're getting there. And the things that you want to do. And that's something that no one else can teach you that you have to only know truly who you are going to be and who you are trying to become. And that's something that I've definitely had to learn and continue to still continue to learn. And that's yeah.
Amber B 28:05
Okay, any final thoughts that you want to share with all the parents who are listening?
Oh my goodness, parents.
Amber B 28:12
About bodies, about food, about being a teenager.
Just be nice to each other. Be nice.
Amber B 28:24
We are nice to each other.
Kind of nice to each other, I guess.
Amber B 28:30
She's being sarcastic.
Yeah, it's probably not obvious over just audio.
Amber B 28:35
Yeah, I'm really nice to you.
You're super nice to me.
Amber B 28:37
I am super nice to you.
Yeah, and to just kind of let people live their lives. And just love them along the way.
Amber B 28:51
I love it. I love you.
I love you.
Amber B 28:55
You're a rock star. Super happy to have you come back on the podcast. We'll have to come back. Have you come back in three years when you're eighteen?
I don't like thinking about that.
Amber B 29:05
And graduating from high school.
Sorry, I had a thought and that was not.
Amber B 29:11
What was your thought?
Oh, just said I'm gonna graduate one day. It's like a bad thought. Scary thought
Amber B 29:16
Kids are not really ready to leave yet.
I don't think you're ready for me to leave.
Amber B 29:19
I'm absolutely not ready for you to leave. Dad and I, in the attic, sometimes Dad and I looked at each other. We're like, “I do this recently.”
I turn around. You guys are just making puppy eyes at each other. I'm just like–
Amber B 29:31
She's gonna leave at some point. No, she's not
You're gonna kick me out of the attic.
Amber B 29:37
But sure do love you. And I'm glad that you came on and shared all of your wisdom.
Dad and has me be by how many episodes out?
Amber B 29:45
Oh, I think he's only been on three. Your second one.
I actually don't believe that. I think he's been on where he's–
Amber B 29:50
Well, are you saying you want to come out and more? Is that what you're saying?
No, I'm just kind of mad about the days we beat but it's okay.
Amber B 29:56
All right. Well, that wraps up this episode of Biceps After Babies radio. I'm Amber now go out and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
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Sarah Leahy says
Gosh! What a well spoken, insightful young lady! Great job Mom!