OK, so get this: Both my daughter and my mom beat me at arm wrestling.

Really badly, too.

My daughter is 13 but very athletic. She's got some guns on her. My mom, well, I am not at liberty to discuss her age (lest I be disinherited), but I can say this: She loves a good 4:30 dinner. Also, she looks amazing, is charming, an excellent driver, a tremendous gardener and a gourmet cook. And obviously, she's in wickedly awesome shape.

So needless to say, I feel kinda lame. Especially since I also, um, fell asleep the other day when I lay down on the floor to do some stomach crunches.

Maybe I need to step it up. That's so much easier said than done.

I exercise. Kinda. I squeeze it in when I can, which is usually a small - as in on the verge of shutting in 30 seconds - window between the end of my workday and picking up the kids. If I'm lucky, I can hop on the elliptical and watch an entire episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," and yes, that's completely counterproductive because what usually happens is I end up with a recipe for something deep-fried that I have to try.

If I'm not lucky, I'm still hopping on the elliptical but I'm jumping off every few minutes to fire off a work-related email or throw in a load of laundry or check the computer to see if a "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" recipe is actually available online or if I will indeed have to pause the elliptical to jot it all down.

It's a far cry from those BK - before kids - days when the hub and I had nothing but time and enough money to hold an honest-to-goodness gym membership. And, we'd go. We'd work out at 5 in the morning and really break a sweat.

These days I don't perspire that much because I usually have some sort of kid-related event to go to afterward, and I don't want the other moms to judge me. Or my mussed hair.

Now, I don't need to be Sports Illustrated swimsuit-issue cover-worthy, I just want to be fit - and to scarf something sweet after dinner and not have it show up as a net gain on my butt.

And, of course, I'd like to not be embarrassed by other family members when we engage in feats-of-strength competitions.

Huh, I just realized: I do have pretty strong, nimble fingers. I type a lot more than my mom and my daughter. Bet I could take 'em both in thumb-wrestling.

Contact Kristen Cook at kcook@azstarnet.com or 573-4194. Cook was horrified the other day to hear the fast pounding of footsteps as No. 3 yelled, "Here are the scissors, Mom!" Yup, literally, running with scissors.