Stop looking at health and fitness as on more thing to add to your to do list and learn to integrate into your life.
Moms are pulled in a million different directions. We struggle, we almost never feel like we are doing it right, we question ourselves constantly. Then we are here talking about taking care of ourselves, our bodies, our health on top everything and everyone else we need to take care of each day. It’s overwhelming, even paralyzing.
The first step to crushing the overwhelm is to change the way we think about self care.
Health and fitness doesn’t have to be something we do on top of being a mom, it’s doesn’t feel separate from being a mom, it can be PART of it….and a really important part of it!
Focus on how you can integrate fitness it into your day, instead of adding it on.
For me that means getting my workouts in with my son by my side. I get them done in my living room, at the park or the playground (often with an intense game of tag between sets).
Instead of planning to go to the gym for large blocks of time a few days a week, try to break your workouts up into smaller more manageable pieces done more regularly throughout the week. Creating a more regular schedule with help transform your workout routine into a habit (a literal no brainer). With 15 – 20 minutes, in your living room, and little to no equipment you can get a lot done. You can find some examples here.
However, whether your workout is 15 minutes or an hour, it’s a relatively small part of your day. Adding intentional movement to the rest of your day, especially if it typically involves sitting at desk, is necessary. The little things you do (or don’t do) add up to be really significant. These things can me be integrated into your daily routine while adding little to no more time to your day. Whether you set an alarm on your phone to stand up and stretch every hour, take a short daily walk at lunch or after dinner with your family, or purposely park further away so you can get in some extra steps, developing these little habits can make all the difference.
Focus on finding healthy meals that work for the whole family, instead of becoming a short order cook so you can be “eat better.”
First, stop the endless scrolling through Pinterest for that perfect healthy recipe (that you will probably never make and will end up making you feel bad about yourself) and get back to basics.
Start simple. Learn to put together simple balanced meals using proper portions without cutting out any major food groups. My Balanced Meals for Busy Moms Cheat Sheet will help you do that. Just print it, hang it on your fridge and follow the simple, repeatable formula for putting together healthy balanced meals. Eventually you won’t even have to think about it, it will become a habit.
Second, stop sabotaging mealtime with losing mentality. I hear so often from moms that they can’t follow this because their kids (or husbands) are “picky eaters” or they end up making separate meals for them and the rest of the family. This is not sustainable. Instead serve everyone the same meal, just adjust portions. Start with something you know everyone likes and build from there. Give your picky eater a small serving (a “taster”) of everything. Then, when they have at least tasted everything, they can have seconds of what they love. If this is a major adjustment to your regular routine, it will take time, but don’t give up.
Focus on creating positive healthy habits instead of treating it as something you “have to do to lose weight.”
Kids are always listening (except when you want them to of course), be careful how you talk about your body, about health and fitness in general. Remember, as a parent you are modeling behaviors. How to take care of yourself even as a busy parent and creating a positive atmosphere around health are probably the two most important things you can model!
You know that moment every parent has where they realize “OMG, they are exactly like me?”
Using negative language and having a negative attitude about eating healthy or getting in a workout are learned behaviors. The memes are funny, the self deprecating jokes are a way of coping, but they are listening… and in reality YOU are listening too. If you say something enough you believe it.
It’s time to stop thinking about self care a something you should do in spite of being a mom. It’s part of being a mom. When you start to think about it that way it takes on a life of its own.
Click here to get FREE instant access to my Balance Meals for Busy Moms Cheat Sheet: my simple, repeatable formula for putting together healthy balanced meals without even having to think about it.
You choose the foods you like and that work for your family.