Posted by CharityArticles 0 comments
We are mothers. We love our kids, we love being a mom, but no one (to my knowledge) has EVER longed to be what is often referred to as “mom-shape”. Because, despite our needed sacrifice day-in and day-out, the long nights and sometimes mind-numbing days, and all the lists of reasons why we can’t POSSIBLY make it to the gym or make homemade dinners from scratch we really do want to be healthy and look great in some sassy mom-chic clothes. As a fashion designer once noted, we long to be what is coined as a “yummy mummy”. (Think British accent, not Halloween candy).
We want to look svelte and quaff but we are restricted by our need to make our lives function and our kids thrive. We put others first (as we should most of the time, to be honest) but in that we often push ourselves and our health aside. But, for the sake of our sanity and our kids, we shouldn’t do it. Because a healthy mama is a mentally-stable, energized, happier mama!
So, to help us out, I have come up with my “Better Body After Baby” short list of how you as a mom – no matter your budget or number or ages of your kids – can start integrating health with ease into your life.
1) Eat only real food – To help you body function at it’s best, you need to cut out boxed and canned foods that contain preservatives and chemicals. Nix things like margarine and all pre-packaged “diet food” from your life (read: you CAN eat REAL butter). These things actually slow you down and zap energy. Not to mention many are filled with simple, processed sugars that will store as fat pretty much instantly. If it’s not actual food, found in nature, not in a lab, take it out of your cupboard and steer clear. If you need help figuring this one out (and, trust me, I did!), start simple by shopping at Trader Joe’s – it’s an easy way to get you started and stick to a budget.
2) Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are no longer hungry – If you are hungry, eat a small amount. Then check to see if you are no longer hungry before continuing. Don’t eat until your stomach is full – that’s more than your body needs. Learn to take smaller bites and enjoy every savory moment. Then stop when you are satisfied. Repeat when you are hungry again. Our bodies are good at telling us their needs, we just have to retrain our eating habits and our brains to listen.
3) Drink enough pure water – I never knew how much water I needed to drink, but it turns our it’s a simple formula; you need half of your weight in ounces per day, minimum. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you need at least 75 ounces of water per day. That amount will help regulate you AND keep you energized.
4) Workout when your kids are AWAKE – This is a huge one. Try to find activities to do when your kids are actually awake. It’s much easier to schedule a workout if you don’t do it during their nap or sleep times; try and save those times to do other things (like sleep!)
5) If you miss #4, workout in conjunction with your “me” time rewards – Like to read books? Great, save your latest favorite for the gym. Like to watch TV? Great! Grab some weights and a resistance band and move, stretch, sit up and lift throughout your TV time. Like movies? Get our a “bike trainer”, load your bike onto it and go for it! (Or load it onto your ipod and head for the gym). If you save your “me” time/veg time rewards and combine it with your workout time you will NEVER, ever miss a workout. (I went from a dismally boring 45 minutes a day to almost 1.5 hours when I made this switch… and it FLEW by!) Also, you will be gaining energy, snacking on less unnecessary calories, and getting a mental break all in one.
The bottom line is this: it takes adjustments to daily routines to maintain lifestyle health. But, if you incorporate your kids into it and realize you are doing this for them as much as yourself, you will find motivation. In addition, they will begin watching you and imitate your good habits. Trust me, it is well worth the benefits to do what your body, mind and soul need. Go for it mamas! You are an elite group of self-sacrificing women and you deserve the healthiest body you can attain.