Last week my husband was away at work camp with our high school youth group kids while I stayed home with my 19 month old daughter. I knew I was looking at a marathon-week, but I felt pretty out of my league when my daughter came down with a nasty cold Monday night. Tuesday I was able to get us outside between rain showers to go on a relaxing 20 minute walk to enjoy the fresh air, but I had no extra energy for anything else. After a nearly sleepless night Tuesday night, all I wanted to do Wednesday was have a movie marathon and not have to even think about the work that needed to be done; forget about working out! The week wrapped itself up with one last punch to the gut as I, too, got the cold my daughter had (gotta love those kid germs), and my hopes of getting in my daily cardio were dashed. Needless to say, a lot of prayer went into last week.
As a work at home mom, most of my work is done during my daughter's nap time and in the evenings after she is asleep. I only have a handful of clients that I meet with in their homes, so, when I’m not in season to coach volleyball, I get to spend about 95% of my time at home. Even as a personal trainer, and what I like to dub myself "supermom", I get so busy that it may be 9 pm before I realize that I haven't worked out yet or sometimes fall into slumps where I can't even muster enough energy to do basic chores around the house.
All this is to say that I understand the struggle.
I understand being so done with the day that all I want to do is eat my favorite comfort food (usually chocolate) and enjoy a mindless t.v. show (Grey’s) before knocking out.
I really, truly, deep-down get it, and that's why I want to give you a few tricks to keep you on track with living the healthy lifestyle that is right for you.
Now that you know where I'm coming from, I want to say this to you: If you are a mom, and want to get in shape, but feel bad for missing the mark, being too busy or tired, or simply not motivated to get your workouts in, I offer this essential piece of advice:
stop being so hard on yourself!
We as moms and wives are natural caregivers and giving all that we have is completely expected and certainly nothing to be ashamed of! The world expects us to do things flawlessly - to be amazing moms and wives, lead successful careers, have a well-kept home and food on the table, and rock a “sexy” mom-bod. If you ask me, that’s a lot of pressure resting on our shoulders, and it’s understandable that your health often comes last on your seemingly endless checklist of responsibilities.
If you are ready to change that, to invest in yourself, and get through the slump that I like to call “life”, listed below are a few great strategies to get you moving forward.
How to Move Forward Toward your Goals
1. Love Your Body as it is.
Fellow moms, this is one of the hardest things you will ever be asked to do. Growing a baby and watching my body change was hard to see, but I knew I was helping develop a life inside of me. However, post-baby my thighs are a bit less elastic than before pregnancy, my stomach still balloons out like I’m 6 months pregnant when I’m bloated, and when my hormones go a bit crazy every month, my stretch marks reappear. I don’t feel sexy when these things happen, and I want to be loved, desired, and wanted by my husband, so the easiest, and natural, thing to do is hate my body. I can guarantee when asked, you can point out things about your body that you don’t like without hesitation as well.
Now, I’m not as bad as I used to be when it comes to this, because God continuously speaks life into my beliefs about my body. Some days it is a struggle that I have to constantly fight, but here’s the thing: God already loves you as you are, and if you take anything from me, know that the fight to create a body that is desirable will always be draining and unfulfilling. You are already radiating beauty. Yes, even with dirty sweats and spit-up in your hair. Even more so, you are already loved so very deeply by God. Nothing you can do or change will ever stop God from loving you as he does.
2) Find an accountability partner (or a few).
Community is key to helping you find a routine that works for you. Friends or family who will support you with your exact goals or who have similar goals themselves will work best as accountability partners. These are the people who will remind you to invest in yourself, speak truth about who you are, and keep you focused on the vision you have for your lifestyle and your body. If you want someone who can give you direction, encouragement, and problem-solve your exact needs, feel free to sign up for one of my programs here: www.cr3ationfitness.com.
3) Get active with your kids!
Whether you stay at home, work from home, or want to get the most out of spending your time with your kids, this is a perfect opportunity to have quality time and get in a workout! Go for a walk, do some interval training inside, or get outside and set up an obstacle course with your children. Start with 10-15 minute sessions and increase the length of your session to fit your schedule and your goals.
For those of you with babies or toddlers - I have found that they love learning new movements and also love when you become a jungle gym while doing floor exercises. And honestly, anything that lets them run around and chase you, be chased, and burn crazy energy is a win-win in my book as well.
Let the fun begin!
4) Make a schedule and stick to it.
One of the most helpful things you can do is create a schedule and mark exact times when you are going to workout. Make them non-negotiable. Give yourself a reward for completing all of your workouts, even if you have to make one up later because of a conflict. If you need accountability for this, you should have already selected a few people to help you or visited our website and signed up for a program.
Again, I get that life happens. If you can’t tell from above, I clearly didn’t stick to the schedule I made last week, but I did do my floor exercises every day, and I did squeeze in two other low-impact workouts to help me stay on track. If you can’t seem find any energy, complete a few floor exercises for your core or try 10 minutes of yoga. Anything is better than nothing when it comes to creating a healthy habit of working out.
5) Schedule 10-30 minutes of alone time.
This is time in your day where someone else has the kids and you get to be alone and focus on yourself. Do this at least 3 times a week and embrace the alone time while you do something you enjoy! Don't feel like you have to exercise during this time. Health is more than just moving your body. This is relaxing time to focus on deepening your relationship with God and taking a breath from the hectic life you live as a mom.
6) Get in the ZZZZZs.
Remember that no-sleep night I had last Tuesday night? With children, sleep is never set in stone, but there are things you can do to put yourself in the position to add a few extra ZZZs around regressed sleep schedules and skipped naps. Getting enough sleep is the number one way to stay motivated and on track with your goals. Believe me, I know this is easier said than done, but try getting into bed a half hour early every night and giving yourself time to take a nap on your days off. The chores and work can wait an hour (or 3 if you're like me). Consider it an investment in yourself. You will be a better mom, give your body a reset, and have more energy to be more productive with the time you have left.
We here at Cr3ation Fitness help women and moms love the bodies they’ve been given, create a healthy routine that works for their specific schedule and goals, and speak words of truth and affirmation into each precious life.
Pregnancy & Beyond is series of 12 week programs designed to help women prepare for childbirth by strengthening the body, alleviating back and hip pain, and help moms recover from the stress of childbirth. Included are strength workouts to be completed at home, stroller workouts to get out with your little ones, prenatal and postnatal yoga, and at-home cardio workouts. All workouts are accessed and logged into an app that is designed to keep you accountable and provide feedback that motivates and encourages you.
All you have to do is let us know how far along you are in your pregnancy or how many weeks postpartum you are, and your 12 week program will include specific workouts to your exact needs.
If you are interested in this program you can sign up here: http://eepurl.com/cWon2r
If you would like more information you can check out our website: www.cr3ationfitness.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.