I asked you moms when was the last time you felt in good shape and like you looked great. Here are the answers from the Facebook Mommy Stories group:
- a few weeks before getting pregnant
- after losing all the pregnancy weight after #1, before #2 came
- when I was running regularly, breastfeeding and doing Weight Watchers
- in college... 8 years ago!
- when I was 21, a senior in high school, sophomore in high school.... HIGH SCHOOL.
- when I was last on a sports team as a kid
First, I think it means you need to let go of the past. It is what it is, our bodies have changed. We can't be who we were in high school and college. You know that's true, right?! With or without pregnancies and kids attacking our bodies, we can't be that "thin" and young again.
We need to remind ourselves that we deserve to be healthy, strong, and happy about how we feel in our skin and body. We need to make the time.
Last summer at an annual doctor's appointment the doctor asked me how much time I spent working out in a week... my answer was on a good week it was three days a week for 30 minutes each. The doctor said, "OK, great, so 1 1/2 hours?" It stopped me dead in my tracks. That was IT?! Only an hour and a half of time I was spending on myself, my body, being alone?! It sounded ridiculous to me. How could that be?! But it was true, and that was on a GOOD week!
Why do we moms feel we cannot put time into our own selves? Why can't we make ourselves a priority? I know Mama Guilt plays a big role in this idea. I think pressures and also just the realistic demands of kids who do in fact need us every day plays a role also. I think we're all so busy with a zillion things we have a hard time focusing on ourselves.
I used to pump every single day. I changed diapers in the middle of the night. Even now I make sure my kids have clean clothes so I have to do their laundry daily. But I can't force myself to exercise every day or at least most days? I think we moms are too hard on ourselves, with high expectations of what we should and shouldn't be spending our time on. We should not feel guilty taking care of ourselves. That would make us a better mother, really.
I think we need to change this lack of spending time on ourselves this winter. It's a new year. Let's make it count.
The 5 Ws of Exercising!
We already know the WHO... that's YOU, busy mother. Either working out of the home or staying at home with the kids. YOU deserve some alone time, to be healthier and stronger. Yes, it's true. Read on for how to do that.
What you do for exercise depends on your interest, your available time (whether you go to a gym or do a workout at home, if you can get a sitter or not, etc.). Find something that you are interested in. Not sure what you want to do? Then try a class or two at a local gym to get started. Talk to friends, see if someone wants to join you, it's good motivation!
My favorite is the Couch to 5k running program. I've done this every winter since I had my son 5 years ago. It's 3 days a week, 30 minutes each of jogging, walking and eventually running. Love it. It's prepared me to run 5k races multiple times.
- zumba or other fitness class
- dance class
- weight lifting
- walking outside with stroller, or at the Mall or a local school if cold outside
- videos - I hear there are tons of them on You Tube
- kettlebell workouts
- Jillian Michaels 30 day shred
- Bob Harper videos
- Lindsay Brin videos
I also asked moms in the Facebook group if they had to give up time in their day to do at least 30 minutes of exercise three times a week when would they do it... only two people responded, one saying she'd give up TV time and another who said she could not give up time doing chores because it would drive her nuts to do so. Totally realistic answers! I think this tells us something though... we're freaking BUSY as mothers. I get that... but you can't keep complaining and feeling awful about your body if you aren't willing to put the time in to help yourself.
- do it during nap time
- do it before leaving work
- during lunch break at work
- first thing in morning
- after kids in bed at night
- mid-morning when kids playing with toys
- do more on the weekends if that's an easier time for you
- Twice a week attend a class at night that is longer like 90 minutes so you only have to do it twice a week instead of more times in a week
- gym memberships
- get equipment at your house - having a treadmill at my house is my lifesaver. I'd NEVER exercise without it. We got it with some tax money years ago and it's the best investment we've ever spent. You can find good deals on used equipment on Facebook sales groups, too, if you can't afford a new one. I watch TV shows while on the treadmill at home, it's perfect!
- Wii fit - be creative!
- Last summer I ran up and down our deck stairs on days that my kids weren't in the mood to go for a stroller ride with me. I worked up quite a sweat that way! It's doable to workout at home.
- bring kids with you
- set smaller goals- don't say daily. do it once this week, twice next week, etc.
- only 30 minutes, doesn't have to be a long time
- start with 10 minutes
- get a workout buddy to bounce ideas off of
- Fit Moms for Life on Facebook has tons of motivational quotes daily, ideas, etc. and a new daily program in January for two weeks, anywhere exercises.
SO PICK SOMETHING.
And try to do it once this week... then twice the next... until you feel that it's something you actually don't mind doing!