Your clothes don’t fit.
Your hormones are raging.
You’d cut your right arm off for one more hour of sleep.
How are you supposed to exercise when you don’t have time to shower?
I get it. With 4 kids ages 8 and under I didn’t have one spare minute to “waste” on myself.
Plus, I wasn’t one of the lucky ones where the pounds magically melted away because I was breast feeding. If anything nursing-induced-renegade-hormones created fat storage if you ask me—but I digress, sigh…fat storage, the story of my life!
So I was 50 pounds overweight, uncomfortable, sleep deprived, and depressed.
I knew there had to be a better way, so here’s what works.
1. Cut yourself a break.
We’re so hard on ourselves after having a baby. We compare ourselves to celebrities who fit into their size 4 jeans while walking out of the hospital. (Ummm…I didn’t even wear a size 4 prior to having kids.)
Celebrities have nannies, chefs, personal trainers and housekeepers. If you had a smorgasbord of help you’d be Instagramming your bikini-wearing self too.
It took nine months to gain the baby weight. Give yourself at least nine months to take it off.
Savor this time with your precious newborn, because within the blink of an eye—they’re BIG!
2. Schedule your workout.
I mean it—get out a calendar and schedule it in!
When you have kids the day vanishes no matter what. You can’t wake up in the morning thinking you’ll fit your workout in because it won’t happen. Life takes over:
an unexpected doctor’s trip
an unplanned treat-baking-extravaganza for your child’s school
a 2 hour dog search for your pooch who escaped from the fence
You know how it goes.
Plan your workout during the day when you won’t have interruptions.
For most people that’s first thing in the morning before the kids get up.
If you’d rather pluck nose hairs then get up while the rooster’s crowing you’re not alone. Hang in there for two weeks and your body will adjust, I promise!
3. Prep food each week.
The American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that the greater amount of time spent on home food preparation was associated with a higher quality diet, including significantly more frequent intake of vegetables, salads, fruits, and fruit juices.
Pick one day each week and cut up raw vegetables, make a soup or chili, prepare a low-fat chickpea or sweet potato hummus, and throw together a salad dressing.
This way you always have healthy food on hand for snacks. Say goodbye to fast-food runs!
4. Simplify your meals.
You don’t have to serve filet mignon, double mashed potatoes and creme brulee every night (although I’m sure your family wouldn’t mind.)
Simplify your meals on weekdays when you’re working around childrens’ activities.
Sauté mushrooms and onions, throw it in with quinoa and vegetable broth for 20 minutes. Add some raw broccoli on the side and serve with the hummus you made on prep day and voila—frozen pizzas no more!
5. Exercise outside.
As moms, we get caught up in “house arrest.” There’s always laundry to be done—dishes to be washed—furniture to be dusted…that sometimes we don’t STOP what we’re doing and get outside.
Soaking up the sun and breathing in fresh air enhances mood and decreases stress. Plus, a study showed that those who exercised outside exercised for longer and more often than those working out indoors.
Since exercise is a natural de-stressor, I encourage you to take your fitness routine outside one day per week.
You can even incorporate your kids! Take them to the high school track. Do a circuit of sprints, high-knees, walking lunges, burpees and pushups.
Go from frazzled-mom to calm-cool-mom in no time!
About the author:
Mariah Dolan is a physical therapist, certified personal trainer, weight loss coach and mom of four. She believes in taking small actionable steps towards healthy goals for lasting results. To see a video on her 50 pound weight loss, please visit mariahdolan.com. Don’t forget to grab your free copy of Healthy Fat-Blasting Secrets while you’re there!