4 quick tips to help create a habit of a healthy lifestyle
Has fitness become a lifestyle for you? Is taking care of yourself a priority for
you? I get it – as moms we usually put everyone else’s needs before our own, leaving
us feeling burnt out and exhausted. Many of us often feel like the last thing we want
to do is workout or take the time to prep a healthy lunch once the kids are finally
down for a nap. Ultimately, it is best to find a form of fitness (working out) that you
enjoy. That may be yoga, walking, running, weight lifting, hiking, biking or
swimming – it can be anything – just get moving! When you do what you enjoy it
won’t feel forced. Get your family involved. It is important that we as parents model
a healthy lifestyle for our kids to emulate. Children are sponges, and you can bet that
they are listening when you talk negatively (or positively) about your body, your
weight, or food, in front of them.
Here are four simple tips to help create the habit of a healthy lifestyle:
1. Set your alarm.
Are you naturally a morning person? If so, I envy you! I am not. However, in this
stage of life with four young children, most days I feel like I am not a morning
person, nor a night owl. I am somewhere between a "just after I have had my coffee,
eaten a solid meal and gone for a run" type of person and a "completely exhausted
zombie that can barely form a normal sentence" person. After having Nora, I really
have had a rough time adjusting back to morning workouts or morning “me time”,
but I always feel much better and more productive when I wake up before the kids
and create a plan and goals for the day. I started by setting my alarm for 7am,
(which used to be completely sleeping in for me), and then each morning moved it
back 15 minutes. I pre-set the coffee pot the night before so I smell fresh coffee, as I
want to throw my phone alarm across the room when it wakes me from a deep
sleep! After coffee and quick breakfast (banana or toast) I head to the garage to get
my workout in before the crew awakes, or sometimes I just spend time reading my
Bible and sipping my hot coffee in peace.
2. Involve the family.
In the last few months my almost 6-year old son has grown a passion for running
(makes my heart melt). He has totally helped motivate me on the days I don’t feel
like getting my workout in. He often asks me how many miles I ran or asks if we can
do a workout together. Simple exercises like body weight squats, sit-ups and push-
ups can be done anywhere. A quick walk to the park with 3 rounds of 25 squats, 15
push-ups and 20 sit-ups, followed by a game of tag with the kids,
is a great workout on days you are lacking motivation.
3. Food as fuel.
How is your relationship with food – are you an emotional eater? Do you eat when
you are bored? In the past I did both. Sure food is meant for enjoyment, but there
should be balance and moderation. The bottom line is that food is fuel for our bodies
and can be medicine or poison. When you eat, think “is this going to get me closer to
my goal?” and if the answer if no, you might want to rethink on how badly you really
want to achieve your goals. Eat REAL FOOD. Shop the perimeters of the grocery
store – the center isles are where the packaged, processed and sugary foods are.
Lastly, have a plan when you go to the store, don’t bring the kids and do not grocery
shop when you are hungry! You will end up spending more and buying a bunch of
crap that you don’t need. Pre-plan out your meals for the week, write a list and stick
4. Set one BIG goal and many small goals.
Do you have a goal so big that is scares you (maybe a new PR, to run your first
marathon or start a new business)? If your big goal doesn’t scare you, then maybe it
isn’t big enough. Start by telling someone (a close friend, spouse/partner or even
your kids). Maybe you have a friend who shares the same goal and you can work
together to reach that goal. Having community creates accountability. After your
big goal is set, make some small goals that can be quickly achieved to help maintain
your motivation towards that bigger goal. I like to set weekly goals. At the beginning
of the week I make a list of goals for each: my personal fitness, my business and
even my personal and mom life (i.e. finish the laundry or take the kids somewhere
fun). At the end of the week, celebrate your goals and reward yourself (not with
food!). Maybe it is buying yourself a new pair of running shorts or going to coffee
with a friend. Before you know it you will have reached that bigger goal! It won’t
always be easy, but will definitely be worth it!