Alright mommas, how many of us made fitness part of our 2018 goals?
*Raises own hand*
Getting fit is HARD. Getting fit after you become a momma is HARDER.
You have less time to devote to working out, you’re getting less sleep, so you have less energy, and it’s so hard to take time away from your kids and not feel guilty about it. But here’s the thing – you want to show them that you value a healthy lifestyle. The only way to do that is to actually live a healthy lifestyle. Monkey see, monkey do!
Over the last two years, I lost 80 pounds and kept it off. I am not a fitness coach, and I didn’t major in nutrition at a fancy university. I’m just a mom who wanted to show my kids how important it is to eat clean and work out on a consistent basis.
I gained an incredible relationship with my kids where they understand healthy eating, and even encourage me to get my butt to the gym! I’m not going to tell you exactly what I did, because everyone’s body is different. What worked for me may not even work for you, but there are some general tips I’ve discovered throughout my journey that I’m happy to pass along!
Pay attention to what you’re putting into your body.
There are lots of great apps out there that are simple as scanning the barcode of what you’re eating and saving it within the app. Pick up a kitchen scale and pull out your measuring cup. What you may think is four ounces of chicken or one cup of berries could be completely inaccurate. Once you’ve got an idea of how you’re doing, search the internet for a calorie count calculator, and figure out a general idea of how much you should be eating to lose weight, maintain a healthy weight or gain weight.
If you don’t like a workout routine, you aren’t going to stick with it. It may take some time to figure out what you like to do, so try a bunch of different things! There are so many options out there for fitness nowadays; running, machine cardio, strength training, yoga, pilates, workout videos at home or even workout classes at a gym. Personally I love strength training, but I also add in cardio to keep my heart healthy. During the spring, summer, and fall I’ll take my son for a run with me. It’s great bonding for us, and he starts a healthy lifestyle mindset early on!
Food is not a reward!
Let’s repeat this all together: food is not a reward! Don’t get in the mindset of, “If I finally lose that last five pounds I’m going to treat myself to a pizza and ice cream sundae night!” Instead, focus on rewards being something not food related. Once you drop a pants size, you can treat yourself to three new cute pairs of workout pants, or if you finally drop that last five pounds you get that new pair of tennis shoes you’ve been eyeing for months!
Find ways to make your favorite unhealthy foods in a healthy way.
Ice cream is my absolute favorite food in the whole world, so I find ways to recreate it so that I can eat it often, and not blow through my whole day’s worth of calories in a single bowl. One way I do that is to make smoothie bowls. I use half a cup of milk, one tablespoon heavy cream, one cup of frozen fruit and one scoop of protein powder. I top it with fresh fruit and chia seeds! You can play around with this by using different fruit combinations or even adding greek yogurt to the blend! I love it because it tastes like dessert, but it delivers so many valuable nutrients. It’s perfect for a quick morning breakfast or a snack after your workout, and my kids love them too!
Most importantly, you are going to have days where you slip up. You may even have weeks or months. It’s okay. Focusing on the “failure” of a bad day is only going to make you feel worse and encourage unhealthy emotional eating. Instead, use it as motivation to move forward and eat clean at your next meal. It’s a healthy lifestyle, not a healthy month.