The other day I saw a post in my city’s mom group on Facebook asking a general question that struck me, “How do you guys find the time to work out? I feel like the only time that I have is so early in the morning, and I just can’t get motived.”
To this I say, girrrrlll I feel you.
I know some of you have already read my blog over on Lake Country Family Fun, but I wanted to share it here too because I am really proud of it. I feel like women constantly get pressured after having kids to bounce back and conform to what society sees as “beautiful”. Luckily for us, there are tons of incredibly inspiring women out there making changes and speaking up. Have you seen Ashley Graham’s TED talk? Watch it if you haven’t.
Here’s my piece on having a positive body image post-baby, and some tips I’ve been using to live a healthy, happy life.
Real talk – who else feels like they can never stay motivated to work out, eat right and lose the baby weight? Summer is here, weekend festivals and patios are aplenty and it’s hard to stay on track. I honestly never thought that at 16-months post partum, I would still be struggling with those last pesky pounds, but here I am still cringing when I think about my swimming suits. Not to mention that everything has shifted, I mean everything. I gain weight in new areas and have accepted the fact that my feet will never be a size 8.5 again (RIP all of my favorite heels).
The truth is, becoming a mom is such an incredible blessing, and our children light up our worlds and bring SO much joy to everyday life. But, I’m still over here getting down on myself about my mom-bod. I know I’m not the only one feeling this way, and I’m here to say that it’s okay. It’s totally fine to still feel like you’re not 100% back to yourself and it’s also fine to enjoy a margarita or two on the patio because summer is only here for a short while.
What’s NOT fine is being too hard on yourself, losing sight of what’s important and letting negativity rule your outlook. Trying to implement these tips might seem easy but it can be harder than you think.
I find that it is SO hard to get motivated to start a new workout regime when I know I’ve been slacking (avoiding might be the better word). To me, there is not a lot worse than squeezing myself into my spandex pants when I feel badly about how I look. By making a few small changes here and there, you can ease into the new normal and find success. Try taking a walk around the block to start, or play tag in the backyard with your kiddos. Another cool idea is one we do at work: each hour on the 50 (so 7:50, 8:50 etc.) we do a 1-minute plank. If you can’t do 1 minute – work up to it! I’m embarrassed by the color of my red face, but it gets my blood pumping. The love of exercise is not something that comes naturally to me, but I can absolutely agree that the high I get from a good sweat is addicting.
Be More Thoughtful About Your Intake
Diet is tried and true, but it’s also incredibly hard to stick with it. I always start small by adding in an extra portion of fruits and veggies to my day. My husband and I recently decided to remove as much gluten from our diets as possible. We both have a few food sensitivity issues and we’re trying to get to the bottom of what’s going on. Less gluten = less bread/pasta etc. Sad to see those things go but I know it’s going to make a positive impact. Also – drink more water! I think I’m sort of a rare creature, but I love water and naturally drink a lot of it. I know many folks don’t – so for those people I say, add flavor! You can use fruit, citrus or even fresh herbs to mix it up. I am also an advocate for fun water bottles – I bought this one at Starbucks a few weeks ago and keep it on my desk as a reminder.
Do Your Best But Don’t Kill Yourself Over It
Like I mentioned before, a margarita on a patio when it’s 90 degrees is my idea of a great day. When you fall off the wagon, it’s really important to remember that it’s okay – and get back on. We all have bad days that can lead into weeks that can spiral into months of not trying. If you let this happen, you’re only hurting yourself. So enjoy that piece of birthday cake or whatever the treat may be, but always remember that you control your health and attitude.
Set Small Goals
This is one of my favorite things to do. Maybe you want to lose 20 pounds or maybe you just want to fit into those jeans that you loved so much pre-baby. I like to set very small goals that can be easily reached, thus improving overall confidence. Improved confidence pushes me to keep going – so small goals are a win-win in my book. As an example, I will try for 3 days of exercise – getting my blood pumping for at least 30 minutes. If I hit that goal 4 weeks in a row, I reward myself with a new piece of workout gear like a cute shirt or sports bra. Another food related goal would be to make it the entire workweek without carbs (or even just start small by removing one specific food). If I can make it all week, we can celebrate with something really yummy … within reason. 😉 It’s all about finding balance when it comes to diet and exercise.
Here’s the hardest one of them all – how do you feel confident when you’re not confident? I would say for me, the best way is by leaning on friends and loved ones who support me. My close friends are extremely supportive of each other in our goals and journeys to feel confident in our skin. My husband is a huge factor as well; when we’re both on the same page about diet and exercise it makes everything so much easier. As moms, we hear this a lot but I think it’s worth repeating. We grew human life inside of us, our organs literally shifted to places that no organ should go to make room for our sweet babies. Some of us have done it again and again! Our bodies kept those babies safe and fed and nourished – so be kind to yourself and remember that it takes time for them to become ours again.
I don’t know how long it will take for me to implement all of these things, and if it will even work or not. But I do know that I only have this one body and I need to treat it right. The struggle with the mom bod is so real over here, but no matter how many times I fail – I know that tomorrow is another chance to change my attitude and outlook.