As a working mother, I recognize the importance that exercise plays in my life. It is hard sometimes to make it happen. Exercise (or anything having to do with me) comes at the end of the to do list every day. Some days, I can barely make it to my bed before falling asleep, much less put in an hour workout after the kids are in bed.
I need to do it. After much trial and error, I have discovered a great balance in my life. So after all I’ve learned and been through (good and bad) here is what works for moms that work:
Let “Your Mother” Feed You: Mother Earth that is. So here is the deal: If it didn’t have a mother or grow from a mother its not food. Stop counting calories and thinking that a Lean Cuisine is going to get you there. It is not. Anything that comes from a box or a bag with a ton of chemicals is crap. Its low-fat claims are crap. It will make you feel like crap and it won’t do crap. Humans have evolved over centuries to process whole foods like meats, nuts, vegetables and fruit. Eat those things and you will feel great and never have to count a calorie again. I am a huge fan of the Paleo diet, but really any physician or nutrition expert would agree that when you eat real food you will see real results.
Drink A Lot! (Sorry, I mean water not wine): You know it, now do it. 8 glasses of water a day. That is about 1 gallon a day. This does not include sodas either (that’s chemically processed crap… see above). If it sounds like a lot, that is because it is a lot (and yes, you will pee a lot). Hang in there, water flushes fat and your body will adjust. Have some wine too, it is good for you and it counts as a serving of fruit! (not really)
Push Play: If you hate doing boot camp work outs then soon they will become a “work” that is on its way out. Find something you love to do that involves moving. What is it? Walking? Grab a book on tape, get the kid in a stroller and move it. Dancing? Do you own a DVD player? Then push play and Zumba away while the baby is in the swing, sleeping or your toddler is playing Legos. Whatever is “play” for you, do it! Don’t worry about how many calories you have burned per hour and just have some fun.
Sleep: Yes, sleep. Without enough sleep your blood glucose levels drop, (causing carb/sugar cravings) and cortisol levels rise (cortisol triggers the brain to deposit fat in the mid-section- yikes- not the place a mom wants to gain!) So go to bed at a decent time and wake up at a decent time. Don’t get me wrong, if you are a morning person and love life at 4 a.m. then seize the day! But for me, life is so much better when the sun is up and I have a cup of coffee in my hand.