The biggest thing we all hear when it comes to mums creating healthier meals or keeping active themselves, is that they have no time.
BY: JULIE COX
No one is asking mums to start working out every day for hours on end or to carry their meals around in freezer bags all day to ensure they are having their six small meals at certain times.
I think keeping things realistic is the main thing and working in and around your day to day busy life.
Lets face it, we are all mums so we really are no busier then any other mum – whether we have one child or four, whether we work part time or full time – we are ALL busy!
Some important things to remember is yes, yes, of course exercising will help you shed some weight, tighten and tone your body and all of the obvious, but it also does wonders for the mind. The endorphins that are released into our body as a result of going for a walk or doing a quick home work out sometimes outweighs the common weight loss benefits we always hear about. When you are feeling good on the inside, this shines through to your every day life. We become happier within ourselves, happier at work and ultimately happier towards our children. In turn, we are less snappy at them because we have more fresh energy as a result of making small changes. The benefits begin with us but flow right through to our children.
When it comes to eating healthier, I always refer to the theory of, “ we wouldn’t put oil and crap fuel in our car and expect it to run smoothly, so why do we put crap food in our bodies?”. We output what we input, so if we are filling up on oils, fats etc, then our systems won’t run effectively enough to get through our busy day to day lives. If we fuel our system right, we will have more fresh energy to want to be able to exercise. If you feel sluggish or wake up tired, this IS because of your diet and lack of exercising.
Diet makes up 70% of your results and 90% of how we feel. In saying this, the key is to have balance and moderation, a good easy rule is to stick to the 80/20 rule- we don’t need or want our diets to take over our lives, so keep your diet 80% healthier with lots of regular vegetables, proteins, healthy carbs at the right times and still enjoy the little things in life that as mums can keep us ‘sane’ with the remaining 20%.
I am dead against ever counting calories in your household in front of your kids. We tell our kids to eat breakfast and lunch etc so they have energy and don’t crash and burn. Sometimes we honestly need to practice what we preach and take a leaf out of our own book. We need more energy than our kids do, so we need to recognise this and eat accordingly. I think counting calories in front of our children gives emphasis and focus on ‘dieting/weightloss/fat’ and other nasty words that can cause some serious issues amongst our growing children.
HERE IS WHAT I SUGGEST TIME POOR MUMS DO EACH WEEK:
Weekly: Aim to do 1-2 walks every week for at least 20 mins each time.
If you can’t get out of the house to do this as you have kids hanging from your legs most the day, then I recommend buying a skipping rope and setting the alarm 20 mins earlier to do the following;
30 second skipping, 10 second break – Repeat this for 10 mins on and off. Pelvic floor issues? Swap the skipping for a mountain climbers.
Remember that as a mum, you are ALWAYS going to be tired but some days we can feel better then others and you’ll feel and look your best by introducing some exercises. Take note that while you may be tired when the alarm goes off but once you get moving the endorphins will be released into your system. It wont be long into your program when you are feeling great! You’ll have extra hours worth of energy to tackle your day ahead.
SOME TIPS ON HEALTHY EATING:
I always say that we prepare our kids meals every day so take an extra 10 mins a day and prepare your own! Use this phrase, even stick it on your fridge- “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. If something isn’t quick and easy and ready to go, you’ll fail and reach for something you shouldn’t.
Have a big green salad with beans or fruit in the fridge ready to eat cut up. Something you can just grab and fill up on instead of reaching for the biscuits in the pantry. Aim to have your water intake at approximately two litres plus every day – water is an amazing source for weight loss and flushing those nasty toxins out of your body allowing it to work at its maximum. Plus it’s a natural appetite suppressant!.
The most important thing is to remember is that we have children now and that we often don’t come first but in order to be a healthier role model and get more out of our day and be a happier mum we must take a little time to ourselves and make those changes. It will take some dedication, but remind yourself of the benefits and that your kids will see you being healthier and want to do the same. We have these little monkeys that copy us, even when we don’t think they are. They’re absorbing everything we do, so make the right choices for yourself and for them.
Julie is mum to a sassy 2 and a half-year-old girl who keeps her moving. Her passion for mums/women’s fitness has catapulted a career in a range of fields from exercise to eating healthy, supplements, and serving up great lunchbox treats. You can find more about Julie at www.facebook.com/MumsInMotion