You already know that staying fit and healthy gets exponentially harder when you become a mom. Before children, you have more control of your schedule. Even if your job was demanding, there was a higher level of predictability to the day-to-day. Then you became a mom.
All of a sudden, it seems to take twice the energy to get half as much done. You struggle to be on time anywhere because your kid is amazingly talented at creating last-minute surprises and emergencies. And even your best intentions for working out and eating healthy get sidelined more than you care to admit.
Am I right?
Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. I’ve been there too (and still visit from time to time). That’s why I’m sharing my best savvy strategies to keep your health and fitness on the list while caring for little people. These strategies saved my waistline and my sanity. So I’m hoping they do the same for you.
Stock up on grab and go meal options for everyone.
Oversleeping happens. Burning the eggs that you forgot were boiling happens. Lower the stress and keep your healthy eating going by stocking up on grab and go options for those days. Greek yogurt, all natural lunch packs, bagged salads, and packets of vacuum sealed tuna and chicken are just a few of the staples. Armed with these essentials, you can prepare everyone’s breakfast and lunch less than 5 minutes without creating a single dirty dish.
Know exactly what to buy and eat for figure-friendly meals each day.
Save the hour-long group fitness classes and marathon cardio sessions for the weekends or vacation.
We theoretically have time to fit longer workouts into our schedule. However, we rarely have enough free time to still do them when something unexpected gets added to the schedule. Raising little people gets tricky. You need a workout regimen that you still have time to do even on your most tightly scheduled weeks.
Commit to a workout time and have a backup plan
Remember when you knocked out the items on your to-do list without needing to schedule when they would happen? I do too. And, I distinctly remember when I realized that had changed after my first child was born. As a mom, if it isn’t scheduled, it rarely gets done. So, pick a realistic time to work out each day. Also pick (and schedule) a backup time too. If you work out at your normal time, you have a block of unscheduled time to do something else. Now you may be thinking who has enough time in the day to block off two workout times each day. We do IF we pay attention to the previous strategy and embrace short workouts. By short, I mean 10-20 minutes. And, YES that is enough time for a workout that makes a difference.
Plan your meals for the week and shop for ingredients in advance.
There aren’t many bigger threats to your healthy eating than neglecting to have a menu plan. By the end of the day, you have drained your energy with a million other decisions. Your children also seem to wind up at just this time of day when you are winding down. Without a plan in place, this is the moment that our healthy eating intentions take a back seat. We often throw up our hands and order pizza just before plopping down on the couch with a glass of wine while declaring “it is what it is”.
A weekly menu plan along with the necessary meal components take the stress and reactivity away from the “what’s for dinner question”. It can be as easy as looking at the meal board on the counter, picking a meal and grabbing the components from the fridge or dialing the number to order the food. You read that right. I always suggest that my clients have at least one option on their menu board that they don’t have to cook.
Pack your bags the night before and put them in the car when you wake.
This is pretty self-explanatory. If you find that you (or your kids) are always forgetting things at home, this strategy is for you. You will spend less time driving back home to pick up forgotten items. You will have the healthy lunch that you intended to eat. And, you just may have enough time to sneak in a lunchtime walk.
That’s all for today. I know that was a lot, so pick one or two things to get started. Then, when those strategies become a habit, pick another one and keep going. I promise, you really can stay fit and healthy while raising little people without going crazy. There’s hope!