Happy 2018! It’s the start of a New Year — a time to set goals, start anew, and become a better you. Fitness is often at the top of everyone’s agenda, but it’s not always easy when you are a mom. You still have your kids hanging off your leg, keeping you up at night, and sucking the energy right out of you. How do you achieve ANYTHING with them in tow? Well I’m here to tell you that it is POSSIBLE. I know, because I’ve done it. I lost the weight of three pregnancies (60 pounds each one!) and I’m still keeping it together at age 46. Here are my top tips on finding time to work out as a busy mom in 2018:
1. Compartmentalize Your Crazy, Busy Life
I get it, you are busy, we are all flipping busy, and your to-do list is long enough to circle the globe. So what? We always have things to do. It’s a great thing because it means we are alive and have people who rely on us. Switch your thinking, mammas! When it's time to hit the gym I like to talk to myself and say, "Just get out of the house, Eirene, and go to the gym. Just go; everything that needs to be accomplished will get done after I work out." And, you know what? I am always right. Listen to me, I'm smart.
2. Tell Yourself You Deserve It
Face it, nobody knows you better than you. You know your inner thighs are rubbing. You know you're huffing and puffing going up the steps of your townhouse. You know you feel tired and stressed by silly life stuff that used to roll off your back. Respect yourself and listen, darn it! You aren't Gwyneth Paltrow and can't employ your own personal trainer to drag you out of bed. Be your own cheerleader and hire yourself! Your cheerleader is your biggest fan and wants the best for you. Listen to her because you deserve to have a body that's strong and a mind that is peaceful. Get on it!
3. Get Creative At Home
When we become moms the reality of never, ever being alone is a shock. In my parent coaching practice, GIT Mom, I hear from both moms and dads on how they want to get back in shape, get rid of the last 10 lbs of baby weight, burn off stress, and get the hell out of the house. I always tell them this can easily happen, sometimes we just have to be creative! Step one is to start working out from home. There are endless apps and online fitness videos available. It doesn't matter what you do, just do one and be consistent. If you have babies or toddlers hanging on your leg 24/7 then create a unique basket of special toys to entertain them during workout time. Even better yet — get your child on a nap schedule and you'll always know exactly what time you can workout. Adapt your equally important needs around your child’s needs!
4. Get Your Partner On Board
Enlisting the help of your partner is crucial. Even if your partner is not a fan of working out and can't get on board with your fitness focus there is still hope! I guarantee there is some extracurricular activity he wants to do, so get talking, make a plan about who is watching the baby and Get It Together! Alternatively, join a gym with daycare. Hello to mom freedom! This is especially important during the winter when you need somewhere to go and something to do to fill the hours. The gym daycare is the perfect solution. I would have never survived the baby years without dropping off my babes to get a much needed mental and physical break. You deserve a break every day!
5. Plan Your Food
Food glorious food. I love food. I love to eat and drink wine. Here's the thing though, I make very smart decisions. For example, how are those salty onion rings going to make me feel when I wake up tomorrow morning? If they look way too good and I have PMS then I eat them. Otherwise, I focus on healthy eating: lean proteins the size of my palm, and lots of veggies and fruits. I know, I'm not telling you anything you haven't heard before. Here's the science, guys: 75 percent of what you eat affects how you look and feel. So, if you're committing to exercise, you better commit to your diet even more. Plan your food! Go to the grocery store, order meals from healthy providers, make five pieces of baked chicken every Sunday, pre-plan your snacks and meals so you don't become hangry. Nobody likes a hangry mamma! Don’t make food decisions you'll later regret, and always remember to ask yourself if the fettuccine Alfredo is really worth it.
6. Enlist a Buddy
As much as I love going to my favorite gym to work out by myself, I have also started making regular gym dates with close girlfriends. It's an easy way to check-out all of the specialized studios that are popping up everywhere and to also connect with busy mom friends. We get to challenge ourselves, work out, and get caught up on life during our mutual sweat session. When I hear about a new studio, I always email a girlfriend I haven't seen in a while and say, "Let's try this, what days work best for you?" You can even email me and I'll meet you, let's motivate each other!
7. Make It Count
If you're going to use precious minutes in your already jam-packed day to spend time working out, the best way to get awesome results quickly is to work out really hard. I'm not talking about a minor heart attack, I'm talking about a workout that is so engaging you can't think about anything else besides what you're doing. Get off your phone and quit the chit-chat and really get after it. After the birth of my third son I started incorporating HIIT cardio sessions (high-intensity interval training) into my workouts. These short, intense workouts will get you stronger, faster. Who doesn't want to be more efficient? I guarantee this type of exercise works because my jeans are 2 sizes smaller and I run 2/3 less miles per week since adopting this workout regime. That’s a lot more time for watching "The Real Housewives"! The added benefit of really challenging your body and mind is you'll leave the gym feeling alive and at peace in your totally zany world.
8. Have a Goal
Define your goals before you start exercising. Why? Because having goals that you can focus on gives you the motivational energy you need to work through periods where your focus inevitably starts to wane. You will get to a point where you ask yourself, ”Why am I torturing myself and working out? What is the point? What do I hope to accomplish doing this when I'd rather be laying in bed with my TV remote?” Start slowly but with vision! Say to yourself, after 10 workouts I'm treating my tootsies to a well-deserved pedicure and envision them being rubbed and pampered. This will take your mind off of the drudgery and into happy thoughts. You must ensure you are exercising for yourself, not to impress anyone else. Going to the gym with the only goal of looking great is like starting a business with the only goal of making money. The effort can’t justify the results. But if you go to the gym to push yourself, gain energy and have a good time, then you can keep going even when results are slow.
You can do it, mammas!
About GIT Mom:
Eirene Heidelberger is a nationally renowned parenting expert and founder of GIT Mom (Get It Together, Mom!). Eirene empowers mothers and mothers-to-be by teaching a “mom-first” parenting approach. She is the only parenting coach in the country who advocates parenting techniques that put the mother’s needs center stage.
As a mom of three boys, Eirene has experienced the same overwhelm and anxiety most mothers first feel with their children. Her firsthand experiences inspired her to create GIT Mom which has been embraced by hundreds of moms around the world.
Eirene is a mom motivator, parenting champion and all-around expert. www.gitmom.com