By Kim Dolan Leto, international writer, fitness model and athlete (www.kimdolanleto.com)
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and overworked you are not alone!
Being a fit mom is not an easy task in today’s busy life filled with endless to-do lists. The trick is to bring balance back into the family dynamic to make things run smoothly again.
There is great truth in the quote “happy mom, happy family”. The main issues in our lives that can become unbalanced are time, organisation, fitness, eating and how we feel about ourselves. Here’s some advice on how to address these issues and create a happy and healthy family.
Learn to say no
One of the hardest things women need to learn how to do is to say no. Adding more and more to your schedule only leaves you burned out. It takes away any free time you might have had for yourself.Next time someone asks you to do something and you know you really don’t have the time, simply say no. Put yourself on your own to-do list. You owe it to yourself!
Make time for fitness
Whether you work or are a stay at home mom, working out first thing in the morning ensures your best chance of success. If you wait until the end of the day to train you will end up with too many reasons to skip your workout. Daily obstacles can sometimes sideline our plans. Training first thing in the morning will give you the energy you need to meet the challenges and demands of the day. However, if mornings don’t work for you then treat the time of day you choose like an appointment and don’t schedule anything else during that time.
Make exercise a family event
Training can be a family activity. Many gyms have classes for children. There are also an increasing number of specialist exercise classes that cater to both mom and child.
Hike, ride bicycle or run together as a family over the weekends. By doing this you lead by example and make exercise a fun activity that is shared by all members of your family.
Make time for you
A happy mom won’t feel guilty if she makes time for herself. How invigorating is a long bath, a good book, an incredible workout or even just lunch with your best girl friend? Give that specific time to yourself and it will benefit the whole family.
Get your sexy back
A lot of mothers don’t feel sexy because they are too busy sorting out a mess of chores and work responsibilities. Remember the girl who had hours to get ready and comb over magazines to shop for the perfect heels for that little black dress? Well, we can still be our sexy, sassy-self ladies. Yes, we wear a lot of hats – mommy, wife, professional, businesswoman – but we need to connect with our sexy side too.
Top tips for getting your sexy back:
Good hair – Nothing puts that swagger back in your step faster than a trip to your stylist. Make it a point to get your hair cut and styled regularly. Have your stylist teach you how to do your hair and make sure that you’re able to duplicate the look you love.
Find your scent – This shouldn’t be the baby food or the kids’ dirty laundry smell. Find a perfume you love and put it on with your pyjamas after a nice shower at night. Ah, what a way to go to bed!
Dress up – Refrain from wearing old clothes just because it is easier. Spend the extra 10 minutes it takes to dress yourself up – it will make all the difference to your day and your mood.
Add some sparkle – There are a number of small things you can do to yourself that go a long way, like using tinted moisturiser, bronzer or blush, mascara and your favourite lip colour for that vibrant look.
Do date night – Schedule a date with the love of your life. Have the babysitter come early so you have time to get ready. Put on something that makes you look and feel beautiful – and don’t forget the heels!
Plan a girls’ night out – Spend time with your best girl friends to laugh and talk. It’s tantamount to therapy.
Keep a journal – This is a little book about you. It helps you remember what really matters when life feels overwhelming. Seeing your thoughts on paper makes it more understandable than feeling stressed and not being able to pinpoint why.
Get your body back – This is a big confidence builder. When your body starts showing all your efforts in the gym and kitchen you walk a little taller, your head’s held a little higher and there’s an infectious smile on your face.
Get yourself and the family on a healthy eating plan – When you and your family eat healthy, nutritious food that’s when the magic happens. Meals should consist of lean protein, healthy fats, whole grains, low glycaemic carbohydrates, veggies and fruits. Each meal should include protein, carbs and fat. Keep healthy snacks with you at all times, as we rarely make healthy food choices when we’re starving. And our children and partners should eat the same way we do. Another great tip is to prepare your meals for the week ahead and get the kids involved. When children are involved they are more likely to become and stay interested. If you’ve got teenagers at home just be consistent, they will learn from your example.
Manage your time better – Moms usually make a to-do list and then spend their day frantically trying to cram it all in. Sound familiar? Prioritise your tasks in terms of urgency or importance and write your goals and daily responsibilities on a calendar or in a journal. Break these tasks down into monthly, weekly and daily plans. Then, before you go to bed plan your day. Each day should have a top three – the three main things that you have to get done that day. Running around chasing your to-do list will leave you exhausted, defeated and frustrated so put a calendar on the refrigerator with each family member’s responsibilities, as this will get everyone in the household to do their part.
Forgot the super-mom mentality and get super at being you. We need to support each other and not compare how much one person can do versus another. Being a mother is a gift and we should celebrate it… but it’s not all we are. We can still chase our dreams and achieve our fitness goals.
A mother is the backbone of a family and the person who holds everything together, so never forget – happy mom, happy family!
Source: Fitness Magazine
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Source: Healthy Nutrimania