Healthy Mommy: Make Your Health a Priority!
Children have a beautiful way of destroying your body during pregnancy and after birth. We all may not be able to “snap back” our bodies to that prime figure we had before the babies came; nor obtain the body figure that we always desired, due to the stress of balancing career and motherhood. However, we can focus on being as healthy and as fit as possible.
Growing up in a family where all of the women are overweight and obese, my health destiny was basically chosen for me. I have always had a problem when it came to managing a healthy weight. The birth of my son, Romeo, increased that challenge greatly. When dealing with school, career, family, and extracurricular activities, I, like many other mothers lost myself in that drive for success to the point that I forgot to take care of myself.
I know I was too busy taking care of Romeo and climbing the ladder in my career to step on the scale, understand my diet, or even try to workout. Fitness & nutrition became the bottom of the priority list for me and that was a HUGE mistake. After several health scares, I finally decided to make my health a priority. To ACTUALLY put me first and take care of myself so that I can be healthy enough to take care of my son. I wanted to share with you some tips in getting back on track with your fitness journey and making your health become a priority.
- Start with your Diet!
I majored in public health science and one thing that is stated in every class is how behaviors are vital to your overall health. Your behaviors can be the difference between life and death. The way you eat is a behavior. 80% of weight-loss is contributed to your diet and nutrition. You cannot work out a poor diet. Therefore, start in the kitchen. I joined a program called the Heat Challenge and the dietician developed a low-carb meal plan for me. It was awesome because it focused on what I could eat as opposed to what I couldn’t eat. I began to meal prep on Sundays with 3 different meats and a variety of vegetables/fruits. I stopped snacking on unhealthy things and really began to embrace the healthy lifestyle. The best part of all was I still could enjoy Chipotle!
- Find a gym with childcare!
Incorporate exercise at least 3 times a week into your routine. Wherever you exercise, make sure it’s a place that will allow you to bring children. Every gym that I have joined has had a membership that included childcare. I love taking classes and being around others so those were my go-tos when it came to the gyms I chose. I recently left my standard gym because the childcare hours weren’t great for my work schedule. I decided to workout at the gym at my complex because I could take my son and save money at the same time. In the past, I decided to join a boxing gym called 9Rounds. This was one of the best gyms ever for my fitness style. I have a lot of anger built up in me so I need to punch things on a regular basis lol. You might need dancing to make you happy so find a Zumba class with childcare or you may be athletic so try a club sport but make sure they will allow you to bring your kid(s) to practice. It doesn’t hurt to ask! The boxing gym I joined does not have a childcare center but I asked the owner and let me bring Romeo and allowed him to play in a safe spot in the front while I am working out. Make your health a priority and let them know you are a mom and I’m sure they’ll work something out!
- Consistency is key!
Develop a routine where you can eat healthy and workout without the burden of stress. For me, my routine involves meal prep on Sundays. Working out after work from 6:30-7:30 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and sometimes Fridays. This is the best way for me to manage my responsibilities at church on Wednesdays and Sundays and also balance getting out of the house and doing fun stuff with and without Romeo on the weekends. Whatever schedule fits you the best, put it in your calendar and stick to it. Make it a routine just like brushing your teeth and taking a bath. If you wouldn’t go a day without either one of those then don’t go a day without sticking to your diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It’s not so much about motivation as much as it is about commitment and consistency.
- Get your child involved!
I make sure Romeo understands how important being healthy is to me and to him. He now motivates me to go to the gym. On nights where I want to just go home, Romeo tells me ” No mom, I want you to go to the gym to be healthy!” He looks forward to our Sunday meal prep sessions because he likes getting the opportunity to cook. Everything I do for my health, I get Romeo involved. Once you get your child involved it will make every behavior change worthwhile! They will become your motivator, inspiration, and source of help when it gets hard. As far as I know, you only have one life and one body so take care of it so you can live a long time and see the fruits of your labor with your little ones!