For many of us, our 2016 New Year’s resolutions (remember them?) involved getting fit by dropping weight, working out and finding balance.
We’re now one month into 2016. How are things going?
Horrid winter weather may have kept you indoors and away from the gym. The January doldrums may have set in, or a weekend trips could have sabotaged any progress on the scale. The smallest change in routine can throw a wrench into your progress. Puff pastry with chocolate? Sure thing. Chips with lunch? A small bag won’t hurt. A doughnut after dinner? Why not? Extra marshmallow in my hot cocoa? Sure! A blizzard party full of fatty dips? Please pass it this way.
We’re all human.
But rather than declare yourself a failure and give up on getting healthy, use it as a learning experience. These six smart tips from healthy moms will have you getting back to your goals pronto.
1: Get Right Back on the Horse
“You don’t need a new year, new week, or Monday to start a resolution. Start today,” said Michelle Ray, mother of four, human resources executive and online fitness coach.
Sure, New Year’s resolutions can get you focused, she said, but there is no reason your goals can’t evolve.
Jackie Bean (not her real name) is the mother of two. She said her 95-pound weight loss had nothing to do with a New Year’s resolution and everything to do with being committed to a lifetime of good health. She gained a lot of weight by taking fertility treatments trying to conceive her first child. It wasn’t until she had to cut out dairy to help alleviate her younger son’s reflux issues (she was nursing him) that the weight started coming off. After a year of no dairy — and by default, no processed foods — she was down 70 pounds, her baby got better and she felt amazing.
2: Lose Weight in the Kitchen
Both Ray and Bean eat treats once in a while, but they make sure it’s worth it.
Clean eating is a way of life for them and for their families. Bean said that until it becomes second nature, all temptation should be kept out of the home. It’s also important for husbands to be on board for a family to be successful in the quest for health, she said.
3: Plan, Plan, PLAN Ahead
Healthy moms say they always plan ahead, even when heading out of town. They’ll bring their own food on road trips so they don’t rely on fast food or gas station fare. If they’re going to a restaurant without a lot of healthy options, they make do by ordering a side salad instead of fries and a burger without the bun.
4: Break the Rules
Some may claim there is no excuse to not eat right. But there are many instances where that is just not the case — usually at events involving kids that demand no outside food, and offer only items such as corn dogs, chicken fingers, French fries and onion rings — and zero drinking water. Sneak in nutritious snacks that are not harmful to anyone’s health — yours or your kids.
5: Schedule Time for Yourself
Make yourself and your workouts a priority by simplifying. It sounds so easy, but often, it’s not.
“You don’t have to put in hours at the gym. Establishing a routine with a little cardio, some strength training, and recovery workouts is all you need,” Ray said.
Bean relies on her husband to help make sure she gets in her daily workout. She said she never misses a workout on weekends because he can watch the kids. During the week, she’ll always get her 30 minutes of fitness in, even if she stops midday and finishes after her boys go to bed. She leaves her workout clothes on until it’s done.
It’s not just about exercise: Finding time to do something that you love is important, too.
6: Remember Why You Committed in the First Place
When temptation rears its ugly head — those nachos, that piece of wedding cake! — remind yourself why getting fit is so important to you. If you want to run a 5K with your kids or be able to roughhouse with your grandchildren one day, you have to set a healthy example for the children so they don’t face similar struggles when they’re older.