I really want to touch on the impact of exercising and healthy eating for us moms. I get that these things are tough to get done but know that when you take the time to get in daily exercise and focus more on your eating, you are setting the example for your family of living a healthy lifestyle.
Now that I am 5 months postpartum with my 2nd baby, I realize how much harder it is to get in even just 30 minutes of exercise each day. My demands are greater, I’m more exhausted, and honestly, I just don’t feel like it. Once they go to bed, I just want to curl up with some Netflix or close my eyes.
But I know, if I take time to take care of me, I am more in love with myself and a better mom for them.
So why should you take care of yourself and your health?
Ladies, we NEED the energy to keep up with little people. I currently have a 5-month-old, a 2-year-old, and an 11-year-old. They keep me on my toes for sure! I need as much energy as possible to keep up with our day to day lives and not drag my feet all day. And while I love a good cup of coffee (or two), I know that I need natural energy to feel good and keep our ship running tight.
In the beginning, when you start working out, you get into this cycle of feeling ‘too tired’ to work out. It can be tough for us moms because normally, the only time we have to workout is either super early in the morning before they get up, or after bedtime (that’s my time) when you just want to crash.
But know, after 2-3 weeks of exercising at the same time consistently you leave the ‘I’m too tired” stage and join the “Exercise gives me energy” stage.
Keep with it and know that the energy moving your body gives you will pay off!
After my second baby (my son Isaiah) I struggled with Postpartum Anxiety. I was having a tough time holding it together, was crying more often than I ever imagined, and felt my stress levels going through the roof. This was also a time when my husband was out of work (for 7 months total) and just thinking about finances had me eating my feelings.
Once I developed a healthy workout habit, I felt my stress levels decrease a ton. Doing some at home kickboxing, lifting weights in my home gym, and checking in with my virtual accountability groups, made me instantly feel less stressed and more in control.
Adding in healthier foods to my day to day diet also changed things tremendously with my anxiety. On the days I may have eaten more processed foods or had a binge, my anxiety was through the roof. When I had times I stuck to whole foods and used my food to fuel my body and not my emotions, I felt amazing.
So if you are like every other mom out there and have stressors coming at you every few minutes, know that by taking care of your health you are healing your body not just physically but mentally. Yes, living a healthier lifestyle can help you live longer to be with your kids but it can also make your mental health feel more in control and balanced.
I spent my daughter’s second birthday party hiding from the camera. I was 3 months postpartum with my son and haven’t lost any of the baby weight. Between the holidays, postpartum anxiety and stress eating, I was the same weight I was the day I gave birth.
And I was embarrassed.
I missed out on so many moments because of how uncomfortable I felt in my skin. I didn’t want to be in any pictures, I was wearing the same 3-5 outfits because they were the only things that I felt semi-comfortable in, and I would cringe every time my husband touched me.
My confidence was at an all-time low and I was miserable in my own skin.
But here is the thing. This had nothing to do with the number on the scale. That was just a number. If pregnancy taught me anything, it was how amazing my body was and I finally broke through of the tie I had to that dang number.
What it had to do with was my confidence. I felt like a failure because I knew that not having taken care of my health truly meant that I was failing myself and my family. I knew that, for me, it meant I was not making myself a priority because I didn’t think that I mattered at all.
I found myself avoiding going to meet up with friends, or wanting to even leave my house because of how I looked. When I walked into the store, I would look at my feet and just assume everyone was judging me since I still looked 6 months pregnant. This weight was not only affecting me physically (it was seriously hard to get up the stairs, let alone carry 30+ pounds of kids at the same time) but it was mentally making me beat myself up each day.
I had stopped loving myself. I had stopped believing I was worth the time and effort it took to gain control of my health again. I had stopped feeling like myself.
Once I began to work out regularly and cook myself and my family healthier meals, things changed. I was proud of myself for working hard, I was proud of myself for taking a little more time to get our meals set for the week, I was proud because I knew that I was working each day to love myself more.
The confidence you gain when you take care of yourself plays out in so many places in your life. You don’t realize how much of a hit your confidence has taken until you start to make changes to take care of you.
Once you start to take care of your health, your mood will start to dramatically change. For me, taking care of me with healthy eating and exercise can turn me from being Ta Ka to Te Fiti in just a few minutes.
The other day I was so cranky. I was tired of my daughter tugging on me and everything everyone was doing was getting under my skin for no reason at all. My husband asked me kindly “did you work out yet today”? I realized at that point, I hadn’t. Actually, I hadn’t done anything for me at all today.
So I stopped, laced up my sneakers, and got to work. I didn’t have a lot of time so I streamed a 30-minute cardio kickboxing workout, got rid of my stress, and ended the workout feeling so accomplished and proud of myself.
I stepped out of that gym red in the face, sweaty, and with a big smile on my face.
Exercise gives you happy endorphins and a huge byproduct of that is a happier attitude and mindset.
And here is the thing, as moms we set the mood and atmosphere in our home. When we are negative, naggy, and always in a bad mood, it impacts our family. I had a period before I started to take care of myself when I could feel my family walking on eggshells around me. I could tell that they were worried that I might change the mood of the room with my negativity.
That is no way to live, for both them and me. Taking care of you will change your mindset, change the mood in your home, and allows you to be a role model for your kids.
Would you rather their role model be one that is negative or one that is positive? You’ll impact them no matter what, so it’s up to you to decide how!
I preach self-care for a lot of reasons, and I listed 4 of the above. When you take care of your body and your health you start to believe in yourself more, you believe that you can accomplish more, you believe that you are worth the time and effort to take care of yourself and you love yourself more.
When you believe all of those things, you accomplish more, you’re more productive and you start to see your UNLIMITED potential.
If you find yourself stuck in a rut and not sure where to start, can I encourage you to start with focusing on you and your health. Get in a little bit of exercise each day or start to change some of your habits to be healthier. Over time, you’ll start to see things shift and change and you’ll believe in yourself more.
You are worth prioritizing your health so can I encourage you to just believe in yourself today? I’m giving you permission to take time to love yourself today, for you, for your health, for your mental well being, and for your family. YOU ARE WORTH IT.
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