By Natillie Rauch
Whoever coined the term “summer vacation,” obviously wasn’t a mom. Without question, summertime is one of the busiest times of the year for moms. Because, let’s be honest, we’re constantly sidetracked by vacations, schedule changes, family commitments, summer camps and the like.
So, as the travel season winds down and the kids head back to school, autumn presents a great and important opportunity to begin, resume or tighten-up good health habits. After all, the most difficult time of the year (the holidays) will be here before we know it.
Here are some do’s and don’ts from a fellow mom (and personal trainer) looking to get back into the fitness groove this fall:
3. Don’t repeat yourself.
Getting my kids to listen the first time every time is a fantasy of mine. But, this piece of advice doesn’t pertain to that impossible challenge. Instead, I’m talking about exercising some basic control over meal prep. Put simply: Don’t repeat tasks.
When you are busy packing lunch and filling water bottles for everyone in the family, don’t forget that you are part of the family, too! You already have the supplies out, and you will already need to clean up. Don’t double your workload – make your lunch in advance, as well.
If you’re prone to neglect yourself, then prep your lunch first – not last. If momma is hungry and upset with her nutrition, everyone else pays the price!
Work from home? You’re not off the hook. Put your lunch on a plate or in a bowl so you don’t end up eating Cheez-Its, M&M’s and your self-esteem every hour on the hour until dinner.
2. Do buy for the family – not “for the kids.”
Whether you choose to admit it, you and your spouse will also be eating the chips purchased “for the kids” to pack in their school lunches. In reality, there is no such thing as food “for the kids,” because everyone in the household is going to end up eating everything.
Having healthy parents is far more important than ensuring your kids have their every desire indulged. We know for a fact that body-fat levels are crucial for long-term health.
Furthermore, the childhood obesity epidemic is real. We live in an environment where our kids have non-stop access to unlimited quantities of high-calorie, high-reward food. They don’t need temptation at home anymore than you do.
Will they complain? Of course! But children cry and complain about everything and (especially) nothing. Nobody can stop children from crying or being upset, but one of the best ways we can help them (and their parents) eat better is by changing what’s available in the house.
1. Don’t roll your eyes at this.
Put yourself first. Yes, you’ve heard this 1,000 times. But, hearing it does not necessarily equate to action.
Self-care is incredibly difficult for moms of any age, but it’s also the greatest gift they can give to themselves and their families.
I get three hours a day of childcare. This is all the time I have to do work and workout. When I opened a personal training gym with my husband last year, I would start this window of time by working – with the intent to finish it with a workout. However, after three months, I was averaging half a workout once a week.
My husband made the crazy suggestion to put my own workout before work on my to-do list during those times when I have childcare.
Don’t tell him, but he was right.
I’m more productive; I sleep better; I’ve lost weight; and I’m happier. Whenever I slip and let work consume my “me time,” everyone feels the change in my energy and mood.
Natillie Rauch owns True 180 – a women’s only personal training studio in Ballantyne. Find out more about them at www.true180personaltraining.com.