As a mum of four (the youngest being 17 months old) with my own business who ALSO studies fulltime, I know busy, I know tired and I know exhaustion. Though I also know that as a mum I need to take care of myself as the first priority – how can I take care of the kids if I’m not functioning? Well, I’ve found the perfect combination to look after myself AND make sure the family is feeling good too.
I am a health and fitness coach and yes, I exercise 5-6 times a week. I also recently ran the Melbourne Marathon. Why am I telling you all this? Everyone is busy, I get that. But as we chatted about above the first priority is making time to look after myself. So many people ask me how I fit it all in…. how do I have the time to eat healthily, exercise, look after the kiddies and do everything else. What’s my secret? Well, when I exercise and feel good about myself, I am more relaxed, less stressed have more patience, am more productive and have more energy throughout the day. As the saying goes – Happy Mum, Happy Family! It’s so true.
That’s why upon hearing of the new Weight Watchers Your Way Program, an exciting and innovative three pillar Program I leapt with joy, this is EXACTLY what I am all about and what I live by everyday. It’s an incredible HOLISTIC approach to life which is all about eating the right food, being active and feeling great – FOOD, FIT, FEEL. It’s not a quick fix-plan or diet, it’s a lifestyle change that will help you feel confident, positive, healthier, slimmer and happier. And the best part? It’s personalised just for you.
I don’t have a gym membership and you don’t need one. You can do so many exercises at home with little to no equipment in 10-30 minutes a day. I have trained hundreds of women to do just that, to workout at home, at a time that suits you.
The first battle is making the decision to make a positive change to your lifestyle. You need to have a WHY. Why do you want to lose weight, get healthier, get fitter, feel better? Once you have your WHY or your GOAL/TARGET, you are ready. You want this. You can do this.
You can fit so much exercise and movement into your day without even having to ‘workout’. If you are just starting out with exercise as part of your FOOD, FIT, FEEL here are some GREAT ideas to incorporate incidental exercise into your day (and the kids will get some too!):
- Park your car as far from the door of the shops as possible.
- Walk up the escalators, don’t just stand there watching the world go by. Always take the stairs where possible.
- Take the kids out on a nature hunt. It won’t be a fast walk but at least you are getting out and about.
- Go for a walk around the block. Time yourself and each day you do it, try and beat your previous time. After a while, walk a longer distance and do that for a week or two. Once you are a pro at walking, why not try a little jog? Lots of options!
- Walk the kids to the park. Do a few step-ups on the equipment. Play with them. Don’t just sit and watch them. Walk around. Chase them around. Do a few push-ups on a bench. Do some squats.
- Stand up whenever you can. Fold the washing standing up. If you are stuck in the office all day, get up every 30-45mins to fill up your glass of water.
- Take the kids out bike riding or scootering. If you have a bike you can join them or just walk while they ride. Tell them when they get to certain points they need to turn around and ride back to you and you will give them another target. Keeps them occupied and you can focus on walking faster too.
- If you are at work, take 15-30 minutes at lunchtime to get some fresh air and go for a walk, if you have some stairs, even better. You will be more productive in the afternoon if you do!
- Rather than meeting a friend for coffee, meet them for a walk instead. Lots of gossip and catching up while getting fitter and healthier.
- Walk/scooter/ride to kinder/school when you can rather than drive.
As well as moving as much as I can during the day I also give myself 15-30 minutes of the morning, before the kids get up, for ME. Yes, ME. This is when I get my workout done. This means I am working out at 630am, sometimes earlier. If my partner is home I will leave the house, pop my music on and go for a run. Majority of the time he leaves for work really early so I do my workout in our room. You don’t need a big space, just 1-2m wide and 2-3m long. Go into the lounge or family room if you can without waking the kids.
Now as a mum, I know the lack of sleep thing can be tough. I have been there. Though there are a few little secrets to making sure that even though you’ve had a bad night’s sleep, you can STILL get a little workout in. Pull all of your gear out the night before, ready for your morning workout. Now don’t tell anyone, but…I workout in my PJ’s most mornings. I just pop a bra on and get going doing a range of all different body weight exercises with some high-intensity exercises in there as well. Hand weights sometimes get used too. The Weight Watchers Your Way Program will give you a range of exercises perfectly tailored for you.
Weight Watchers Director of Program and Content, Martha Lourey-Bird has provided a fantastic work-out that doesn’t require a gym or any equipment.
Working out the morning works for me. I do it in the morning because I know that if I don’t do it then other things will always get in the way. Things pop up. It is also over and done with before breakfast and gives me energy for the day. But if working out during the day or after the kids go to bed at night will work better for you, do it. You have to find what works best for you. Just make sure you stick to it. Don’t let excuses get in your way.
If you want to join a gym, or a local fitness/exercise class, that’s great too. Find a buddy and do the Weight Watchers program together so you can motivate and keep each other accountable – it’s a great way to make sure you stick to your lifestyle change. You need to find something active that you enjoy but is also convenient for you as you will be more likely to stick with it and Weight Watchers will make sure that whatever you choose is right for you.
Taking part in a program like Weight Watchers Your Way, is great for the whole family. Not just because you will see the benefits in yourself, but you’ll see it across the whole family – it will most likely start with you. Enjoy yummy, healthy food and get active, have some downtime together and you will all see the benefits – feeling great, sleeping better and having more fun as a family. You can’t get better than that.
For more information visit Weight Watchers.