Fitness. What does this mean to you? To me it means being healthy. I am not talking about the elite, the untouchables… I am talking about the everyday woman. Some of us are mothers, married, single or divorced. I believe we can reach our fitness goals while maintaining the household. My goal is to encourage and/or inspire you to do something for yourself.
I was talking with a therapist a couple of years back and she shared an analogy with me. Now, I am sure you have heard this before or maybe you are just hearing it for the first time but it changed my perspective. Here it goes: If you are on an airplane the instructions for the oxygen mask instruct you to place the oxygen mask on yourself BEFORE attempting to assist a child or another adult. What does this mean? It means that if we are not taking care of ourselves first HOW can we take care of those around us. This applies to everything, finances, fitness, nutrition, emotions and the list goes on. Sooo many of us feel guilty for taking 5 extra minutes in the shower or taking time off from the kitchen. Let me tell you that these things are ok. We need to set an example for our children. It is OK to take a timeout and recharge. It is NOT the end of the world if you don’t clean the kitchen for one night so you can workout or play a game with your kids. I say challenge yourself and take a night off. YOU DESERVE IT!
Now that I have addressed the guilt we all face lets move on to how we can better ourselves. I am talking fitness and diet. First , lets work on our schedule. How many moms out there have sports commitments 3 times a week? I am sure all of you! How can we get past this? I suggest you keep a calendar. For those of you that already do, pull it up and take a look at your schedule for the next week. Do you see a 20-30 minute gap anywhere? I bet you do… Nobody said you can only workout at 9am or at 6-7pm. Yes, society makes us think these are the prime time hours for us and if it does not fit then we don’t have time. I can tell you I have been up at 9/10pm squeezing in a quick workout. For those of you that don’t like to workout at night, since that is your “vegging” out time I would suggest an early morning workout. Yes, early morning….5am or 6am. After you do this for 3 weeks it will become a habit or even a necessity. What kind of workout only lasts 20-30 minutes you say…. Well, lets see…. A Tabata workout. This is where you take 2 exercises and alternate every 45 seconds. For instance, you would squat for 45 seconds then rest 15 seconds. When the 15 seconds is up you jump into the next exercise… which could be jump rope. You would then jump rope for 45 seconds then rest 15 seconds. Repeat for a total of 5 sets. This would be a 10 minute workout so I would throw in another 2 exercises with the same format and BOOM a 20 minute workout and so on.
Lets talk diet! Do you know how to make a room full of people feel uncomfortable? Talk about food! Not Top Chef or the deal at Chilis. I mean the other side, the dark side (to some). This would be protein, low carb, keeping track and drinking water. When someone asks me what I eat, they look at me like I am crazy. Like, why in the world can’t you just enjoy what I am having… Now I have to sit here feeling bad about myself so I am taking you on that ride with me. Haha! You know you have done it to someone or experienced it yourself. Here is an easy diet plan for the busy mom:
Breakfast: 3 egg whites and bacon (nitrate free).
I'm sitting outside the Viking Museum in Oslo Norway. The museum is closed, but the little ice cream stand in the otherwise empty parking lot is still open. I'm on my third ice cream.
Eating ice cream in Norway is about as nonsensical as it gets. The ice creams are the crappy kind you find in freezer chests at truck stops. Norway is the most expensive country on the Big Mac index (and easily the most expensive country I've ever visited), so each ice cream costs around $4 US. It's not really warm here. Oh-- and I don't usually eat ice cream.
When I travel in new countries for short periods of time, say under a week, I allow myself to eat anything and everything. I do poorly with grey areas, so my diet is either 100% on or 100% off (although some things, like soda and margarine, are so offensive that I never eat them). It's usually 100% on, but I recognize that with two or three days in a country, my time may not be best spent scouting around for a decently healthy restaurant. Also, I'm pragmatic enough to know that a few days of eating crap food probably won't affect my long term health.