So many mothers have a million reasons not to go to the gym, exercise, take care of themselves… but the truth of the matter is that there is nothing better than feeling strong, fit and capable. You have to believe that doing what’s best for you, is doing what’s best for your family!
Just do it.
You will never squeeze out a lunchtime jog and regret it afterward. You children will not suffer if you are a little late in the afternoon and you will not die if you get up an hour earlier, even if you are exhausted. In fact, the early morning exercise will probably make you feel much more alert afterwards. Tell yourself that you are just going to do it.
Regaining your fitness doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming. Start small. Set attainable goals that are focused on working out for short periods every day. Mix it up with home workouts or attending fitness classes when someone can mind the kids. Be sure to schedule these ahead of time and commit to your future leaner self. Every little 10 minute workout builds back your strength to be sure, and it also keeps you committed and brings you one step closer to your goals.
Then record it.
There is nothing more gratifying than witnessing your body gain power and efficiency as you get older. We’re told by glossy magazines and on TV that we’re supposed to slow down and fade a bit as we get older. So when you move, record it. Prove to yourself that it’s totally possible and awesome to get faster and better as you ripen. Run a 5K with everything you’ve got and then, six months later, run the same route and compare your time. It’s amazing how motivating it is to see how we can improve.
If you miss a workout or devour a cheesecake while watching TV, dust off the crumbs and get back to it tomorrow. If you need to go on a business trip for work, don’t feel bad about enjoying that time. An hour of kickboxing will not irreparably harm your new baby. Never allow guilt to prevent you from forging ahead, and remember that now is the only time that matters.
YOU are important.
Many times, society leads you to believe that you are lesser moms for taking time for yourselves. The thing is, we don’t fade to black once we have children. Many of us are in our late-twenties and thirties — in the prime sweet spot of our lives. We have flourishing careers and deep interests, a passion for our family and for outside interests. We are still beautiful, thriving people and taking the time to follow our own dreams and passions will not detract from our abilities as totally loving mothers.
So make fitness (both physically and mentally) a priority in your life and be sure that it’s important for everyone’s happiness. It also sets a healthy example for your children.