Are you a mom struggling to lose her baby weight? Or just don’t think it’s possible to be in the best shape of your life after having children? I’ve got kids ranging from 7 to 17 years old, and have watched my belly bounce between ironing board and beach ball multiple times … with a few lingering love handles in between. While there aren’t any crazy secrets to getting in shape — sorry … you’ve gotta move your body and feed it well — I do have a list of tips that help keep me motivated, strong, and accountable.
1. Make It Matter
What motivates you to get in shape? In order to push through and stay committed when the road gets bumpy, it’s helpful to remember why you started in the first place. Once you have a basic idea, get even more granular by asking yourself, “and then what?”.
For example, you may think you want to lose weight and get in shape to look hot in skinny jeans. But, once you’re in a smaller clothing size, then what? You’ll feel better, inside and out. And then what? You’ll gain confidence. And then what? You’ll be bold enough to strive for new things in life. And then what? You’ll work harder. And then what? You’ll find happiness, fulfillment, and love. How does that sound for a compelling reason to get fit?
2. Wake Up Early
When it comes to my day-to-day, I’m busy building a business, raising kids, running a home, often traveling, and so much more. So, yeah, I’m really busy. And I know you are too! In order to squeeze in ‘you time’ why not wake up an hour earlier before the chaos of the day begins? I’ve learned to enjoy the solitude and productivity that my morning hours give me more than I do an extra hour of snoozing.
3. Schedule In Your Workouts
I’m a big fan of calendaring my workouts. Whether it’s a class that you have to drive to or one you can do in your pajamas in front of your computer screen, schedule your workouts like you would an important business meeting. This way you have no excuses!
In fact, consider scheduling your workout first thing in those morning hours, before life gets in the way and you end up canceling your mid-day session. Plus, getting your endorphins and other feel-good chemicals flowing bright and early is just a great way to start your day.
4. Create Consequences
For me, working out is so habitual that I don’t even think about it anymore—I just do it. But when I was just starting my path toward a regular workout regimen, I created consequences. I would pre-pay for a spin or a barre class, and if I bailed then I would lose the money. So I had to go!
5. Focus On Intensity Over Duration
Two people can take the same workout class and achieve totally different results. It’s not just about doing the moves, it’s about pushing your limits! If you’re holding a plank, for example, don’t forget to tense and fire up your abs so you get the most out of it. And if you feel physically capable, opt for a harder variation. Add ankle weights when doing jumping jacks, use hand weights during squats to also create an arm workout, and turn up the tension of your bike during a spin class. A great workout often takes less than one hour out of your day, so push extra hard and give it everything you’ve got!
6. Shake Up Your Fitness Routine
After a while, we all get bored of doing the same thing over and over. And, while your regular workout routine becomes mind-numbingly boring, your body won’t feel challenged either. So, you’ve gotta change it up! I do a combination of yoga, barre, boot camp classes, and running. Whatever variations you choose, just make sure it’s something you enjoy so it’s sustainable for the long run.
7. Invite Your Kids
If you really can’t find a moment to sneak out of the house by yourself for a formal workout class, bring the kiddos along with you and make it a family affair. Create your own fitness routine using your local gym’s machines and free-weights. And, while you work up a sweat, encourage your mini-me to do some jumping jacks, run in place, practice sit-ups, do some burpees, try holding a plank, etc. If you’ve watched my Instagram stories then you’ve probably seen my kids at the gym with me. I love when they tag along because I get to workout and they learn the importance of prioritizing health!
8. Consume a Mindful Diet (& Make Room for Treats!)
Have you ever heard the saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen”? While some people think they’ve earned that juicy burger with a big bready bun and fries after an intense workout, if you really want to get fit then you’ll want to watch what’s on your plate too.
If you’re a regular here at The Flexible Chef then you may have heard me talk about the 90/10 way of eating. It’s not so much a diet, but more a mindset. It basically means that you eat clean, whole foods 90% of the time and splurge the remaining 10%. When done right, it can help you feel and look amazing without ever being denied the good stuff. Because if you exhaust your willpower too much by consistently denying yourself the things you crave, you’re likely to cave and binge. And if you eat too many treats, well, we’ve all been there and know how that turns out. To find out more about the 90/10 way of eating, check out my blog post here!
9. Don’t Snack Late At Night
Are you the type of person who wakes up in the middle of the night and stumbles to the refrigerator for a quick midnight snack? If so, you may want to think twice before biting down into that late-night treat. Studies have linked late-night eating to weight gain, acid reflux, high blood pressure, hormone imbalance, and trouble sleeping. Plan to finish dinner a few hours before bed and your body will thank you in the morning.