I’ve had the pleasure of personally working with thousands of busy moms over the course of my 20-year fitness career. But I never fully understood their struggle until the birth of my son Patrick 10+ months ago.Watching my wife Alicia struggle with working full time, Patrick time, breast feeding, trying to find time to workout and still try and be there for me is exhausting!
Mother’s are without a doubt the most selfless clients I have ever worked with, almost to a fault. Honestly, I wish they would just be a little more selfish sometimes and give their personal, physical and mental health a bit more of a priority.
Many good mothers miss the boat when it comes to their fitness.In general, they tend to think that it’s okay to put all of their personal ambitions aside for the good of their friends and family.But in reality, Mom’s are not as effective as they could be when deviating from a healthy lifestyle.
After all, a mom who doesn’t workout and doesn’t eat the right foods at the right times will not be running on all cylinders.
I ask busy mom’s who are stressed out and tired, and who just can’t find the time to workout:
Do you want to set a good example for your children?
Every single one answers emphatically “YES”!!! But if you don’t take care of yourself, you’re not taking care of your kids.
In retrospect, I have identified the 5 anchors that tend to hold most moms back from getting the better body they so desperately are seeking. Here they are, in no particular order:
Obstacle #1: Too Many Missed Meals… Especially Breakfast!
Many busy moms are simply on a roller coaster ride from dawn until dusk, dealing with the stresses of parenting and/or challenging careers.Mornings can be especially difficult since there is often the need to feverishly multi-task to get the kids fed and off to school. Not to mention the fact that many busy moms today have to deal with their own demanding, high-stress jobs.My wife Alicia leaves the house at 7am on Mondays and Wednesdays and doesn’t get home until 7pm! It is such a hard day for her both mentally and emotionally that eating is about the last thing she thinks about.
So missing breakfast becomes a reality, often leading to a host of other missed meals and snacks throughout the day. This can lead to cataclysmal series of events that deprive your physique of lean, toned body mass while simultaneously priming your body to overeat junk food later in the day and store unwanted fat. Furthermore, this starvation protocol creates low levels of blood sugar. This zaps your energy and leaves you feeling foggy, irritated, and lethargic all day long.
Look, there’s always room for breakfast, you just need to make the time!Better yet, plan and prepare a breakfast high in lean protein and fiber in advance the night before to best ensure you stay the course.
One solution that’s worked really well for my clients is a meal replacement shake like Eniva Protein Shake. It’s tasty and contains a whopping 25 grams of protein and only has 4 ingredients so no unnecessary fillers! What’s the best part about it? It leaves NO room for excuses! All you need to do is put 3 scoops in almond milk, mix, and enjoy. By the way, I personally love it mixed with a handful of spinach, some avocado, banana, almond butter and almond milk.
Obstacle #2: Failing To Make The Daily Workout Appointment
This one is simple, yet oh so powerful.Think about it.Moms never miss an appointment for their kids.Why? Well, yes, it’s because they love them, but more importantly, it’s because they love their kids enough to religiously schedule their appointments!
If you are a busy Mom who is serious about your fitness, then you absolutely need to take the same approach with your workouts.
In addition, you need to be sure that you schedule in your daily workouts when you are most likely to do them rather than when you prefer to do them. For example, you may prefer to workout in the evening, but with after school activities, dinner and homework that just may not be realistic. Getting your workout done first thing in the morning may be the best option…
In my experience, most busy Moms work best when doing their workouts either first thing in the morning while the kids are still sleeping, or right after they drop their kids off from school. It seems that too many unexpected obstacles come in the way of an afternoon or evening workout for the typical mother. But, regardless of when the best time may be, just schedule it in and stick to it like it’s a family commitment!
Obstacle #3 – Eating “What the Kids Like”
I’ve heard it a million times,
“My kids are very picky about what they’ll eat, and I just don’t have the time to cook two different dinners.”
Patrick is still young and can’t talk yet, but he is shaking his head like a mad man when he doesn’t want a particular food.Nonetheless, we get him to eat it anyways and make sure he is trying all types of different foods.
Mom’s, I know you’re super-busy and sometimes it’s just easier to give the kids what they want, but we are also teaching our kids about nutrition. Try and take charge of your kids diet and get them to branch out.
By the way, how did your kids discover “what they want?” Most likely by you buying quick-fix foods to give them in the first place.
“Yeah, but it’s quick and easy and it keeps her quiet”…
Don’t get me wrong; I can see the struggle. Patrick loves these puff snacks that are the go to when he is unbearable and they aren’t the best nutrition option.
After what my Mom went through and watching Alicia…I have the utmost respect for moms.I know I couldn’t do it.
However, I do remember things were different when we grew up – You ate what was served or you didn’t eat, remember? I know my Mom was a stickler for this!
So, my advice is to learn to cook healthy alternatives and teach your children what real food is. Also, you’ll find even more success with your kids if you get them involved with the cooking; make cooking a fun activity you do together.
Children emulate their parents. If they see you eating healthy foods they’ll want to eat them as well. And remember, you’re the one paying for the groceries! 🙂
Obstacle #4 – Too Much Cardio. Not Enough Weights.
This can be an article all by itself.
Cardio training burns some calories and is good for your health (to a point), but it simply doesn’t increase your metabolism or tighten your body like weight training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) do.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to see moms being active. It’s great to get outside and move, especially with your kids. However, you need to get in the gym( home gym is fine) and move some weights.
It doesn’t take much though. 2-3 great workouts per week will often be enough to help you lose the baby fat and get your pre-baby body back.
Obstacle #5 – Too Many Glasses Of Wine In The Evening
Nobody wants to hear that a glass or two of wine at night is going to stop your fitness goals in its tracks.But the reality of the matter is that alcohol has the double-edged sword of both paralyzing the fat-burning process while simultaneously creating fat within the body. Plus alcohol tends to lower inhibitions leading to the consumption of other junk food. Not good!
So I say, “zip it” to all of those folks who say: “consuming several glasses of wine a day is healthy because it has anti-oxidants and that keeps you from getting sick.”
Fruit and veggies have more anti-oxidants and tons of other health benefits, so we just need to cut the BS that wine is an integral part of a healthy diet.
Now, I want to be sensitive to those busy, hard-working moms who have a glass of wine at the end of the day to unwind and take some of the load off of their shoulders because I hear you. But I also know there are other healthier ways to de-stress that don’t have such a negative effect on your body composition. Try stretching, foam rolling, taking a bath, reading a book, etc.
So please remember- if you booze, you WON’T lose!
One last thing – any guy who thinks his wife has it easy at home while he’s out busting his ass “on the job” is a moron. Do the research and you’ll see that the value of a stay-at-home mom is a pretty high price tag, and that price skyrockets for the working mom. So, guys, go kiss your wife, say THANK YOU, and tell her you love her. While you’re at it, give your mom a call and tell her the same.
~ Building From The Ground Up