Before I even begin this post about being active as a busy mom, I just want to ask you to take a deep breath. I want to remind you of the fact that you are doing a great job as a mom. I don’t want this to come across as you need to do more, be more, add more to your plate, or push harder than you need. We get enough of the “You need to be more” message from our society and culture.
First and foremost, your value as a mother and a woman is not dependent on your weight, your dress size, or the scale; those are just numbers. Your value is not dependent on how many times you were able to workout this week or whether you “lost the baby weight” (*insert dramatic eye roll* if you haven’t read my blog post about “Postpartum: What They Won’t Tell You”, I highly recommend it).
My hope is to simply encourage you to realize the importance of self care during a demanding schedule and time in our lives. When we’re managing our household, feeding babies, and/or working, we can unintentionally forget to take care of ourselves too. Taking care of yourself is detrimental to your health and mind and can positively affect other areas of your life if you do it.
If you’re new here, you may not know about my history in the fitness industry. In my past life, I was a National Level NPC Bikini Competitor, Published Fitness Model, and Sponsored Athlete. And no, not an ambassador or brand rep. I was an actual sponsored athlete where the supplement company paid for my competitions, travel, food, and stay. My time in the fitness industry came during a hard period in my life. Feeling the need to “get away”, I focused on competing. It allowed me to do that in a healthier way than drinking or going out.
I was a Competitor and Sponsored Athlete for about 3 years (I think). After I felt God pull on my heart strings, I decided to stop competing and pull away from the fitness industry. It was time to stop being hyper self focused on myself, and start focusing on the new relationship I just entered into. It’s no coincidence that that relationship is with my now husband. I’m so thankful for where my life is now. And although I’m not in the fitness industry anymore, I still implement what I’ve learned into my new lifestyle. All of which I’ll share with you today!
Okay, let’s be real. I maybe workout 5 times a week (6 if I’m lucky). However, I rarely ever make it to the gym. The small private gym we go to doesn’t offer childcare, which means most of the time I have to figure out how to be active outside of the gym. So until a gym opens up near where we live that offers childcare, I’ll be…
Going On Walks
And I’m not talking about leisurely strolling. No ma’am. I’m a mom on a mission when I go on walks so that my heart rate increases. A brisk walk is a great LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) workout, which burns fat. I like to go during Owen’s nap time. I’ll load him up on the stroller, turn on a good podcast, sermon, or playlist and just get to steppin’ for as long as my schedule (or son) allows.
Working Out At Home
Since I can’t lift weights and workout at the gym, I started coming up with workouts I can do at home. I bought a set of 10lb and 5lb dumbbells, 50lb 30lb and 15lb resistance band set, and a mini resistance band set. That’s it. My workouts last about 20-30 minutes, but again only if my schedule or son allows. If you want to workout with me, I post my workouts that I do each day in my Instagram stories and here on the blog as well.
Riding My Peloton Bike
Originally I was searching on Facebook Marketplace for a treadmill or elliptical. I was surprised by how many people were wanting to sell their cardio equipment so cheap! Honestly, I was so close to meeting a woman to look at a treadmill in person when my husband said to wait. This is not an option for some, but my husband surprised me with a Peloton this year and it has been the best thing. So if you’re wanting to do cardio at home, but don’t want to pay full price — check out Facebook Marketplace!
Adding In Small Changes
If you really want to become more active, aim low. I know it sounds pessimistic. However, if you say “I’m going to workout for 1.5hrs 6 days a week” when you don’t really workout now, you’ll end up missing a day or two and then give up. Instead look at your usual routine and see what days work for you and your family. Maybe it’s only 1-3 days a week where you can really workout, and that’s fine! There are other ways where you can add in small changes throughout your day.
For example, let’s say your folding clothes. After you fold 3 or 5 items (depending how much clothes your folding, let’s be real), do 10 squats, then fold 3-5 more… I think you get it. Or say your cooking dinner. If I’m being honest, I usually play on my phone while I’m waiting on dinner to cook. However, another great way of sneaking in some exercise is to workout while you wait. Sometimes I do inverted pushups against the counter or lunges. I know it sounds silly. I think my husband would laugh at me if he knew I did that while I was cooking dinner sometimes. BUT this is a great way to get my heart rate up and make use of what little time I have.
Have you heard that saying before? What about “Abs are made in the kitchen”? Well if you haven’t, both are true. While it is important to be as active as you can be and get your blood pumping for cardiovascular health, eating whole foods is just as, if not more, important.
Since I work from home, I wear the apron in the household. I typically cook every meal for us and honestly I don’t mind; it’s my way of destressing and decompressing from the day since I don’t have a drive home to do so. Thankfully, my husband cares about eating healthy like I do. We both try and eat more home cooked meals and less processed foods.
For me, eating more real food and less processed foods isn’t so much about losing weight, as it is how it makes me feel. I have more energy, feel more full, and less groggy whenever I’m eating and even drinking clean. Speaking of — do you know what’s in your drinks? Unlike so many other unhealthy drinks including sodas and artificially-sweetened waters, 310 Lemonade has NO artificial sweeteners and is caffeine free. It also helps curve cravings and believe it or not, it tastes amazing. (Use code 310MalloryE for free shipping!)
However, don’t take my “cleanliness” too literally. I eat and drink clean, but if momma wants some dark chocolate, trail mix, wine, or popcorn – she’s doing it. I don’t count calories or track macros anymore; I’m trying to eat intuitively. Truthfully, after competing for years and being told I can only eat [x,y, & z] every 2.5-3hrs, I’m still learning how to actually listen to my hunger cues and decide what my wants. I’m still a work in progress.
Whether it’s getting more active or eating cleaner, start small. You’ll be able to reach more goals if you start with something you can realistically hold yourself accountable to. Most importantly, give yourself time and grace. Hopefully this post helped motivate you and gave you some tips on how to stay more active. Just know, your best is always enough and you’ve got this momma!