Maybe you’re finally on a roll and feeling like you got your act together. You’ve been eating healthy, getting into a solid workout routine and the pounds and inches are starting to come off. Then life happens. You or one of your kids might get sick or the family schedule gets crazy. The stress of everything causes you to become tempted by your favorite munchies. Some days you’re probably wondering how on earth do you find the time to stay fit as a busy mom?
If you did fall off the wagon, don’t beat yourself up. You ate some junk and it’s tempting to just give up since you blew it anyway. And before you know it, a day of eating junk can turn into a week, a month or longer. A few days spent without intentional exercise can turn into weeks or more.
Being chronically ill (lovingly referred to as being a spoonie) presents its own particular set of challenges. For me, a day with even one appointment out can wipe me out. Some days it’s hard for me to walk far because of the upper back pain that goes along with my condition.
The key to staying fit is to get back into your self care routine as quickly as possible. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Make it a priority to get right back in the game. Determine that your next meal will be a healthy one…don’t wait until tomorrow! Get your body moving as quickly as possible. Even if it’s just a little walk, swimming or yoga during a super busy time, make the effort to do SOMETHING. Every little bit helps and every small step is a step in the right direction. 15 minutes at a time can make a big difference in the long run when done consistently. And if you’re that busy, it’s time to reorganize your schedule so that you can make the time.
Be prepared for the unexpected. As a mom with chronic illness, I already know that there are days that I’m not going to have the energy to cook. I keep staples from my food plan Trim Healthy Mama on hand at all times so I can always throw something together, no matter how simple the meal might be. I always have a game plan for when we go out. It’s always easy to find a meat and veggies based meal no matter where I find myself during the day. Additionally, I have water in a stainless steel container at all times.
Simple Tips to Stay Fit When You’re a Busy Mom
Find a food plan that works for you but keep it simple. Meals like a protein + veggie combination or a protein packed salad will fit into most food plans. Have a few “go-to” meals that you can throw together without thinking about it.
Have a “go-to” on busy days when you have to go through the drive through. You can get a burger and salad just about anyplace. (Time saving tip..I just get the burger and pick the bun off when I get home to avoid sitting in line!) You can also get plain chicken tenders and a salad in most places. Or grab a rotisserie chicken and salad from your supermarket. It may be a bit boring, but you’ll stay on track.
Work movement into your day. If you don’t have a full 30 minutes, take five or ten minute movement breaks. Stand or walk around during phone calls, use a standing work space. Park a little further from the store. Do some simple stretches throughout the day or before bed.
Little things like this will add up over and as an additional benefit, help you relieve some of the stress you might be under.
By incorporating these principles, I’ve been able to stick with the Trim Healthy Mama plan and have lost 40 lbs, even though exercise is difficult for me to get to some days.
Don’t give up. Find a food plan that works for you. Set a goal for yourself and stick with it! You’ll be rewarded with renewed health, more energy and a brighter outlook as you see the pounds and inches disappear. If it can happen for this over 50 mom with chronic illness, it can happen for you too!