For this week's "Barriers, Challenges, or Excuses" we will focus on two common excuses:
As women, our bodies change with each pregnancy. It truly feels like our body goes through the ringer! And even more challenging, sometimes we haven't gotten back to our pre-pregnancy fitness level or weight before we get pregnant with the next one! This was me in between #2 and #3 (#2 was only 7 months when I found out I was pregnant with #3). I had to work harder than ever after #3 just to feel normal again. But eventually I did feel "normal" again, and I earned my cardiovascular and strength back.
Even though I am fit, there is no going back in time. It seems like every 5 years I have to get reacquainted with and accept my "new" body. My 31-year-old body is different than my 21-year-old body. And I know my body will continue to change, in 5 years it will be different and so on. This happens as a result of pregnancy, nursing, hormones, aging, etc. We need to stop longing for our pre-children body because sometimes this unrealistic goal gets in the way of success. I've seen this over and over again.
Instead, we need to do the best we can with what we have. We need to focus on feeling and looking great at our current stage in life, not comparing ourselves to our prime. This doesn't mean we can't be just as fit and feel healthy at any age after children. It just means that our bodies are different. Honestly, I feel just as fit as I did before children. I just now have wider hips and ribcage, stomach skin, spider veins, etc....hehe.
But...I can honestly feel and say that pregnancy, nursing, and aging are all WORTH IT. Don't you agree? All these things bring wisdom, selflessness, love, maturity, character, joy, and sacrifice. I'd rather have these things than my 21-year-old body!
As mothers we sacrifice for our children, they come first. We forget that in order to have the energy and self-esteem we need to give them our love, we must take care of ourselves! I have a hard time with the current point of view saying we should "put ourselves first" (because serving and helping others is what brings pure joy), but I think there is some truth to that idea. How can we have the energy we need to give our children if we are unfit, overweight, and unable to keep up with with our children?
I promise that if you will make the time to exercise and eat right, even with children, you feel your best! It's TIME to let go of this excuse!
These leads us to the next excuse:
Remember that we all have the same amount of time in the day, we just prioritize differently. Many assume fit people spend hours at the gym, but this is not true. Some days some of the workouts I do just take 20 minutes and 2-3 days/week I don't do an intense workout. You can complete a very intense workout that will burn tons of calories in just 20 minutes. And the more intense it is, the more you will "afterburn," meaning you will continue to burn calories after. Jillian Michaels videos are the perfect solution to problem!
I've heard from some women that they believe exercise is a selfish thing to do, or that it is a waste of time. It is true, many times I haven't showered and dressed for the day until after my workout (which could be as late as 11am) but it is worth it to me! Taking a little time for yourself each day will benefit your children and family because you will be fit enough to keep up with them!
Think of it this way: You are buying time by exercising. If you die of heart disease (or any disease that can be prevented), you are out of time!