Being a mom and staying fit often feel like two pieces of a puzzle that just do not fit together. The last time I went to a gym, I had zero children. Now, I have three and I’m lucky if I can find both of my sneakers amidst the pile of kid’s shoes. Yet, I constantly see advertisements of fit moms, gleaming with joy as the exercise in perfectly lit settings, baiting me with hope that 'I can do it too!' This, is not one of those posts. This is real life.
Without further ado- here is my personal four step plan to staying fit as a mom.
Step One: I start my day by making an easy breakfast: gluten free waffles or bagel, then share it with three scavenging sharks that have their own breakfasts, which they never finish, nevertheless, they insist on sampling and eating my food.
Of course, I could make a second waffle, but there simply isn't time, and I have to get to the grocery store anyway.
Step Two: Always pick the shopping cart with a bad wheel. You know, the one that got hit by a car a few times in the parking lot? Then load your kids into the cart and start pushing it. You’re sure to feel your abs engaged and your arms will be shaking by the time you hit aisle three, and your sanity will probably left in the frozen food section. But, it's ok, you just burned a zillion calories.
Step Three: Don't sleep, for years. Now, the science behind this is fuzzy, but in my opinion, being awake to feed a baby every few hours is a good way to lose pounds fast. Your metabolism is forced to work, and work, and work, and never rest. You are a mom after all, it fits the M.O..
Step Four: Take your kids to do fun things. Then run around like a maniac making sure they don't run into parking lots or fall into ponds, all while you wonder why you bring them out to do 'fun' things in the first place. You'll burn more calories that way.
The first results you will notice are not feeling guilty about your lack of time to devote to fitness. Before long, fitness will be as easy as wearing shape-up shoes.
Don't forget: the key to seeing amazing results with this routine is to stick to it. Like anything, persistence, or insanity, is key.
Happy Hump Day!
Going to the dentist is a wonderful milestone in children's lives. When I was a kid, I'd look forward to picking out a reward from the treasure chest and being praised for holding my mouth wide open for so long. As an adult, I expected my children would have just as much fun and of course, never get a cavity. We brought my son to the dentist when he was two, and I had high hopes and expectations. We knew he had a chip on his front tooth, but we brushed his teeth regularly and didn’t let him eat junk, so we thought everything would be fine. When the dentist told us surgery was the only way to treat the extensive decay in his mouth, I was crushed and shocked.
No parent wants to see their child suffer and go through surgery, especially feeling like it’s their fault and this all could have been prevented. We thanked the dentist (my husband declared that God would heal his teeth) and we decided to get another professional opinion before looking at surgery. That day when we got home, I started looking at every possible resource. I came across nutritional advice that I decided to implement. We added fermented cod liver oil, but trying to remove all grain from my two-year-old’s picky diet and it didn’t work. I felt helpless in this battle, but I continued to pray. Brushing his teeth seemed to become painful and turned into a heartbreaking battle twice a day.
After one of these battles, I went into my bedroom frustratingly said, “God are you going to do something!?” The Holy Spirit convicted me right in that moment and said, “You’ve already lost because you’ve let your circumstances dictate how you see God.”
God is a healer, whether I see it at that moment or not. I had let the external circumstances and lack of immediate results move me from my solid identity in Jesus to a place of hopelessness.
I found this verse and wrote it down on a piece of paper and hung it in my bedroom:
“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
That last part was hard for me to digest at first… “Hope does not disappoint…” I had been so afraid that we’d go into the next dentist's office and I’d be feeling confident of his healing, only to be crushed once again by more bad news. But right here, God was telling me that hope doesn’t disappoint. Our whole lives, we’re told “don’t get your hopes up…” But that’s exactly the opposite of what the Gospel tells us.
The night before his dentist appointment, I decided that I would be walking out of the dentist office in victory, whether it was the one I’d been praying for, or it involved praying for people at the office and breaking sickness off of them.
My son got settled in the dentist's chair and opened wide.The dentist examined his teeth and told us that he didn’t see anything wrong, besides a chip in his front tooth.
Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit… and love never fails, it always triumphs.
Be encouraged- and stand strong!
Is a wife, mother of four, author of Re:Birth, and lover of afternoon naps.