This time of year we resolve to improve ourselves in the next year. A large percentage of mamas set goals to lose weight in the new year. Here’s some ideas on how to set realistic goals and how to obtaining them. It may not be what you want to hear. The truth is brutal. But being nice, means being honest. I’m not doing anyone any favors by not saying that you have to dig deep inside yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally to change. It’s difficult work. No if, ands, or booty shakes about it!
There is no secret. There is no magic pill that will make you lose weight. There is no fad diet plan. If you want to change your body. You have to change your mind. You have to dedicate time and energy. You have to consistently make conscious choices in order to achieve your goals. Spending money on infomercial workout tapes (yes I just called them tapes!), or gym memberships or gizmos and gadgets will not make you thinner. Cutting out an entire food group is not a wise way to eat in the long run. You have to be accountable for the energy that goes in and out of your body. Give up the trends. Make it a lifestyle.
I don’t claim to be any kind of expert. But I have seen many years of people coming to the gym and never achieving or maintaining the results they want. You can Zumba your face off but if you don’t eat well and take care of yourself, all the effort is wasted. So much of losing weight depends on nutrition. If you suddenly start exercising like a maniac your body is no idiot and will start telling your brain it needs more fuel. It’s frustrating. You have to start slowly and build up.
Gradually increasing your activity level and decreasing the amount you eat. Otherwise you just end up sore and hungry. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. A good example is to ad 30 minutes of mama play time a day and 5 less handfuls of food a day. Have you ever counted how many handfuls of food you eat a day? Make each one count! Spend your calories as wisely you would your time or money. Ask yourself how many miles you’ll have to run if you eat that and then ask yourself if you’d want to run that far after eating that. There are many mind tricks and obstacles to overcome!
In order to change your body and mind you also have to change how you perceive yourself. There has to an encouraging narration in your head. Make the most of what you got. You can’t spot correct away genetics and years of bad habits. View yourself as the gorgeous mama that you are. Learning to change your internal dialogue is challenging and takes a lifetime. You have to empower your body to lean and wean away from bad habits.
We often have an emotional attachment to our bodies and to our food which make much losing weight as much of a mental and emotional battle as a physical one. It’s doable. But it take support from many angles. Here are the 5 P’s of losing weight
Map out a strategy for your goal. Do your research. Evaluate your options. Decide what activities or exercises you enjoy. Commit to them being a part of your routine. You don’t have to spend hours at a time working out at a gym. Set a goal to do so many child chase laps around the house a week. Hold pre dinner dance parties with your family. Let your loved ones participate in your workouts. They love seeing you happy. Have you played on a playground lately? Enjoy what you do and you will continue to do it. Your exercise can be cumaltive over the course of a day. Mama your time is precious! 5 minutes here to play tag, 5 minutes there silly spinning jumping jacks. Work your workouts into your daily routine as part of your daily activity. Move more. Move how you move and how you like to move.
Fill your house, car, purse, with healthy options. It’s easy to give into impulses because a food is convenient. It is not convenient for the body. Organize your meals. Choose wisely, not emotionally. Every calories counts. Every bite has a consequence. Enjoy food preparation mindfully choosing calories that nourish the body.
Set realistic check points so that you can track your progress. Ask yourself honest questions and be specific about what you want to achieve. Saying you want to lose weight is pretty vague. Make yourself more accountable by setting a quantifiable time line with measurable benchmarks.
For example you want to lose 10 pounds? Give yourself at least 3 months to lose it and lose it for good. Gradually increase your activity and decrease your food intake. In order to lose a healthy 1 pound a week be knowledgeable of what it’s going to involve. Stay focused. If you throw too many demands at yourself you may just end up frustrated.
Make meal and workout time a priority. A non negotiable part of your schedule. Mama you are important! Choose healthier options. You can exercise until you drop but if you eat junk before and after it will still just be junk in your trunk. Wise up. Eat up. Fuel up. Before you eat something ask yourself is this going to get me closer to my goal?
Give food, exercise plans, diets, etc. the same scrutiny and research you would for your children. Do your research on what you eat. The grocery stores are lined junk that will slowly poison you. Your body can not function efficiently to burn calories and fat if it’s not provided the correct nourishment to do so. If your digestive system is not working for you, it’s working against your and your workouts.
Think of poor eating habits the same as setting a poor example with violent television, or swearing, or smoking cigarettes or whatever bad mama behavior resonates with you that you wouldn’t do it front of your kids and equate it. Find what motivates you! What are your priorities?
Expect it to be difficult. Reach out for encouragement when you hit plateaus and obstacles. Sharing your goals with friends and family allows them to help motivate you. Your goal needs to be part of an ongoing internal dialogue. Find support through a partner and hold each other accountable.
Write your goal down or do some art and stick it on your fridge, your mirror, wherever you find yourself in moments of weakness. Put it on your Facebook status. Pick a theme song to hum whenever you find yourself craving naughty food. Make yourself a bracelet or necklace to fiddle with as a reminder. It doesn’t have to be a weight goal. Make it a pants or little hotties dress, goal. Hang that article of clothing somewhere you will see it everyday. Take pictures. Don’t give up! Be persistent.
Losing weight and creating healthier habits is a process. It’s not easy. In fact it’s freaking hard. Acknowledge the time and effort it will take. Often twice as long to take off as it did to put on. Especially for new moms wanting to lose the baby weight you need to look at how long it took put it it on. It doesn’t just disappear overnight. It takes hard work and determination.
I’m not going to sugar coat it because sugar is bad for you anyway. Stop eating it. Now and always. Start listening to your body and quit justifying your actions that don’t contribute to your success. Decide to gradually change your lifestyle and stop making excuse that you don’t have time. I know. Easier said than done. But do it. Do it now. You deserve it mama. You are capable.
Image Credit: Kelley McCarthy Cerny