What are you teaching your kids? Like it or not - they learn from us—both the good and the bad. As a wife and mother to 4 fabulous kids, I have realized the importance of finding a balance that optimizes my personal goals, and the lifestyle I want for my family. Continue reading to understand how your daily choices can impact your family’s health, and steps to take to make improvements.
Am I Being Selfish?
As a busy parent, it is easy to think it is selfish to invest your time into your fitness and nutrition when it feels like you have 10,000 other things to do. The way I see it, taking time to exercise and eat a balanced healthful diet is like adding regularly to a 401k or retirement account. When we ‘invest’ in our health, we are investing in our future.
Raising children is busy, daunting, and expensive. It is such a busy season of life. When we are in the trenches of diapers and schooling and extracurricular enrichment activities, it can be so hard to see beyond the now. I applaud those of us who are willing to take time for ourselves while raising a family.
When you step back and look at the bigger picture, taking an hour several times a week to workout or meal prep is not just helping you set yourself up for success, but is also setting an example of what health, self-care, and self-love should look like in a balanced lifestyle for your family.
What Does Being Your “Best” Mean?
Being the best for your family might mean that we spend a lot of time (and money) with them, but it also means making time to take care of ourselves. Our mental well-being will benefit when we take the time to exercise regularly, eat balanced whole-food meals, prioritize sleep, and say no to things that may negatively impact us.
As a busy mom, I understand the pressures and challenges of being the best mom I can be for my kids while also taking time to take care of myself so that I can be the best for them. Parenting burn out is real. Finding and making time to prioritize yourself will keep your cup full so you can continue to pour into the needs of your family.
Your "best" will look different for everyone. Identifying areas of your life that make you happy and bring your closer to your goals while being able to deliver on the needs of your family is key. As a mom, I found that daily movement helped me recover more quickly from my pregnancies, and continues to help me maintain a healthy state of mind, alleviate stress, and has given me a social outlet.
Best is more about finding balance in your own life rather than comparing yourself to what works for another parent.
How Can I Get Started?
Struggling to fit fitness and wellness into your schedule? Here are three strategies to help create change in your mindset and routine while building healthy habits for your family:
- Make a small, SMART goal.
- Start with something that is super easy like hitting a certain number of ounces of water per day. Then track it and reward yourself with a non-food reward when you have accomplished it. Success breeds confidence-so start small and work toward something more significant.
- Creating a goal that you know you can be successful with can create a huge confidence boost and help motivate you to push yourself toward your next goal.
- Get your kids involved
- Have your kid help build or make their lunches for school or reward them when they choose water over a sugary drink.
- Try different vegetables together.
- Take your kids to the park to play or go for a walk.
- Have a kid in soccer or other activities? Instead of scrolling, try walking or getting a quick jog in while you wait.
- Focus on what you can control
- Sometimes the best-laid plan just doesn't work out. Focusing on what you can control will help you feel better when things go off the rails. Striving to focus on your nutritional intake and hydration can help you feel like you are still making progress even if you miss a workout or don’t get your step goal in.
- If you miss a workout, or end up not making the best dinner choices occasionally, don't beat yourself up! Just get back on track at the next opportunity.
The bottom line is that you are worth investing your time and energy into living a healthy lifestyle. Taking the time to get in better shape now will help you live a fuller, more active life later when your kids are grown and they have kids of their own. If you are ready to get some help making goals or making you a priority, talk to one of the nutrition coaches at Graham Strength and Conditioning. We can help get you started on becoming your best self.