I was inspired to write this post after reading a post yesterday on JKW's blog. I have to say that I totally understand where she was coming from when she said that she was having trouble staying motivated to get up at 5 a.m. to get to the gym. Then there are the cravings and the urge to totally pig out. Its hard. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to get into the kids Easter candy and pig out on Snickers bars or eat an entire bag of M&M's. I've wanted to eat an entire cheese pizza. When those cravings hit I do my best to remove myself from the situation. I get out of the kitchen and try to go clean something. I'll go play a game with the kids or read to them. Anything to get my mind off that craving. If I just can't I get on my knees and ask God to take away the craving. I have also guzzled a whole ton of water. Its pretty hard to crave anything when your stomach is filled with water.
Then there is the matter of pigging out. I love food. I'm like JKW. I like the way it tastes, I like the way it smells. Almost everyday I get the urge to eat more than what I need too. I try to keep a few things in mind though. With the exception of breakfast, I do not eat unless I am hungry, and I mean truly hungry. I know its tempting to eat because the clock says its noon and that means lunch, but are you still full from breakfast or from your mid-morning snack? God created our bodies in a magnificent way. He made it so that we would know exactly when we need to eat and when we are full. If you are hungry eat. Don't ignore that hunger signal because it will ultimately slow down your metabolism. Eat slowly. Don't rush your meal. Chew your food and enjoy it and when you are full, stop. Get up from the table put your plate away, and put the left over food away. Don't think you have to clean your plate. (and don't make your kids do so either) Your body knows what it needs and if you are constantly filling it with too much food you can't expect anything more than extra pounds. Another thing you are doing is teaching your children self-control and possibly keeping them from having weight issues when they are adults as well.
Lets talk about exercise. Its hard to fit in time to get to the gym. We as women have so many commitments and people we need to take care of and many times taking care of ourselves takes a back seat to everything else. I try to make it to the gym at least 3-4 times a week. But I have a little confession to make (it seems I make lots of confessions on this blog, doesn't it?). I do not use the weight machines at the gym. I hate them. I don't know what my aversion is but I think it has something do with the thought of other people sweating all over and touching them. Yuck! I use the treadmill, the stationary bike, the stair climber and the elliptical. That's it. But don't think for one second that I don't do strength training. I do it at home. I'm not trying to build huge muscles, just lean toned ones. So here's what I do.
Arms - I own a set of 3 pound dumbbells and a set of 5 pound ones. I also own a resistance band. Every other day I work my arms. I try to work every single muscle of my arm. If you are not sure how to work out with dumbbells go to Shape.com or Self.com. Both websites have tutorials on form and differant exercises you can do in your own home. If I am watching T.V. I will get out my dumbbells and work my arms during the commercials. If I have 5 minutes and nothing else to do, I grab my dumbbells.
Legs - Again, no need to get to the gym. I do squats and lunges. During commercials you will find me standing in front of the T.V. doing squats of lunges. I have to tell you that my thighs are looking really defined right now. I am almost embarrassed to tell you this one but, here goes. We have a pretty large staircase in our house. I set a timer and see how many times I can run up and down it in five minutes. My kids think I'm crazy, but every little bit helps.
Abs - Get ye to the store and buy a big ol exercise ball. This is the absolute best way to work your core. Again, if you don't know how to use it, get online and search for exercises you can do using the ball. Your core will thank you for it.
Jane, Billy, and Denise - Exercise videos are abundant. Carmen Electra even promises to get you in shape by teaching you to strip tease. Nowadays you can download them off the Internet. There are 8 minute abs and 10 minute buns. No matter how much time you have you can find a workout to do at home.
Walk - strap on your shoes and get outside. Even if you can't find the motivation to run. There was one day last week that I thought that I just couldn't run that day. My legs were sore because I had done a ton of lunges the night before. I got outside and started walking and in a few minutes I was running. I just couldn't help myself. Strap your kids into the stroller and take them. Getting out side will benefit them as well and pushing that stroller adds resistance for you. If they are too big for a stroller let them ride their bike and you walk or run along beside them.
Remember, every little bit helps. So what if you didn't get to the gym that day? Cut yourself some slack. Ask yourself, Did I wait till I was hungry to eat?, Did I stop eating when I was full?, Did I resist a craving? Did I move just a little?. If the answer is yes to most of these questions, then you had a good day. If not, oh well, tomorrow is a new day. It starts bright and early just like everyday. We can't be motivated everyday. Even after all of this there are days that I feel like a big fat lazy slob. When those days come, I get my "fat pictures" out and take a look at how far I've come and try to remember what my ultimate goal is. Every little thing you do to get healthy all adds up to the big picture!
Oh and last of all, reward yourself once a week with a cheat night. It keeps me motivated to not pig out and give into cravings all week. I helps boost your metabolism as well.