So, if you have been trying to keep up with this blog, I will just have to ask you to smack me with a wet noodle. As you have read from my other posts, I am a mom of three along with juggling “life”. The “Blog-Ball” was dropped for a few months but as with all things worthwhile, I am back again!
“I may be a little soft around the middle but I am healthy because I take a stroll in the evening with my husband and child(ren).”
I may be a little soft around the middle but I am healthy because I take a stroll in the evening with my husband and child(ren). No doubt that healthy women come in a variety of shapes and sizes. We have to be careful to not fall into the trap of accepting the “new normal” though. You are asking, “What is the new normal”? The media would have us believe that either you have to be stick thin with an unhealthy body mass index-BMI- (think stick figure with a skirt on) or that being pleasantly plump with a BMI that is at overweight or even obese (think rolls that are cute on that fluffy baby in your arms but not so much on your body when you look in the mirror as you step out of the shower) is OK.
I have yet to come across a woman, especially a mommy, who is happy with either extreme. They are searching for a shape/size that makes them feel sexy and fit enough to keep up with the demands of their busy lives. So let’s address what I hear mommies, and women in general, tell me they want and how to achieve it.
If you have had one child or four, you know that your body is NEVER the same. You have marks on your hips, belly and breasts that look like some animal has left deep scratches on you (stretch marks). If you had a C-section, you have a little belly pooch that seems impossible to get rid of without going under the knife. All three of my kids were delivered by C-section so I feel your frustration!
What happened to that taut mid-section that didn’t jiggle when you walked and a bust line that didn’t need a little help from Victoria’s Secret? While a stroll in the evening is a wonderful way to spend time with your family AND encourage your kidlets to incorporate fitness into their life, it IS NOT ENOUGH to get you to your goals! You have to sweat and traditional cardio (treadmill, elliptical, etc.) is not going to be enough. You have to add resistance to your routine.
Head to the gym and push your way between the meat-heads in the free weight area so you can see yourself in the mirror. Grab a couple of dumbbells, make eye contact with yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you gave birth so you can do anything! Those muscle bound guys trying to dominate the free weight area would probably break down into blubbering mounds of jelly if they had to go through childbirth…you are mommy, hear you ROAR!
There are multiple SCIENTIFIC research studies that show how excess belly-fat can negatively impact your health. I can guarantee you that none of the weigh-loss supplements on the market are going to get you to your goal, no matter what their “research” says without hard work and dedication to a healthy diet and exercise. “An excessive amount of belly fat can increase estrogen production which may lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and colorectal cancer. Recent research also has associated belly fat with an increased risk of premature death — regardless of overall weight. In fact, some studies have found that even when women were considered a normal weight based on standard body mass index (BMI) measurements, a large waistline increased the risk of dying of cardiovascular disease, cancer and other causes.
Ridding yourself of excess belly fat not only preserves your health for you but for your kids, spouse AND those grandchildren down the line. You want to be alive and healthy to tell stories…”When you mother was your age she (fill in the blank).” To top that off, a healthy waist circumference lets you wear fitted shirts that show off your hard work and not those that you put on and think, “This doesn’t make me look pregnant…well, not really.” A strong core (that would be your waist line) also makes it a lot easier to live a life that is full of fun with your family.
You can perform everyday activities without worry about strains, sprains or more serious injury. You can play with your kids without feeling quite so worn out. The best perk…you catch your spouse checking you out on the sly! When your spouse realizes others are checking you out too, he becomes a little more “protective” of the amazing woman he has on his arm. Who doesn’t want to feel desired and prized by their spouse? One more perk, YOU see other guys checking you out…talk about an ego boost!
I know it is difficult to not clean up your child’s dinner plate, especially if it is a favorite meal. I know it is difficult to carve out time for yourself to work on your core/waist line. I know it is difficult to choose a carrot or banana over the last piece of chocolate pie. YOU control your body! Not your cravings…not what someone else says about you…not what society says you should look like…YOU ARE THEY KEY! Set your mind to the goal. Do it first for you then for your family. They want you around for a long time to create more memories like only a mommy can. It will be hard and your emotions will tell you that it is ”too hard”. Your heart lies to you sometimes…you need to lead your heart and emotions. Don’t let them lead you, especially if it is right off the cliff sacrificing your health and self-esteem.
If you don’t have the strength to start or continue the process yourself, find a certified personal trainer to help you on your journey or a supportive friend who wants to see you succeed!