Spring is here and it is tank top, shorts and soon…bikini time. Are you ready?
Spring is a trendy time of year to get into shape, only second to the New Year’s Resolutions that may or may not have happened. I call BS on jumping on the let’s get in shape for Spring. We should look more towards being fit, healthy and happy for a lifetime, not just a season.
I am going to be bluntly honest. As an athlete, I have always been more concerned about the performance of my body rather than how it looks. I used to joke that if it looks good, it is just a side affect of what I do and what I put in it, but it is true. Nutrition should be looked at as fuel for your body to run efficiently and effectively. I have never counted calories. I simply eat when my body tells me to which is about every 2-3 hours during the day. I have never experienced the up and down cycle of needing to lose weight at certain times of year because I generally stick to the same health routine year around. Some might say that I have been blessed with great genetics, but I also have been raised to make my health a priority. My grandmother had 4 children and played tennis into her 70s. She was into health food before it was called health food. My mother gave birth to three children and in her 60s is currently in a dance group that performs multiple times a year. My mother gave me multi-vitamins, probiotics and fish oil in the 80s before it was the trendy health thing to do. I thank them for being great role models of what women can accomplish. They taught me that what I put in my body is important and if I am not healthy and happy then I cannot take care of those that need me.
1 Put your own Health First
What you do your children will do. You are their first and most significant role model. Not that you have to be perfect, but know that your health habits will mold the health habits for your child. Not only should you eat and stay active, but involve your children in the process. Don’t make an excuse that you can’t do it because of them. Make it a priority to do it because you are teaching them what they need to do for their own health and lifestyle habits.
Do family bike rides or walks. Walk the dog after dinner. Teach your children how to cook and be involved in dinner choices a few nights week. When I let my boys help with a side dish or part of the meal, it builds self-esteem and they are proud to have contributed. Make easy dishes. I promise that you spending time with your family making dinner is priceless especially when compared to you waiting in line at a drive through for food that you really don’t want and the kids are mostly going to waste anyway.
2 Drink Water and more Water!
Depending on where you live geographically and how active you are, and your diet water intake can be adjust for each individual. According to the Mayo Clinic, our body is made up of 60% water! We need to replenish it to keep our bodies functioning properly. Your car engine would blow up if you didn’t keep the proper fluids in it so why would you not do the same for your body.
3 Eat right and utilize Supplemental Nutrition
I do my best to eat right and cook food that was grown or raised off a field, but there are days when I simply eat my kids left overs as I am cleaning up the table or I am running out the door with the kids late for school and realize that I forgot to eat myself. Meal prepping and planning is a great idea, but honestly it doesn’t really happen in our household. I do my best to plan for about three days, but I rely highly on my supplements to fill the gaps in my nutrition on those crazy days that just don’t turn out as planned.
4 Do What Makes You Happy
I love to workout and lift heavy weights. I have found CrossFit and it inspires me. It makes me feel good and strong, but if that is not you then do what allows you to express yourself. Dance, paint, sing, take photographs, play an instrument. Just because you had children does not mean that you need to give up on you and your personal goals.
5 Stay Active
I have always been involved in physical activity and continue to until I die. I am truly inspired by the men and women that I see at the Senior Games that compete for the love of sport. Being active and being around others will keep you healthy and young. I plan to be the 103 year old great grandma throwing the javelin at the local open track meets. My husband’s grandmother used to say if you stay still too long you will rust.
6 Breathe and enjoy the little Moments
We learn to do it the minute we are born, yet it seems when we stress we forget how to breathe. Take control of your breathe and slow it down. It will allow you to get through those tough times and help you to appreciate those small priceless moments that you can never get back as.
7 Express Gratitude and Work to your Goals
Be thankful every morning for what you have because it could always be worse. Yes, there is always room for improvement, but focusing on the bad will not get you anywhere. You must know where you came from, where you are and where you want to go. If you are not completely happy with where you are currently then mark a starting point and start working towards where you want to go. Complacency is what kills most dreams. Be grateful for what you have, but move into the uncomfortable to achieve what you really desire. Don’t be afraid to believe in what others think to be impossible. They don’t understand the power and drive that lies within you.