I really hate when people talk about women getting married and having children so they "let themselves go."
1- I kind of feel like people "let themselves go" because they're happy! I love my husband, I love my current life, and as a normal contented person I don't feel like I need to compete. Other things like enjoying a meal with my family is more important to me.
And 2- I really hate when I hear people suggest that women getting plump after having a baby is somehow laziness and unnatural on their part. I challenged people who think visible muscles on a mother is natural to show me ONE PICTURE of ONE ABORIGINAL WOMEN who is not plump. And by aboriginal I don't mean Australian, just living a primitive lifestyle. Hint: there are no pictures of that. Because even in near starvation conditions mothers have "excess" plump. Because they need it. Because otherwise their babies would die. And they probably would too. Literally.
This winter has been very hard on my body because it was such a glum season the only thing I had to look forward to was mealtime. I'm not a junkfood person but contrary to what some people may tell you fat is fat and sugar is sugar, no matter if it comes in the form of a high-class pastry or a hillbilly twinkie. And I love my pastries...
So, the question is...what do you do when you're seeing the scale creep on up but you have zero desire to sign up for that crossfit thingie everyone is talking about on facebook?
- Well, start small. I don't just mean ease into exercise, but also start with the small pounds. It's much easier to catch yourself at a 5lb weight gain than it is at a 10 or 20lb gain.
- Eat slower. When you have kids it's so easy to get in the habit of scarfing everything down before you have to get up to refill milk glasses one more time (you know what I'm talking about MomFromAChristmasstory) but it is a terrible habit and must be broken!
You need to ingest small amounts of food slowly so that your stomach has time to let you know when you're full before you over in-take and feel miserable.
- Drop the coffee and pick up some water. I would say at least half of the time I'm hungry I actually just need water. Unfortunately, when I drink coffee or any kind of caffeine, it messes up my natural sense of thirst and I go days without water, by which time I start to feel more and more ill. And be sure to drink while you eat. Not only will it slow you down but it will ease digestion.
- Take a walk. Taking a walk is one of the best things you can do after you eat. Again, it helps get rid of that gross bloated feeling in your stomach, helps regulate your sugar intake, and burns off some of those calories you just ate. Just feeling better and not like a fat slob is a mental hurtle that must be crossed!
- Stretch. Lots of people tout the benefits of yoga and I completely agree! But you don't need to wrap yourself up like a pretzel to benefit from simply stretching your muscles once a day. Stretching is one of those things like walking or drinking water that simply helps your body to feel better and more energized. When you feel more energized, you are more motivated to not allow laziness to rule your life. When your knees aren't killing you, taking the stairs don't seem as daunting. When your back doesn't ache, going around the yard picking up sticks doesn't sound like something that would be perfect for the kids to do. So stretch like everyday you're about to run a marathon. 'Cause you are.
- Pick a small exercise routine and switch it up regularly. I really hate when people say things like, "You can browse facebook for an hour but don't have 15 minutes to workout a day?" As if those two things are totally equatable. What they should say is, "I'm not surprised at all you would choose a leisurely activity for an extended amount of time instead of doing something that has the hardship and futility of Sisyphus pushing a rock uphill for eternity." Because that's what those 15 minutes feel like. Eternity. I really like to hike, so I try to make time for it as often as I can. I purposefully set a quick pace and often will pick off-trail paths, which involve a lot of climbing, ducking, and moving every which way. Exercise doesn't have to be a drag if it is something you love to do. Or if you can't commit yourself to something big like a sport, try a more simple exercise routine like Ballet Beautiful (you can view her videos online). Remember you want to lightly push your body but don't over-do it. There is nothing that ends faster than plans to drop so many pounds in such and such amount of time. A healthy body will look healthy when it is healthy. Don't just think about looking good in time for spring break but whether you will still be able to take yourself to the bathroom when you're 80. Trust me, you'll thank me for that advice some day.
- And read French Women Don't Get Fat. Guiliano has so many more great lifestyle changes that will help remind you how to stay beautiful and trim forever.