I am a health and fitness advocate, not a beauty or fashion aficionado. People can be beautiful and fashionable, but not necessarily healthy and fit. When I start talking about health and fitness, especially to Black women there are some standard responses that I get:
I don’t wanna be skinny. (I never say that “skinny” is the goal.)
Skinny people can be just as unhealthy as big people. (I absolutely agree. That is why a particular size isn’t the goal.)
All sizes are beautiful. (I agree, but beauty and healthy are not the same thing.)
I don’t have time to workout. (None of us have the “perfect” schedule. But people prioritize what is important to them.)
Nothing is wrong with me. (You mean nothing has shown the manifestation of a problem. Many diseases don’t show themselves right away.)
My man likes me just the way I am. (Your man should want the healthiest version of “YOU”, so if he has an issue with you exercising and eating right, then there may be some other issues deep down…just sayin’.)
My kids [insert a “kid related” excuse]. (Life with a family will never slow down. You have to learn to still incorporate healthier behaviors.)
If you get to the point where you push past your excuses and are ready to jumpstart a healthier and fitter life, I would say lace up your Nikes, throw on some tights, and get ta moving! But starting is a whole lot easier than keeping the momentum going. You should really take some time to evaluate your life, where you would fit your workouts in, what healthier versions of meals you want to try, and what events or obstacles may pop up. (Yes, you have to plan for obstacles, because if you don’t, the first challenge could throw you off your game.) So a few tips:
1. Are you a morning person or night owl? Do not try and change your nature. Workout when you have the most energy and how it makes sense for your life.
2. Pull out your calendar and put your workouts and meal prep sessions in. You seriously have to schedule these behaviors like you do anything else until it becomes second nature.
3. Quit putting everyone’s needs ahead of your own. If you are the healthiest version of you, you will be the most awesomest at every other position you hold.
4. If you seriously have no motivation, get a trainer. That’s what we get paid for. And if you pay attention to the workouts, after you get in a routine, you can strike out on your own.
5. Strategize week by week. All of our weeks can change. So recognize what events or holidays are coming up so that you can be prepared.
6. I know this is very cliche, but it is true. This is a lifestyle. If you don’t recognize that it will take some time before you see results, you may get frustrated. But if you know that it is a process, then you can celebrate your small victories as you work towards the long term goals.
I hope this at least gets you in a healthier mindset. A spoonful of consistency is better than nothing!!
LQ is a mom, wife, personal trainer, and online coach. If you would like more info from her, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ok, I have a busy 15 month old toddler named Jeremiah or just J. So doing many things becomes a lil more challenging with this busy baby running around. He makes most tasks interesting…kinda like a built-in obstacle course. So it was beautiful day when I met a friend, Shari, with a child his age named Maya. AND they get along awesomely!
The other day, me and Shari decided we should hang out, chop some veggies, and make salads. (Like most cool moms do.) I chose one recipe, she chose another, and we bought the ingredients for our respective salads. We went to her place, let the kids play, put on some 90’s music, and the Salad Party was officially on!
Our babies played with toys, with her storage containers, and with each other. And we were able to get our chop on and finish these salads…bc in real life sometimes kids stop progress. Lol!
Anyways the Salad Party will now be a thing for us…or a Snack Party…or whatever kind of party we choose. I just know that it’s awesome to have a way to be productive and let the kids hang out and play as well.
Oh, here’s the link with some salad recipes. http://www.buzzfeed.com/carolynkylstra/mason-jar-salads#.fmGQWbmaD
I recently started doing yoga again a couple of weeks ago. I hadn’t done it in over a year. Adding yoga back to my regimen has seriously helped bring balance to my life. Let me just tell you, I’m no yogi. I do not get into the poses perfectly. I don’t even know all the names of the poses. But what I do know is when I’m finished, even after just 20 to 30 min, I feel much better. The body-breath connection is so awesome once you learn to connect the two.
I have an active 15 month old and I aim to workout everyday. So doing yoga, for me, accomplishes a few different things. I release stress (at least for that moment…lol). I’m able to center myself and prepare for the day. I feel like I’m releasing a bunch of negativity with each exhale. And then in regards with my body, I know that my body is inbalanced. This helps me with my stretching and lengthening the muscles, while challenging me in ways different from strength training. And breathing thru the moves help to release that muscle tension.
Recognize that perfection isn’t the goal, progress is. You may never look as fluid as the instructor, and that is fine. Enjoy what your body allows you to do. And be grateful for your strength, even as you are working to get stronger and more flexible.
Filed under exercise, health
Before my child was even thought of, I was preparing my body and lifestyle to grow a healthy family. And now that he’s here, I’m certainly keeping with that standard. Kids today are developing adult diseases. They are being set up for the okie doke with bad habits early. But they are sponges. They can learn healthy behaviors just as easily as unhealthy ones. So it’s up to YOU to teach yourself, so that you can impart it to them.
Drinking smoothies is a regular thang!
Exercise is a normal part of our day.
Cooking and food prep is necessary!
My lil human decided to get turnt up last night around midnight along with his usual feedings. And dad needed to be up at 6 am this morning. So this is what mama looks like right now. Lol! Even though the baby is still sleep right now and even though my brain wants me to work out, alls I can do is sit in my bed. Yup, I’ve made the executive decision to not workout right now. (Final answer) Mama needs to rest. (Fingers crossed that my mood changes later.)
All throughout my pregnancy, I got so much UNSOLICITED advice and crazy looks. People were so scared that I was gonna hurt my child that they basically wanted me to just sit down for the better portion of the year. No matter if I showed them studies that said exercise is good for mama and baby. No matter if I told them my doctor is well aware of my lifestyle. No matter if there were absolutely no signs of distress with me or the baby, they’d still try and tell me what to do. Typically I would politely listen, try to let them know I was fine, and still do what I wanted. But inside I was saying, “did I ask for this advice?” And some days, there may have been some cuss words floating about my brain. (They would usually stay in my brain too.)
Yesterday though, the level of judgment about me and my lifestyle took a turn that I could never have imagined. And these people thoroughly pissed me off. They saw a video with me working out with my baby in his baby carrier, and decided they had enough info on me to make judgements on my parenting and my values. Here’s a snap shot…
When I tell you I was pissed, oooo weee, my pressha had sky rocketed. Like literally, how do you garner me being selfish, ignorant, and misguided from a 1 minute clip? These are the type of ppl that will not blink or say a word if a kid is eating McDonald’s or a highly processed Lunchable. They’ll defend a parents’ 2nd Ammendment right to teach their 10 yr old how to fire a gun. And of course they won’t say anything negative about a kid drinking a Big Gulp, bc nothing is more ‘Murican than drinking a shit ton of colored high fructose corn syrup. But let me work out with my baby, and I’m the selfish, ignorant one?
I am pretty sure that people mean well…well I could be giving them way too much credit. But sometimes if a person ain’t asking, they probably don’t want your advice.
My home office. My occasional workout partner. And an example of a lunch break…lol. This is a typical day. Aim to get a quick workout in while the baby is sleep, but modify and incorporate him if necessary. Build my online business as I attempt to build a healthy baby boy. And still get my meals in, no matter if they are smoothies and quick or actual cooked meals. I’m learning that even though I’m working from home doesn’t mean I have any extra time! These babies are kinda needy…lol!