By Cathy Holman
As a mother of 5 children, I've gained and lost around 200 pounds in the last decade. As a Prairie Wife living in the middle of nowhere Wyoming, I had to rely on more than a little grit and grace to find ways to lose all that weight! The closest gym is 30 minutes away and sadly, our single income budget doesn't allow for a private chef or nanny. Over the years I've learned what truly works and I'm here to offer you a few tips and tricks I've learned through the years.
I'm going to start by being honest, this mom gig is hard enough without putting pressure on yourself to lose weight. So, make sure you're ready mentally and physically to start working to get the weight off...and don't be too hard on yourself (this is where the grace comes in) if you need to skip an exercise session for a nap or shower.
- Walk the Weight Off: This is how I lost the weight with my first baby. I simply put him in the stroller and walked. I never set distance or time, I just hit the road. Walking the weight off is free (other than a cost of a stroller and tennis shoes) and can be done in just about any kind of weather as long as your child is dressed appropriately. Make it a date with your husband, find a few mom friends to join you, or ask your mom or sister in law to come along.
- Become a DVD Devotee: This might show my age a bit but, when I was trying to lose weight from baby two it was before the age of live streaming. I went out and bought Jillian Michaels' DVD's as well as a few Yoga workouts and forced myself to use them at least twice a week. Naptime worked best but, I found the kids could amuse themselves pretty easily for at least 20 minutes if not 30 if I remembered to feed them first. Now with YouTube, it's WAY easier (and free) to find a workout that will challenge you and keep you interested.
- Form a Mama Bootcamp: This is one of my favorite ways to get fit. Find a few like-minded friends and meet at a park or someone's house once a week. One group watches the kids while the others workout and then switch. Technically, all you need is two people to show up for this to work. Use a local park and do sprints and use benches and bleachers to up your game. In cooler weather meet at someone's house and use some of those DVD's!
- Family Style Yoga: As my kids grew older and I had more of them I found that it was a bit harder to find time to fit in my beloved DVD's and, if I'm being honest, there was more than one instance of a child being knocked over by my bum. My kids were always trying to copy my Yoga practice so I decided to stop trying to keep them away and just let them join in. I hit Pinterest to gather up poses and I formed my own routine and told them they could join BUT had to keep off my mat...and family style yoga was born!
- Run Away: As part of my mama boot camp I began to get interested in running...and eventually it became one of my favorite things to do. This is one workout that DOES take some planning and commitment from your partner or other family members/friends. For me, the best part of running is the time alone, away from the kids, away from all the must-dos. So, take a look at your schedule and your budget (to pay a sitter) and get some time set aside for a run.
- A Few Food Facts: It's just a cold hard truth that it doesn't matter how often you work out, if you aren't eating healthfully, you won't lose weight. There are a few things that I've found have helped me to keep weight falling off instead of staying on. Limit eating out and sugary drinks. Eat from a variety of food groups and be attentive to portion size. Remember, the palm of your hand is about the size of one serving. Lastly, if you want to eat the ice cream...eat the ice cream and enjoy the heck out of it. You can always do an extra DVD tomorrow.
Trust me when I say you CAN lose weight without a gym membership, nanny or private chef! It will take a bit of motivation and at times, planning and support from your friends and family. Give yourself time and try and get moving three days a week and I just KNOW you'll see that weight starting to come off!
Cathy Holman is a 30 something mother of 5. Originally born in Milwaukee, this city girl went country all for the love of a Cowboy. Her blog, PrairieWifeInHeels.com is the place to go for heartfelt humorous posts about parenting, health, and wellness (including her preventive mastectomy), fashion and beauty tips, product reviews and giveaways. Read more about her adventures in Wyoming and learn how you can live a life of grit and grace at PrairieWifeInHeels.com. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.