My FIT RX for Busy Working Mom’s: Tools for a healthy lifestyle
I know you know it’s February and I do not know about you, but I am in full force to meet my 2015 goals.
I have lots of them.
Several weeks ago I sat down and did a little soul searching. With the help of Daren Hardy’s Your Best Year Yet, I was able to clearly determine where I am heading with all areas of my life (my personal life, marriage, spiritual health, wellness, fitness, business, personal and financial).
I was able to reverse engineer my goals and determine what I needed to do on a daily bases to meet these goals.
Since I did this process for several areas of my life, it would take up many days to discuss all of them, however, since my passion is to empower and encourage other working mothers to live healthy and FIT lives, I wanted to share with you a little about what I do to track my fitness and nutrition to meet my health and fitness goals.
Setting and meeting goals
We all know that not only is it difficult to start a fitness and nutrition plan, but for most people it is very difficult to stick to the goals that you have set. I personally believe that the reason people either do not start or fail very quickly after starting is because they lack the support and guidance they need. I have learned most people just want to be told what to do.
For me personally, there are a few tools that I have been using for a few years that have been consistently working for me.
1. Lifestyle Plan
2. Meal Planning and Prepping
4. Health and Fitness tracking tools
I recommend having a plan for your week.
Plan your meal prep day, plan your workouts, plan for what you will choose or take with you if you have a lunch meeting. Having a weekly plan will ensure that you stay on track.
How I plan for my lifestyle: I write things down on a large calendar. I start with my non-negotiable like working hours, appointments, then I start plugging in my other non-negotiable like working out. I find a day earlier in the week to prep meals, where I host play dates, date night with hubby.
I just know that no matter what 5 days a week I will get my fitness in and I know that I will need 1 evening a week to prepare my meals. I know that I will need to check in with my accountability groups daily so that is also a non-negotiable like having a meeting with a boss.
Nutrition: Planning and Prepping
As I mentioned before, simple consistent meals have made healthy eating possible for me as a working mom. I cannot cook meal at home most evenings of the week. Matter of fact I can only cook maybe 1-2 and one of those evenings my husband and I meal prep.
How I plan and prep: We cook a ton of meat, veggies and decide on a low glycemic carbohydrate ( sweet potato, quinoa ) and we cook a ton to last several days. We then place in “fast food” containers so they are ready to just grab, heat and eat for the week. You can also do this for snacks as well so they are ready to go.
I always have some food on me at all times. I never leave my will power to chance.
My go to travel items are: Shakeology, trail mix, beef jerky, protein bar, apple, nut butter.
I not only love to surround myself with others who will push me, who will help me get closer to my goals, in all areas of my life, but I think this should be a non-negotiable. I understand that some people like to individually take on their fitness, but I would say this is rare. There is something about being motivated, encouraged and empowered by others who have similar goals to yours. I can guarantee success with accountability.
4 years ago, I was an avid gym junkie and LOVE the group x atmosphere (still love it, but life is different with kids). It was easy for me to get to a class on my days off which as a nurse working in the hospital was about 4 days a week.
The interesting things, however, was that even during that time of my life, I was hard core and was at the gym frequently, pushing myself, but not really meeting my goals. As I have mentioned before, I suffer from body image depression and I just wanted to look like I worked out. Well it didn’t happen.
I remember spending a few days a week with a personal trainer after I finished grad school in hopes that this type of individualized help and accountability would make me “look” better. This did not happen for me. Not to say at all this is not a good plan, because it is and is often effective for many.
After I did not loose any weight after 3 months of personal training and I got a bad report on my cholesterol and inflammatory markers that I was forced to really focus on my nutrition and understand what I need to do make improvements in my overall health.
After a visit with a dietician, starting Shakeology regularly, wearing a heart rate monitor, getting plugged in with accountability with my fitness and nutrition, my life began to change.
I have learned what my body needs and what I can and cannot have to stay on track.
After 2 children in less than 2 years and getting my body back, I am confident that what I am doing works and would work for you to.
How I stay accountable:
Because of this experience, I have found solutions to a healthy lifestyle that are working for me.
Accountability is the #1 reason I have been able to get on track before babies and get back on track after each of them. I believe this daily connection with people is why I meet my goals. I personally host private online accountability groups monthly with home fitness. I give my recommendations based on currently health and fitness status, what has worked for other and for me. The groups not only keep other busy moms accountable but also to keep myself accountable. It’s a WIN, WIN for everyone. If you need a physical group atmosphere I highly recommend a gym membership. But like nutrition you must be consistent in using it. Just do not try and conquer this alone.
Fitness Tracking Tools
I believe it depends on how specific you want to be with your intake and output as to whether these tools will be helpful and useful for you. There are a lot of new tools out there to track your fitness and like many technological tools, there are good things and bad things. I believe that if you use ANY device consistently and for its purpose, you will get results. Now there is also a catch to the intake and tracking device. If you eat only eat 3 bags of potato chips all day then your calories in will likely be smaller than your calories out. But will you loose weight or create a healthy lifestyle? Maybe loose, but it won’t last and NO you will not have a healthy lifestyle! You still have to take ownership of your health and fitness and make wise choice with both. On the fitness side, you cannot expect to run 5 miles a day and get a shapely, muscular figure. You must choose fitness that will meet your overall goals.
Many people love www.myfitnesspal.com for health tracking. I really like this app and previously when I was just starting to understand my body and how it responded to certain foods, I felt like it was very helpful. However, now that I understand what I can and cannot have, I have found it to be stressful for me to log this in daily. Since I have adapted to a very simple diet, it is ultimately the same most days and it takes the thinking and stress out of it for me. Therefore I do not use this type of app, tool currently.
I look at the monitoring systems as a tool to help guide you. I do think that they can be effective, and for me I use mine as a gauge for calories burned and how hard I am working and how hard I might can work the next time. There are many different monitoring systems available and some companies are even taking advantage of this technology. Oscar, a health insurance company in New Jersey and New York, gives all of their members Misfit activity trackers so they can set daily goals, track their progress and work towards a more active lifestyle.
FIT TIP- You need to burn 500 extra calories each day to loose 1 lb of fat. Create a 3500 calorie deficit each week.
Having a calorie counting tool can help you understand what you need to do to make this happen.
What I use: I personally use a polar heart rate monitor to monitor my calories burned during my workouts.
My FIT Tool RX:
I believe that there are several tools out there that can be very effective to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you are serious you need to being using some sort of tool. I recommend one of my accountability groups which include fitness, nutrition, support, accountability, resources and prizes. The complete package is sure to place you in the right direction to meeting your goals.