We have all tried a new diet or exercise routine, only to fall off the wagon a couple of weeks in. This is totally common and a normal response to most diets and exercise routines. They often require us to make BIG changes to our lives, which in the long run is unsustainable.
Ultimately, to be healthier, we all likely just need to eat a little bit better, move a little bit more and how ourselves some self compassion and love.
Step 1 – Just choose one thing
The value of doing one little thing consistently over time is huge. It is much easier to fit 1 small thing into our everyday life than try to change many things all at once. E.g. You are a busy working mum, you want to eat healthier, but you don’t have time to plan & prep for all meals.
Step 2 – Feedback, not failure
Remove the word ‘failure’ from your vocabulary. You are not a failure. You simply made a decision in a specific moment that didn’t quite align with your overall goal but it DID serve you well at that very moment. Use these preconceived ‘fail’ moments as feedback and get CURIOUS. Bringing awareness to your decisions and how you came to make those decisions in the moment means you can start to gain a better understanding of your feelings, actions and decisions and make steps to implement changes over time.
Step 3 – Self compassion
We are humans, emotional beings and not perfect. Life will throw many challenges (big or small) our way. Understand that you are doing the best you can at the time with the tools you have available. Allow yourself to make mistakes. They are learning opportunities. Accept that your progress won’t be linear. Life is constantly changing, especially as little ones grow up, so routines won’t always stay the same and what works at one stage in your life, won’t work at another.
Work on getting rid of the shame, guilt and feelings of failure and just keep going back to steps 1 & 2. Over time, you will learn more about yourself, learn to adapt and be flexible so your actions and decisions around your health and fitness adapt as life changes.
Using exercise as an example, when babies are little, walking is a great way to move our bodies. Pop bubs in the pram and head out. Simple. As babies grow and this walking time dwindles, you may find your opportunity to move your body shifts to a short workout in the morning before your toddler wakes. When you return to work, your lunch break might be the best time to exercise, going for a walk. Change is ok, and following the first 2 steps means you keep your overwhelm at bay. Identify when things aren’t working and reassess/adapt. Just keep doing something small, learn from when things aren’t working for you and adapt. You’ll look back in 6 months or a year’s time and think, wow, I never used to workout, now I workout regularly 1x/week. Or I used to only eat veges at dinner, now I have a serving with lunch everyday also.
How to get started?
So, with exercising, nutrition and self care, where do you even start? Here are just 3 simple ways for each category. We have many more options in the Summer Challenge (see below for info). Start with something that feels easy for you. Celebrate every win along the way. Once that feels second nature, choose something else to add.
- Turn on your fav song and dance like no one is watching
- “Snack” on exercise – do 20 squats whilst brushing teeth
- Choose to take the stairs instead of using lift or escalator
- Add an vegetable to your dinner
- Reduce portion sizes at each meal -aim for just 10% smaller
- Have a glass of water with each meal
- Take 1 minute for yourself – micro breaks when you can to stop and breathe. Close your eyes and take some deep belly breaths. Try this Box Breathing technique.
- Set an alarm for bed. This is your reminder to stop scrolling, turn off the TV and get some sleep.
- Catch up with a friend
But, I just don’t have the motivation
We can have all the info and good intentions in the world but motivation (or lack of) and overwhelm is so common, especially as we move into the busy silly season with Christmas, New Year and holidays.
I’ve got you! Firstly, the Summer Challenge is coming back for its third year! It’s your motivation and accountability to make changes before you even make new year’s resolutions. It’s a way of helping you make healthier choices that will have the most impact on you AND you have me and a group of other awesome Mums cheering you on along the way.
Or, If you need a little more personalisation and extra accountability (think of me like a cheerleader in your pocket), you can join the Empowered Mum Coaching. I’ll be on the other end of your phone, guiding you and cheering you on every step of the way). Spaces for my Empowered Mum coaching are limited so get in touch if you’d like to know more.