Ahhhh…the fitness mom you follow on social media. She makes it look so easy, right?
She’s up every morning, excited to exercise. Her workout is followed by a light, fresh, and healthy meal. She takes the kids to the children’s museum where they laugh and skip while holding hands and then it’s back to the house for a lunch of organic arugula with grilled chicken and vegetables scattered throughout that have colors more vibrant than a rainbow! All of which her young children eat too, because she would never be caught feeding her kids chicken nuggets with ketchup!
(Honestly, these days, I’m just happy if my kids actually eat the food instead of throwing it to the dog. Even if that means dinner is pepperoni, teddy grahams, and puffs…)
So, I have to admit…and rather humbly I may add – I totally got caught up in this when I first started my social media/business building business last year.
I thought I had to know everything about everything (which I still do if you talk to my husband, ok?), show that I ate perfect ALL of the time, talk about how exercising in the early morning was just so easy, and if you’re really serious about hitting your goals, you’ll stop finding excuses and just figure out HOW to do it.
Well, that’s inviting, isn’t it?! Who can relate to that? It’s not a good thing when you can’t even relate to your own Facebook page that YOU created…
That lasted for a few weeks until I realized that was in no way who I am and wondered how I even got sucked into that world anyways…
OH – maybe because that’s what we CONSTANTLY see…all of the time! It’s ‘keeping up with the Jones’ – Facebook style! Especially when it comes to health and fitness.
‘Look at that mom who had a baby a day ago and is skinny already, eats perfect, exercises every day, cooks dinner every night, has a clean house as seen in her pictures, has kids who are smiling and happy all of the time dressed in baby Versace, and STILL has time to read 17 personal development books during the day! I want to be like HER!’
As I sit here in my torn Gap maternity leggings that I bought about 3 years ago and still wear almost every day, looking out into my bedroom with laundry thrown all over the place (is it clean or dirty? I don’t think we’ll ever know…), while typing on my HP laptop that really should be an Apple Mac (at least from what I see in the pics of other bloggers!), I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned over the past year when it comes to being real with health, fitness, and motherhood.
Here we go:
Eating right is not easy
- We see this with almost every diet or meal plan there is. ‘It’s so simple!’ ‘You won’t be hungry!’ ‘Kale chips are good!’ Sorry, but eating right when you’re a busy mom cooking mac and cheese and pizza for your kids is really hard. Sometimes ‘just a bite’ turns into ‘wow, I’m kind of full from those 6 small bites of their Mac and cheese I just had…’ It’s especially hard if it’s a new lifestyle change and the temptation to binge is strong. Please keep in mind that the fact you’re even THINKING about making some healthy changes to your diet is something to be celebrated because not everyone even gets to that point!
What I suggest to help with this:
- Find a meal plan that fits your lifestyle. That might sound odd but it’s something I figured out somewhat recently and wished someone had told me years ago! I’ve always thought clean eating was the only way to true nutritional success. I mean, it’s not a bad meal plan by ANY means, but once we discovered keto – a whole new world opened up to us! I can eat less, feel full for a longer period of time, and find easier meals to make for dinner?? Sign me up! But does keto work for everyone? No, of course not. It works for us though which has made it much easier to stick to than other meal plans we’ve followed in the past!
Not one fitness professional or public fitness figure gets excited for their workout every.single.day.
- If I’m dragging in the morning before a workout, sometimes I’ll scroll through Facebook or Instagram and look at various fitness pages to give myself a little extra motivation to get started. A lot of times it works, but sometimes I’ll look at someone else’s fitness page and think ‘ehhh…good for them, but sitting sounds better to me this morning than doing burpees in my basement…’ What typically happens after that is I start to feel guilty for not getting my workout in when I’m watching others who have completed theirs. So basically…my plan of getting motivation has backfired and now I’m feeling guilty for taking a rest day. I don’t think that’s the point of fitness pages, right??
What I suggest to help with this:
- Understand that whoever it is you’re watching on social media as a fitness motivator has their off days too. They have days they skip or workouts they just barely get through because they don’t want to do it. Remember- social media typically shows us the best of the best…NOT the every day, real life struggles with getting exercise in on a weekly basis! Physical rest days are important so our bodies can rest but MENTAL rest breaks are just as important too, in my opinion. Take the day if you need it. Typically when I take a random day off because I’m just not feeling it that day, I’m anxious to get back into the next day and I usually have a really good first workout back! Don’t feel guilty if you need a break.
Being a mom is hard work
- Did I just hear you mutter to yourself, ‘DUH!’?? Ok, I know being a mom is hard work but hear me out: I talk to so many moms who tell me their schedules and it tires me out just listening to it! ‘I wake up at 5 am, get myself ready before the kids wake up, get them up, fed and dressed, take them to school, go to work, pick the kids up after school, help with homework and snacks, make dinner, do baths and bedtime, so the only time I have to work out is at 9 pm after all of that is done and I’m just so tired by that point and feel bad about myself that I can’t get a workout in at night!’ Are you one of the moms who thinks that? If so, please re-read that incredibly long sentence and tell me how exhausting that looks! There’s no WAY you should feel sorry about not having time for a workout if that’s your schedule! You know those fitness professionals or public fitness figures you’re following and comparing yourself to? Fitness is their JOB! Like…it’s what they get paid to do. Their day revolves around working out and eating right. You don’t follow Carla- the totally ripped, in shape, eats perfect, mom to 3 who ALSO works a 9-5 desk job and coaches volleyball 3 nights per week on Instagram right? No! It’s because she doesn’t exist.
What I suggest to help with this:
- Make one of those paper chain countdowns to when your kids go off to college so you’ll see exactly how many days you have left until you get free time! 🙂 I’m totally kidding of course. If you find that you literally have no time during the day to work out – and I do believe that happens with a lot of moms, focus on your nutrition instead. Exercise on the weekends or get up and move around during your lunch break, but really focus on what it is you’re putting into your mouth because nutrition is the backbone to health/fitness success anyways. If you still want to get some activity in during the week, aim for 1 or 2 nights per week for those 9 pm workouts. Find a home program so you don’t need to leave the house. Make small goals for yourself to ease into any new type of lifestyle, and increase the goal once you are consistently hitting the smaller goals.
By the way, I’m not excluding dads with this by any means. As millions of other dads/husbands out there…my husband works incredibly hard to support our family and I’m eternally grateful for him. I just talk to moms wayyyyy more often than dads about these topics, so that’s what I’m basing this off of!
What are your thoughts? Are you unfairly comparing yourself to someone else’s ‘best of the best’ life pictures they’re sharing on social media? Tell me what you think in the comments!
Well, I’m off to go get my midday Sunday afternoon workout in followed by a huge garden salad and green smoothie!
Just kidding. Today is a rest day and we have Doritos that are looking like they’ll be my dinner downstairs…:)
Talk to you soon!