By Kelly Duran
One of the biggest changes motherhood brought was that I no longer had time to focus on myself. It was just too easy to put all of my focus on my kids, marriage, home, work, etc. Until the day came when I realized my needs had slipped off the priority list completely.
Vowing to make changes was the easy part. The challenge was that even though I had a different mind set about my life…I still had the same life. The same responsibilities, commitments and schedule.
I had to re-evaluate every aspect of my life to find a way to make it work. And somehow it did. One year later I’m 30 pounds lighter and have my first 5K medal hanging on my wall.
Accomplishing my goals felt so great I thought I’d share my tips here in the hopes they might help someone else.
5 Tips to Fit Fitness Back Into Your Life
1.Try Something New
Get outside your comfort zone and try something you never have before. I had always wanted to be a runner. I loved the thought of lacing up my shoes and running out the door. So that’s what I settled on. I downloaded a 5K running app, bought some new shoes and started week 1. And though it wasn’t easy at the beginning I knew right away I was going to love running. And I was right.
I encourage any busy mother to give running a try. There are no monthly fees, no schedules to match, no closing times. It really is about putting on your shoes and going out the door. They The first step out the door is the hardest and then you never look back
2. Ask a Friend to Join You
When I decided to make running my new BFF I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have some additional support. Also, since I would have to run after my kids went to bed (because you do it whenever your schedule will allow) I knew I shouldn’t be running at night on my own. So I reached out to a friend and asked her to join me. It was the best decision I made.
I was now accountable to someone else and that made it easier to prioritize my runs. Plus – once I was able to actually talk while running – it was a nice plus to chat without being constantly interrupted.
3.Make it a Family Affair
Another way to make yourself accountable – and thereby give yourself more incentive to actually DO it – is to involve your family in your fitness goals. I told my girls (4 & 7) that my goal was to have them at the finish line of my first “race”. They were great cheerleaders. They asked me every night at bedtime if I was going to go for my “run-walk” and reminded me to stretch. On weekends I would run at the playground while they played. They cheered for me on each lap and stretched with me after.
4. Improvise when Necessary
It is inevitable that there will be times you simply won’t be able to get a “proper” workout in. It is was at these times that I realized that I two awesome personal trainers living in my own house. Trust me, your kids will run you into exhaustion if you let them…so let them.
I have hula-hooped, jumped rope, played tag, chased butterflies and all other manner of kid-like activities to get my cardio in. And while I have yet to find an app that can calculate a calorie burn for these things – they were worth every minute of the effort I put in and the laughs I shared with my girls doing them.
5. Make it a Priority
This is the tough one because it’s the easiest one to flake out on. There will always be something you can put ahead of your fitness goals. There will always be excuses. Don’t fall for them. Don’t let yourself get back into bad habits.
Put your scheduled workouts on the calendar on the fridge. Put a reminder in your phone. Put a post it note on the bathroom mirror. Whatever it takes…do it. That pile of laundry can wait to be folded until after your run. Making lunches can wait until after yoga class. Put you first. You will be glad that you did.
Spring is a time for rebirth and reinvention – what better time to make a promise to yourself to stop putting yourself last. Your goals are waiting there ready to be achieved.
Kelly started her blog – Writing Down the Bones – in 2013 to satisfy her need for a writing outlet as well as create a diary of her life as a working mother of 2. In those rare moments of free time not spent with her family you can usually find Kelly writing in the hopes of one day completing that novel she started oh so many years ago. She is also a ‘newbie’ runner and recently completed her first 5k race with sights set on running a half marathon in 2015. You can also find her on Twitter @kelsey_bar