If I’m going to be real honest with myself, I have been in survival mode for a long time now.
As moms we start off in survival mode, “let’s figure out what this whole life-with-a-newborn thing is all about.” Then comes the feeding of this baby — Survival Mode! And I don’t even need to mention the sleep deprivation (does that ever really ends?!). And that's all just in the first few weeks!
If we're not careful (and here's where I'll be real honest with you!), we don't ever move out of survival mode. It's easy to stay there -- stress and adrenaline pushing us through each day, collapsing at the end of the day, glad for a moment of peace, and holding our breaths for whatever comes our way tomorrow.
Transitioning from adulthood to parenthood is full of changes to our routines and priorities that never stop coming at us. As soon as one facet of our mom life is handled, we’re hit with a new one. Baby’s finally sleeping? Now she rolls over and can’t roll back! Kiddo is finally in school? Now there’s PTA and fundraisers, Pinterest moms, friends with exciting toys and school projects coming at you left and right!
There is a veritable sh*t-storm of new hurtles, new skills to learn and new routines to add to our lives coming at us at all times. We live in survival mode.
But is that healthy? Nope! Not for our bodies and definitely not for our souls!
In survival mode, we do triage. We rank things in order of immediate importance, and most often, it’s our own needs that get pushed down. I mean, I've gone hours from when my body tells me I need to pee to actually going pee while I help the kids, clean up, help the kids and clean up some more. HOURS.
So if I can't even let myself use the restroom when I need it, finding time to get in a workout is pretty much a fruitless effort. So rather than feel guilty about it, make new plans to do it, cancel those plans, and feel guilty and overlooked (again), let's make it happen.
Here are my top 3 ways to move out of survival mode and get in your own consistent workout routine:
1. Start small
Telling ourselves "we'll have more time when..." or that we need things to settle down before we can create a routine that feels good for us is where we need to start making a change.
Start now. Life as a parent is busy and it always will be. So embrace it and acknowledge that your self care and, yes, your fitness, will look different than what you might like.
I've said this before and it's KEY. Small and consistent workouts and getting active will add up to huge results. Time and childcare (and energy!) needed to get to the gym and back is not easy to find as a mom. And with a finite number of hours in the day, it can also mean sacrificing a big chunk of time you don't have.
Different doesn't mean less! Learning to squeeze in more frequent, small amounts of exercise and fitness into your life is a great way to take back your control over your health and happiness.
This is one I learned from my life as a circus acrobat. Staying in top shape was a big part of my job, as was exploring new cities and partying ;) So on our days off of training and performing, finding ways to stay active, sneak in quick strength workouts, and eat healthy when I could so I could indulge on all the new foods (and drinks!) was what really kept me, us all, progressing and staying strong for our jobs. As soon as I realized I'm in the same boat as a mom, it all came back to me -- Fun and fit can be one in the same!
2. Make a plan
Plan your days and weeks to include your self care. Figure out places you can squeeze it in. Figure out how many dedicated workouts you'd like to get in (even if it's just 10 minutes) and make it happen! Missed one? No problem, figure out where you can get it in next - quick and easy!
Don't start with a big change. Ease in to adding in your fitness. Start with just trying to get more active in your current routine - ie. walk more and stretch and do a few exercises here and there (this is where I love the daily fitness challenges - 2 minutes of planks a day, or 50 squats, are a great way to start getting used to the idea of adding SOMETHING in).
At the end of the day, you get to feel proud of what you did, NOT what you didn't do! We focus on missed workouts and unhealthy choices we made, when instead, if we keep it small and stick to our plan, we can celebrate so many healthy choices we did make for ourselves. Check out my S.Well Points App if you haven't already, it's a great (FREE) way to track your progress and develop a plan/routine that will stick!
3. Set goals
This is where we get to really make some changes in our mental and physical health! Finding things to focus on that we can celebrate and progress through makes fitness fun and measurable without stepping on the scale. After all, we're doing this so we can FEEL awesome.
When we focus on weight loss, it's easy to fall into an all or nothing approach or feel defeated if the numbers aren't reflecting what we'd like to see.
But when you have tangible goals that show you how strong you're getting, how much better your posture is getting, how healthy you feel, how much more energy you have, THAT is how we stay consistent and that is how you will eventually see the numbers look the way you want.
So pick some goals - maybe it's being able to run a mile without stopping to walk. Start with walking and running (a mile will only take about 15 minutes ;) and can be done with a stroller or a kid on a bike, just saying!) and see how quickly you can keep running the whole mile! Then try for 2... Or maybe it's 10 full push ups in a row! Start in an incline or on the knees. Do one or two on the toes, and then to the knees... Goals will keep you inspired and keep you on track!
Hint: Our September challenge in the membership community will be all about setting and tracking some small goals! If you're not already a member, now is a GREAT time to try it out (join here)! Move out of survival mode and get back in control of your health and happiness. NOW is the time!
The hot topic on the mom blogs these days is that there is no such thing as balance. But I disagree! It just looks different. You just have to get a bit Savage ;)
You've got this mama! As always, hit me up with any questions or if you'd like some help with your goal setting. Just respond to this email! I LOVE hearing from you guys!
Love and light (and a fist bump),