It was just today when a client of mine said to me, “it’s only been a week without exercise and I can already feel the difference in my mental health”. Not that she’s mentally unstable, I think she’s an inspiration to many Mums out there. Exercise is very much apart of her life and a an important tool of self care for her, it simply reinforces the fact the importance of a simple action, like exercising, which the majority of us have the luxury of being able to do can be taken for granted so easily.
I will admit it can be tough, as the primary care-giver or stay home Mum or Dad to make exercise and nutrition a priority. That is for sure! And when you’re a personal trainer and have been teaching others the value of exercise and healthy nutrition habits for the better part of a decade I can put my hand on my heart and say, “I understand how you feel”, I know what you mean now when you say I just don’t seem to have time, or what you really mean is the you don’t have the energy nor the human will to get off the couch out of bed and begin the dreaded exercise habit again after welcoming a new baby to the family.
But no one said it would be easy did they! No one warned my wife & I that life is going to take on an entire new dimension and it’s not just about YOU anymore. In fact you can forget about the things you like to do on the weekends, like catching a movie, or sleeping in until 10am because you chose to stay out last night for a few drinks with mates. Nope uh uh no one told me that! I mean yes we heard things about the sleep but you really don’t think about it properly do you?
Who in their right mind would say, “yeah I won’t mind getting up at 11pm for 45 minutes, then again at 1.30am”, and finally at 3am you drag your sorry arse back into bed to lay there and try to think of strategies with your partner on how to STOP THIS MADNESS! Knowing you have to be up again at 4.45am and present yourself bright eyed and bushy tailed to your 6am, 7am, 8am, 9am clients and then expect to go hammer yourself in the gym to maintain a pleasing aesthetic look so you can proudly say, “I workout”. No one in their right mind would happily accept unless they actually thought about it, or maybe our biological drive for recreation has us completely and utterly fooled.
You will get tired, really tired, and cranky, and feel like kicking the dog at times. Some days you do need to just give yourself a positive word, pat the dog and aim to do the best you know how, which hopefully does not involve cramming chocolate bars or salty chips down your throat. But don’t let the noxious weeds grow for too long, because let me tell you as soon as you start making up those little lame excuses you’ll be sorry! You will only let yourself down. The sooner you start moving, the better. All it takes is one foot in front of the other, quite literally in this case. So if you’re a new Mum or Dad you know what you need to do, it’s not rocket science, do your mind and body a favour. Sometimes the best thing you can do is start with the bare basics again. Support and encourage each other, get a group of your friends from Mothers group and get moving, and for the most part, enjoy yourself!