One of the top hurdles we face as busy moms, wives, students and business owners is making healthy living fit with our crazy schedules. People never believe that I am a mother of two with a long listen of daily “to do’s”. My days begin about 5:20 am and don’t end until 10:00 pm if I’m lucky. So how am I able to balance everything and still manage to stay in shape and eat healthy?
The truth is my schedule can be taxing. There are days when I say to myself “I don’t think I can work any harder than this.” Then of course I am successful at completing my day and making a strong effort to make genius level decisions for my health. You and I are no different. This healthy lifestyle thing is about mental toughness and execution; realizing your worth and taking pride in your health.
My healthy living tips as a busy woman:
Decide that you are done dieting. You may think that staying on a diet will help you stay in shape and be healthy. Following the latest juicing diet, vegan and low carb trends seem like the key to your success. However, as long as you stay with the diet mindset you will be miserable. Take it from a former chronic yo-yo dieter. The game changer for me was accepting a healthy lifestyle. Meaning everyday was a healthy day. Cheat meals don’t exist, it’s not torture eating large salads, drinking water makes me happy and sweating regularly feels amazing.
It was not always like this. I failed gym twice in high school, I was always too cute to sweat my hair out and I loved McDonalds. After having my second son I became obsessed with learning about why eating healthy was best for me, how food fuels the cells in our body and it finally clicked. I also tried to do another crash diet that didn’t work, and propelled me into the health and fitness industry. That’s a story for another blog.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the only way I have been able to maintain my weight and not fluctuate in dress sizes in nearly 10 years. In short, no more dieting, just eat healthy. Which means to eat more fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed unpackaged food. This does not mean you can’t enjoy the occasional treat. I love following the 80/20 rule; which means 80 percent of your diet is healthy food while the other 20 percent is your not so healthy food.
Use your time wisely. If you know all of the celebrity gossip, are up to date with all of the reality TV shows and know everyone’s status update on Facebook and Instagram you are not using your time wisely. The hours you spend on anyone of the activities I just mentioned could be your workout time. I’m not saying that you can’t indulge in a little trash television and gossip, here and there. I am saying make your healthy lifestyle as much a priority as you do your favorite television show.
Stop buying junk food. This sounds obvious right? The thing is, we think that we have the willpower to deny what we know isn’t good for us. We buy the junk for the kids or our partner. Then we find ourselves sneaking into the junk (ask me how I know). If you stock the kitchen with healthy options you will choose the healthy option or nothing at all. Both outcomes are fine!
There are times when I come in the kitchen looking for something sweet and unhealthy to find nothing is there and I’m sad and happy at the same time. Make no mistake, as much as I love healthy living I love eating junk as well. Ladies we tend to be emotional eaters as well. That ice cream you got for the kids now becomes yours at the end of a long day. So just skip the chips, ice cream and donuts all together until you have the willpower to not reach for the sugar and junk.
Get the kids and/or significant other involved. I am going to stress the kid part here because it is important we model a healthy lifestyle for our kids.With so many children being diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity you have to wonder how and where they developed it. From the people they live with of course. For those of you that do have children and you purchase treats for them, its worth explaining to them that treats are just that, treats, and should only be consumed in moderation.
Our lovers can sit in on this lesson as well. Sharing your journey to living a healthy lifestyle with the family allows for teachable moments and bonding. You may be met with opposition but that’s ok. My children aren’t fond of all of my healthy living habits, however, they have accepted what works for them. Getting the family involved is the perfect instilling healthy habits for the next generation.
View fitness and healthy eating as maintenance. I view working out and eating healthy as mandatory maintenance. Just like our vehicles and lovely homes our bodies need to be maintained – more so than our possessions. It always boggles my mind how many people take better care of their possessions than themselves.If you don’t take care of yourself, eventually you will start to break down. Similar to how a car breaks down from poor maintenance or the house gets termites because you haven’t done your due diligence.
The bottom line is I know you mean well and you are looking for solutions because you are on this blog post. Which also means you are above average. Remember that healthy living is not about being a size 2, being cut up like Massy Arias and only eating grass. Healthy living is about remaining active, extending your life, boosting your vitality, clearing up your skin, moving around easily and feeling great in your own skin!
Shakera Leigh Halford is a holistic health coach, yoga instructor, fitness instructor and beauty professional. She is passionate about helping women learn how to become the best version of themselves. She teaches women how to balance family, health and beauty though her amazing wellness and weight loss programs.