You make the decision. Maybe it’s New Years and you vow that this year is the year you will make your health a priority. Maybe its March and you suddenly realize that summer is around the corner and you really want to look good in a swimsuit. Maybe it’s a big event like a wedding, a reunion, or an anniversary trip. Maybe it’s a random Tuesday and you’re sick and tired of eating Doritos in front of the TV.
Maybe it’s because of something hurtful: Your child remarks that your tummy is “squishy.” You sister tells you the dress you’re trying on is too tight. Your husband expresses his concern for your health.
We’ve all been there for one reason or another. We make the decision to put our health first, lose the weight, or simply start exercising. We start day one with the best of intentions. And within 3 days, we give up.
Time and time again, we throw in the towel and claim, “I can’t do this.”
What is this? What is the reason for the failure? What’s stopping us from accomplishing what we want?
I think women are particularly vulnerable to this. We have a tendency to give up on ourselves and to put everyone else first, get discouraged from the media images around us that tell us what we “should” look like, and grow impatient with our lack of results. Sometimes, life just gets in the way.
The fact is, as moms, we have every excuse in the book not to take care of ourselves. It’s time to shut those excuses down for good.
I Just Feel Bad Taking the Time for Myself
The mom guilt is real. It’s very natural to always put the kids first and forget about yourself. We love our kids! I know it’s very hard to dedicate 30-60 minutes of uninterrupted “me” time. If seems so selfish! How can I justify setting aside that time when laundry needs to be done, lunches need to be made, and noses need to be wiped? How can I possible take the time for something so self-indulgent?
Taking time for your health makes you a better mom. It’s true. Kids are stressful and exercise is a stress relief. A less-stressed mom is a patient mom. Kids can drive you crazy, but exercise produces endorphins, and endorphins make you happy. A happy mom is a fun mom. Exercise gives you body confidence, even when your body is less than perfect. A mom with confidence is an inspiration and model for her children. A healthy mom is a mom who has energy to dedicate to her kids. Forget the guilt. Remind yourself that your children benefit from a healthy, happy mom.
I Don’t Have Time
You have kids, a husband, a house, a job outside the home, church/ volunteer commitments, and the list goes on! I get it.There aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish all we want to do. You barely have time to take a shower, much less hit the gym or go for a run. It’s exhausting just trying to keep up with the day to day tasks, how can you possibly squeeze one more thing on you to do list?
The truth is, we all have the exact same amount of time. We all have 24 hours in a day to use however you wish. Some things are set: work, sleep, appointments, etc. But for all the other activities you get to choose how to spend you time! You get to prioritize. It’s hard. But the harsh fact is, until you prioritize your health, you will never have the time. There will never be a day when life slows down and you have all this free time to do what you want and finally think about your health. If you want to get healthy now, you have to start prioritizing your health now. Deliberately, plan out how you can fit it in.
I Feel too Self-Conscious
I know you know what I’m talking about. You go out for a run and you feel like everyone is watching your butt bounce around. Or you take a yoga class and can feel the extra roll of fat creep over the top of your yoga pants. You’re too slow, or too weak, or too fat or too old. Everyone’s staring at you and thinking, “Why does she even bother?”
First and foremost, no one is thinking that. Seriously. And if by chance they are, it’s because they are dealing with their own insecurities, and that has nothing to do with you. There is no magic pill to completely erase your insecurities. All we can do it try and push past them until the confidence is real. Your body is capable of so many amazing things! Exercise allows you opportunity to see what you can do, how far you can run, how much you can lift, or how long you can hold a plank. It’s amazing to see how much you can do and how strong you can get! That’s what exercise can do for you! Yes, it can slim you down, but the greater transformation happens when we start to take pride in what our bodies can do. Don’t let insecurities stop you! The confidence will come, I promise.
I’m Not as Good as She Is
As women, we constantly compare ourselves. It doesn’t help that there is a media frenzy of “hot” celebrity bodies bombarding us at every direction. We are constantly told this is the way a “beautiful” woman is supposed to look, and we fall short. No matter what we do, we fall short. I’m not as skinny as she is. She’s so much faster than I am. My yoga pose doesn’t look like that. Her arms are more toned then mine. The comparisons can go on and on.
Turn it off. I feel so strongly about comparison that I’ve written about it before, several times. We have to stop putting pressure on ourselves to look or act a certain way. We have to stop letting jealous over other women’s success be a detriment to our own. Focus on you journey, no one else’s. Thank God for your body, no one else’s. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
It Doesn’t Matter
We watch what we eat. We exercise. It’s hard and we try. And then… nothing happens. The scale won’t budge. Can there be anything more frustrating?! I mean, what’s the point? Why should we even bother? If I’m just going to be stuck like this forever, I may as well enjoy my ice cream, right?
We live in a world of instant gratification, but life isn’t actually like that. There is no amazing new diet pill that’s going to help you drop ten pounds in a week. That doesn’t exist. Things like progress actually take time. Time and lots of hard work. But if we give up within a week, we’ll never see what we are truly capable of. So while we wait on time, we can focus on other victories. A pair of pants that aren’t as tight anymore. Being able to run your 3 mile loop without stopping. Having the stamina to keep up with your kids. Holding a yoga pose for longer. Eventually you will see the scale results, but in the meantime, try not to get discouraged. Stay focused on the other positive changes that come from getting healthy.
Stop letting these excuses get in your way! You get to decide to take charge of you health and make it a priority today.