Good morning, girl. How are you this morning? Did you watch the video of Dr. Wendy Suzuki yesterday? I love that woman.
Dr. Wendy helps me to get my head right when I am getting down on myself. (I am strong!) She is one of the many supports I turn to on the days when I need a boost. Do you ever have those days? They go like this: I’ll be dressing for work, or stepping out of the shower, and I’ll catch a glimpse of I’ve-had-a-baby-tummy or jiggly-thigh and this awful thought pops in my head, something like, “you-are-one-fat-and-ugly-em-effer”. Or worse. I swear, my self-talk some days is just vicious. I say things to myself I would never dream of saying to another living being.
Why do we do this to ourselves? It’s not helpful, Lord knows. I’m sure there is someone out there happy to name this some disorder or another and drug me right up. Personally, I think it just means I’m human. I think that because I’ve never met a woman who doesn’t do this to herself at one point or another in her week, in her month, in her life.
I have found that I have to DECIDE to be happy. To choose to be optimistic, to choose to love myself in spite of the crap my insecurities spew from my brain every once in a while.
And I get help climbing back up out of that nasty hole. I call a friend. I go for a run (always always always lifts my spirits). I watch an inspirational video. I put music on and dance (really, try it, it’s awesome). I eat a salad (and think of the very hungry caterpillar), drink tea, breathe outdoor air. I’ll make a gratitude list.
And then I’ll keep going.
If your head wasn’t kind to you this morning, try one of these things. Or all of them. And know that you are not alone. And that, in spite of your very human occasional self-doubt, you are beautiful.
Yoga with Adrienne is my favorite youtube yoga channel. She is funny and sweet and offers lots of variations for different levels of athlete. This is a link to Day One of a thirty-one day yoga series. If you don’t have the time or money to get to a yoga studio, this is an excellent alternative. Bonus: you can do it at home with your babies or while your babies sleep.
Hey, girl. Happy Tuesday! What are you going to do to take care of yourself today? What one thing? To feed your body, your strength, your stamina. Because your body is more than just a transportation system for your brain. And your physical health affects everything, really, everything. Your mood, your focus, your energy … all hugely impacted by your physical health. And role model too, right? Remember those small humans who are watching you to see how they should live.
Cardio? Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Every time. Or walk around outside the building for a fresh-air break.
Nutrition? Have tea instead of soda. Have salad instead of a burger and fries. Have an apple instead of a whatever from the vending machine.
Strength? Do eight squats by your desk when you start to feel sleepy. (cubicle squats, youtube) Or do milk-jug exercises when you get home tonight. Google it up, sister. So easy. Your kids will laugh and they will respect you for it.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. It does have to be intentional.
You deserve this. You deserve to be healthy.
I hate when I am the Queen of Excuses. (No time! I’ll just check email first. Just this ONE little sweet. And my favorite: I’ll start tomorrow.) Blech. Saps my energy AND my self-confidence. I am better than that. I will be better than that, starting now.
One thing. What one thing will you do to be healthier today? And how will that affect your family? Because your health affects them too.
I’m going to get 10,000 steps in today. I’ll take the stairs, park far away and probably have to go for a walk around the neighborhood tonight to make it happen, but it will happen. And I’ll feel better because of it.
How about you, Mamma? Your one thing?
Go, Mamma, go!!!
Good morning, Mamma. What are you going to do to get some exercise in today? I know you don’t have time, really, I get it. I know that even the thought of exercise can be daunting. I know you want to stop reading right now about how you should exercise and have a piece of toast instead. Because that woman lives in me too.
But you also know your energy will be better. And that crushing tired that comes upon you at 7 PM sucks. Have you ever come home from work and fallen asleep on the sofa? Sitting up? With your purse still strapped to your shoulder? Me too. Exercise will help make that fatigue go away. It will. Fact.
And your mood will be better. Proven. And you know you hate it when you scream at the kids just because you’re stressed. I know I hate it when I do that. Hate. It. So go for a two mile run. 15 minute miles are just fine; get your heart rate up = improve your patience and your mood.
And your sleep will be better. Truth. Yummy yummy truth.
So find the time. Get up half an hour earlier and go for a run before they all wake up. Or do the hour long race walk over your lunch hour today at work. Take the stairs. Whatever you need to do, sister, do it.
You are worth it. Your energy is worth it. Your sunny ability to handle the inevitable stresses of motherhood is worth it.
Go, sister. Go do.
Hello, Mamma! Good morning!! I’m on my way to the Y for an early morning swim. Thank God for the buddy system, because the only thing that would get me out of bed at this hour to put a swim suit on and show up on a pool deck (not to mention get in the water) is the lovely woman waiting there to encourage me.
I have another friend who texts me about our 5AM yoga classes, on Wednesdays and Fridays. I’m strengthened, de-stressed and back home before the family is even out of bed.
This weekend it was a two hour bike ride with my husband and sons (try keeping up with a teenage boy on a bike and see what kind of workout you get); lovely, sunny, family togetherness.
My workout buddies. My life would very literally not be the same without them.
There has been good scientific work done showing that women who attended meetings at Weight Watchers had far better success in getting fit than women who tried to do the very same eating plan on their own. This makes a world of sense to me.
I think I’m a fairly strong woman. Fairly disciplined; fairly determined; fairly capable. But, good as I am, I am far, far better when I have someone working with me. Someone to whom I am accountable. Someone else who’s strength I can borrow when I don’t feel strong.
Get yourself a workout buddy, girl. Or two. Or three. Someone who’s respect matters to you. Someone who wants to achieve the same level of fitness you do. Call! Ask!
I asked my Mrs. Swimming Buddy months ago if she would tackle a triathlon-fitness-goal with me. After a few days consideration, she said yes. I’ve asked my husband for encouragement. Years ago, I asked a friend who was former army special forces if he would push me on strength training.
Be brave enough to ask, because the pay off is so very worth it.
Okay, Mamma. To the pool with me. How about you? What’s your workout today? Who encourages and supports you? How did you set that buddy system up?
Have a great day, girl.
Lunch break. How’s day going, girl? I started out with in-room yoga this morning, googled up “wake up music” for a playlist and was ready to start my day.
Have you moved today? Do you have a plan to move? Exercise is energy, Mamma. Defend yourself.
After I did my workout, I texted my friend back home and let her know what I had done. We text each other our workouts. Accountability. Do you have someone keeping you honest? Telling you how awesome you are when you finish that longest-ever run?
Go, Mamma, go. And enjoy. Your life, your health, your energy.
Good morning, Mommy? Ready to take care of yourself today? Yes, yes, I know, there’s no time and there’s no money and the laundry and your job. Yes… No.
Because there’s enough time and there’s enough money and the laundry will get done faster if you feel better and you’ll be smarter (really, google exercise and neurogenesis) and more focused at your job if you’ve worked out today.
And you’ll yell at your kids less (google exercise and mood) and you’ll feel sexier when you crawl into bed at night and you’ll fight off Alzheimer’s and cancer too.
Exercise is the silver bullet. It is just too powerful and too important not to do it. For yourself and for your kids. Because they will watch you, Mamma, and exercise will either be part of their lives or not. Don’t you want for them all the good things that exercise provides? Show them, teach them, make it part of their lives by making it part of yours.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just do something, every day. And get a buddy for accountability. A girlfriend you text when you’ve done your workout. Your desire for her respect will get you out the door.
Go for a walk. Ten minutes, twenty minutes, forty minutes of brisk walking. Your body will thank you.
Do the stairs. At home. Up, down. Up, down. Till you’re out of breath and your kids are laughing at you. And following you.
Life weights. Even fifteen minutes of arm weights. And push ups. And planks. Stave off the bat wings of old age.
Push the stroller around the block, up that hill, to the park. Kick up your speed just a bit.
Run! Yes, run. You don’t have to set land speed records. Jog for ten minutes to warm up and then kick it up a notch for the next twenty minutes. Pause to walk if you need to, that’s fine. Your body will still love you and you’ll love the way your thighs look in yoga pants.
You, my powerful, smart friend, are too good not to do this for yourself, for your family, for your future together.
Go, Mamma, go!!!