Monday, August 23, 2010

Working Out Like a Mother II

This is probably the most rewarding subject I have ever written about. I love being a mother, I've been a foster parent to special needs children, I've taught preschool and I have two grown sons of my own. There were times when things were hectic and I would feel stressed out and irritated. But when I would stop and reflect on why I was irritated it was usually the over commitment things I had gotten involved in that got in the way of the quality of my family relationships. Then I learned this little notion that for every time I said YES to one thing, I am saying NO to another. So, if I said "Yes, I will volunteer to help with that project." I was saying "No, I don't have time to relax with my family". Or if I said "Yes, son, I'd love to go hiking with you today." Then I'm saying "No, I don't have time to do the laundry right now."

That is an over simplification of the notion, but you get the gist of it. You have to pick what adds quality to your life or the life you want to build for yourself and your family. I learned that by looking at it this way, it made it easier to say no to all the 'worthy' causes and helped me to choose quality over quantity. So many moms of elementary aged students seem to running in 100 and 1 directions. To put is mildly they seem frazzled and fried. If this is you, I want to encourage you to exhale. No one has ever died from being less than perfect. Enjoy this day and all the little adventures it may bring.

In this phase of motherhood, you youngest has entered kindergarten and you have a little more free time. Whether you are a stay at home mom or you work outside of the home, you child is now more independent and can take care of some of their own physical needs. Encourage them to do so. Let them help pick out which vegetables you buy at the grocery store. Let them look through the Clean Eating Magazine or cookbooks to find things that appeal to them. Ask them what they would like to do and maybe offer some options. "Would you like to go for a bike ride with me or go to the park to play". If they choose park, make sure you play like a kid at the park! It is fun to play like no one is looking or like you don't care what others think of an adult on the swings. Have fun! Kids are happy. Active kids are healthy. Doesn't make sense that you would be happier and healthier if you played at the park?

Elementary aged children are great at physical challenges and are up for just about anything. During a walk or a play time at the park, challenge them to see how many times they can hop on one foot. You do the same! Now spread your feet apart, squat down to touch the ground and then jump up as high as you can (almost like a leap frog movement or a squat thrust). This is a fun age to workout with. This is my favorite age to do yoga with. Teach them upward facing dog and downward facing dog.

If you are blessed enough to be a stay at home mom and have that time alone while they are at school, now is the time you can invest a little more time into you fitness goals. Take up running (check out the Couch to 5k program). Take up kickboxing or Zumba. Challenge yourself with Crossfit workouts.

Elementary can be a picky food time. They are so drawn in by the commercial products and what their friends have. They are also more social at this age and are eating at friends house. Although we can't control what they eat at the home of others, we can provide healthy choices for them at home and in their lunchbox.

What's in the lunchbox? Start them out as young as possible with whole wheat breads and they will love them. There are these great whole wheat wraps called Flat Outs. You can use theses a couple dozen different ways. Here is one of my favorites. Spread natural peanut butter on the flat wrap, spread a layer of all fruit jam slice a banana in half lengthwise and roll in up in the wrap. Delicious! So, you just got your whole wheat, protein, and fruit serving at the same time. Add a little crunch to their lunch by learning how to make homemade sweet potato 'chips'. And to get another yummy veggie in their tummies, slice a red bell pepper. Red bell peppers are so high in vitamin C and they taste so sweet and crunchy. To add a little calcium to their lunchbox put in a small container of plain yogurt. If they prefer, you could add some chopped fruit (strawberries, cantaloupe is delicious in yogurt and is very high in potassium).

It's the end of a long busy school day and you both need a night time ritual to help you transition to sleep. My ritual is a warm epsom salt bath, a chocolate protein shake and I climb into bed to read for about thirty minutes before I plan to be asleep.

Whether you are a mother or not and no matter what ages your children may be. The bottom line is find what works with the phase of life that you are in now. Find out what your priority are now. Don't wait until everything is perfect, it never will be. Today is your time. What are you going to do today to work towards your goals, dreams, passions and desire.

My goal is to inspire you to live a life full of passion and dreams and that you will inspire your children and others to do the same. Life really is delicious!

Live beautifully!

P.S. My youngest is 21. Two weeks ago, he and his fiancee joined me in the 100 push up challenge. They have been very diligent in their training. Tonight they started the Couch to 5k training program and have decided to run three days a week and do push-ups and strength training three days a week. You should see the smile on this mommy's face!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Great blog! Down dog is a staple of yoga. It’s important especially for newbies to utilize key positioning skills. I found that Leeann Carey has a great free yoga video on this very thing. Your readers might want to check it out: