Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to go on a diet as a mother? As single ladies we used to be able to stick to a healthy meal plan and a regular exercise regiment and it would all be so effortless and integrated in our lifestyle to the extent that we never would have imagined it otherwise. With the holiday season over and those extra kilos that come with it, or any stubborn baby weight we might have not yet lost, it seems like an impossible mission. But why is this the case and can it be solved?
As a mother you rarely have a fixed schedule. The only schedule you have revolves around the kids, drop off and pick up, homework and activities, bath and bedtime. If you have an office job it becomes easier to control your meals and have them at certain times but once home it is back to organized chaos, but if you work from home or are a stay at home mom then you can definitely relate to not having a schedule. Eating becomes sporadic and it becomes a pastime rather than a necessity, sometimes due to hectic mornings you forget to have breakfast and have heavier meals afterwards, or you get engulfed in errands that you overeat to compensate for the physical energy spent. Another factor we all relate to is the amount of food that is leftover by our kids. Sure if you were to think of your diet plan you would refuse to eat what is left in the plate and throw it out no matter how large the portion is, but because you’re a nurturing mother you think of all those who don’t have food on their plates and end up eating even though you had just had your dinner. Then there is stress that comes with managing a household, the finances and needs, the kids and their school drama and having the kids at home during sick days or long vacations naturally leads us to stress eat which is called emotional eating. Add to that the fact that during the day the household is mainly catering to the children of the family, the only calm time to have a good meal is at night once the kids are in bed, which goes against every rule in the diet book. We also find it hard to go to the gym or attend fitness classes and we are left with exercising at home, and we all know how idealistic this solution is and how we rarely follow through.
So if you think of it, it isn’t the fact that we are mothers that doesn’t allow us to diet, it is the overwhelming daily tasks we juggle and how we prioritize every member of our family (which we love doing). How about we reflect on those factors and choose to make our body and health needs a priority. Let us start with baby steps, controlled portions, emotions in check and frequent exercise such as a 30 minute walk in our neighborhoods during the day if we are able, or as soon as the kids sleep!