By Kate Horney
One of the most common excuses I hear from moms regarding why they don’t make health and fitness a priority is “I jut don’t have enough time.”
We’ve all said it before. I’m a busy mom too, trust me- I can relate!
It’s not uncommon for many moms to use the “I don’t have time” excuse when life gets busy or when we don’t want to feel guilty about skipping a workout or preparing healthy meals….
- If we “don’t have enough time to work out,” what we’re really saying is that it’s easier for us to be okay with not feeling good about ourselves, not having the energy we need to get through the day, and ultimately, not being healthy examples and role models for our kids.
- If we “don’t have enough time to prepare healthy meals,” what we’re really saying is that it’s easier to accept our next unhealthy meal through a drive-thru window- not just for ourselves but for our families.
When we say we “don’t have time” what we’re really saying is that it’s not important. It’s not a priority.
Starting today, you are no longer allowed to use the words: “I don’t have time.” Instead, I want you to say, “It’s not a priority.”
Many times that’s a perfectly suitable explanation.
I have time to dust my blinds, I just don’t want to…
But other things are harder….
- What about when we’re dealing with our children: “I can’t play fire trucks with you, buddy, because playing with you isn’t a priority.” (OUCH!)
- What about when it relates to our health: “I’d love to work out, I just don’t have time” becomes “exercising isn’t a priority.”
- What about when it’s how we feed our family: “I’d love to eat healthier, but I don’t have time to cook” becomes “eating healthy isn’t a priority.”
Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.
Where do you spend your time? Just like keeping a food journal, try tracking your time over the next few days in 30-minute blocks. How much time do you spend on the computer, watching TV, etc? It may surprise you.
How you choose to spend your time defines your priorities.
So if you’ve spent the last 6 months telling yourself that you wanted to get in shape and become healthier but you never seemed to find the time, today’s your day. It hasn’t been because you didn’t have enough time, it’s been because you never made health & fitness a priority.
Here are 3 steps to get fit starting TODAY:
1) Keep your workout time short. Just because you don’t have an hour to exercise doesn’t mean 10 or 15 minutes aren’t worth the effort. In fact, small amounts of intense exercise can add up to big results. Don’t overwhelm yourself with ridiculous workouts that require hours at the gym. Break up the time into 10-minute increments- then work your way up to 20 or 30-minute sessions as you can. The key is to do SOMETHING. Try this: 10 body weight squats, 10 squat jumps, and10 lunges. Or how about 1 minute of family squat jumps before dinner…
2) Do it at home. Don’t waste the precious time that you do have driving to the gym, getting checked in, and getting set up for your workout. Instead of heading to the gym for 60 minutes 5 days a week, let’s try a different approach…. 30 minutes, 3x week at home. Instead of 5 hours (or more, including travel time) at the gym, you’ll be doing less than 2 hours per week- and you don’t even have to leave the house! (sometimes I work out in my slippers)
Sound too good to be true? It’s not. When you’re doing the right type of workouts, you can get MORE results in LESS time. (Check out our monthly BeyondFit Life workouts that can be downloaded, printed & done in your very own living room!)
3) Plan your meals ahead of time. How many times have you caught yourself saying, “I wish I hadn’t eaten ______, but I was starving!” or “I’m trying to eat healthy, but all I had was ______.” If you’re like most busy moms, deep down you WANT to make healthy nutrition choices, but when you’re short on time and need dinner in a pinch, fast food often trumps fat loss food. By planning your meals ahead of time, you’re more likely to stay on track and less likely to succumb to temptation when unhealthy foods present themselves. Here are 3 time saving nutrition tips:
- Designate a grocery day. Pick one day out of the week to go grocery shopping. Make a shopping list of all the fat loss friendly foods you want to have on hand for the week, including ingredients for healthy recipes you may want to try, and quick & easy snacks (think hardboiled eggs, cut up veggies, etc) to grab & go.
- Make meal prep fun. We do “meal prep” on Sundays at our house, and we always try to make it fun. From trying new recipes, to playing music and dancing in the kitchen as things are cooking, there are lots of ways you can put some fun into your prep. Preparing meals in bulk and refrigerating/freezing them for the week saves time and ensures you’re set up for success.
- Prepare for emergency. Ok, emergency may be a strong word. But the key here is to keep items on hand in your purse, car, diaper bag, etc for times when you’re caught without a healthy option. Eat preemptively in order to keep blood sugar stable and to balance your hunger, energy and cravings. When you skip meals, you not only increase your likelihood of storing fat, but also put yourself in a situation where you are starving in the hours afterwards. We’ve all been there- when you’re so hungry you could eat a horse. At this point, you no longer make educated decisions about your food choices and find yourself at the mercy of your growling stomach and raging hunger hormones. This mindset causes you to overeat or grab fast, unhealthy options when you otherwise wouldn’t. Some of my favorites include protein bars and raw almonds.
There’s hope for you, busy moms!
Here’s what I want you to know: Even if you’re a busy mom who THINKS she has no time, you can still drop body fat, get healthy and be in the best shape of your life. Change your mindset, evaluate your priorities, and take small steps to get back on track.
If you’re as busy mom who has let your busy life stand in the way of your health and fitness, we’re here for you. Every day, through our BeyondFit Life Club, we help women prioritize their own health and fitness with quick, at home workouts, easy to follow recipes, and plenty of support & accountability to keep you on track.
But whether you choose to join us or not, I do encourage you to do something- anything- as soon as possible.
Before you know it, 30 extra pounds can easily become 50 extra pounds. High blood sugar can easily become type 2 diabetes. And high cholesterol can easily become cardiovascular disease.
That’s not the kind of example you want to set for your kids.
It’s not what you say that’s important to you, it’s what you DO that’s important to you. It’s amazing how much time you can find when you minimize the things that aren’t important to make room for the things that are.