How many of you moms out there struggle with the delusional effects on the brain caused from managing a home and kids? I definitely do! I finally got to a breaking point recently that caused me to really step outside my comfort zone to make a radical change in my life. On the surface, the process of transformation I’m about to tell you about gave the illusion that I was losing valuable time that should have been spent giving to my family. But what I found was that all of my responsibilities got done and that everyone’s happy when mommy’s happy!
I usually get wrapped up in the daily mommy grind of changing diapers, cleaning up spills, fixing meals and, of course, the dreaded never-ending laundry pile. As I attempt to type this my 1-year old daughter found a way out to our back porch and sat down in the baby pool. When I scooped her up she had a plastic piece of fake dog poop (from her brothers’ prank kit) in her mouth. Ugh!! Anyway, I’ve realized the chances of ever getting ahead in my “job” are…well…impossible. With the way things were I never felt accomplished because there was always some other demand to tend to no matter how hard or fast I worked.
I finally decided to shift my mindset away from solely stay-at-home mom duties to self-care first, then mom duties. For 60 days I committed to taking care of myself first. I NEEDED to see results somehow! My good friends Rainer and Kristen are coaches for Beach Body’s amazing at-home workout series, one called PiYo. They’re both moms and their homes haven’t imploded…yet…so I decided to do PiYo over any other workout program out there.
Surprisingly, I was able to find hidden time that allowed me to squeeze in a short work out daily, my house didn’t burn down and my kids did not spontaneously combust. Although things aren’t quite in the order I like them to be I am a MUCH happier mom because of this simple switch.
By putting my personal goals first over the last 60-days I’ve learned these five important lessons that I’d like to share with you:
1. PiYo is actually relaxing.
There is a lot of commotion in our home. This video is a prime example of what I’m talking about. The activity and noise levels within our home makes me think I live in a theme park at times. So I didn’t need some super high energy workout. I used my PiYo workouts as a healthy escape to calm my mind and my body. PiYo is actually a combination of Pilates and Yoga so, although physically challenging, it provided me a way to center myself with its flexibility and fluid movement elements. Unlike other programs like Insanity and P90X, PiYo is low impact, requires no equipment and its exercises can easily be adapted to any fitness level.
2. Consistence is key.
As with any habit, good or bad, it takes roughly of 3-4 weeks to retrain your mind and body to adapt to a new set of standards. I could easily have just done PiYo for 30-days, but I truly felt I needed – and deserved for that matter – a full 60-days of caring for myself in this way. I only missed one or two days, and that was even while traveling out of town for a week. I made up for the missed day by doubling up the next day. But I could tell when I missed a workout. I didn’t feel as relaxed, clear-minded or confident the few days I missed. Once you get into the routine it becomes addicting.
3. Accountability is important.
This was one of the most important elements of my two month journey. When I purchased my PiYo kit from my friend, who is a registered Beach Body coach, I was able to join her Facebook group. I have to admit that I resisted checking in with an online group at first. But I found it extremely helpful to know other women cared about my daily progress and could encourage me on days when I didn’t feel like doing it. It was also helpful for me to be a cheerleader to others.
4. Motivation is a must.
I don’t know about you, but I need to feel cute if I am going to be working out. So what’s the first thing any sane woman does before she starts a workout program? She goes shopping for cute clothes, of course! I purchased two new swim suits, a new pair of gym shoes and a few funky, upbeat bandannas with my birthday money. My new shoes made me want to work out so I had an excuse to wear them. My new swimsuits made me want to work out because I know that I will be wearing them soon now that it is getting close to the summer months. Heck, I even wore one of my swimsuits to work out in once for extra motivation. I have to say that this trick of working out in a swimsuit made me push myself harder than I normally do because I know the results I want to have.
5. Keep your eye on the goal.
I think where a lot of people get stuck in making changes to their diet and exercise is that they don’t see immediate results so they quit. I knew where I wanted to go, but I had times of doubt. In smaller moments during workouts when I wanted to quit I had to remind myself how I wanted to feel after the workout – you know, accomplished and exhausted – and not on the uncomfortable pain I was currently in. In terms of the bigger picture, there were several days I did not feel like working out at all. But having my accountability team in place, along with the encouragement from my family, I was able to stay the course I had set before me.
One of the best moments was when I went to my cousin’s wedding seven weeks into my program. I got so many compliments on how healthy I looked. Those simple words of encouragement helped me to finish my 60 days strong and now I have continued my daily workouts. The experience at the wedding reminded me that I need to be more deliberate in complimenting other people because one simple kind word from someone can completely change someone’s day or even week.
So whatever your goal is I hope my experience has encouraged you to take the first step in committing to whatever is you want to change or accomplish. If you need any motivation just let me know. I’ll be happy to be your cheerleader.
And now I give you my BEFORE and AFTER pictures: