Getting yourself into shape doesn’t start with the physical, but begins with your mental curiosity. Get to the root cause of your lifestyle patterns that create a block in your weight loss progression. For example, let’s say you realize your sugar addiction occurs every day at 2 p.m. Before giving into the craving, make an observation as to why your body “wants” the sugar. Tune in and ask questions like, Am I tired and need a nap? Do I need more protein? Or am I trying to pacify an emotion? Follow your prompts and experiment by taking that nap, or calling that friend if you need to vent and see if that takes care of your need for sweets. Setting yourself up as a detective when cravings strike puts you in a birds eye view to choose that smarter option to fuel your body. By practicing curiosity you’ll unlock that mind and hack into your “sleeping” habits.
- Inspiration v.s. Comparison
These two words are on opposite sides of the weight loss spectrum; both are motivational but one is obviously a long term tactic while the other is unsustainable. It is completely normal to toggle between the two in varying degrees, but keep in mind that whichever word you decide to resonate with will highly determine the outcome of your progression.
When you are fueling your weight loss journey by inspiration, your workouts and food choices will be reflected from a place of joy and fulfillment. Search out those fitness roll models that you would like to aspire to, or even look into ways of movement that leave you craving more. This mind hack not only sets you up for consistent weight loss but ultimately leads you to a sweet spot where it becomes a way of life, then you too will become an inspiration to other moms.
On the flip side to inspiration you have the motivation to lose weight through the lens of comparison. Are you trying to lose weight because you worry about what others think of you? In the beginning it may give you momentum to lose that first 10 pounds but in your attempts to keep up, measure up, and try to be perfect because of not feeling good enough, you will ultimately be lead down the road to burnout. At this point you will either stall your progression or gain the weight back through self-loathing actions. Girls, we all know what I’m talking about. Two words: ice cream!
As a new or seasoned mom, we all get into ruts from time to time believing that our bodies are not where we want them to be. I know the feeling all too well. I remember standing in the dressing room feeling disappointed when I had to move up yet another dress size, which added up to my fifth size since my journey into motherhood. That was the moment I unknowingly identified myself as a victim to my story and carried the burden of hopeless acceptance for many years!
There are two forms of acceptance: hopeless acceptance and surrendered acceptance. Both of which I will go into depth in another blog post, but for now just the recognition that hopeless acceptance may be operating inside of you can actually help you take a step back and write that much needed permission slip to exit off the struggle bus.
Spending days, weeks, months and even years of living in this identity can make it extremely challenging to see yourself as someone other than what you think you are. This my dear sister is what I call true identity theft. It’s time to remove that mask, uncover that imposter and start embodying a new script. Write a new story of who you are becoming; identify with that person!
Write out things like, “Right now I may not be where I want to be but everyday I am improving!”, “I deeply and completely love myself and I am willing to see things differently.” Or, “What small improvements can I make today that will move me forward?”
These statements reorganize the body and mind to move from a disempowering train wreck to empowered actions.
Gratitude is a brain hack that has been used for centuries to bring the body into a harmonious state that ultimately brings about weight loss. When your mind is flooded with gratitude it produces a chemical we all know and love: serotonin, our happy hormone! When serotonin is present, your cortisol is greatly reduced! You will experience a higher immune system, better sleep, and lowered depression.
When you experience the floodgates of gratitude, your body flows with serotonin causing your brain to crave more. That craving hormone is called dopamine which is a brain chemical correlated with pleasure and reward. If I had to be addicted to something, gratitude would be my addiction of choice! Creating an “attitude of gratitude” speeds up the body’s healing process and ultimately promotes a safe environment for that stubborn stored energy (body fat) to be put to good use!
For 21 days, just before bed, challenge yourself along with a friend to jot down four things you are grateful for. Not only are you going to just write them down but after each gratitude entry take a long, deep breath in, hold for eight seconds and slowly release that breath out from your mouth to maximize the presence of your gratitude experience.
Why is it that as moms we tend to bend over backward and say yes to everyone else but ourselves? To improve our physical health we need to create space by saying no to things so we can say yes to ourselves. This is my favorite mind hack that has helped me create a healthy habit in staying consistent with daily exercise. I call it my non-negotiable date!
When I signed up for the gym I made sure they had childcare as to give me no excuses, then I set a non-negotiable promise to my future fit self that I would drive straight to the gym every morning after I dropped my oldest off at school. This automatically cleared my morning to be okay with putting my other priorities on the back burner until after 11 a.m. This time was dedicated for me so I could be a better mom at home!
Whatever your options are to get fit, promise and go date yourself! Go to that yoga class you’ve been wanting to try, or hit up that walking trail while your husband or family member takes care of the kids. When you take care of yourself first you are giving yourself the oxygen you need to show up for your daily tasks to be a better mom at home. Remember the best relationship you will ever have is with yourself, so carve out time for yourself to get your fitness on and improve your health!
Miranda Wilcox is a mom of one angel baby, Austin (1-13-2007) and two rambunctious boys, Tanner (ten), and Greyson (five). She has been involved with health and fitness for over nine years. Although Miranda has had a love for physical fitness all of her life, she didn't realize how important health and wellness were until life took an unforeseen turn and she lost her first son, Austin, during pregnancy. Over a period of time, Miranda was able to channel her grief and dedicate herself to understanding the nature of how the body and mind work together to get strong! She also has a passion for holistic healing to help treat herself and others to move past many physical and mental blocks.