Keeping fit as a working mom

It has been a little over three weeks since I set my small goals for a healthier lifestyle – exercise every day and eat sugar once every 3 days. So it’s time for the report card and for me to tell you how I did (yikes!!).

As I had anticipated, best laid plans are just that, especially if you are a parent, add to it the uncertainties of work, and there are quite a few wrenches thrown in. In the last 3 weeks, I had my parents leave to go back to our home country (sigh), an unexpected work trip, an unexpected medical test and an unexpected sickness. So there you have it! Lots of “unexpecteds”. Did I meet my goals amidst all of this? YES!!!!

I was able to exercise 5 days a week (2 days of rest per week) and eat sugar every third day, sometimes fourth or fifth day, but there were a couple of times when I had dessert on 2nd day as well (wink wink). There you have it! I would rate it as a 3.5 stars out of 5 performance. I am proud that as a working mom, I made a start and pushed myself to meet my goal. I did not let the unexpected get in my way. In the process, I have learnt a few things about myself and how as a working mom, I can incorporate exercise in my daily routine.

  1. ExerciseSmall goals are more realistic – I thrive on goals. I love to be held accountable for something. There were several days I dragged myself to exercise only because I had made a goal for myself and a promise to all of you! Social media shaming is a thing! Jokes aside, making small achievable goals was how I knew I would be able to achieve them. Big targets intimidate me, especially when there is no step by step plan to get there.
  2. Focus on the right things: I have struggled with weight all of my life. I have always bordered between “chubby” and “fat” with periods of “size 6” – around my wedding and a few other times. This time, I decided to focus on not weight loss, but toning my muscles and getting stronger. After about just three weeks, I can lift 12 lbs more than I could at the start and I know this is just the beginning. I am eating right, my body craves more protein and less carbs and I am not worrying about losing weight, because that would be the by-product of my healthy lifestyle.
  3. Listening to your body is important – I modified my small goal of exercising every day to exercising 5 days because my body needed to rest after a high-intensity workout. I had not realized it while making the goal, but I realized that I needed it and my body needed it and I had to listen to it. After the first 2 weeks, the days I could not exercise due to travel, my body was screaming for me to exercise, my mood began to change and I felt uneasy and heavy headed. I needed to listen again. So after two days of no exercise, I got up early and exercised in my hotel room.
  4. Find what motivates you – Seeing the green ring on my apple watch complete a full circle gave me a sense of accomplishment. Over time, I started to feel better and fresher after a workout. My brain was not foggy and I was able to concentrate for longer periods of time and performance at work improved. I now have more energy AND I am sleeping better! So many benefits!
  5. Invest in the right gear – Ooh! I didn’t realize this earlier, but this time around I invested in my some comfortable, kick-ass and may I add, sexy gear for myself. I normally don’t associate “working out” time with “looking my best” time. But I surprised myself. I loved how I felt in those clothes and how I was able to move better and check out my “toned” arms and back. A lot of people are surprised, but Victoria Secret has some amazing sports bras that I would totally recommend investing in! The pads do not move from their location upon wash and are so comfortable, almost like wearing a regular bra in terms of support without the underwire. I also like these from Gap. For bottoms, I prefer to wear high-rise or mid-rise because wardrobe-malfunction is the last thing I want to worry about when getting a workout! I like to shop from a number of places and have acquired quite a collection like these from Gap, these from Athleta and these or these from Old Navy.  Of course, the added bonus is that they are great looking so I often wear them on my non-workout days. For tops again, I have quite a few favorites like these and these from Victoria Secret, these cute ones from Old Navy, these if I am in the mood for sleeves, and these and these as hoodies. This last hoodie is a current favorite. Lastly, the shoes are the most critical piece of your gear! Please please invest in the appropriate type of shoes for the type of workout you are doing. Wearing a wrong shoe can cause injury which yours truly has had to learn from experience and its not fun. I love Nike air and also these New Balance ones. These Puma ones are great if you are into the cross-fit training.

I would call this post successful even if one of you gets energized to hit the gym or any other form of exercise that you prefer. I personally hope to continue my small goal into the next month and assess how I need to adjust based on what life has in store for me around the corner. Good luck to all of us!! You go mommies!!

-Charu

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