Motherhood is a season when we want so much to be present with our kids. To give them our full focus and to be free to laugh and play and run and wrestle with these little gifts. We want our minds to be concerned with what concerns our families. We want to plan meals and days around them. This is what we dream motherhood will be like.
So, when a mom is preoccupied with her self… when she is constantly thinking about what she eats or how she looks…whether she has worked out enough or if the scale has moved up or down…she loses out on some incredible treasures of motherhood.
Hang on friends, this topic is so near to my heart.
I am so excited to continue in this “What Moms Need Most” series. If you are new here, be sure to read the intro, and grab links to the first few posts HERE.
The list of topics I would like to cover in this series is long. But there is a common theme among many of them: they’re all pointing to the importance of moms being HEALTHY in their parenting years. And when I talk about health, I am talking about a healthy mind, body and spirit. It all matters, friends. So I hope to touch on each of these things in the posts to come.
But today I begin with the one health-related topic that I hear from women about the most: The challenge to achieve and maintain a healthy, happy weight during their parenting years. The desire to feel good in their own skin.
First…*Spoiler Alert*…I have good news: I believe with all of my heart that we CAN achieve a weight we feel great about at any age — without diets or obsessing. I’m not suggesting we will all look like supermodels, but I am convinced that we can all feel great in our own skin.
Now backing up briefly with some perspective: Ladies, by the time we have lived long enough to be blessed with the gift of children, we should all KNOW that life is about so much more than US…our bodies, our shape, or a number on a scale. There is a huge perspective shift when we realize that we are a life-giving human (whether naturally or through adoption, fostering, etc) with the great privilege of caring for the well-being of others. Motherhood should rock our worlds, humble any self-absorbed tendencies we have, and fill us with the joy that comes with living to love others. It’s a really beautiful thing.
However: there is no denying that feeling bad about ourselves affects just about every area of our life. Including (maybe especially) our parenting. So, while being a mom might — and should! — give us a helpful perspective on our workouts, bodies, and the food we eat… it does not take away the reality that feeling good in our skin is very likely to support our positive parenting aspirations. 🙂
So, here’s what I know:
In my 9 years of blogging, I’ve heard from a LOT of moms who struggle with their weight. Whether they’ve had a life-long struggle, or this is a new issue since becoming a mom, there are many legit reasons why it can be difficult to maintain a healthy, lean weight while we’re raising kids.
- Eating mindfully takes effort and is not always easy to do while raising kids.
- Exercise takes time, which moms don’t have much of.
- Hormones or health problems may affect metabolism.
- Many moms feel frustrated, even trapped by the thought of all it takes to care for a family and how much energy is required to make your own health a priority.
- Boredom often leads to mindless grazing. Moms get tired and use food (or sugary/caffeinated drinks) to get through the day. And certainly, moms turn to food when they are lonely or sad, overwhelmed or ________ (fill in the blank).
These are all understandable challenges. If you resonate with any of these things, I get it. You’re not crazy. It can be really hard.
This brings us to DIETS…In response to all of this, women often turn to diet plans with the hope that following a food plan will give them the discipline they need to eat less and shed their extra pounds. This may work for a short time, but it’s really hard to stick with a diet for the rest of your life. (statistics show that a great percentage of people who lose weight on a diet will gain it back…and often more with it.) Also: Diets typically cost money. And: most people who are on a diet become more obsessed and preoccupied with food and their weight than they were before. Which means the cycle only grows more vicious.
That was me…
From the beginning of high school until my early thirties I was obsessed with food, exercise, and my weight. I coped with this (and furthered the problem) by alternately between: yo-yo dieting, working out excessively, trying to “just accept myself as I was”, and torturing myself by over-thinking every single thing I ate. Or wanted to eat. Or what other people were eating.
You get the point.
My first two pregnancies were really difficult because I felt so out of control with my body and my diet. Once my kids were born I was crazy in love with them, but my preoccupation with my body and my diet continued.
After my 2nd son was born, I finally determined to find a new way to live. I did not want to miss another happy moment of motherhood because I was preoccupied with my own issues. I dug deep and prayed hard and got brave enough to approach food, exercise, and my weight in a completely new way. My prayers were answered. The changes I made altered the course of my life. (that might sound dramatic, but it’s true.) I became free in my thinking and landed naturally at my ideal weight!! I had two more babies and the experience was a world of difference from before.
It’s been over 17 years since that time, and I am still healthy, happy, and free. And so very grateful.
**I have written several blog posts about the steps I took which I am linking to at the bottom of this post. I really hope you can take the time to check them out.
Most of you know that I went on to share my full story as well as the exact steps I took in my little book titled “The Secret of Your Naturally Skinny Friends.” (little, as in — you can read it in an afternoon) I’m honestly very proud of this little book.
The really, really good news is that a whole lot of other women have now read my book and also found freedom. Like: They quit dieting years ago and still today celebrate a body and lifestyle they love. DIET FREE.
SOME FUN NEWS! NEXT WEEK….
In the group we will be walking through the book together, encouraging each other in a Private Facebook group (<– you can sign up to join now!) and sending 2 bonus emails with helpful resources each week for 3 weeks.
*Note: You are welcome in the group with or without the book, though the book will be very helpful!
Here’s an amazon link* to get your book: The Secret of Your Naturally Skinny Friends: a simple path to your best body and a healthy mind
RELATED BLOG POSTS:
Post: The Secret of your Naturally Skinny Friends (this was the original post that led to the book! )
Weight Issues and Mind Games (this is one of my all-time favorite posts!)
When You’re Fed up and Ready to Lose Weight (Also very good!)
Moms: I hope that this whole series will inspire you to be healthy — mind, body, and spirit — in the busy season of raising kids. I also hope that you can join Cassie and I in this really exciting 3 week group.
Would you consider sharing this announcement with your friends? You can also share this post using the social media buttons below!
Keep an eye out for a interview on this topic (with Cassie as my guest!) over on the BOY MOM PODCAST coming soon! Then, I’ll see you back here for the next topic in the series very soon!
I also hope you’ll follow along on my @healthyhappyandfree Instagram feed where I will post updates to the group and encouragement in posts and stories!!
*I am an amazon affiliate which means if you click through and purchase using my link a few cents will come back to me to support my blog efforts! Thank you!