My mom has always been awesome, but recently she’s taking it to a new level by making fitness and health a real priority. She, like so many moms, is one of those ladies that makes sure everyone else is taken care of before caring for herself, and works harder than anyone I know. But sometimes it’s better to be selfish, especially regarding your health, and Mom finally decided it was time to focus on making a change in her own life for a minute. And, since it’s Mother’s Day this Sunday, I figured it would be a great time to INSPIRE YOU ALL with what a badass she is, and how manageable her journey has been.
Mom and I are similar in that our body types will take just about any type of food we eat and ask CAN I CONVERT THIS TO FAT NOW?! which means losing weight requires a lot of attention to detail. However, it is still totally doable. Here’s how the lovely Mom O’Neill got on the fitness train, starting at the end of January:
- She ensured accountability: Mom’s version of this (and mine) is joining Weight Watchers; it’s something that will help hold you accountable for your choices throughout the day. This is really helpful in the early stages of changing your habits. For some people it’s a great long term tool, but I find that it’s most effective when used as training wheels. It might be Weight Watchers, or keeping a food log, or some other calorie counter (which again I don’t advocate in the long term, but to assimilate to a new lifestyle it can be a great tool), or just a friend that tracks your progress with you. It’s something that makes the effort to change your habits official.
- She made healthy swaps: Mom is smart and knows that being too strict with her eating habits, and cutting it down to the bare minimum, is a surefire way to fall off track. So she took some of her favorite snacks, and instead of eliminating them, swapped them for something healthier. She works a lot all day and tends to be hungriest at night, so she swapped her ice cream dessert for some 0% Greek yogurt and jam. When she wants something salty, she has popcorn, because it isn’t calorie dense at all. For salty-sweet, popcorn with honey. So she still eats things that satisfy her cravings. She just eats different things.
- She got active: MOM IS A TOTAL GYM RAT NOW. Just kidding, She is very sensibly, very attainably, making sure she gets her heart rate up at least 3 times a week. Sometimes it’s up to 5 times a week, but it’s always a minimum of 3 times a week, for about 30 minutes. She lives in Florida, so for the most part she takes advantage of the sunshine and goes for long walks. HOW DOABLE IS THAT. Totally doable. She’s even started some running for parts of it, to keep herself challenged. And now that she’s spent a couple months getting the cardio part down, she’s tacking on 5-10 minutes of weightlifting at the end, cause she knows how important it is to build muscle to help burn fat and keep your heart and bones in shape. Very gradual changes built over time — not scary at all.
- She started planning meals: like anyone else with a busy schedule, my mom would often not think about what to eat at her next meal until she was really hungry. This usually meant that she’d end up choosing something really easy and fast, which can mean processed foods, or just throwing some pasta together. Now, Mom goes to the farmer’s stand every week and stocks up on fresh veggies and fruits, experiments with healthy new recipes, and makes sure that there are healthy whole foods options at the ready. Sometimes she’ll spend a lot of time making a huge batch of something really complicated, and sometimes she just makes sure she has everything she needs to whip up a healthy stir fry. A little bit of planning goes a long way in helping stay on track.
So, besides being really good at raising me and giving me ongoing love and support and friendship, my mom is also really good at fitnessing.
Also, she is in her 50s, and has lost almost 30 pounds in 3 months. So, fitnessing is not specific to any certain age or lifestyle. And, it’s never too late to make long lasting changes that can really positively affect your life.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY MOM.