I want you to take a moment to stop and evaluate your life, particularly YOUR HEALTH. In other words, who do you believe yourself to be? How are you living? Who are you around? Who do you listen to/take advise from? What do you think about yourself? Do you engage in self destructive behaviors? Do you honor your body, mind, and morals/spirituality? Does your actions conflict with your wants/desires?
In my opinion, these all directly CONTROL your life and the way you’re currently living (and have been living). It’s very crucial to understand who you believe yourself to be because your actions will always reflect that truth…or bring you back to it! For example: Before having kids, I made it my business to keep my body in shape and to maintain the appearance of having a fit/athletic body. My weight never made it past 145lbs being 5’5″ and also I purposefully maintained an active lifestyle from being a dance major in JHS, to running track in HS, to working out at the gym until I hit 21yrs. Then even maintained it once I became pregnant up until 4mos (I was running on the treadmill). I made the decision to never be one of those parents who “let themselves go because they had kids”. I also was conscientious of the foods I ate and was selective on when I pigged out and what I pigged out on.
Being pregnant with my first, I gained 30lbs and by my 6th week checkup, I lost it all! That held true with my second as well. However, I became unhappy with my new body and was self-conscious with my love handles and pudgy stomach showing aka the dreadful “muffin top”! Oh, just to let you know, wearing high-waist jeans was the trick I needed in the meantime! LOL
OK so reflecting back then, I never heard such powerful advice but it applies to how I handled my body image. The advice is from a world-renowned, life coach/transformational speaker, Anthony Robbins: “See your situation for what it is, NOT worst than what it really is”. That’s exactly the mindset I took…knowing it can be changed. The Situation: The fact that I just had 2 babies back to back, I was sleep deprived, a full-time employee, and working out wasn’t a priority because of the demands on my time. Not Worst: it’s just the way things are now and I have to accept my new body, I don’t have the time and won’t ever have the time until they’re grown, I can’t afford healthy foods, other mothers are overweight and blame it on their kids so I can use that same excuse, and I can’t possibly go to or afford a gym membership with childcare so I can’t commit to any workouts. See the difference??! With any perspective, your beliefs WILL GUIDE what you do & say; how you look; what you accomplish; who you associate with, etc. So my next step was all about small choices so that I didn’t feel overwhelmed– and ultimately over time would show up in my appearance. Here’s what my experiences were:
Belief #1: I wanted the best for my sons and because I breast-fed, I was selective of only eating nutritious foods…one small step (Action Step #1). Luckily, my beliefs were that these early stages were so crucial in their growth and I didn’t want to be responsible for long-term health effects that I caused by eating nothing of nutritional value. Action Step#2: At the grocery store, it was never a decision for junk over healthy foods because I was spending my money and was on a budget…so yes there was a time I only ate what was on sale! I didn’t buy into this idea that healthy foods cost too much (Belief #2)!! The idea of choosing chips over a bag of potatoes would never be beneficial because for one, chips weren’t healthy and a bag of potatoes were more filling and lasts for a couple of meals! Plus if it’s not in my home, subconsciously I don’t see it as a part of “me”. So my lifestyle absolutely reflected what I thought about my body, what I allowed into my home, and even for my toddlers (thankfully to the MAGIC BULLET for all the home prepared foods I cooked and blended)!
Belief #3: I knew I had to do more than just eating healthy so being able to snap my body back was going to require me to get back into working out. Note: I already had this committment in place even before my pregnancies that I would ALWAYS take the stairs…(Action Step #3) and that’s another small step! So I haven’t worked out in 2yrs and 8mos and I felt out of balanced because it’s been so long and that was “NOT ME”…because like I mentioned, my standard for my image was being fit. To point out, my body image wasn’t influenced by looking a certain way because I wanted attention, to get a man, etc.–I wasn’t interested in that. It was about feeling and looking good for Betina and what I expect from her! Action Step #4: So I initially started out doing INSANITY in my living room then in the summer heat, (Action Step #5) jogged 6 miles across a bridge with a jogging stroller gifted from my aunt. I was so proud of myself and also it was so great to hear encouraging applauds and compliments from other joggers as well as I was the only one out there with kids in a double stroller! LOL
I got the results I wanted & then I got introduced to detoxing your body from Steve Harvey’s morning show discussing JJ Smith’s new book on detoxification & internal cleansing…that became Belief #4). So after reading her book “Loose Weight Without Dieting & Exercising”, I began implementing ways to detox. Action Step #6: I used the steam room at the YMCA; Action Step #7: ate raw leafy greens & drank Yogi Tea for different purposes; Step #8: did the 10 day Lemonade Cleanse!!
Thankfully I’ve had beliefs that helped me stay in control of my diet & lifestyle. & as a parent– especially a single parent–because you have to take on greater responsibilities with others relying on you, your beliefs must be for your best interest & to serve you at the highest level!! Stay in control & remember slight changes OVER TIME WILL SHOW UP IN YOUR APPEARANCE whether it’s positive or negative.