When starting any type of exercise or healthy eating program, its important to have your goals and motivations established. Without measurable goals, it is hard to track progress or success. A lot of women who I train in the gym come with a long list of items that they would like to change about their body – smaller butt, toned arms, thin waist. While all of these are legitimate reasons to want to get in shape, they aren’t good long or short term goals – and they won’t keep anyone motivated.
Here is a list of my motivations, long and short term goals.
- I am a Christian, and I believe that I have a responsibility to take care of my body. I want to be the best that I can be in every aspect of life, and how can I do that if my energy level is low from unhealthy eating or lack of exercise. I maintain discipline in my physical life so I can accomplish my spiritual goals as well.
- Confidence – for me, confidence is less about simply looking good, and more about feeling good, energized, and knowing that I did what it takes to stay fit every day. For me, pregnancy weeks 14-22 were, at times, awkward in the gym because I had enough of a belly, that I looked like I was developing pudge, but not enough of a belly to look obviously pregnant. I got ignorant comments from guys at least once per week, and it was enough to hurt anyone’s confidence. I had to constantly remind myself that I was doing what was most important for my own body and my baby … and I felt great. Nothing would keep me away from prioritizing gym time- not even dumb comments from guys.
- Energy – Nothing can boost my energy more than getting in a great workout! In the first trimester of my pregnancy, I transitioned to 2 shorter workouts per day. One over my lunch hour and one after work before my evening work started. Eating healthy also plays a huge role in overall evergy – getting a good breakfast – eating small meals throughout the day complete with carbs, and making sure to get enough of the nutrients your body needs to make a baby.
Short term goals:
- Stay within the recommended weight gain (for my weight that was 28-40 lbs) during pregnancy
- Exercise every day for at least 30 minutes
- Continue my running program through the 7th month
- Eat the recommended calories (for me that was no more than 1900 calories) every day
- Track my nutrient intake – to ensure I was getting enough of each nutrient needed for baby Tress
Long term goals:
- Start a walking program within 3 weeks of giving birth
- Continue eating 1900 calories while I’m nursing and then back off
- Be back within my healthy BMI within 2 months of giving birth (note I did not say back to pre-pregnancy weight necessarily)
- Workout every day after the 3 week recovery time until I am back into pre-pregnancy shape
- Maintain my healthy lifestyle for the remainder of my life and be an excellent example to my children.
So, now it’s your turn! Determine WHY you want to be a “Hot Momma”, and what your short and long term goals are. This is your time. You have a responsibility to be healthy- a responsibility to your husband, your kids, and yourself. Here are some tips to getting started with your healthy lifestly after you establish your goals.
Tips for living a healthy lifestyle now:
- Start a walking program until you can build up to walking (or running/cardio machines) an average of 60-90 minutes every day. Ramp up your exercise before you are pregnant. Don’t wait until the first trimester when you aren’t feeling good to start an exercise program – this is too hard and unsafe to do.
- Cardio and strength training go hand in hand – make sure to incorporate weight lifting on the nautilus machines at a gym, or at home body weight exercises. Pilates has its place too.
- Make sure not to skip your yearly physicals and doctor visits. It’s important that your teeth are taken care of too. Don’t skimp on these important visits because of finances or time.
- Eat in moderation. Log your food intake on a website like caloriecount.com. This will help you measure and analyze your food intake so you know where you are lacking and what foods you are eating too much of.
- Hire a personal trainer or speak with a nutrition consultant. The time to do this is always – now Don’t wait until you get unhealthy and out of shape. Take control of your health now!
- Find a partner to keep you accountable. For me, it’s my husband, for others, it’s a parent, co-worker, or friend to get in the gym with, exercise with, and talk about nutrition with.