My husband and I started our family later in life. We are in our mid to late forty’s and have two very young children, a beautiful little girl who will be 5 in November and a precious 3-month-old baby boy. Being older, I want to ensure that I stay healthy so I can not only be around a long time to see them graduate, get married and start their own families, but I also want to ensure I have the energy to keep up with them and their activities. To put it in perspective, when I’m 60, my son will be 12 and my daughter will be 16.
There are many things we do to stay fit and healthy for our children.
- Stay active – we get outside and take walks around our property, take the kids to the zoo, walk or ride on the nearby trails, visit parks around out community and play with the kids. I also ensure I get in some traditional cardio workouts. My daughter is my best workout partner and motivator. When she comes out dressed in her workout clothes and asks to go work out, you can’t say no. I love that she always wants to try new things like Yoga, a balance ball or HIIT workout. She usually ends up doing some kind of crazy dance and tumbling, but she gets me moving and helps me work on my goals.
- Ensure we have proper nutrition – I’ve always eaten pretty healthy, but have had my moments of fried chicken or potatoes. I believe in eating healthy and balanced. There are not “lite” or “diet” foods in our house. We use real butter, real mayo, good olive oil and fresh veggies. We limit what we buy that comes in a box and try to eat natural and organic when possible and avoid preservatives when we can.
- Build lean muscle — I’ve had my times of being overweight, I can hide 20 to 30 extra pounds pretty easily on my frame. I’ve also fought being severely underweight, sometimes to a very unhealthy level. I’m a pretty strong individual, but not physically. I’ve been teaching my daughter about being a strong person and realized that it needs to be both on the inside and the outside. So now I work out with weights and I love it. My daughter asks me to show her my muscles in my arms and just last week she said – “wow Mommy!! You go!!”. We are teaching our kids the importance of a healthy body and she loves to show off her musclesJ.
- Meal and snack prepping – when we built our house we had a set of refrigerator doors installed on our island. We’ve dedicated the top drawer to healthy snacks for us and the kids. We keep the fresh fruit, cheese sticks, yogurt, boiled eggs and snack packs of veggies in this drawer so it’s easy to grab and go. To ensure we are always stocked, I do meal and snack prepping on the weekends. We buy our meat, veggies, and fruit at our local wholesale store in bulk. I take the veggies like carrots, bell peppers, and cauliflower and break them down into snack bags so we can grab and go or pull out to eat with some healthy hummus. We cook more than one protein at a time so we have it ready for meals throughout the week. If we are grilling, I’ll have my husband do wings, a steak, and some skinless chicken thighs. I just need to add a veggie and maybe a healthy starch and I’ve got a few meals during the week after work. I also make a large bag of mixed greens for salad and prep salad toppings so we can do a salad bar with our evening meal or make up a lunch for work.
- Changed Mindset – I was notorious for the typical personal downgrading, “I feel fat”, “My legs are huge”, “and I feel ugly”. Drove my husband nuts! When we adopted our daughter, I did not want her to have body image issues like I had. I’ve worked hard to never say these things around her – I actually don’t say them at all anymore and I stop anyone that starts to say them around her. I am not fat, I know that, but I’ve not always been comfortable in my own skin. I am now and I want her to grow up that way too. She never says anything negative about herself or others. She doesn’t hear those words or phrases so it’s not normal for her to use them.
Being healthy and fit are my main priority and goal. If I can keep this in-line and accomplish my health goals then I can ensure I’ll be around to live life to the fullest with my children. I lost my mom when she was only 68 and she never got to meet my children. She would have been head over heels in love with them and I am comforted knowing that she is looking down and smiling pure happiness that they are in our lives. She is also my motivator towards being healthy and helping my children to grow up healthy and happy.