By Exercise physiologist and Certified Wellness Coach Michael Scholtz, MA
Being a parent while still focusing on your own health and happiness can sometimes be a tough task. Worrying about your child’s diet, exercise and fitness along with your own can sometimes seem like a job that only a super hero can tackle. But there are ways to help parents seem like “Super Moms” and “Super Dads” by finding balance in their own lives.
This summer in a theatre near you, Gru, the lovable ex-villain in Despicable Me 2 faces a mighty dilemma when he is recruited by the Anti-Villain League’s Lucy Wilde to fight crime on a global scale. He is enjoying his new life raising three adopted daughters and suddenly he must balance the responsibility of saving the world with the demands of being a dad. Sound familiar?
Perhaps being charged with saving the world is not commonplace, but most parents recognize the challenge of balancing job and family responsibilities. When you add losing weight and taking care of your health into the equation, it’s a formula for feeling overwhelmed by what you “should” be doing and feeling guilty for all that you don’t achieve.
Here are 3 things you can do to help maintain your balance, and your sanity, as you juggle work, family and health.
Put yourself first. Yes, it sounds selfish. But, if a super hero is weakened she can’t help others. To maintain your super powers you have to prioritize your own sleep, healthy eating and stress reducing exercise sessions. Perhaps a better way to frame this recommendation is “put yourself first for 15 minutes each day”.
What could you do in 15 minutes per day that would have the greatest impact on your health? Eat a healthy meal vs. grab fast food? Go for a walk? Meditate? None of these things is earth shattering all by itself, but taking that 15 minutes on most days of the week can help restore your power to full force!
Second, include your family in your healthy choices. Go for a walk with your spouse. Forget about getting a “workout” and just take the time to connect. Play an outdoor game like Frisbee or go to a park as a family. Ask for your kids help in the kitchen. Chopping and peeling and mixing gives all of you a sense of creating something together. And, showing them where healthy food comes from and how to prepare it is invaluable.
Lastly, focus on what is happening in the moment. In our fast-paced world full of options for staying connected, getting information and being entertained, it’s easy to get distracted. You sit down to eat and end up checking email. Your kids want to go outside but you’re busy on social media. You plan to go exercise right after work, but get distracted by the 24-hour news show on television.
Laser focus is crucial to any hero. And, “tuning in” can help you enjoy the things that matter most. If you know that sitting down in front of your computer will cost you fifteen precious minutes and prevent you from being mindful of what you’re eating, be sure to eat where you can’t see the screen. Set aside a finite time for using social media in order to clear out time for interacting with your family. If it’s time to exercise, don’t stop to “check in” on what’s on TV. The news can wait.
There you have it. Three keys to maintaining super hero status; take time to rejuvenate your powers, be sure to include your sidekicks in the fun, and maintain your laser focus. Go out and be super!
Michael Scholtz, MA, is an exercise physiologist and certified Wellness Coach, and one of the experts you have access to in The Biggest Loser At Home Program. The Biggest Loser At Home Program gives you online access to The Biggest Loser diet and fitness program designed by our health and wellness experts and personalized to fit your goals and lifestyle. The Biggest Loser At Home Program gives you all the tools, expert help and community support you need to succeed. Click here to sign up. Start your own weight loss journey today!