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Mums, 'me time' and how it's sabotaging your efforts

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by Sam Wilson

Mum of two gorgeous boys and the owner of samwilsonfitness, a company dedicated to female health and wellbeing.

If there is one thing right now that is sabotaging your fat loss and health goals, it is going to be the hours between 7pm and 10pm.  Danger time.  In other words, once the children are in bed and you have some time to yourself.  Your time.  A time when you can do what you want without being asked for anything.  When things magically stay in the same place and stay tidy!  I've yet to meet a mum who doesn't value this time.  Unfortunately what we do in this timeframe is stopping us achieving what we want.  

How many times have you said the following?

  • I'm only drinking at weekends
  • I deserve it, it's the only time I have to myself
  • One glass of wine won't hurt me (leads to glass number 2, then 3, then why not finish the bottle?
  • All I want to do is flop in front of the telly and eat chocolate
  • Kids were up at 6am and I've been at work all day, then picked them up, then did dinner, then homework, then bathtime, then bedtime....I DESERVE THIS!
  • Broadchurch/Silent Witness are on, I'm not going anywhere

All of the above reasons to stay rooted to the sofa and drink and eat unhealthy things are probably good reasons.  You do feel exhausted most of the time.  Juggling everything can sometimes feel overwhelming and downright impossible.  However, you have to ask yourself a couple of questions:

  • Am I happy in the body and mind that I am in and could I be happier or healthier?

Most people I'm sure want to be healthier.  Most could do with a little lift in the mind department too.  Lack of Vitamin D through winter and generally moving less makes you feel sluggish and unhealthy and maybe a little depressed.

What mums do once the children are in bed can make a huge difference.  STOP rewarding yourself with things that are BAD for you!  Why would you consider 'treating' yourself with something that in the long run, actually does you harm?  My vice is chocolate and it's a serious habit that can get out of control.  I simply cannot have it in the house or I will eat it all.  So I've removed the problem.  It takes about a week and then I don't miss it.

Reward yourself with something that is actually good for you.  Do you think your body welcomes the next rush of toxins; caffeine, sugar, alcohol?  All stimulants.  These stimulants confuse your body at a time when you should be winding down.  

  • What can you do?
  • Once the children are settled, do a workout.  Call it what you like, a training session, a class, a home workout, just MOVE.  30 mins is enough if that's all you have.  
  • If high intensity is not right for you at the moment, try yoga or pilates or meditation.  Lowering stress levels is key to helping fat loss and slower, mindful movement can help achieve this.
  • Don't have any alcohol in the house.  Seriously.  If it's there and you have a weak moment, you'll use it.  
  • Don't have sweets, chocolates, biscuits or similar in the house.  Again, if it's there, you'll eat it.
  • Try health giving juices and smoothies instead following your movement session.  Drink that and then nothing more until breakfast.  I'm a fan of this.  I think it gives your body a real break.
  • Then.....relax.  A nice shower or bath.  Let yourself relax for at least an hour before you go to bed.
  • Practice avoiding all of these toxic things and eventually it will become habit.  Nothing changes overnight.
  • Have a night when you do just sit and watch tv or read a book but make this once a week.

What you do most of the time is what will have the most effect on your health.  This time of night is a dangerous one so manage it carefully!

See you all soon!