Living up to New Years Resolutions as a New Parent

Keeping your New Year fitness resolution is tricky business – especially with a baby

It starts with Thanksgiving – the meal of the year. We work so hard and for so long on that one meal that we tend to overindulge on it that day and for at least a week to follow with leftovers.

This is only the beginning. The holiday season is full of fun and festivities. It’s clouded by the family spirit and good will to others, which entices us to be not so kind to ourselves.

Then comes January 2nd – ugh. Most of us are now suffering from a personal hangover built up from the prior six weeks. We feel overweight, under-exercised and perhaps a little depressed by the short days with nothing more to look forward to except trying to undo the damage. Not a recipe for happiness. And if we have a baby in the mix, we also have a built-in excuse for not following through with our resolution of taking better care of ourselves.

The most common resolution is to begin an exercise routine – the local gyms love this. Each year tons of people purchase new memberships with lofty goals of exercising x number of hours each week and looking like J-Lo by springtime. January is a nightmare for veteran gym members who just cling to the knowledge of knowing that by the end of January, their beloved gym will be back to normal.

This is sad, but true. Let’s take a look at where we go wrong with our New Year Resolutions and how we can get better at keeping them.

 New Year Resolution reality

The biggest problem that we have in America is our compulsiveness. We go from 6 weeks of compulsive overindulgence during the holidays, to expecting to radically change and perfect our lifestyle at the flip of a switch. The biggest obstacle with this is the fact that getting fit isn’t fun. There, I said it. Getting fit isn’t fun. Being fit is! Staying fit isn’t so bad. But, if you’re overweight and out of shape, you are probably going to be miserable trying to get into shape.

Armed with this knowledge you should expect:

  1. A bit of depression. The party’s over and now its time to work.
  2. To be overwhelmed. This looks like a giant mountain to climb.
  3. To be sore. If you’re not used to strenuous physical activity, you are going to hurt.
  4. To be constantly looking for excuses as to why you can’t continue your routine

 

To combat these, we need to adjust our plans into something that is workable, sustainable and at least somewhat enjoyable. So, now that we’ve had a bit of a reality check let’s start with…

Cut down on TV, and watch better programming when you do partake

We watch too much TV. We watch ridiculous programming on television with celebrities that do very unhealthy things to look a certain way at a certain age. “Reality TV” is not reality at all, folks. So start by cutting your television-watching in half – you’ll find that you have a ton more spare time . I know – there’s a baby to think about. We’ll get to that. But you’re not doing baby any favors by being distracted with mind candy.

When you do watch TV, I’d recommend some Dr. Oz for nutrition education and more so, Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday – this will set your mind and intentions along the right path and reduce depression and anxiety.

Don’t set your goals too high

As previously stated, realize that we are in a compulsive society. We expect immediate gratification. Your goals probably aren’t realistic as a parent and probably don’t take into account the above obstacles mentioned. So, first and foremost, our goals need to be SUSTAINABLE. And this means realizing that ANY exercise is good exercise. So find a combination of activities that you enjoy such as yoga, bike riding, weight lifting, dancing, etc. Just make sure that they are things that you don’t dread doing. Otherwise it will be infinitely easier to find excuses to not do them.

Note that I said “combination of things” . Doing one particular form of exercise will lead to burn out and/or injury. Maybe you want to rotate several types of exercise.

Finding the time with baby in tow

As noted above, changing TV habits frees up tons of time that you thought you never had. But you still have that pesky, yet adorable burden of love to consider. There are many options available to meet your goals and vary upon budget and social status.

  • Recruit family. If you live close to your parents or siblings, tell them earnestly of your fitness desires and goals and ask if they can help out a bit with watching baby a few times per week. This may do you more good on more levels than you could ever expect. Trusted friends work well here too.
  • Find a gym with Day Care. I belong to a gym with baby sitting facilities. If its within your budget, this is a great way to go knowing that you’re in the same building of your child can be very comforting.
  • Work out at home. If you’re knowledgeable enough with your exercise routines to do them in the comfort of your own home, then by all means, do so. Even if you’re not educated in certain routines, Google up some Yoga or Palates DVDs and have fun during your baby’s naps. Many people are much more comfortable working out in private than in stretch pants at the local gym. I’d advise keeping your work out area very clean, orderly and well lit. This keeps distractions to a minimum and your mood to a maximum.

 Lastly, track your progress

This is not to be confused with having lofty goals. This is actually meant to provide you with a reminder of how far you’ve come and where you can go from here. Starting out, your muscles will be sore and you’ll feel much more winded than you will just a few weeks later. It’ll be very encouraging to know that you’re using certain fitness equipment at higher and higher levels. Your body weight and fat will adjust accordingly. From there, your mood and overall health will fall in line with your initial goals and intentions.

A quick word about diet

But all this talk about exercise should not over shadow the need of diet. Please drink plenty of water and no soda. Also try to eat foods that don’t come in packages and contain ingredients that you can’t pronounce – these contain abnormal amounts of sugar (by unrecognizable chemical names) and ingredients that your body has a hard time processing.

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Have a happy, healthy new year everyone. We hope that you found an inspiring tidbit or two here and don’t hesitate to share it, but please give credit where credit is due: PersonalBabyProducts.com and PersonalizedKidsPlates.com

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