The WebMD Healthy You Challenge: Two Mom Makeovers
WebMD's expert team helps two crazy-busy mothers transform their eating, workout, and life routines.
Four Kids and a Sweet Tooth continued...
•15 full sit-ups. Instead of crunches, do military-style full sit-ups where
you come all the way up. Lie down, knees bent, with arms overhead. As you sit
up, you can swing your arms over your body and touch the floor next to your
heels when you reach the top. Keep your lower back rounded as you lower
yourself back to the floor.
•10 lunges on each leg
•20 shoulder presses with dumbbells
•30 seconds to 1 minute of jumping jacks or jumping rope
Repeat this routine three to five times, with short, active breaks in
between. If you're doing it at the gym, run on the treadmill between sets. At
home, you can get the kids to do this routine with you -- call it the "Swanson
Family Olympics." Make it a competition to see who can do a wall squat longer
or who can do more jumping jacks in one minute.
The life coach's advice
Heidi, it seems that you get really distracted fighting fires and become too
busy to take care of yourself. Your big challenges are both planning and saying
no. Like running out of groceries -- you know you have four kids and how much
they consume. How often is that happening? Is it because you haven't put your
life on a schedule where you're able to anticipate what's needed, so that the
things that are important to you can have some place in those priorities as
First, let's try to create some structure around your job, which is being a
great mom. You need to be a good boss for yourself and manage your performance.
Sit down and outline your job description as a wife and mom, your duties in
that job, and then your "human responsibilities." Plan all those things into
your weekly schedule -- and don't forget to add the gym, some reading time, and
a non–work-related date.
Then, for anything that's not a part of that plan, begin a practice of
pausing before saying yes to it.
If something falls outside your core, planned, weekly routine, you have to
say, "Let me get back to you." That creation of space before you say yes to
something is really important: It gives you a moment to ask yourself, "Is this
really the best way for me to be using my time?"
Help! I'm Starving for Me-Time
Polly Johnston, 33, Springfield, Va., grade-school teacher and mother of
two young children, ages 4 and 2. Polly is 5'7" and weighs 220 pounds.
What do I want to change about my life? Where do I start? My schedule is
crazy. I'm up at 6:30 to get the kids going, drop them off at preschool, and
I'm at work by 8:10. I pick the kids up at 6 p.m., then we go home, do dinner
and bedtime routines, and after that I work until 11 p.m. on lesson plans. The
weekends are a little better -- my husband takes the kids in the morning and
lets me sleep in.