I’m so pleased to welcome guest poster Andrea O’Donnell, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Individual and Family Connection in Chicago, to share some tips about how parents, especially moms, can be healthier. Because we all know that a healthy and happy mom is more likely to have a healthy and happy family.
Replace negative thoughts about your body with positive ones.
We live in a world that is obsessed with the thin ideal and does little to promote body diversity. In this world it’s easy to fill our heads with negative thoughts about our bodies. I invite readers to create a list of three things you love and respect about your body.
When negative thoughts about your body arise try observing the thought without judgement and meeting it with something positive. As an example, “I love my smile. I share this smile with my grandmother.” Or “I respect and am grateful for my strong arms. These are the arms that allow me to hold my baby.”
Replace your “microwaveable diet meals” with lunch you can get excited about.
Did you know that the average microwaveable meal marketed for someone on a diet has about as many calories as a protein bar? When you eat one of these quickies you will likely find yourself feeling unsatisfied and hungry within an hour or two. Make lunch a time to nourish your body and take 20 or 30 minutes for yourself. Avoid eating at your desk.
Bring a dish, plate, cloth napkin and real silverware to work and keep them nearby so you can create an enjoyable atmosphere for yourself. Finally, take the time to pack a meal that you are excited to eat! Do some online recipe searching or create lunchtime recipe boards on pinterest. Having an enjoyable break for yourself in the day can do wonders to recharge you with the fuel you need for the rest of the day.
Replace obligatory exercise routines with joyful movement.
When exercise is something you do only in the name of burning calories then it likely feels more like a chore and less like joyful and fun. Your exercise routine should not feel like an obligation, but rather it should be something you look forward to.
Whether it’s taking your dog for a walk, taking a yoga class or riding your bike on the lakeshore path, whatever you choose to do, it should be fun! If it is fun and feels good in your body then you are more likely to keep it up and enjoy the physical and emotional benefits that accompany it.
Don’t forget the benefit that comes with modeling for your children that their parents find being active enjoyable.
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