Motivating Mum Jackie Thomas has lost an amazing 22kgs with Lose Baby Weight and shares her top tips for in the kitchen and exercise.jackt

Wow I can’t believe it is nearly the end of February already, the month has flown by!  I have thoroughly enjoyed my month as a Motivating Mum, it has given me an extra boost of motivation to keep pushing my limits and working towards my own goals.  I have also really enjoyed trying out some new recipes from the junk food detox book, guil tfree baking book and challenge recipe hub.  I now have too many favourites and it’s hard to choose what I want to eat!
I’ve been away on holidays at my Mum’s for the whole month and I’ve had an incredible time.  Being a single Mum, her support has been fantastic and I’ve had lots of extra opportunities to focus on myself while she has quality Nanny time with my boy.  Sadly though I’m heading home and back to the reality of single parenting, working and studying.  So with this in mind I’d like to focus this blog on sharing with you some of my top tips for achieving your health and fitness goals as a single (or partnered but time poor) Mum.

Food Prep and In the Kitchen:

  • My first piece of advice here is to have your pantry, fridge and freezer stocked with ONLY healthy and nourishing ingredients. When you’re busy it’s easy to just grab something out of the kitchen to eat quickly, if your kitchen is only stocked with healthy ingredients then they are your only options.  It removes temptation to eat unhealthy meals.
  • Meal plan. Set aside an hour to sit down and plan what you are going to eat for the week (I do this Friday night ready to shop on Saturday). It saves having to think about it during the week when your mind is busy elsewhere and I find it keeps my grocery bill down as I only buy what I need and waste very little food.  I always make sure to have eggs on hand too; scrambled/poached/boiled eggs, omelette and frittata’s are so easy to throw together and are a great option if your meal plan doesn’t work out for whatever reason.
  • Pre cook/bulk cook and freeze. I do this once a week, mostly on a Sunday afternoon.  I make full meals as well as snacks, portion them for my son and myself and freeze.  I also cut up veggie sticks for snacks if they’re on my plan and fruit for my smoothies.
  • Involve your kids if they want to be. The best investment I ever made for my toddler was a little stool.  He stands up at the kitchen bench with me and either just watches or helps with stirring, pouring, filling, rolling etc.  I also give him little jobs to do which keep him occupied “can you put this in the bin for Mummy please?” etc.  These are great opportunities for learning too, we chat about the food, the colour, the texture, count ingredients, taste test stuff (who doesn’t love to lick the spoon!).  He also has a cupboard in the kitchen which is just for him, he knows now that he’s allowed open access to this cupboard and it’s filled with all the safe stuff; plastic containers, bowls, cups, cutlery.  Often he’ll sit on the floor at my feet just pulling his cupboard to bits, nesting cups and bowls, banging things around.  He’s done this ever since he could sit up by himself so it’s great for babies too!

Exercise and fitness:

  • Schedule your workouts weekly. I know what my week routine involves so I plan my exercise times around it.  I write it down on Sunday evenings so I know I’m prepared for the week.
  • Put your gear on, your kid/s in the pram (bike/scooter whatever) nice and early in the day and get out and walk. If it’s done early in the day then you don’t have to think about it all day and if things get hectic during the day you know you’re already done.  I find this sets me up for the day too, if I’m energetic in the morning I tend to stay that way for the rest of the day.
  • Join a gym with a crèche (or use occasional care centres) and remove the Mummy guilt that often accompanies it. I use the gym crèche 3 times a week for an hour each time while I do classes.  I work in child care so I know the social benefits of group care, I also know that kids who cry at drop off will (more often than not) settle soon after you leave and have a heap of fun.
  • Use your time wisely to make exercise a priority. If I haven’t had any other opportunity to exercise that day, the first thing I do once my son goes down for a nap is exercise.  The Healthy Mummy DVD is fantastic, as are the 28 Day Challenge exercises.  I sometimes end up doing this at night after his bed time too if it’s been one of “those” days!
  • Incidental exercise is your friend. Hanging out washing…do some squats (washing squats), waiting for the kettle to boil…do some lunges, picking up toys…squat rather than bend, vaccuming…do it as fast as you can.  Check out Rae’s housework challenge for more ideas here.  Take the stairs, walk to the shops instead of driving, get up and use the buttons on your tv rather than the remote, do arm exercises (or exercise bike, treadmill) while watching your favourite shows.  It all counts!
  • Play with your kids! Instead of watching at the park/playground, climb up the equipment with them, play chasey inside, dance like crazy people, jump on the trampoline, play ball in the backyard…whatever it is get yourself involved and have fun together!
  • Don’t feel bad about leaning on the people around you for support and help sometimes. This was a hard one for me to learn but I’m getting better at it.  I have brilliant extended family close to me who adore my boy and are happy to help me out, I just need to let them.  I’m one of these people that doesn’t want to “burden” others, but you are entitled to a break every now and then, so take it if you can.  Go do some exercise or even do something for yourself…go see a movie, get your hair/nails done…whatever it is.  Just don’t feel bad for doing it!

Hope these little ideas help in some way.  So that’s it from me as Motivating Mum this month.  I sincerely hope I have inspired and motivated some ladies out there to begin or continue in their own weight loss journey, as so many other Motivating Mum’s have inspired me on the facebook support group.  I wish you all the very best in achieving your own goals.  And just as a final word…please please don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s; we’re all individuals with our own stories and circumstances.  Our achievements should be celebrated equally because we’ve all worked damn hard for them!!
Jackie Thomas xx
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