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A Mum’s Guide to Winter Motivation

Follow along for my guide on staying motivated during Winter, as a full-time Mummy, Wifey, Cleaner, Chef, Taxi-Driver and Recruiter!

Struggling with motivation this Winter? Photos blu-tak’d everywhere reminding you of your 5 year ago summer body which you WILL achieve this year? Post-it notes stuck on all the foods in your fridge you should avoid?

I hate to say it, but I can tell you right now – NONE OF THOSE THINGS WILL WORK!

You’re putting too much pressure on yourself, saying no to too many things, I’ll even go so far as to say you’re DEPRIVING yourself!

Stop right now. And read on…

5 years ago, you were in a different financial situation. 5 years ago, your work situation was different. 5 years ago, your metabolism was faster. You get the picture…

You need to focus on the now. Instead of trying to be something you used to be, why don’t you try accepting yourself for who you are, and make changes you can actually live with?

After I had my first baby, my body bounced back, just like that! Yes, it was a slightly more voluptuous shape, but overall, I felt very lucky. The second time around, it all seemed to be on the right track, however, once a couple months passed, I realised I couldn’t fit into any of my clothes. I was unhappy and I felt unfit. I judged myself, using the size 7 and 8 jeans in my cupboard to “motivate me”. Instead, it ended up making me feel worse. I felt like I never saw any change, even when I stripped myself off milo for an entire month!!!

I’ve never been a bad eater and I’ve always been sporty. I’m just one of those people… you know the ones the annoying ones; taking the stairs, walking to the nearby shops, fitness and general health always in the back of your mind. Consciously making decisions to eat vegetables and salad, not eating too much “junk food” etc… However, during the months after I gave birth to my second baby, my eating habits changed (as they do when you have a newborn!). However, now I had another child to support and a mortgage to pay for. I was stressed.

Long story short, it was chips and coleslaw for a good 2 months – I was tired, money was tight and it was simple and easy to chuck something in the oven and serve up pre-made “salads”.

When you start cheating on meals it becomes a habit that is very hard to break. So… some words of advice from someone who has FINALLY reached some level of balance.

Pre-plan. Set easy goals – that are achievable, considering your current state of mind. Eg, not a big gym person, set yourself a target of every 2nd day, walk around the block.

I decided I needed to remove myself from my home situation ie; 2 kids and 2 cats, hubby and all my housework. I signed up for a free 2 week trial at the gym, no pressure.

I started with the elliptical trainer. Easy, no-nonsense and I could even watch 9life.

Then I moved to experimenting with machines, and doing easy exercises such as squats, lunges, lightweights I pretended to know how to lift. I observed others in the gym, creepy perhaps? But that’s how I learnt technique, and what else I wanted to try.

Once I’d finished my trial, I was determined to continue, hard as it was, I did feel amazing afterwards and I craved that feeling… So, I signed up!

I started becoming more confident. One day, my friend convinced me to get on the treadmill. I was SCARED! It had been a long time since I’d run. I knew I wasn’t fit, and it just seemed like it was easier to do other things. But, I did it. Started slowly doing interval training, walking for 1 minute, running for 2. Soon enough I started to increase my speeds and increase the time running, compared to the time walking.

8 months later, I’m still going. After I had been going to the gym for a couple weeks, automatically I was eating better and happy to avoid those “bad” foods, but also allowing myself treats. I had more energy and I was happier.

This all sounds like one of those stories. But it’s my story, and I am proud of where I am now, and the more results I saw, the more determined I became.

The point is that I made small goals. I wanted to look amazing in a dress for my friend’s wedding. Then my sister’s wedding. Then my birthday. Always just little things to work towards that helped to encourage me. No weight goals. No expectation to see abs after 2 weeks.

I’m going because I want to be fit, I want to see results – but I’m happy to work towards them. I want to be a role model to my kids. But most of all, I want to love myself. And this is my first step.

Now, go take yours.

If you have any tips for me, feel free to message us on our Effective People Facebook page for any questions or feedback.

Author: Emily Walsh

Get up, get active

When asked why people don’t exercise, often you will hear the phrase “I just don’t have time or there isn’t enough time in a day”.

This doesn’t have to be the case when working long hours. The Australian Burden of Disease Study released in November 2017 states that 2.6% of total disease burden in Australia was due to physical inactivity. If Australians did an extra 15 minutes’ walk each day, 5 days a week, this could reduce disease burden inactivity to approximately 13%. If Australians did a 30-minute walk this could then be reduced to 26%.

If you’re after four simple ways to keep fit in the workplace then keep reading.

  1. To increase your daily exercise in the workplace, start with walking around your office when doing your job. If your task is to answer phone calls, opt to using a headset or headphones with a microphone, and walk around whilst you’re on the phone. Even if your phone call doesn’t last long, that five-minute phone call saves five-minutes you could be at home watching Netflix!
  2. Another creative way to implement exercise in the workplace is in your meeting. When you hear the word “meeting” the first thing that comes to mind is sitting around a large table discussing work-related issues. When having a meeting, no one is stopping you from jogging on the spot, starting with 5-star jumps or evening standing up. Some people may find this a burden; however, you’re looking out for the health and well-being of all staff members and preventing them from future health risks.
  3. Many government roles are multi-level buildings. Instead of being like everyone else and taking the elevator, take the stairs. Taking the stairs is a great way to avoid small talk and elevate the heart rate in your everyday routine.
  4. Lunchtime. Everyone’s favourite time of the day. Don’t waste this time to sit around and eat for 30 to 60 minutes, get up and get active with your team. This could mean joining the nearest gym or popping the sneakers on for a walk around the block. Exercising can be fun and there is always time for it in your day.

I hope that after reading this you can implement some quick and fun way to stay active in your workplace. Feel free to message us on our Effective People Facebook page for any questions, tips or feedback.

Author: Rille Beath