Yesterday was an incredibly hard day.
Oliver, our 2 year old son, who normally loves his home daycare, just wasn't himself.
Every morning when we drop him off, he usually flashes a warm, excited, and ready to party smile at the door.
But not yesterday.
He clung to my husband's leg and looked at me with THOSE eyes.
The, don't leave me here, I want to go home and be with you all day, eyes.
And then it happened.
Why can't I be farther along in my business?
Why do I have to work full time?
Why did I have to leave him?
My heart sunk.
Later that night, I couldn't love him up enough during his bath time and bed time routine, but he was just..
Did something happen at daycare? He seems generally happy there, but should I be looking into this more?
My mind started to race. This is all my fault.
But I carried on with my day.
After getting him to bed, I knew I started to fall behind in my online marketing course, and had to log in an hour or so of work.
The assignment was to google the other women in my fitness market, who are highly successful in building their brands and see what content they have created.
So I went to Google.
"Busy, Fit Moms"
"Strong Moms in Fitness."
And there graced the page before my very own eyes, these incredibly lean, beautiful, bikini model moms with ROCKING bodies.
Six pack abs, tight lifted glutes, strong lean legs, killer shoulders and biceps.
Pass me Oliver's leftover Easter chocolate because NOW I'm REALLY starting to feel sorry for myself.
Now I'm really starting to question how I measure up.
Now I'm really starting to criticize my abilities.
Now I'm really feeling OFF.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Well..From the moment we are born we are rewarded and comforted with food.
It's in our emotional make up to feel better after we eat, but there's a difference between eating too much because we simply enjoyed dinner, or eating too much out of worry, shame, or frustration.
As soon as a negative emotion is attached, unlike eating too much at a celebratory dinner, we're in trouble.
The research shows that the number one reason why women overeat and binge snack is directly related to perceived poor performance and a perceived negative body image.
In my case it was...
Bad mom taking son to daycare +
Not having six pack abs =
Eat the Easter chocolate to feel better about myself.
But I didn't.
Here's what I did instead.
I rewired my brain, reward centers, and focus.
1) I ditched the labels.
I'm not a bad mom. I recognized and honored that I get up early every morning to get my to do's out of the way so that I can be a present mom for Oliver's morning routine and breakfast.
I also stay completely present during dinner as a family, and I also make sure that I bath him and put him to bed every single night.
I'm also not an unfit trainer. I'm a real mom, on my journey, who's lost 90lbs, and isn't afraid to put myself out there through this entire process.
It takes courage to share and be vulnerable, and I'm working incredibly hard to be a good role model for my family.
I have knowledge, passion, humor, and ideas, and that makes me unique and relate able.
2) I had a ridiculously large glass of water and I got up and removed myself from the space.
Dehydration makes us hungry and foggy headed.
Exercise releases dopamine, the feel good factor, and getting up and moving around the energy (mental and physical) in my space helps reduce cortisol, the inflammatory hormone that ramps up cravings and bloating.
I used to feel an incredible amount of mom guilt when I took 30 minutes a day to exercise, or I spent $140 a month on a Shakeology shake, but now I've realized that when I take time for me, I can make better decisions.
When I feel good, I show up more confident, happy, and patient in those special moments each day that I CAN spend with my son.
Shakeology has also greatly reduced my cravings as I'm feeding my body with the nutrients it needs.
I also got up and went to bed. Sleep helps us regulate our hormones to stops us from overeating.
Getting up from the space was something I could control.
3) I moved the damn chocolate.
I'm going to eat it, and I'm going to enjoy it. I just didn't want to do it that night. It would have filled a short term need, and then I would have endured an entire evening of shame and guilt.
The "Forbidden Easter Chocolate" was in a hiding spot in the top cupboard out of reach and out of sight.
I swear this made me want to go on a secret stealth mission just to retrieve it.
It was like the forbidden fruit or the big red button that says "Don't push me."
I felt like it was calling my name and I had to eat it.
By moving it front and center, it became less sexy and less desirable.
I now have to face it and say NO more often.
That's building will power and the guts to STOP and COURSE CORRECT when my mind is being driven on 100% emotion and not logic.
Moms, let's cut ourselves a break. We're doing the best we can.
Honour all of the amazing strengths and wins of the day.
Let's be present in EVERY engagement with our kids.
Let's take care of ourselves. Exercise. Nourish. Hydrate. Sleep. Repeat.
Let's stop attaching an EMOTION or an EXPERIENCE to food.
Love, compassion, interaction, dreams, and memories are what fill our cup, not a crappy chocolate bunny.
We're doing a good job.
The other day Oliver said to me,
"Mom. I can do ANYTHING."
Regardless of eating the chocolate bunny or not, I'm know I'm doing something right.
I'm doing a lot of things right.
And I'm sure you are too.
*For more information about our incredible online accountability group and my Busy Mom's Lean Out Plan starting April 18th, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I provide simple health and wellness solutions for the busy mom. Meal Plans, Fitness, Nutrition, Accountability, Coaching, and Support.*