Dr. Mimi Secor calls them pandemic pounds, the result of snacking with the kids, poor sleep and stress eating during a time when it seems like everything has changed.
Yes, unfortunately even all the nibbles, licks and bites count, says Secor, a nurse practitioner on a mission to help others get healthy and author of Debut A New You, Transforming Your Life at Any Age.
The good news: “You can get healthy in the middle of chaos,” she says.
She’s created a pandemic plan to help moms.
Create a routine and plan a daily goal. Make it easy and achievable, such as drinking more water. Remember, small changes lead to huge changes over time, she says.
“We know what we should do, but we come up with 9,000 excuses not to do it,” she says. So find a buddy/friend to check in with at least weekly.
She calls it the “danger-danger” time, the most likely time we lose our willpower and just want to dive into a pint of ice cream. Prepare by removing tempting foods.
Focus on protein, healthy veggies and drinking lots of water. Consider tracking your food in an app or diary.
Any activity counts toward your daily total, so make it fun. Hula hoop or jump rope with the kids, do a short workout online, just keep moving.
Work on developing a positive attitude toward your life and yourself. A lot of women have very negative views about themselves, she says, but the more positive messages you give yourself, the better.
Self-affirmations can be life changing, she says. Consider placing a sticky note on the mirror with positive statements like, “I can do this,” “I am worth it,” “I am beautiful just the way I am,” “I am a great mother.”
Stress causes elevated cortisol levels, which can contribute to fat storage and make it harder to lose weight. Increase your sleep, try meditation, laugh, spend time outside, up your physical intimacy and do anything that fills your heart with joy.
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This article also appeared in Chicago Parent’s June 2020 magazine. Read the rest of the issue here.