The job of being a mom can be slightly stressful. With endless hours, no health benefits and often little appreciation, I’ve found that it can be easy to let myself go; to put my needs on the back burner while I attend to everyone else’s. I’ll admit that it’s not an intentional act. In fact, I never envisioned that simply being responsible for someone else would so directly impact the way that I care for myself. But, as many of you know, at the beginning of the year I decided it was time for that to change. It was time to put myself back in the picture, so to speak. And over the last four months, I’ve found ways to change my way of looking at my own health. I guess you could say I turned the camera around and found a way to make every day about creating a #MyColgateSelfie so that I can not only be the best mom possible but also the best me possible.
Now, I’m going to admit something on here that I haven’t told anyone. Of course my friends who see me daily knew but those of you who just know me virtually? Well, you probably thought I’ve been rocking out over here. But have you noticed that over the last say, year, I haven’t posted many pictures of myself on the blog? Yup, until a few weeks ago there have been very few selfies and my images have all been of other people. That’s because with a major move, a second child starting school and some work transitions, I kind of let myself go. I got away from exercise. And eating healthy. And OK, getting dressed some days even. It’s not like I meant to make these changes but one day led to another and all of a sudden, my health wasn’t where I wanted it to be. Where I used to run circles around my kids, I was now huffing and puffing just to get them into school on time. So in January I decided it was time for a change. BUT I wanted changes that would stick and help me get back to the person who always had a smile and loved being in front on the camera. And while I’ll admit there have been a few bumps in the road along the way, I’ve found my way back to the healthy mama I want to be. So, in anticipation of National Women’s Health Week (May 8-14, 2016), I wanted to share with you these small daily changes that for me have made a huge difference.
Change My Choices
I’m going to be honest and say that I don’t always make the wisest food choices. If I go with my natural instinct, I’m generally going to reach for a candy bar over fruit or a pizza over grilled chicken. But I’m finding ways to change the food choices that I make. I’m learning that making smart choices doesn’t mean depriving myself and that I don’t have to live off of a pre-created menu to avoid falling victim to temptation. By discovering that I can still enjoy favorite foods but with a better-for-me twist, I’ve found that making healthy choices isn’t about depriving myself.
Instead it’s about finding ways to love foods that fuel my body and help me feel more confident. It means removing the highly processed foods from my pantry and instead stocking my fridge with fresh fruits, veggies and proteins. And it means making a conscious effort each and every day to make the smartest decisions for the lifestyle that I want to live.
It goes without saying that a sedentary lifestyle is not the healthiest option. But when I found that I had gotten away from exercise, finding my way back wasn’t the easiest task. I “thought” I should be able to jump right back in where I had left off. However, I soon discovered that was not the case. So it became a daily task of making sure I did something. I started by getting an activity tracker to make myself more aware of what I was doing on a daily basis.
Then I started with small goals; ones that were attainable. Once I had reached them, I was able to set bigger goals. But no matter what each day brought, it became my mission to do something each day. To find a way to make physical activity as much a part of my everyday routine as taking the kids to school is. And whether that meant walking two laps around the kids’ school after dropping them off in the morning or going to the mall to walk when it’s raining outside, those small changes started to help me feel like I was putting myself in the picture again.
Take Time to Relax
While exercise and eating better were the two steps that I looked at first when moving back towards a healthier lifestyle, making time to relax came in closely behind them. I suffer from what many moms do; the I-have-to-do-it-all-and-be-it-all syndrome. You know the one I’m talking about….where we push ourselves past where we should go just because we think if we don’t do everything it won’t get done. It really took resetting my way of thinking to move away from this and discover that if there are dishes in the sink at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. It’s more important for me to take a little time each day to just breathe and let the stress go.
Whether that means taking a walk or spending a few minutes sitting outside with the wind in my face, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I’m making a conscious effort to make time for myself.
Put My Best Face Forward
Once I had made all the small changes on a daily basis for a few months, I discovered that I was feeling better about myself. I also discovered that I wasn’t running away anymore when it was time for pictures. And surprisingly enough, those small changes started to make me feel like making other changes to ensure that I looked as good as I felt. I started back to my daily routine of getting dressed and putting on makeup. I stopped just using the pickup and drop off line at school. And I made sure that I had a smile that was always ready to be photographed with help from Colgate.
You see, my small changes had me wanting to smile again. They had me asking if I could be in the picture. And while I was looking better and feeling better, I also wanted to make sure I was smiling better. By making one more small change and adding the Colgate Total® Daily Repair regimen to my daily lifestyle, I was able to kill bad breath and help repair daily damage to my teeth with help from Colgate Total® Daily Repair Mouthwash. I was also able to repair early teeth and gum damage, freshen my breath and whiten my teeth with help from Colgate Total® Daily Repair Toothpaste.
But best of all I was able to find that last missing piece that helped me rediscover the healthy woman that I want to be.
While I know that to some these changes may seem small, to me they changed the way I look at myself on a daily basis. Then gave me back the confidence to put on my skinny jeans, get out there and get living again. And four months after starting, changing my way of living has helped me to rediscover who I really want to be.
Are you ready to put yourself back in the picture and start looking and feeling like the healthy mom you want to be? Start by making one small change today. To get started, you can save $1.00 on the new Colgate Total Daily Repair Mouthwash and Colgate Total Daily Repair Toothpaste. To print this coupon, click here. Then add another healthy habit to your daily lifestyle tomorrow!
Even better, join me in the quest to inspire moms (and women) everywhere to make healthy changes as we start to celebrate National Women’s Health Week. To do this, start by joining Colgate Total® and pledging to put your health first like I did by sharing a “healthy selfie” and using #MyColgateSelfie! Then, one change a time, take back control of the way you feel, the way you look and the way you put yourself in the picture.
Tell me, what healthy changes would you like to start making today?
This blog post is part of a paid Megan Media and Colgate blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.