I bet you’re expecting me to say, “You can have it all!”
The bad news is, you can’t.
The good news is, you get to choose what you do have.
When I met Anna, I was inspired (and shocked) by her habit of waking up suuuper early to get her workouts in before her two children were awake.
As she will tell you, it’s not easy, but it is worth it.
Number of Children: Two
Occupation: Certified Orthodontic Dental Assistant and part-time pierogi maker for The Little Pierogi Company
Greatest Health-Related accomplishment:
Watching what I eat on the regular and exercising daily. I now read labels when I grocery shop, so I am more aware of what goes into our bodies, buying more organic and natural produce and foods.
Greatest Fitness-Related accomplishment:
Practicing yoga. I was always curious about the concept of yoga and heard about so many great health benefits – not only physical – but mental benefits. I knew that I needed to try it out and finally committed to a one-month pass to Bikram Yoga. It has now been just over a year and I still practice yoga 2-3 times a week. I have come to realize the importance of meditating and listening to your body and breath. Within that one hour class, my body sure thanks me for it.
What are some healthy habits of which you are proud?
I am proud to make fitness a part of my daily routine. Being a full-time working mom, I try to make sure I throw in no less then a 30-minute workout every day, whether it’s a run on the treadmill, a full-body workout, or yoga. I am also proud of living with a healthy diet, not only for myself, but for my family. We have a ‘one day a week takeout rule’, so the majority of the time there is always a fresh, home-cooked meal full of protein, healthy carbs and veggies every day. Meal prep is key. Don’t get me wrong, we do have little treats here and there, but I find balance is key.
What do your kids think of your healthy habits?
My kids think it’s just a part of our normal routine. They always see me and my husband making time for a workout. To them it’s nothing new. My kids also live an active lifestyle. We have them in soccer and swimming, and when we are at home and the sun’s out, we always make sure they take some time outside to jump on the trampoline or bike or scooter around the neighbourhood. As for diet, they rarely complain about our meals. I am not a restaurant, and will never cater each child to their meal of choice. Whatever is prepared for the day is what we eat.
What does your workout schedule look like?
In a typical work week, (depending on what my schedule is, as it varies daily) I would either fit a workout early in the morning or later in the evening. I am fortunate to have created a small, but decent gym in my basement. This is my primary workout space, and the only time I am not using this space is when I am out doing a yoga class.
On my early workout days, I set my alarm for 5:15 a.m. After hitting the snooze button multiple times and hearing the basement call my name, (Trust me, it’s just as difficult working out at home as it is to drive to a gym.) I do a quick 20-25-minute elliptical or run on the treadmill. I then do a 20-minute full-body HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout that I usually find on YouTube (haha) and then I am set for the day! I prefer getting my workouts done first thing in the morning, especially on the days where my kids have after-school activities – sometimes an evening workout is impossible. Of course, if I am unable to do a morning workout, then I try to squeeze every last ounce of energy in me to do a yoga class or a run on the treadmill at night. I also do a weighted workout as well, so every day my workouts are different. I have to say, I don’t always workout five or six days a week. Between yoga, cardio and weights/HIIT workouts, I get at least four times a week. That’s my minimum. If I can’t do it all during the week, then I workout on the weekends to make up for my lost days during the work week. I don’t have set rest days; I just go with the flow and make sure that I have met my four day/week minimum.
How do you make it happen?
I prep myself the night before. I look at my kids’ after school schedule and my husband’s work schedule and then I plan it out. Some nights, if I can’t squeeze in the morning workout, I make sure that the kids go to bed 20 minutes early so that I can get in a workout. Otherwise 9:00 pm. rolls around, and I’m ready to get into bed. It doesn’t always work out, but sometimes it falls into place!
How do you find the time?
I force myself to make time. As mothers, we find ourselves so busy with the tasks of motherhood, managing household chores, and after-school activities that we often forget about ourselves. That’s why I think balance is important. Taking time away from family to focus on yourself and your wellbeing is key to be the best we can be to our children and partners. I never feel guilty for sacrificing time for myself. It’s important. I want to look good and to feel good. If that means I have to wake up a bit earlier on the weekends (there really is no such thing as “sleeping in”) before the kids wake up to get in that workout and peaceful shower, then that’s what I will do.
Do you have a support system?
My family. My husband finds health and fitness equally as important. Because of his job, it is important to stay in the best shape he can. He is what keeps me motivated. There will be days, especially on a work week, where it just seems like the day will never end. My husband, knowing full-well that I am too exhausted, will casually say, “Hey, you going to yoga tonight?” That simple question is his way of saying, “Go take some time for yourself. You need it and your body will thank you for it.”
Top 7 Healthy Habits In Order of Priority:
- Me Time
- Hair Appointments
In what area of your life do you struggle?
I struggle with sweating over the small stuff. I make a huge deal over spilled milk, and I just need to relax. I am a schedule-type of girl, and sometimes it doesn’t always work out that way. So I just need to go with the flow. And I need to get massages – that’s the area where I am lacking!
Do you ever feel judged for making those habits a priority?
Not at all. This is my life and this is how I do. We are on this earth one time. It is important to make the best of it for yourself and your family. Balance, and everything else will fall in to place.