Becoming a Healthier Homeschool Mom

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The following is a guest post from my friend Kris Bales.

By November of 2009, I had reached my heaviest weight ever – 220 pounds. I was tired, sore, and miserable. I decided that it was time to do something about it.

I didn’t want to. I’d been overweight for over 15 years. I’d tried and failed to lose weight many times in the past with limited success – and always regained the weight I’d lost and then some.

So, the Monday before Thanksgiving 2009, I got on the treadmill with a very grumpy attitude to prove, once and for all, that I couldn’t lose weight so that I could quit feeling guilty for not trying.

I lost 4 pounds that week – Thanksgiving week! I was so excited! That sparked the motivation and now, less than 3 years later, I have maintained a nearly 90 pound weight loss for a year.

Do you have some weight you’d like to lose? It doesn’t matter if it’s 20 pounds or 100 pounds – or even that last 10 pounds that I’ve discovered can be very stubborn – it can seem daunting, especially as a homeschooling mom who has so much trouble carving out time for herself. There are some simple steps you can take, however, to creating a healthier lifestyle.

Incorporate Movement Into Your Day

Being a homeschooling mom can mean being very sedentary, but, with a conscious effort, it’s easy to move more throughout the day. Some simple ideas include:

  • Get a pedometer and set a goal of 10,000 steps per day.
  • Get things for yourself instead of asking your children to bring them to you.
  • If you have stairs, make a few trips up and down them once every hour or two.
  • Go outside and play with your kids.
  • Take a family walk after dinner.
  • Walk your dog. (He’ll like it, too.)
  • Stand instead of sitting. (Standing burns more calories than sitting.)

Replace Unhealthy Meals with Healthier Choices

If I had had to make separate meals for myself and my family, I would never have been as successful as I’ve been losing weight. Therefore, I knew I had to find healthy meals that we’d all enjoy. I found the Skinny Taste website to be an invaluable resource. It’s filled with recipes that my whole family enjoys.

I started by making one or two new meals a week and still serving family favorites (and limiting my serving sizes) the rest of the week or I might make a  healthier main dish with standard favorite side dishes (or vice versa).

Make Time for Exercise

Homeschooling moms are busy ladies. It seems like everyone is always needing something – help with schoolwork, clean laundry, a clean house, a clean diaper, meals…the list goes on and on. However, being where I am now, I can assure you that it’s worth it to carve out time for exercise.

After I lost weight, I felt so much better and had so much more energy. The time investment was so worth it. It’s been worth it to the kids, too. Not a week goes by that one of them – or my husband – doesn’t tell me how glad I am that they lost weight.

Maybe you’ve got younger kids who can’t express that or wouldn’t realize the difference. What a blessing it will be to them to grow up with a healthy mom who they can’t ever remember as unhealthy. And, they probably won’t remember the time you spent away from them for exercise.

If they grow up with a healthy mom who is serving healthy foods and leading an active lifestyle, they’ll never have to unlearn the unhealthy habits they grew up with. That’s something I wish I’d blessed my kids with.

Drink More Water

It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Not only does drinking water increase your feeling of satiety, but it also replaces the sugary drinks you’re probably drinking instead. I went from drinking nearly a gallon of sweet tea and a couple of Cokes a day to no Cokes and two glasses of much-less-sweet tea a day.

I also feel – and there’s no scientific proof for this – that drinking water flushes things like fats and toxins out of my body. If nothing else, I get a few more steps in with all the extra trips to the bathroom. {grin}

Remember the 80/20 Rule

I am a firm believer in “moderation, not deprivation.” I’m not a person who can succeed on a strict diet that doesn’t allow for some indulgences. That’s where the 80/20 rule comes into play. If I’m making healthy choices 80% of the time, I’m not going to stress over the 20% when I choose to indulge.

I allow myself two glasses of sweet tea a day. I keep fun size candy bars in the fridge for when I’m craving a small indulgence (and I only allow myself one or two). I enjoy sweet treats on special occasions. I haven’t had more than a sip of one of the kids’ milkshakes in over 2 1/2 years, but I will sometimes get a kid-size ice cream cone.

It’s all about wise choices and moderation. By making small, but consistent changes, we can achieve huge, lasting results.

What healthy changes have you made lately? Which of the suggestions I’ve offered could you start incorporating right away?

Kris blogs at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She is the classically eclectic, slightly Charlotte Mason homeschooling mom to three amazing kids, the Christ-following, sweet tea addicted wife to one unbelievably supportive husband, and the formerly obese, couch-potato-turned-healthy runner of a bunch of 5K races and two half-marathons. 

This post will be linked up to The Mommy Club, Works for Me Wednesday, Big Family Fridays, Better Mom Mondays and more.

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  1. Congratulations on losing it and keeping your weight steady. Thanks for the tips, I could do with them at the moment.

    Another bonus is that there are more clothes you can choose and look great in.

  2. What an inspiration you are Kris! Keep up the good work! Thanks Diana for sharing…

  3. Great Job!!!
    I’m working on getting healthy this year. I was very ill last year and lost #40 by doing nothing but being ill. Now I’m facing surgery and hoping to lose another #25 before that time. I’m trying not to stress out over how the school year will pan out.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. Loved the tip on getting things yourself instead of asking the kids – guilty. What a great idea!

  5. That is awesome! Congrats!

  6. I have really enjoyed reading your blog so I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog and Very Inspiring Blogger Award. You can check it out here:
    Enjoy and congratulations,

  7. Raquel Bernier says:

    Hello Thank you for your post. I too am a homeschool mom and be trying to lose weight for a year and a half with not much progress except 30 pounds. I have another 40 to lose. I haven’t been able to lose weight for a year. So I am going to put my kids in a 3 day charter school so I can have more time to focus on getting healthy and develop good habits. I have 4 children ages 10, 7, 4,and 2. I am afraid of stopping homeschooling. But I know my personality and I can’t concentrate on homeschooling and getting healthy. I just want to take one year off and see if I can lose the weight if I focus enough. What do you think am I going to sabotage all the work I’ve done in home school?

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