Some people need external accountability to keep them on track. I am definitely one of those people. Maybe it’s the mum in me, but I always seem to show up for others but rarely for myself. My health is the first thing to go out the window when juggling with the priorities of parenting. So here are some ways I’ve created accountability for my health goals:
- Share health goals with the people you trust. It can be embarrassing to admit that you’re overweight even when the physical evidence is right there for everyone to see. I found it difficult to even talk to my physically fit husband about my health goals. But if I wanted to change the way my family eats, he needed to be a part of the conversation. How is he supposed to know not to order pizza if I don’t talk to him?! Having the support of others is a huge help for keeping yourself on track.
- Schedule activities. It is easier to stay committed to a scheduled activity than a serendipitous one. It’s hard to find time for fitness with a baby, so I’ve signed up for a “mums n bubs” yoga class and I schedule buggy walks with friends. When you have a four-month-old you’ll always have a good excuse not to do something, so that pre-commitment is key.
- Fitness trackers. When you can’t get to classes or out with friends, fitness trackers can encourage you to stay active. I recently got a Fitbit and I love it! I get competitive comparing my weekly steps with friends (to the point where I’m marching in place while I brush my teeth just to beat my husband). Here are my steps from the other day (I think all parents can relate to the lack of sleep!)
- Keep a food diary. Logging your food for the day gives you a chance to reflect on your food choices and find areas for improvement. When you’re rushed off your feet it’s easy to not think about the calories in that muffin you’re eating. Looking back on my day I can see the pitfalls where I need to make some healthier substitutes. The easiest way to do that is to keep all the “bad foods” out of the house.
- Get Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen app. Knowing the right foods to eat is just as important as knowing the ones to avoid. This simple app helps remind you to get all of the good foods into your daily diet.