Yummy Mommy is a recurring feature in the wellness section of Out and About STYLE Magazine that serves to shine a spotlight on the supermoms who combine raising a family with their own career and life goals — and look FABULOUS while doing it. And most of all, with no celebrity trainers and chefs.
BALANCING IT ALL
Name: Debra Christie
Marital Status: Married
Number of children: 1
HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR CAREER, FAMILY AND KEEPING FIT?
It is so easy to stop caring for yourself as a mom, and that is heightened when you are a full-time working mom. The juggling act can be exhausting and incredibly overwhelming. However, I have learned through this journey that both my family life and career can flourish while I create nurturing moments for myself.
Fitness was never on my list of priorities until my son was two years old and I saw a photo of myself someone had posted on social media. I could hardly recognise myself, I did not hate myself, but I totally hated the photo. And while friends were ‘liking’ and leaving nice comments, I was annoyed that I allowed myself to remain at pregnancy weight/ size two years postpartum all because I have been eating for two while pregnant and kept doing so while exclusively breastfeeding my son for 12 months. I realised then that I simply cannot be all things to all people because I was losing myself in the process, and that I needed to find some type of balance between my profession, being a parent and getting my body, mind and spirit back. Employing a housemaid became a high priority. This turned out to be a most valuable and rewarding step that has helped to take some of the workload off my shoulders and allows me time for just me.
It is not easy, but it is worth it! By managing my time wisely, working out my schedule around my family and with support from the rest of my household, I fit in my work, family time and workouts all in a day. I am a morning person. So most mornings, I am up at 5:30am completing school work if needed, or I am doing workouts in my home until 6:30am while everyone is asleep. After work, usually around 2:30pm, my whole family is off to a local leisure centre; my son gets to enjoy swimming while I am in the gym for 30 minutes before joining the rest of the family at the pool. With meal prep out of the way, I am head chef, making dinner for my boys by mid-evening. My son looks forward to alone time with me. So we are either going to the park together or going for a late lunch and play at Funcity on days when we just don’t fancy the leisure centre. He needs me at bedtime too, and I look forward to hopping into his bed at around 8pm for a story and prayers before he nods off. I am in my own bed by 9:30 to get enough rest to start my day all over again.
WHAT WAS THE LAST COMPLIMENT YOU RECEIVED?
WHAT’S THE BEAUTY ROUTINE OR PRODUCT YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT SINCE YOU BECAME A MOM?
Wet wipes! I stock enough for both myself and my son. On those days when my energy is depleted and I just cannot do my actual cleansing routine, I simply wipe away my makeup and lipstick which I absolutely cannot live without.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 TIPS TO HELP WOMEN GET INTO SHAPE POST PREGNANCY?
1. Ditch the ‘mom guilt’
I went through this phase of feeling that I needed to be all things to my son, feeling almost like someone somewhere is watching my every move and getting stressed for fear of falling short of being a great mom. That guilt has not magically disappeared, but I am no longer consumed by it. I have learnt that as long as our children’s needs for safety and love are met, then the rest is not worth stressing over. There is this guilt too or comparisons that we make with other moms who may have ‘snapped back’ into shape within weeks of childbirth. No comparing!!! Our fitness journeys will be different, our goals will be different, and our bodies are all uniquely different. So it’s ‘you against you’, in your own time and at your own pace. Set short-term fitness goals that are realistic, reachable and that allow you to see results. When we feel good about ourselves, we spill that good energy on to our children.
2. Value your time
Scheduling workouts are often hard for me to stick to as a working mom. So, I basically squeeze exercise in whenever and wherever I can. Some days, I may have 15-20 minutes to spare. On those days, I pack in High Intensity Interval Training to get the best out of those 20 minutes. On other days, I may not be able to go to the gym. So I workout at home. Popping in an exercise video or You Tube clip while my son was younger and taking naps or playing nearby was also a time saver. There will be days when you simply can’t work out and that’s okay too. Consistency is key. Get back into your routine as soon as you can without beating yourself up.
You want to do it, you have it in you, but you feel you need extra support which you probably may never get. Fitness can be a lonely journey you have to be willing to go it alone to achieve your goal of staying in shape. Make a commitment with yourself to be healthier, or to shed a few pounds (whatever your goals may be) and stick to it. Setting aside time for yourself is an act of self-care. Show yourself and others that you matter and you now know it. Conquering new fitness challenges feed into an amazing feeling of pride and accomplishment, and boosts self-confidence. If you want it, you can have it. Now is the time to put your best body confident self out there! A busy family schedule can often throw self-care out the window. Doing your best by finding what works for you is worth it.
Follow Debra's fitness journey on Instagram @debbie_lishus