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Learn to Put Yourself First

by Dustin Maher

expert

November 20, 2013

Learn to Put Yourself First

5 small steps that can transform your life

I’ve made it my life’s work to help moms live happier, healthier, more connected lives, by eating healthy foods, strengthening their bodies with exercise, and building a supportive community.

But I’ve found that moms, who are so good at taking care of everyone around them, are often terrible at taking care of themselves.

I regularly hear “I don’t have time to work out,” “I can’t get up early to exercise—I’m up too late cleaning up after the kids and dealing with the house,” or “I don’t have time to grocery shop and cook—that’s why we eat out all of the time.”

But what that really means is that you haven’t made it a priority to take care of yourself.  That may be because you feel guilty setting aside 30 minutes a day, just for you.  Or perhaps you don’t feel that you deserve it.

The reality is that carving out 30 minutes every day, just for you, will benefit you and your family so much more than anything else that you could do to directly benefit your family in those same 30 minutes.  Taking a bit of time to take care of yourself is one of the most selfless things you can do.

Once you make exercise a regular part of your life and begin to reduce the amount of processed foods that you eat, you will FEEL better.  And once you start feeling better, you will have more energy and focus, and thus can get more things done.  You will have more patience and a better ability to deal with whatever comes your way.  You will be a better mother, a better partner, and a better friend.

Eventually, you will look better too, whether that means losing weight or just getting more toned.    You will be physically stronger and will sleep more soundly.  You will start to feel AMAZING—all from taking that simple step and putting yourself first for a little bit of time every day.

Caring for yourself is the least selfish thing that you can do.  Only when you are healthy and happy inside, can you truly care for those around you.

So where do you start?  Start small, with five simple changes that will add up to big results over time.  

  1. Replace all calorie laden drinks with water or at least reduce their consumption by 50%.
  2. Substitute 15 minutes a day that you spend watching TV or on the computer with a walk or some other type of exercise.
  3. Stop watching TV or using electronics at least an hour before bed and read a positive book or journal instead.  You will sleep much better.
  4. Take 10 minutes each evening to plan and prepare snacks and meals for the next day. 
  5. Avoid fast food or eating out for an entire week.

These changes might seem small but, together, they can radically change your life.  Learn more and take the pledge at www.fitmomsforlife.com.

Tell us, how will you put yourself first?

Inspired by his own stay-at-home mom, who cared for her husband and four kids first, without managing to make enough time for herself, personal trainer Dustin Maher has devoted his life to helping moms. Dustin says, “When I inspire a mom to exercise smarter and change the foods that she buys for her family, her kids want to do what she is doing. Not only do I get to help the mother, but also the next generation–and, once in a while, the husband as well.”

A healthy, happy mom doesn’t just benefit her family—she supports her friends, too. Which is why Dustin is passionate about creating a community of like-minded moms helping each other on the journey towards mental, physical, and emotional health.

He is pursuing his vision of creating the Fit Moms for Life movement of mothers empowering mothers, with a goal to start 14,000 countrywide fitness support groups that will help moms connect with, motivate, train, and support each other. Why 14,000? It’s the same as the number of McDonald’s’ restaurants currently in America.

Often called “America’s trainer to moms”, Dustin owns and operates 10 fitness locations, has created 30 home workout DVDs, and has appeared on network television over 100 times. He is also the author of Fit Moms for Life: How to Have Endless Energy to Outplay Your Kids and creator of the documentary Fit Moms for Life: the Million Mom Movement.

Related topics: Fitness

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