Column: A slow start helps one get into aerobics

Published 12:59 am Tuesday, September 7, 2004

By Staff
Why does it seem like after you have children it is harder than ever keep unwanted pounds off? Parents are chasing their children here and there and life becomes very hectic. You can't remember if you have had a meal or not that day. With all of that in mind, it seems that it is tougher than ever to maintain a healthy weight. Let's look at some reasons why this problem occurs and solutions to fix it.
Problem 1 - You do not eat regular meals.
All day long you are moving in this direction and that direction. It is tough to find time for yourself to sit down and eat one decent meal, let alone three. People tend to snack all day instead. Most of the time those snacks you grab are the sugary, salty kind. A bite here and a bite there can add up to a lot of calories and a lot of pounds. You need to find a way to have some easy-to-make meals available to you throughout the day. Taking 20 minutes to sit and eat a healthy meal can do wonders for your body.
Problem 2 - You eat off your child's plate.
Come on, we all have done it a time or two. Your child has a few last french fries left that he will not eat, so instead of throwing them out, you eat them. A couple of fries won't hurt right? Wrong! Those couple of fries may not hurt this time but what about all of the other food you eat off his plate at each meal and snack? Try not giving your child too much food. Give him the portion you think he will eat. If he is still hungry, then give him more. This way you are less tempted to eat up their leftovers and pack on those unwanted pounds.
Problem 3 - No exercise
You were busy enough before you had children to fit in exercise - now that you have them it is even harder. Chasing them all day does not necessarily constitute a workout regiment. Try doing physical activities with your children that will also get your heart rate up. Play a game of tag or do lunges across the living floor while holding your baby. If you belong to the YMCA, you can bring your children into our babysitting room while you workout. It is a great place where children can be in a safe place and have interaction with other children. Exercise is important for everyone.
Problem 4 - You eat because you are stressed out.
There can be many trying points during the day. You work all day, come home to a messy house, you need to cook dinner and get everything around for the next day. Or you are a stay at home parent who has had to run errands all day with a cranky child and go home to find time to clean and get dinner ready. Either of these days could stress a person out. Many times when people feel stressed out they grab for food to make them feel better - even though they are not hungry. By doing this you are subjecting yourself to weight-gain. When you feel you are becoming stressed out, find one minute to go in a room by yourself and take a deep breath. Be calm before you go back into the situation. Make a prioritized list of things to do each day. That way when your child needs your undivided attention, you won't feel so overwhelmed.
Problem 5 - Who to eat with
Your toddler needs to eat dinner at 5 p.m. or she becomes cranky. Your spouse does not get home until 7 p.m. When your child eats at 5, you are also hungry so you eat with her. Then at 7, you make dinner for your spouse. You have not seen him all day, and you want sit down to have a meal together. When you feed your child, eat a healthy snack, enough to satisfy your hunger so you will be hungry for dinner at 7. Eating a meal during both times is unnecessary and adds more calories to your body than it needs.
Hopefully these problems and solutions we have gone over will help with controlling the unwanted weight. Exercise regularly, eat three meals a day and a few healthy snacks in between, and you will be on your way to a healthy you.
Thought of the day: Parents are the eyes of their children.