The journey of single parent getting healthy

Trying to get healthy and lose weight as a single parent

The journey of single parent getting healthy
Photo by Anupam Mahapatra on Unsplash

I have always been a bigger girl my whole life. I was always trying to lose weight, trying the newest fad diet. I always lost weight but then would gain it back again. When I had a baby at 31 I gained weight of course and ended up at my heaviest at 220 lbs. Then I broke my arm needing surgery making me unable to work out for a long time. I had heard people say that you need to get to a point where you are fed up, fed up of being sick and tired. I use to think that of course I want to lose weight and be healthy that is crazy. But they really are right. At some point I got fed up with always lacking energy, not being able to do things and just generally not being happy in my own skin. I had lost a lot of strength after I broke my arm and at first I just wanted to gain some of it back. So I started off on a journey to be healthy. My focus was not to lose weight specifically, it was to be healthy. Which is my first bit of advice, focus on health. I focused on my want to be able to keep up with my daughter. I would see that I wasn't checked into life and wasn't present with her unable to keep up with all her energy all the time. With health as your focus it's easier I found to see the successes. Not all successes are about losing weight. Maybe it's losing inches instead, or just having more energy. There are many other things that come with being healthy. Losing weight is sometimes just a benefit. Most people feel like the start to workout and then don't lose weight right away so they give up. Focus on the other things and believe that losing weight will come.

My next advice is focus on one thing at a time. It can be overwhelming thinking of everything that you need to change. Doing one thing at a time is easier to focus on, adding one thing at a time. The first thing I did was stop drinking pop. I use to drink pop all the time. Telling myself that I needed it for energy to keep up with my daughter. Especially as I don't drink coffee. I did a detox of it for a week. Main drinking water and mixes to put into water. I was amazed how much more energy that I felt right away. If you do nothing else, stop drinking pop and only drink water. If you need caffeine, there are many supplements that you can take to add to your water for example a pre-workout that has caffeine.

Next was nutrition, find a system that works for you. For me I started doing the container system from Beachbody from 21 day fix. If you have never heard of it, you should look into it. You have containers for each food group and you try to hit a certain number of containers a day. It is sort of like counting calories without counting them. It's a easy and quick system which for my life is very important. I also started doing meal planning and meal prep. Doing all my cooking on my day off so that I had meals in my fridge for the whole week that I just needed to heat up. That way eating was quick, leaving me more time to focus on my daughter.

During covid I started doing intermittent fasting, where I only had an 8 hour window of eating. It is a system that helped me feel less bloated and had more energy. It also made my mornings better as I only had to feed my daughter and not make breakfast for myself. I started a little bit each day working up to my eating window which starts at about 12-1 at this point. One day I went until 10, then 11 then 12. Do a little bit at a time and it isn't so hard. You will be amazed how easy it is.

Last was working out. I signed up for Beachbody on demand which is a streaming system where you workout from home. It is like having a trainer at home. Being a single parent I knew that I would never be able to get to the gym. So working out at home was the only way to do it for me. I started to get at home equipment a little at a time, one weight at a time when I could afford it. If you haven't tried it, you need to. It is an amazing system that is amazing if you just follow the programs that they have. I started to wake up earlier and earlier to make sure that I could workout. You will make time for what is important to you. Just make time when it works for your schedule. Working out is for you, to make yourself work better. Once you see it like that then you will find the time. It will make you a better person, a better mother, a better friend. You just need to focus on yourself. You can't help anyone if you can't help yourself first after all.

I am happy to say that by making these changes I have not only lost over 30 lbs so far. But I have more energy, feel better about myself. And more importantly I can keep up with my daughter.

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Talara Nolan
See all posts by Talara Nolan