I Quit Dieting and Became a Better Mom

You see it everywhere. “I’m a better mom because I take care of me!” or “once I lost the weight I turned into a better mom!” or “No Excuse Mom!” We see moms showing off colorful fruit/veggie kabobs and trays of organic, unprocessed food with shiny, smiling faces #fitmom.

I used to be that mom.  After going through an emotional and physical nightmare to have our 2 babies, I found myself sucked into what I’m going to call “the no-excuse, get your pre-baby body back, run yourself ragged, sleep isn’t as important as your workout, sugar/carbs are the devil” club.  I would share beautifully crafted healthy meals, skinny recipes, sweaty selfies, progress pictures and Fitspo, wrapped in a pretty bow and a #healthymom.  I was applauded for getting healthy but what wasn’t shown was the sleep deprivation, dietary restrictions, frustration, stress, closet emotional/binge eating when it all caught up with me. I burned out and still felt like I was failing my kids for not being enough. I was stuck in the idea that in order to be a “good mom” I had to be a mom that conformed to a specific idea of what was healthy.

Eventually I had enough of striving to be a woman I wasn’t. I started to focus less on fit mom status, and more on balance and my eyes were opened to all of the things I was missing by obsessing over the wrong things.


My daughter and I started baking more. Baking is something I’m not that great at and didn’t care to get better at because baking meant having “temptation” in the house which held the potential to send me into binge mode.  This little lady LOVES to bake, so we started to enjoy it together.  We started to bake some of the recipes passed on from my grandparents.  It’s still not something I’m good at, but we bond over baking fails and just enjoy the company.


I let my kids walk when I walk.  Walks with the kids used to frustrate me. I had to coherse the kids to stay in the stroller with snacks and any other means necessary so I could speed walk and get more steps for a Fitbit Challenge, negate the calories I had consumed from a meal where I was “naughty” or hurrying to get a workout in while I could. It was rare to let my kids out of the stroller when I was striving for #fitmom status. Now they get out for about half of the walk. They get to bike, skip, run, smell flowers. We take the time to enjoy the ride. We pick flowers and find insects to examine. We search the skies for birds and make up adventures to have on the way.  It’s a beautiful thing.

balance-365

I found an online tribe that honored my commitment as a mother, encouraged boundaries and self-care, and also bridged a gap I was trying to find between Intuitive Eating, feeling like I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be with a few personal habits, and knowing I was never going to diet again. By signing up for the signature program offered by the ladies in the HHHM community, I have been able to practice their habit based method in multiple areas of my life, some of it has resulted in fat loss, but all of it has resulted in greater life balance. You can find out more about their backgrounds, philosophy, why dieting does NOT work and what DOES in this free webinar.

I’m always in the pictures these days. I finally stopped avoiding pictures or only posting pictures that didn’t show what I thought were flaws. When I gained some of the weight back I had lost while dieting I felt shame regarding my body. After embracing myself exactly the way I am I ask to have pictures with my kiddos. Not just pictures when I was wearing makeup or using a filter. Not staged or flattering or perfectly posed. Just pictures of me living my amazing life.

We eat mostly the same things rather than making separate meals for myself. What a huge time saver this been. The kids are also exposed to a greater variety of foods. It’s not divided into healthy/unhealthy, processed/unprocessed, low carb etc. it’s just food. I also incorporated the Intuitive Eating for Kids chapter from the Intuitive Eating book to help our kids develop a positive, non-restrictive relationship with food. Meal times at our house are smoother and more enjoyable for all of us!

We enjoy going out to eat together and nothing is off limits. I love being able to embrace restaurants and not feel obligated to grill the staff on modifying my order into the walls of my diet or stressing over fitting the meal into a caloric deficit. Other good thing- eating out used to be my “cheat meal”. Cheat meals were the epitome of binge/disordered eating characteristics. My kids now witness me setting an example that is calm and not obsessed/ravenous with getting my money’s worth. It’s more about our time together.

I stopped sharing 90% of my workouts and what I ate. I see so many coaches/distributors/insert-madeup-title-to-sell-promises posting the same crap day after day. Workout, shake, selfie, inspiring message about how they didn’t feel like working out but still did it, repeat. I’m all for inspiring people to lead better lives, but we are in a world where people seem to live more of their lives online rather than in person. I have loved being more deliberate about my time spent on social media and creating time that honors my goals.

Balance is a beautiful thing. You don’t need to be perfect, adhering to the standards set by a billion dollar weight loss industry or post only the highlight reel to be an amazing mom. By showing our children balanced, sustainable health we are helping empower them to break the cycle of health obsession that has taken over our society.

If you have a chance, check out this FREE 40 minute workshop on why the women of Balance 365 ditched diets and a peek into what does.  I can speak from personal experience that I’ve never had more self-love, happiness, courage and better health in every aspect of my life thanks to their philosophy.

HHHM

16 thoughts on “I Quit Dieting and Became a Better Mom

  1. Thank you so much for sharing. I wasn’t ever in the truly #healthymom camp but I felt the guilt of not being. Or failing when I tried. I’m still working on figuring out this intuitive eating thing. But this is encouraging. Baking is something we love to do! Hubby and I bond through it and we’ve shared that with our girls. It’s freeing to not feel like that is a bad thing anymore.

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  2. I love that you found yourself being happier and being able to spend more quality time with your kiddos! No one wants to look back and say “I missed that moment, because I was meal planning” lol!

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  3. It’s like you’re in my head!!!! So glad to see I’m not alone. I used to be a coach and every single thing you said is exactly why I quit. I was the healthiest and most in shape I’d ever been but I was constantly tired and riddled with guilt over everything I did or didn’t do! I absolutely needed to find my passions, TRUE balance, and happiness again. I’m still eating healthy and working out but on my own terms, and it feels so good!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gina it’s scary to think how many other coaches are in the exact same situation we are only to ignore it for the sake of building a business. So proud of you!!!

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      1. So true!! I was earning an income too and totally willing to ditch the money in order to feel like myself again, that’s how I knew it just wasn’t for me anymore!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. GETYOURHOLIDAYON July 26, 2017 — 2:11 pm

    This is such an inspirational story and I love that you can take more pictures! I know how that feels. 🙂

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  5. For a long time, I was letting my happiness be dictated by a number on a scale. One day I couldn’t do it anymore. I knew that I needed to be better and kinder to myself, because it would ultimately make me a better mom. I connect so much to your words in here. I’m so glad you’ve found balance. It’s so hard to do!

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  6. onesharpmamablog July 26, 2017 — 4:36 pm

    This is such a great post. I really need it right now. I’m struggling so much to get back to prebody weight and I don’t want it taking away from my family time. It’s nice to see you’re doing it and doing it well. Sometimes we just need to let go and accept what we have for now and enjoy our time. Thanks for sharing

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  7. 21flavorsofsplendor July 26, 2017 — 5:55 pm

    You go mama!! Finding a balance that works for you is so important. I love to exercise and I love to eat. So I try to find a way to balance them both while enjoying myself along the way. I just borrowed the book “Intuitive Eating ” from the library because I’ve heard so many great things about it.

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  8. If we stop dieting and just to start living….

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  9. Glitter On A Dime July 26, 2017 — 7:02 pm

    I LOVE this so much! I used to be obsessed with what I was eating and what the kids were eating. Now I am just trying to focus on offering easy, mostly healthy meals and not stress if we go to a party or restaurant and they want something processed or sweet. I haven’t heard of that book. I’ll check it out. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. I'm Busy Being Aesome July 26, 2017 — 11:01 pm

    Thank you for sharing this story. I am so glad that you feel happier and are enjoying time with the kiddos. That’s the most important thing 🙂

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  11. I feel like I am always on a diet and it really takes my attention off of my son. I really need to stop dieting. Thank you for this.

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  12. I’m so glad that you found your way, and are happier and so content now! Great post!

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  13. I love this! We really can put too much pressure on ourselves sometimes. Our kids just want us to be around and engaged with them – extra 10 pounds or not! 🙂

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  14. You are so right, it is all about balance. Living healthy is very important but it’s easy to actually make your health worse if you are not listening to your body and taking care of yourself.

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