Making Time to Eat Well and Exercise
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: After my daughter was born, it was hard to find time to exercise. I made a plan to meet a few friends who also were moms to exercise in the mornings before work. We encouraged and supported each other. Initially we just worked out together, but then we joined a ladies only boot camp-style weight loss program. I liked the fact that the group was for women only because I could go there and not care a bit about how I looked.
My daughter’s father was very supportive of this. He watched our daughter while I went to work out.
—Christy Valentine, MD, a mom of a seven-year-old daughter, a specialist in pediatrics and internal medicine, and the founder of the Valentine Medical Center, in Gretna, LA
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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: Based on everything I knew as a psychiatrist, I spent only 20 hours a week away from my daughter for the first four years of her life. Needless to say, it was a challenge to have a career within this parameter. I worked at home a lot, and still do.
Needless to say, finding time to exercise presented a challenge.
So I exercised with my daughter. There are more ways to do this, than the proverbial jogging stroller. I swam laps while she took swimming lessons. I found a studio which offered gymnastics classes for kids, while one of the moms taught a yoga class.
—Dora Calott Wang, MD, a mom of a ten-year-old daughter, Historian of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, a Unit Director at Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena, CA, and the author of The Kitchen Shrink: A Psychiatrist’s Reflection on Healing in a Changing World
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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: The biggest thing you have to do if you want to lose weight is make time for yourself. Many of my patients who struggle with weight tell me, “I don’t have time to do it.”
That might be true, but only because they are over-scheduled. They’re so overwhelmed with being the best wives and mothers that they can be, that they forget how important they themselves are.
My kids and husband are very understanding about my need to exercise. They know that I get cranky—and a little crazy—if I don’t work out regularly. If the wife/mom is happy, everyone is happy!
I don’t have as much time with my kids as moms who don’t work outside of the home, but I feel our quality is great. And part of that is because they allow me to do what I need to take care of and feel good about myself. You have to schedule yourself first sometimes. Your needs are important too!
—Martha Wittenberg, MD, MPH, a mom of an eight-year-old son and a six-year-old daughter and a family physician with Seal Beach Family Medicine, in Seal Beach, CA
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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: I only exercise 4 1/2 minutes a day. No kidding! I break it down into three 90-second sessions. Right before I eat, I do 90 seconds of very strenuous exercise, such as I hold a plank position for a minute and a half. That might not sound like a lot, but it gets me sweating and my pulse racing. Or I’ll do 90 seconds of squats, lunges, pushups or situps.
These tiny burst of exercise are certainly better than nothing. Plus, doing them right before I eat helps my blood sugar stay more stable. By exercising right before I eat, my blood flows from my gut to my thighs. Consequently, I don’t feel as hungry, and it’s a reminder while I’m eating that I just did something great for my body.
—Jennifer Hanes, DO, a mom of a seven-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son, an emergency physician who’s board-certified in integrative medicine, and the author of The Princess Plan: Shrink Your Waist, Expand Your Beauty, in Austin, TX