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Staying in Shape while you are Staying Home – it can be hard, but it is worth it. How to stay in shape at home.  Tips from real moms that work

Being a stay at home Mom can be hard on your waistline! It is so easy to get caught up in the “snack all day long” thing (that’s my downfall!). Or “finish your kid’s plates”. Even “Just a bite of this” will get you!

Did you know that Jackie Kennedy didn’t finish her kid’s plates? She said that that is what kept her thin. I can believe that. I read once that a BITE of a peanut butter & jelly sandwich can have 80 calories. Just think about how many “bites” your kids leave behind every day (times four kids in my case)

I am one of those “grazers”… I just graze all day. I never really eat a meal. I find myself to be too busy to actually sit down & eat, so I just grab something & move on. Sometimes it is an orange, other times it’s a granola bar. Whatever it may be, I just get it & keep moving. This is a bad habit. I think that I have even shown our kids & now they are always wanting a snack. (Why not… Mommy snacks all day long!)

I almost always have a family dinner at night, so I am eating a well-balanced dinner, at least. 🙂

My biggest tip for eating well at home is: DON’T BUY WHAT TEMPTS YOU when you are at the store and you won’t have it at home.   I can’t have Mint Oreo cookies in our house because I will eat most of them. I can’t have a case of diet coke in the house or I will drink 3 cans in one day!   Ice cream… well, we all need a little treat, right? haha! 

When I want these treats when I am grocery shopping, I just have to say no to myself or I will eat them all.  Plus, if it isn’t here, the kids and my husband won’t be eating it either.  They will make healthy choices if only healthy choices are provided.  My husband has a true weakness for Doritos. If I buy them, he eats the entire bag in two nights. If I buy carrots, he will eat those in two nights instead. Why not feed our family healthy foods?    That being said, I do like to surprise them with a special treat now and then.  My husband does have a huge smile on his face when I walk in with a bag of doritoes and our kids do love when I bring home a lunchable for their school lunches.

So, my other big problem is not drinking enough water!  If I drink water instead of diet coke (this is very hard for me because I love diet coke) I actually lose weight. I can literally see myself getting thinner over just a few days when I replace the diet coke with water. I think it is because of the high sodium content in the diet coke. Plus, artificial sweeteners actually cause you to eat MORE, not less.

I have a membership to the gym. Do I go often?  NO.   I have a hard time packing up our four kids & taking them to the childcare. It is hard to work out for one hour, but know that I will be gone for almost 3 hours by the time that I get them ready, put them in the nursery, go to my class, pick them up & drive home.   Sometimes its just not worth it to me!   I do enjoy taking a class with my Mom.   I like doing the weight machines and I LOVE taking uninterrupted showers at the gym (haha!).

Before I had our kids, I actually taught fitness classes at our local Y. I started doing this because I had summers off when I was teaching (Plus, you also get an almost-free membership if you teach there or work there at all, so that was a perk since I was on my teacher’s salary). I had a lot more time before I had kids! haha! I was in great shape that summer! 😉

Fast forward six years….

I opt to work out at home most days (I do try to get to the gym a few times a week).
Every night I try to just do a few simple things at home: I do about 50 sit-ups, 30 push-ups (regular & then the triceps kind using a table). I do “stepping up” lunges on the hearth of the fireplace, while I am watching TV. The total time with this is about ten minutes. Aren’t you worth ten minutes? Try to do a video on YouTube or do one of the Burst Workouts. 

how to stay in shape while staying home with your kids During the day, I use our 16 pound baby girl to do arm lifts. I lift her up over my head & lower her down. She loves it! She laughs & laughs while I sing “Up, Down!” to her. 20 reps of that helps to keep my arms in shape. 😉

I run up & down our stairs all day long- I would say close to 40 times a day between nap times, laundry, getting things, checking on kids… I’m sure you can relate!

The best part about being home is that you can just go on a walk. Put your kids in a stroller or in your baby carrier or you can even get them on their bikes or power wheels & just head out there. My friend, Holly, is great about this! I need to get better, but I am a complete wimp when it comes to cold weather. When it warms up, my husband and I put our two little ones in the double stroller & our two older ones on their bikes (or power-wheels if we want to go far) and we go on a walk almost every night.

When I was pregnant, I would wake up at 6:00am and walk before everyone got up. Now that its dark out at 6, I don’t do that anymore. In high school I would wake up early & run every morning. My brother would run with me some days & if I didn’t run, my Mom and I would work out in our basement. My dad was always working out, too- he works out daily & has for as long as I can remember. My husband was involved in all sorts of sports in high school & college. (He has had 9 surgeries because of them, so I am not pushing football in our house! ) I think that your kids learn what you do, so teaching our kids about being active and healthy is very important to us.

The point is- you CAN work out at home. You CAN make healthier choices at home. You just have to get started!
Keep a food journal for a few days & see where you are making your mistakes (that M&M here & there might not seem like much, but it adds up!). You can even get a free App on your phone or tablet to keep track of those things.

Don’t forget- a good game of “tag” with your kids is a pretty great workout!


Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. This is a great post! As a SAHM I can totally relate and am sure some other moms out there could too.  I’d  love to have you link this to Titus 2 Tuesday this week on Cornerstone Confessions.. I hope to see you there. 

  2. I think he would be too old for a balance bike as most would be too small for him at 6.