Teaching has always been my dream. Even from a young age it called to me in a way that no other career ever has. There’s just something incredible about watching children succeed. Their thrill for life, their love of learning, and their acceptance of others is something we should all strive for each and every day. I’ve spent the last 14 years motivating, encouraging, and teaching young children and now I have the privilege of doing all these same things with adults as a coach for Stay Fit Mom!
If you would have told me three years ago that all the love I have for teaching children would tumble over into working with adults, I probably would have chuckled. However, that’s exactly what happened, and I feel the same way about coaching adults as I do about teaching children! I love watching women take charge of their health and learn to love themselves through the process of macros. Many of the women I have met during my journey with Stay Fit Mom, I now consider friends. And just like in my classroom, each woman has a wonderful and unique personality that blends together to create a community of love and acceptance for others.
Now fellow teachers, I see you. Some of you are rocking the virtual schooling while others are crushing in person teaching with all the new guidelines. We’re teachers. We were born to overcome, be flexible, and accommodate for the many differences we see in our classroom. But this is a whole new level. The uncertainty, the constant changes, the worries, and the need to continue to help our students excel while still taking care of our own families can be overwhelming. I see you. I feel you. I understand you.
In March, when my school closed down for the first time, I began to stress like so many of you. Everything I loved about teaching was gone in that moment. I missed the kids and would have much rather been in the classroom with them than trying to navigate the digital world. At that time it would have been so easy for me to just give up on my nutrition and go back to my old habits of eating.
Guess what?? I didn’t give in. It’s not worth it! My health is so much more important than binging on food just because I’m stressed. And so is yours! I have come so far these last few years and I wasn’t about to lose all that I had gained. Macros didn’t just give me numbers to eat, but I learned to love myself, find my triggers, and cope in healthy ways.
I knew that even though things around me seemed to be falling apart I am always the one in control of my nutrition. I thrived during quarantine! As an educator I am organized and prepared and macros is like an awesome puzzle that I get to put together each day. I knew I needed to take care of myself first so I could be a great teacher, but also a great parent (I was teaching my own two children during this time as well.)
Have you ever heard the saying “Put on your own oxygen mask first?” I lived by this quote during quarantine and even now as we get back to school, it’s something I tell myself daily. We can’t properly help others until we help ourselves. Hitting my macros makes me feel good and when I feel good nothing can stop me from being the best version of myself. I bet the same is true for you!
These are some things I do to keep myself on track with macros and my health during difficult times like this pandemic:
1. Meal Prep – Every week I take one day where I prep meals like crazy. It takes a few hours on that day, but by the time I’m done I have everything I need for the week for my whole family and all of our lunches packed. Then when things get busy at night I’m not scrambling to meet my macros. This is especially helpful when I have to teach online all day and then help my kids with homework at night. No extra stress of planning meals. Some things I always have on hand are grilled meats and frozen vegetables. They are quick to heat up and make a meal out of. The SFM cookbook recipes are also a staple in my house. We make 2-3 of them each week.
2. Plan Ahead – This is key to success! I always plan my next day the night before. That way I am not trying to make things fit into some crazy numbers I have left over from tracking on the fly. While tracking on the fly can be done, I always find it easier to plan ahead. Not having a game plan can lead to not eating soon enough and then major hunger sets in and before you know it you’ve eaten way too many cookies.
3. Make time for self-care – I can’t say this loud enough. PLEASE take time for yourself each day. It can be whatever makes you happy and gives you peace. Mentally we all need this. Exercise, read, journal, meditate, call a friend, watch a tv show with your significant other. It doesn’t matter what it is, just do it! You deserve it and your family will reap the benefits of a more relaxed person as well.
4. Drink your water – I know you hear this one all the time, but it’s important. I’ll be the first to admit I really don’t like the taste of water, but I make it a priority to get it in each day. It does wonders for your body from your digestion to your complexion. Add some lemon or lime if you really need something, but try to hit your goal every day.
5. Find a teacher buddy and a nutrition buddy – This has been a lifesaver! They can be the same person or completely different people. Your teacher buddy is the ear you need to listen to you and help you brainstorm through all the new difficulties associated with teaching right now. Your nutrition buddy can be somebody you check in with daily or weekly to help keep you on track. Sharing our stresses and goals with others makes them easier to tackle.
6. Set goals that are reasonable – One thing I really struggled with during quarantine was getting my water in (yes, even after I just told you how important it was!) We all have times where certain things become a struggle. I set small goals each week until I upped my intake back to where it needed to be. It’s the small steps over time that lead to the big changes.
And Last, but certainly not least,
7. Just breathe! You’re doing AWESOME!
In honor of all our amazing teachers in the Stay Fit Mom community and beyond, we’re gifting a 6 week macro coaching package and some SFM swag! Let’s welcome Heather to the coaching staff and kickoff the giveaway here: