Thanks to the celebs having babies and still looking drop dad gorgeous, it has led the way for a new phrase being banded about, that of the Yummy Mummy. Now when I was a child there was no such phrase. Instead there were heroines and icons. These ladies were of average weight, wore a touch of lippy and dazzled you with their smile and sense of motherness. Their beauty routine was set in stone and consisted of soap and water and a weekly trip to have their hair set for the week with enough hairspray to kill the ozone layer. They weren’t unrealistically thin; they didn’t wear expensive designer gear or put baby in the same designer get up. They were about making the best of what they had and subsiding what they didn’t have with good hard honest work. Granted it was mainly house work but they were the centre of the home and the family.
Today things are very different. Women work, damn hard, and then fit in all the other things in life. A single mum does all that and then some more. Oh but now we are supposed to be a yummy mummy too. But just who are we doing it for. Do we do it for the men as I am pretty sure men wouldn’t agree, do we strive for yummy mummy status for ourselves or just for all the other women?
So what makes a yummy mummy? In the tabloids they are portrayed as a mum who has a certain lifestyle of no work and always looking immaculate. As unobtainable this is for the average mum I do thing all of us secretly want to make the best of ourselves. Improve a small thing here or there. I know I do. I know I am lucky as I am naturally average weight but even I feel I should do something. I have my good days and my bad days in front of the mirror and wish I had the botheration to put make up on every day. So if I feel like this I am sure there are loads of mums who feel the same and maybe want to change or tackle even more about themselves. But how do you do it when youâ€™re a singe mum and time and money are tight.
Ok so what do we have?
There’s the weight / fitness bit I hate diets as I refuse to be told what I can and can’t eat. As for exercise I loathe it more than anything, you will never find me in the gym let lone boringly swimming up and down a pool.
There is the looks department. My sense of fashion is rather dim being out of the fashion world for such a long time and realising that comfort is far more practical then hyperthermia or worse. As for makeup, I know what goes were, I know I look more human with makeup, I just can be arsed every day.
Then theres the how I feel about myself bit- now this is where I think the celebs cheat. It has been written a thousand times (and mainly by men) that a truly beautiful woman is a woman who has confidence, who laughs and smiles from the heart. This they say is a natural beauty. So isn’t this what a yummy mummy should be? But here we have the catch 22. To feel good most women need to look good. And to look good you need to feel good. No wonder the celebs just cheat and buy the look.
[stextbox id="info"]Undaunted I aim to bring you over the next few weeks the real deal on making the most of what you got, how to be a realistic yummy mummy and one that will out shine and out last the A list. Â [/stextbox]
Being stretched on a budget doesnâ€™t mean you have to give up the beauty lark. Natural and simple has worked for centuries for other women and can work for us too.
One of the main things is an inside/outside approach. Eating a good diet and your skin will benefit form it.
- The bad news is though that sugar is one of the noâ€™s for the skin. It makes your skin less elastic resulting in sags, bags, lines and wrinkles. Also products made with flour and processed foods.Â
- Eating foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids will help keep the skin plump. Thatâ€™s the oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines and herrings) but also walnuts, fresh vegetables and non-citrus fruit (blue and other berries).Â
- Try and eat less animal protein like red meat and dairy products.Â
- Drink lots of still pure water â€“ we all know this one but do you follow it and are you getting at least 8 large glasses a day?Â
Can it really be that easy? Well your skin reflects what you eat, as my grandmother use to say. So instead of looking at this as a time of being poor and not being able to afford the luxuries in life, look at it as a way of going natural and greener.Â
Whilst I am wittering on about foods, there are also a few foods called super foods. No they wont make you sprout a cape and have super powers (oh I wish) but instead they help protect you against all the diseases of aging, from cancer to memory loss.Â
Antioxidants â€“ these vitamins and minerals are mainly found in fruit and vegetables. They prevent a damaging process called oxidative stress which is caused by pollution, ultraviolet light and smoking. It leads to the formation of excess free radical molecules â€“ the real big baddies behind disease and aging. The top foods to look out for are prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, garlic, kale, strawberries, spinach, raspberries, Brussels sprouts, plums, broccoli, beetroot and avocado. Now if I can incorporate some of those into my week I have every confidence you can too.Â
Organic Eggs â€“ these are the top foods for protein. They also cleverly contain nutrients that prevent fat deposits, help memory, concentration and emotional balance.Â
Green Tea â€“ is really good for helping protect against heart disease, cancer, tooth decay, arthritis and bone loss.Â
Millet â€“ now I know it doesnâ€™t sound very exciting but it is gluten-free and is rich in silica which will benefit hair, skin and nails. Surely there must be something vaguely exciting we can figure out to put it in?
Nuts â€“ almonds are protein rich and collagen building. Brazil nuts for selenium to protect against cancer and improve thyroid function. Walnuts will help a healthy heart.Â
Oats â€“ are a fantastic source of slow release energy but also lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Spices and Herbs â€“Try rosemary and sage to help memory, thyme for lung function. Then there is yellow turmeric to help prevent Alzheimerâ€™s and IBS, reduce joint pain and boost immunity. Fresh ginger will help reduce inflammation for conditions like rheumatism and heart disease.
This is only touching the surface on all these super foods and eating healthily. Just having a day a week binge on them may be a start and least youâ€™re trying but to gain the most out of these super foods they need to be introduced into your daily eating.
Self esteem is a harder to tackle as you have probably spent many, many years accepting and listening to your own negative thoughts. But it is something that can be addressed. Because if it’s not addressed then it doesn’t matter how great you look you will never feel it. Or whatever dress size or how you weigh you’re still not going to feel good or happy.
So what is self-esteem? Well it’s the bit of you that gives yourself value and helps you stand up for yourself. We maybe be born with heaps of it, it does get eroded by parents, teachers, comments from friends and even lovers. So if you are someone who always remembers the insults and discards the compliments and always put yourself down or thinks you deserve less than others than it’s a case of low self esteem.
Â Learn to appreciate things about yourself other than your looks – What strengths or talents do you have? Get out there and find out if you’re not too sure. Starts to see and embrace other things in your body besides beauty.
Â Drop the lazy thinking – lazy thinking is thinking that if you just reach a certain dress size or look a certain way then you will be happy. It’s also thinking that no one else knows what it is like for you and worrying that people are judging you because you don’t look perfect. Stop with the lazy thinking as it’s not true. No one is perfect, just a quick look around will show you we are all made up of different types and sizes. And the person who is judging you for not being perfect is actually you, which means you can stop doing it.
Â Appreciate your body and your mind – appreciate your body for what it can do now, for how far it has brought you in life. Ok you might not be where you want to be yet but its not all bad and neither are you. We all have times when we feel unfit, unhealthy and beat of selves up for choices we have made but instead of using all that to make yourself feel bad, change it and remember its you who can alter those things.
Exercise, the good thing about exercise is that you don’t have to get to medal standards or win silver cups. It’s not about being picked for teams or to run marathons. You don’t have to be good at it but just actually get your butt out there and do something. A lot of people turn to exercise secondly preferring to just diet. The reason being that exercise actually means you have to move and take action. A diet is avoiding the need to move and do something. It has been proved that those who exercise win at body success in the long run because.
- Exercisers have leaner bodies than those who only diet as muscle takes up a third of the space of fat.
- Have more self esteem and confidence because their bodies feel stronger.
- Keep weight off longer than dieting alone.
- Feel more positive.
- Feel great in general as exercise releases feel-good endorphins.
- Are healthier as on average the risk of having a heart attack is reduced by about a third in people who exercise.
So how do you transform form coach potato to exerciser?
Find your motivation – the real key to successful exercising is to find a sport or activity that suits you and inspires you. It doesn’t just have to be running on a tred mill in a gym. Do you want to learn to run, dance, try martial arts, yoga or swim? Â All of those are exercise but in different forms.
Make it a habit – studies have shown that it takes three to four weeks to create a habit. That’s only a month. Pick three days a week and every week at the same time on those days do your exercise of choice. Just for a whole month don’t budge on it and get the habit.
When the going gets tough, just keep going. – Life doest always run smoothly and there might be set backs when you’re unwell, injured or have work commitments. But it is essential to get back into your exercise as soon as you can. Keep reminding yourself of your goal; rope in friends for some support on the tough days. Pay for classes in advance, which alone can motivate you to keep going.
Make activity part of your life – you should see exercise as part of your life for life, not something you’re doing to get a life. Exercise can be enjoyed and not just a vision of sweat. Walk across the office instead of emailing, walk those stairs instead of getting the lift. Borrow a dog or just take yourself for a walk and enjoy the views.
Most importantly – get out there and do something.
Dieting is easier than you think and doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself or lock yourself away for months.
Â First though be honest about how much you eat. – If you think you don’t eat much but steadily gained weight then you need to be aware of what you are eating and how much you are eating. The what and how much are the two things alone that determine your weight gain. Not all foods are made the same and generally the tastier the food than the more calories that have been packed into it. So although you’re eating small amounts you’re probably eating a lot of calories. Keeping a food diary will show you what you actually are eating. Note every bite, snack, drink and even the bits you nibble on while you’re cooking. I am sure I am not the only one who eats the cheese as I grate it.
Stop the mad diets. It’s very tempting to follow a diet that promises easy weight loss, quickly and easily while eating all your favourite foods. However there is no miracle diet that will work in the long run. The only successful way to loose weight is to loose weight steadily through healthy eating. That means less rubbish and more of the good stuff. Following crash diets and you will mess up your metabolism and make loosing weight an even tougher job than it needs to be.
Â Eat like a healthy person – a healthy person doesn’t police what they eat, feel guilty if they eat something bad or skip meals because they want to loose weight. They eat when they are hungry and stop when they are not. They also eat three proper meals a day including breakfast. It pays to focus on your morning meal as your body needs fuel/energy in the morning as it hasn’t eaten for ten hours.
Â Have realistic goals – aiming to loose 3 stone in two months is not realistic. You can’t reach this sort of goal in that sort of time frame. Attempt it and you will feel cheated, get fed up and veer off course via a cake shop. You goal has to be realistic to your lifestyle, your end goal and your personality. Some people succeed through group weight loss or by a structured diet at home. Others might prefer going cold turkey and cut out all temptations. Choosing the plan that suits your character best and your chances of reaching your goal will increase.
Â Take small steps – just like Rome achieving your new body won’t happen over night but can be achieved with a simple strategic plan that you put into action on a daily basis. Think healthy eating, exercise, motivation, effort and short and long term goals. Fight the ‘stuff it’ moments too as a breakthrough of some sort will be just around the corner. If you’re truly having a bad day and can’t distract your self with something else, then give in to it in a small way and move on. What matters is always what you do next – not what you’ve done already.
Being a yummy mummy doesn’t have to be about having lots of money to look yummy. The most beautiful people in the world are those who feel good inside and out. They have confidence in themselves as they are and this shines through more than any amount of makeup or designer clothes. So what goes into achieving yummy mummy status?
The Body Image Bit -Did you know that 98% of us hate our bodies and that 4 out of 10 of us are permanently on a diet? No wonder we obsess about our bodies every 15 minutes.
Â We all have our own personal goals and they can very
- Wanting to loose weight
- Getting fit
- Stamping out horrible habits Â
- Getting health issues under control.
Â To feel successful about our bodies we need to improve our self esteem and self worth. To feel good about the outside we need to feel good on the inside.
A good place to start is doing something about the neglected areas of our health regime. This will address why we don’t have the energy to do something about the body. We use excuses like ‘can’t be bothered’ and ‘don’t see the point’. We need the energy to muster up the enthusiasm to think about, plan and go for our body goals.
Get enough beauty sleep – most people skip sleep in the week and then try and catch up at the weekend. This only knocks the body clock but will leave you feeling lethargic and even sleepier when you wake up. A more effective sleep pattern is getting a solid 7 hours sleep a night. Don’t have a hot bath before bed and cool your bedroom to a 16 degrees Celsius. Avoiding caffeine for the five hours before you go to bed and no heavy meals two hours before bedtime as this will cause restlessness.
Silence the critic inside – we all have that voice inside, form an ex, mother or friend. It nags whines and tells you you’re not good enough. It also pipes up when you try and do something about it. This inner voice is your fear. It’s scared that maybe you can’t change. People change every day no matter whet their background or present circumstances. Stop the inner voice and argue you back at it.
Be real with your self – Often people say ‘who cares what I look like , its what’s inside that matters’ but you cant separate how you look on the outside to how you feel on the inside as they are connected. In reality what you are actually saying is that you’ve given up on your body and hate it. Body success is about all over success to get there you have to first admit you want change.
Stand tall – statistics show on average 9.4 million of us spend over 75%of the day sitting down. This kind of sedentary lifestyle means your back and stomach muscles become severely unused. Get active for at least 30 minutes a day and learn to maintain good posture.
Put your realties glasses on – or in other words stop comparing yourself to others. You need to stop viewing yourself negatively or comparing yourself with pictures of famous people. Have a good look at yourself. Ignore the bits you dint like. Look at the bits that you do like or the bits that aren’t so bad and you can live with. What bits have you had compliments on?
What is your idea of body success? – Real you vs. fantasy you. What does your fantasy look like? Probably something along the lines of a Barbie doll and you probably beat yourself over the head with the image when you’re having a bad hair day or your hormones have erupted in spots all over your face or when it’s a muffin top over the top of your jeans day. Your never going to feel good about the real you as long as this fantasy is around. There are two choices.
- Dump the fantasy and come up with a new version to work towards or
- Dump the fantasy and celebrate who you are right now.
Either way it will take effort but here is where you control the effort. The amount of effort you put in the more result you will get out. Start by brainstorming your idea of body success.
Write down what would it take to make you feel happier about your body
- Â How you could achieve it
- What areas you could do with toning up
- How could you achieve that?
- What areas could do with a make over?
- Who could help you with that?
- Â Health do you need boost and why
- What’s your deadline -Goals don’t work unless you have a deadline
Â But be realistic. If like me you are 5 foot not a lot then you or I are never going to be 6 foot of loveliness. Likewise if you’re tall and thin then you’re never going to be small and cute. But it doesn’t mean you can’t be sexy, strong, sensational looking and happy with your body no matter where your starting point is. The key is to take what you got and to make the most of it. Hone, tone, exercise and diet the rest. If it means primping and glossing then go for it. It’s not vain to want to make the best of yourself.
If your idea of body success means
- Plastic surgery
- Involving zero effort,
- Miracle or crash diets,
- Assume it will just happen,
- Think bigger breast will solve everything
- Or you’re planning always starts tomorrow then you need to rethink as it’s off balance