Parents are such important role models for their kids that it stands to reason living a healthy lifestyle will have a positive influence on them. Growing up with a fit dad or mom, like Fitmark Ambassador Robyn Maher, is the best way to teach kids about staying active and eating healthy. Robyn told us:
It’s not always easy, but to me, there is no other option. I hope my healthy habits teach my kids about confidence and how to take care of their bodies, so they can be free of illness. I want them to always know their body is something that should be valued and appreciated.
Fitmark Ambassador: Robyn Maher
Lifestyle: Fit Mom, Certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Specialist, Competition Coach, YogaFit Certified Instructor, IFBB Pro Athlete
Meal Bags: the Shield ︱ Envoy Duffel
When Robyn was in her freshman year of college, she fell into bad habits and was 15 lbs overweight. Getting back into shape was how she found herself working in the fitness industry. Now as a fit, working mom of three children, she has a few tips for balancing work, health and life:
I often compare working out and staying fit to doing household chores. No one ever has “extra” time to do the laundry or wash the dishes, but it’s got to be done. So, like doing the laundry, I just squeeze exercise and meal prep into my day.
Though she’s busy and balancing everything is a challenge, Robyn wouldn’t have it any other way. She says, “Being a fit mom is great because my energy is good and I can keep up with my kids!”
Work, Life Balance Requires Flexibility
It’s all about being flexible and seizing your moments. Expecting every day to be the same and everything to fall into place like the day before isn’t realistic, so you have to learn to go with the flow. Robyn told us:
I work out at all different times, depending on my appointments that day; sometimes it’s 7am and other days it’s 1pm. Meal prep usually happens when I am home with the kids anyway. For example, during dinner time I will cook extra rice or bake some chicken, as we are in the kitchen already. Or while the kids are doing homework after school, I’ll brown some ground turkey in a skillet, steam veggies, or portion already cooked foods into my Fitmark containers so that they are ready to go the next day.
Growing Up With A Positive Body Image
Being a mom of three kids, it’s important to Robyn that they grow up with a positive body image, especially the girls. She told us:
I try to emphasize health and disease prevention around my three kids, rather than size/shape/weight. I feel very strongly about helping my kids have a good body image, so I always focus on the freedom you enjoy when your body is fit and strong. You can do anything you want to do, and go wherever you want to go. For example, I have a friend who is very unhealthy and simply taking her kids to Disneyland for one day is completely exhausting for her. It’s sad, because I see this like a prison you build yourself. It’s so much better to take care of your body and enjoy life!
Keep Fitness Fun
Robyn and her kids enjoy running 5K races together, as well as hiking, swimming, skiing, and snowboarding in the Utah mountains. Fitness and living a healthy lifestyle is something fun that you can do together as a family. Being healthy and fit doesn’t mean living a strict, restrictive lifestyle. It’s all about moderation. Here’s a tip for parents that Robyn told us:
A good way to start, even with small kids, is to have them do the same number of minutes physical activity as the screen time they want, whether that’s video games, Instagram, TV, or YouTube. Make it a fun game like hopscotch or jumping on a trampoline.
Everything In Moderation
But all kids want ice cream and pizza just like anybody else, so what do you do? Robyn says:
Some people would be surprised to know that I do not forbid my kids from eating any certain foods like sugar, soda, or candy. I teach them moderation. I’m ok if they have those things now and then. What I teach them is that it’s not a staple in your diet. Like pizza isn’t its own food group! It’s ok to eat those foods every now and then, and that’s why we call them “treats.” But in my opinion, chips, ice cream, soda, etc. should not be something they consume every day. So I don’t buy them often and they are not typically found in our pantry. I base our family’s meals EXACTLY like my own: healthy proteins, some carbohydrates, and good sources of fats.
Be A Positive Role Model For Your Kids
It comes back to being a positive role model. Your kids will follow in your footsteps for the most part and if healthy eating is part of the daily routine, then it becomes the accepted norm just like anything else. Here are a few tips from Robyn:
- The biggest tip I can give is to pay attention to what you are doing & saying in front of your kids.
- Your kids will do whatever you do, so try to focus on positive habits and be an example.
- Just do. Begin to implement the things that you know they need to do.
- Praise and reward the things they are doing right.
- Get active with them.
- Make healthy & tasty food with them.
- Show them it’s important to take care of your health.
Being a busy, single mom, Robyn says it makes her a better coach and personal trainer because she has so very little time to myself. She has lots of tips, tricks, and shortcuts to help her clients see it is possible to work out, eat healthy every day and live a normal lifestyle.
You can follow Fitmark Ambassador Robyn Maher on Instagram @slcrunning