When I asked the MUTU Sytem Facebook page what was holding you back from getting where you want to be in terms of the health and fitness, answers ranged from breastfeeding demands, to aching muscles from yesterdays workout (liking that one), being tempted by wine or just trying to juggle too many things.

These perfectly valid reasons excuses not to look after ourselves are typical of the pressures and multiple demands all mums face. So, along with a few themes from the laments I hear every week, I thought I’d try to offer a few strategies that might help.

EXCUSE: NO TIME / TOO MANY DEMANDS ON YOUR TIME

This one will resonate with all women. We have no time, and we certainly have no ‘spare’ time. We, as one Facebooker mentioned, ‘find it impossible to say no’, we take on everything and manage an crazy level of multi tasking and juggling to try to do it all. We occasionally fall short (because it’s impossible to do it all…) and then feel like we’ve failed. Taking care of our own well-being, health and fitness invariably comes bottom of the list, if it’s on the list at all.

SOLUTION 1: MAKE TIME

A spare 15 minutes doesn’t exist. Heck, a spare 5 minutes doesn’t exist. So waiting to chance upon a spare bloody hour to do a traditional workout is NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. You either make the time, or the time is gone. First you have to believe you’re worth it. And at the risk of sounding like a shampoo ad, this is more fundamental than it appears. You see if you don’t think that spending a few extra minutes to feed yourself decent, fresh, real food, or taking 15-20 minutes to work out, or 10 lousy minutes before bed or in the morning to do some yoga or core/pelvic floor exercises is actually WORTH it, well you’re not going to do it are you? Either you want to change the way you feel about your body, and you think that’s more worthy of half an hour of your time than a reality show, or you don’t.

Find something (anything) in your day that takes around 15 minutes and that isn’t actually vital – and replace it with something that takes care of your body and soul. Because if you don’t demand the time, you can be darn sure no one is going to hand it to you.

SOLUTION 2: MULTI-TASK

We’re good at this Ladies – multi tasking is what we do. So read this article about not wasting your time exercising, or try this workout or this workout and make sure your workouts WORK. You don’t need a gym to do a workout, you need the floor space in your front room, and if the frentic activity of your life and family goes on around you while you do – then so be it!

EXCUSE: I CAN’T AFFORD TO / LACK THE TIME / INCLINATION / KNOWLEDGE TO EAT THE RIGHT FOODS

Organic / ‘healthy’  food is too expensive, you don;t have time to plan, I don’t know what to cook… No one expects a domestic goddess, but healthier food for your family revolves around one very simple rule: eat real food.

THE SOLUTION:

Processed or take-out foods, refined sugar and any food which bears no resemblance to something that relatively recently grew, swam or ran, is full of crap and will make you fat. Real food isn’t complicated, in fact by definition its very simple – it’s ready to eat and its good for you. Often it doesn’t even need to be cooked. MUTU Food is full of ideas, as are every famous chef and often their wives’) cook books. Simple family food, made of real food, is cheap, nutritious and better for your whole family.

And for those of you (you know who you are) who follow all the rules for their kids but neglect their own diet (wine and crisps as soon as the kids have gone to bed anyone?)… well far be it from me to deny a frazzled mother her glass of Pinot, but do this more than 1 or 2 times a week my Lovelies, and that’s enough calories to completely negate your workouts efforts (and you haven’t even had dinner yet)

There is a common thread in all of these reasons or excuses: the lack of conviction that taking care of YOU is time well spent. You are you know. But there’s no point me telling you that (not that it stops me trying – this blog contains thousands of words of me trying to persuade you of exactly that) – YOU have to believe it. Do you??