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Who has time to work out? With a schedule that includes work, dance lessons, violin lessons, dinner, homework, baths, laundry and dishes (just to name a few things), life as a single mother has left me very little time for myself. I don’t have that extra set of hands to watch the kids while I exercise or the extra cash for a gym membership. Most days, I’m so tired by the end of the day that the last thing I want to do is work out or set my alarm to wake up early the next day to do it. Although finding time to exercise is a struggle for me, I still want to lead a healthier lifestyle and shed those extra pounds I’ve put on since becoming a parent. So I’ve made some small lifestyle changes lately.

Walk, Walk, Walk

I park about two blocks away from work. This means I’m walking an extra four blocks every weekday. Also, just recently, I’ve started wearing ankle weights to work for a few hours in the morning. I figure the extra weight can’t hurt!

Eat Whole Grains and Lean Meats

We only eat whole-wheat or whole-grain breads and pastas in our house. I was raised on whole-wheat bread, so adding whole-wheat or grain pasta into the mix wasn’t a big change. I find that whole-wheat foods are more filling and much richer in flavor. Therefore, not only am I eating something healthier, I’m also eating less because it’s much more satisfying. We also only eat chicken, turkey and fish. We even eat vegetarian meals several times a week.

Drink Less Coke and More Water

I love Coca Cola and I am absolutely not ready to give it up! However, I don’t drink enough water. So I got a Brita water bottle and drink a bottle of water before drinking any Coke. I also make it a rule to drink a glass of water before each meal—I get more water and it fills me up a little bit before I start eating.

Family Dinner

We always eat our meals at the dining room table. On most weekdays, it provides the one time we can sit down together as a family. If I eat in front of the TV or computer, I tend to mindlessly eat and eat and eat. Also, I don’t put serving dishes on the table. If the food is in front of me, I’m more likely to think, “Mmm. That was yummy! I want another serving.” I tend to only have one serving if I leave the extra food in the kitchen.

These aren’t major changes, just minor lifestyle tweaks, but every little bit helps. What small changes have you made to be healthier? I’d love to hear your ideas so I can continue to make healthy adjustments in my lifestyle!