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  • Rachael Sheahan, Esq.

How a Working Mom Can Get in Shape. (Prepare for Summer 2023) - 9 Easy Tricks that Get Results. #mom

This post is not focused on the science of muscle contraction and I am not a personal trainer.

The focus of this post is applicable to busy women relative to their dress size: that is, if your dress size never changes, feel free to skim for free resources, subheadings and bolded print. Rather than a "how-to" guide on fitness, this post will instead focus on the maintainance of your diet and exercise regimen while juggling marriage, caretaking of sick family, constant kids projects, housekeeping, your moody boss, competitive colleagues, and needy clients. True to form, for the talented and under-appreciated working mothers, what are some tricks to effective weight loss with a busy and changing schedule.

Table of Tricks and Tips

  1. Mental Workout. It all starts here.

  2. Make a Plan.

  3. Prepare Your Space.

  4. Always Be Ready. Semper Paratus.

  5. What Goes In, Must Burn Off.

  6. Using the Time You Have.

  7. My Favorite Workouts.

  8. Go All In. No Puke, No Feints, No Dying; Keep Going.

  9. Measure your progress by ability.

1. Mental Workout

Motherhood is a superpower that allows us to tap into our fullest potential. We rise out of necessity. I hated to run as a child. I never played soccer or sports because I hated to run. But after the first, then second time I made it through the hell weeks of labor and surgery without pain killers, I no longer found running cramps painful enough to quit. I was able to push through long enough to fall in love with the high of endorphins and the solitary freedom of open road.

This is only one example of a literal strength gained through motherhood. We can tap into the strength that has allowed women to lift cars and run through fire for any task before us. By comparing pain conquered, we pass previous limits to achieve a new best. A paragon of motherhood can be a paragon in life by drawing on the same inner pool of character.

In this instance we prepare our minds, such as in the example above, or by using the same technique to approach each day and task with a singular ardor.

Motivation triggers change, but Habits produce results.

I have condensed this post to a few trigger words to prompt your memory of my favorite tips for assuring your new workout regimen doesn't get lost at the bottom of your task list. Print, save and place the Postcard where you will most benefit.

2. Make a Plan

With your mind focused and your potential unending, create a life-map using your usual means of planning to incorporate your diet and exercise regime and the logistics of its implementation. Set big goals and don't sell yourself short. You will be surprised at what you accomplish when you set-up the right system and start to enjoy it. When it's fun, it's sustainable. When it's sustainable, it works. Some people find the feel of pen on paper helpful and prefer a traditional planner. Some find it more effective to use an app to count calorie intake and calories burned.

This step looks the most like your usual "how to" for weight loss because its scope includes your personalized diet, exercises, times, duration, supplements, supplies, etc.

3. Prepare Your Space

This step prepares your life (living-room, car, office, wardrobe) for implementing the "plan" and the 9 tips given here.

Preparing your space is one of my favorite steps and one of the most often overlooked. Preparing the space might include buying protein meal replacement bars in bulk, the purchase of sports bras, running shoes, a gym membership if your schedule allows, training videos, free weights, or it might be laundry. Make sure enough yoga pants are cleaned and folded for the week. As stated, my tips are geared to help you fit in your regimen and maintain it during a busy, constantly changing life.

This step does not substitute a shopper's high for motivation, as long as you create access and availability for what you need at the right times.

When we are very busy, then very tired, we justify our inaction by saying we didn't have time or we forgot . I combat these excuses by preparing for success ahead of time.

Tips - "Availability is the Name of the Game"

  • Have workout clothes cleaned and folded. This includes sports bras, yoga or cotton pants, tank tops, socks and running shoes, etc.

  • Clear and prepare an area to watch exercise videos. I use my bedroom for more privacy. Purchase a mat if you have hard floors.

  • Find and keep your personal training video directly next to the DVD player. Keep it out, in plain view at your fingertips. Avoid having to search and find it or even walking across the house for it.

  • Purchase or store free weights at your fingertips, in the area you will use them. If you keep your exercise equipment in a closet or under your bed, pull it out so it is in your face, ready to pick up.

4. Always Be Ready.

Semper Paratus

Don't think about wanting to exercise, just blindly prepare to do it.

The reason for preparing ahead of time for success at the right time, is to "always be ready" to start. As stated earlier, your frame of mind is controlling, so controlling your thoughts increases the probability that you take the opportunity to workout when it presents itself.

We prepared our space so we would always be ready with the least amount of additional thought or effort in the moment.

Wear your workout clothes with your socks and shoes at all times. It's your new style. You're Sporty Spice. Live and dress as if you are about to workout at all times you are not required to dress differently. When you get home, dress in workout clothes. Your new pajamas are cotton pants and a sports bra. Wake up in Umbros, Under Armour, and Calvin Klein and slip back into your sneakers by the side of the bed.

Stay Ready.

Do not think about whether you "feel like it" or not. If you allow your thoughts to wander towards your schedule, exercise regimen, busy day, or anywhere near the fact that you should exercise but are just too tired to do it, then you will not do it. If you contemplate doing it or not, you give your brain a chance to talk yourself out of it. Don't dwell on your long day, your aching feet, your moody boss, unreasonable opposing counsel, or any other reason for or against taking action.

Always Prepared. Semper Paratus.

5. What Goes In, Must Burn Off.

Julian Michaels warns that a single slice of pizza will undo the entire part 1 and part 2 of her Extreme Shred and Shred workouts. This is insane because of the mad intensity of these workouts. I have included a link to Julian Michaels' webpage on this training video as well as an informative post on the Extreme Shed and Shred workout by 2lazy4gym. It is an incredibly effective and fun workout that I highly recommend for shredding and toning at home. The promise of becoming ripped and toned fast is not overselling if you push yourself to completing level 1 and level 2 as recommended by Ms. Michaels.


  • Skip pizza night.

  • Do not fast. Fasting does not work to loose weight.

  • Eat more often.

  • Keep meal replacement/protein bars on hand, especially in the transition into your new life (first two months).

Protein bars are a fantastic alternative to sweet tooth cravings and meaty heavy meals. Especially the beginning, grab as many as you can from the grocery store and eat them as meal replacements, appetite suppressants, etc. If your diet and the regularity of your workouts increases your appetite, eat another. If you end up fasting because you can't find the right food at the right time, you are working against your body. I am not recommending to overeat the protein bars, but when you are in a period of transition, don't have the time to cook, or have immediate access to diet foods, eating meal replacement or protein bars more often will trigger your metabolism to burn fat.

Talk to your firm management about providing Quest bars or another protein or meal replacement bar in the firm's kitchen/break room. Buying the bars in bulk will cut down on costs and save money otherwise spent eating-out for lunch as well.

6. Using the Time You Have

Making sure you add these small additions to your regimen will help you keep your workout regimen according to plan, helping turn early motivation into habits and habits into results.

In two months from now, you could be realizing that you need to start over, or amazed at your own progress trying to figure out what you have done differently that actually led to the results you were promised. That is a great feeling.

To get there, we use all of these seemingly obvious actions and implement them together, one emphasizing the importance of the other. Of course we use the time we are given. But when you prepare ahead of time to take advantage of the time you have, by controlling your mind to avoid talking yourself out of action. You can begin the workout and be half-way finished in the time it ordinarily would have taken to talk yourself into changing out of your high-heels.

7. My Favorite Workouts

(Cardio + Resistance * Time = Increased Caloric Burn)

I stated how and why I fell in love with the runner's high. It is addicting and #worthit. If the weather or running in full view of the neighborhood stops you from taking action, consider investing in a treadmill. I always heard most people that pay for large workout equipment regret it, but I have found that to be furthest from the truth. I love my treadmill for all of the above stated reasons: being able to run all year-long and in the privacy of my home. After 5 years, I still believe my Nordictrack was one of the best purchases I have made.

My favorite at-home workout, that delivers the biggest bang for my buck, as well as the largest return on my invested time is the Julian Michaels' Extreme Shed and Shred. Find the post linked above for a full description and review of this workout or just click here to try it for yourself. If you give 100% of your effort, you will be rewarded.

8. All on, Always.

There is no in-between. Go all or nothing, full-tilt burn each time you pick up your weights, or play your at-home workout video. Remember, don't think about it. Be ready in the moment, press play or pick it up. When you are always ready, and the only bar to action is the decision to start (the rep, squat, jog, etc.): this is the sweet spot where change is made. Be always-on, ready for action, and never fail for inaction.

9. Measure your Progression

Most people immediately think of the number on the scale, and would measure their progress by the decrease in body weight. Instead of this method, I urge you to pay attention to the relative ease of movement for your body from one day to the next, and from one week to the next. After two weeks, I would end up comparing the ease and complexity of my workout from my start date to the current week. You should be able to see a marked difference in your strength and perseverance.


These are simple ways of cheating your brain into taking the actions that are in your healthy lifestyle blog or keeping them up over the course of months. The culmination of these tips allows for an easier flow into that healthier lifestyle. Changing the way you think and setting yourself into an environment that is ready to go cuts down on the ability to subconsciously find an excuse to remain stagnant until your window of free time has past. Always being ready is the cornerstone of this transformative plan. Being always ready to exercise changes the way you think about yourself and what you can do in the moment. Taking the guesswork out of your diet with protein and meal-replacement bars in the first two months increases the number of small meals and jump starts your metabolism. We all know heightening your metabolism will increase weight loss, but if you normally end up fasting or hungry when you diet, you will be impressed by the difference these small changes make with a fraction of the effort and worry.

Pull out your sweats and sports bras, buy some new kicks, place your 8lb free weights at your fingertips or within your lunge. Get turned on to the changes you want to make. Don't think or worry about trying to make yourself act, but instead be ready in every moment to take advantage of the opportunity in your little free time. With these tips and tricks, even a busy, over-scheduled and exhausted mother of three can achieve the figure she wished she had at 19.

Rachael A. Sheahan, Esq. is an attorney licensed to practice in the state of Georgia. She is the owner of a virtual, general practice law firm in southeast Georgia. Rachael is a mother of three small children and acts as a caretaker for their father, a disabled veteran. Rachael is passionate about families, motherhood, and providing accessible legal services to her clients.

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