After having my fourth baby in 2017, I was determined to finally lose all the baby weight. I had been going up and down on the scale since I had my first child in 2010. Fortunately, I happened upon a podcast called Half Size Me, which totally changed my mindset toward weight loss. I discovered a maintainable and sustainable way to lose 55 pounds and maintain that loss, through the help and support of the Half Size Me Community. But I also realized that as a frum mom, we have very specific challenges that are not always addressed in the mainstream wellness industry. Below are what I consider the top 7 diet struggles of frum moms. Did I miss anything? What do you struggle with?
This deserves its own list, but suffice it to say that I internally scoff at every magazine article in November discussing how to manage Thanksgiving on a diet. Yeah, that basically happens every week in my life.
And does this scenario sound familiar? You get the coveted invite out for lunch. (Off the hook for cooking one meal—is that angels singing in the background?) Shabbat lunch comes and you realize you have entered a dieting landmine. You figure you’ll stick to the salad, and then you realize it’s hopped up on mayo and craisins, and the only available protein is girded in philo dough. Then the kids go play, and you finally get to have an adult conversation, lingering at the Shabbat table. You didn’t mean to have that brownie (or was it three?), but it was sitting in front of you calling out to you for at least an hour. Might as well swallow it down with a glass of Bartenura. There goes the plan.
2. Yom Tov
You thought Shabbat was hard? Now do it for three days. Enough said.
You know Pesach is coming, so you’ll start your diet a month in advance, with, hmm let’s see, how about a whole day of people bringing you every type of candy and baked good known to mankind? Also, good luck with eating a normal healthy meal while finding another Megillah reading cause you came in one minute late to the 8:00 reading, you’re making a multi-course seuda for 20, and your kid is losing it because he can’t find the utility belt for his batman costume. You would think batman could be a little more resourceful.
Clean your entire house, then completely revamp your normal diet. And oh yeah, please refer back to number 2.
5. Having Children
You thought it was hard to find time to meal prep, exercise, and choose wisely before you had kids, right? Is it just me, or does it not get easier to manage your time with each subsequent child? Also, PSA– having 4 pregnancies in 8 years, unless you are say, Angelina Jolie, will not make it easier to maintain your healthiest weight.
6. Keeping up with the Cohens aka Internal Self Judgement
We all know people who seem to be able to cook meals for all the new moms, work full time, have a gazillion guests for Shabbat, have 10 children, and never gain a pound. They don’t hire a cleaning lady because that would send their children the wrong message, but miraculously their homes always look pristine. Also their kids have really cute clothes that are never stained and they don’t fight or try to flush crayons down the toilet, creating sewage floods. (This may or may not have happened in my real life.) These people actually only exist in your mind, but they always seem to show up when you fail at being perfect, which is enough to send you on a challah bender. (Refer back to number 1 above)
7. Fleish Phobia
How many times have I seen beautiful pinterest photos of healthy, high protein snacks or meals, and then half of them involve grilled chicken. Even if you only wait three hours (I know you are out there and I envy you), you probably question if you really want to be married to that turkey jerky till 6 pm. Who knows what dairy possibilities will be in your future? Can you really turn your back on all of them at 3 pm?
Can you relate to any of the above? What are your frum mom diet struggles? Join the conversation and let me know. And if you are looking for some tips and tricks to overcoming some of these obstacles, stay tuned to my Face Book group, In Real Life Health, which is dedicated to supporting frum moms on their journey to great health, without fad diets, MLMs, or expensive meal replacements. CLICK HERE to join.
Rose Litwack is an RN with over 10 years of experience, with a Masters of Science in Clinical Nurse Leadership, and certification in Health Coaching from the National Society of Health Coaches. She is dedicated to helping Jewish moms achieve their health goals.