Exercise

It eludes me.  Seriously, I can’t figure out how moms do it.  Exercise, I mean.

Let’s be honest, pregnancy and bringing forth life into this world has done a number on my physique.  Yes, I have three lovely children to show for it, but my body!  What the heck has happened to my body?!?!?  Things are not where they used to be and I fear they will never go back.  I’m trying to embrace my new shape and love it, but I just can’t do it.  It’s not very lovable… or embraceable.

And I’m not just saying this to get comments like, “Oh Erin, you just had a baby!  You look great!”  Listen.  I’ve lived in this here body for 32 years and I know it does not look great.  No need to lie, my friends.  No need.

Yesterday I posted a few pictures of me in a swimsuit.  And the only reason I did so was to document my sister’s big day, because it was momentous… otherwise those would have gone straight into the trash can.  When I went through the camera looking at those photos, I was seriously shocked at the chubby girl I was looking at.  (And you should have seen the one that Geric took of me from behind… no, actually you should NEVER see that one.  Never.)  But, why is it that I can get dressed in the morning, look in the mirror and think, “I look cute today.”  But if someone takes a picture of me, I look like a chubby version of the girl I just saw in the mirror?  Do I not photograph well?  Do I subconsciously suck in for the mirror?  Or am I just delusional?

Whatever it is, I need to get into better shape.  I could cut out fast food, or starbucks, or frozen yogurt trips, but I think what would really make a difference is exercise.  The problem is, I can’t figure out how to do it as a mom.

I could go to the gym and put my kids in the kids gym, but the gym I’m a member of makes you pay $2 a kid, which would be $6 a day.  So, if I went three times a week, that’s $18 a week, or $72 a month!  Kinda pricey.  To do something I don’t enjoy doing anyway.  I need a motivator.  Not a demotivator.  Not to mention the fact that the last time I did that, we got kicked out of the gym because somebody couldn’t keep his hands to himself in the kids gym.  That’s not embarrassing.  I swear.

I’ve tried going to our park that has a walking path and bringing the boys bikes or scooters to ride while I walk with the baby in the stroller.  But have you met my Jacob?  I like to say that his love language is “Acts of Service.”  He likes us to do things for him.  Things like get him water, and find his flip flops, and wipe his butt.  I don’t want to say he’s lazy… but he kind of is.  So, the park thing is just annoying.  I end up stopping every five steps, looking back and yelling, “Come on, Jacob!  You can do it, buddy!  Keep it up!  You’re a champ!”  Once again, not even remotely fun.  Although I do work up a good sweat if I end up carrying his scooter while pushing the stroller.

Then there’s Jillian Michaels “Shred” video, but… blech.  a) She’s annoying, right?  b)  After about a week, it’s just so repetitive.  c)  Doesn’t it just feel like exercise should be done outside?

I’ve thought, I could wake up really early and go walking/running before Geric leaves for the day or go when he gets home.  But, have I mentioned that Elijah doesn’t sleep well at night?  Getting up any earlier feels like torture.  And evening is the tiredest time for me.  Maybe I just need to suck it up and do that, though.

I’m a complainer, I know.  I’m annoying myself, it’s not just you.

Then you have to factor in a shower.  If you’re a man and you’re reading this, then you’re thinking, what the heck?  Just take a shower.  Sorry, it’s not that easy.  It’s a strategic maneuver around here.  It’s easiest for me to take a shower at night (which is another reason why running in the morning would mess up my life!  I’d get all clean just to wake up and get sweaty?  No thanks.) If I take a shower during the day I have to consider the time of day (naptime is preferable), where the boys are (preferably in separate rooms), what activities they are doing (hopefully something mind-numbing so they don’t realize that I am gone) and the amount of time I am actually in the shower (if I take the time to shave my legs, there’s usually some sort of disaster when I get out.)  It’s a very small window of showertime opportunity, and if I miss it, then there’s no shower for me.  (Sidenote:  I used to feel bad for Geric when he’d come home and I’d still be in my pajamas, but now I just feel sorry for myself when that happens.  What a life I lead.)

So, see?  It’s practically impossible for me to exercise, right?  I guess it’s possible, but it’s just not going to be remotely fun?   Am I destined to be chubby forever?  I need some tips!

Do you exercise?  How do you do it?  

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14 responses

  1. I do exercise, even though it doesn’t seem to make me skinny. Stupid eating! I have tried EVERYTHING under the sun, buying a mini trampoline for the family and jumping while the kids watch Backyardigans, doing a 10k, doing triathlons, The Firm (love), Shred, a Bowflex, Martial Arts Bootcamp (also love), Bootcamp at a park with a playground RIGHT there, walking on the treadmill while watching TV… Seriously, it’s pathetic, I should weigh about 110. My latest thing is surge training using the maxT3 DVD’s. I work out 12 minutes a day, 4-6 days a week. It goes super fast, the kids join in (get in the way) and it’s done. I also walk my dog a couple miles a day, but that’s just a nice time for me to get out of the house in the evening.

    Anyway, the only time I lost weight I wanted to lose was when I was using WW, which I have no desire to do at the moment. I am hoping I can get back at it now that school is starting and I won’t be eating grilled cheese every day. If I find anything that works short of starvation, I will let you know.

  2. although I really am NO EXPERT at this in any way, I think about exercise alot – 🙂 First of all…. Don’t move! Maybe we can help each other. Next: Wii Fit?? Family Walk in the evening? Don’t bring the bikes or scooters to get in the way – make a treasure hunt for colored flowersr leaves or rocks or something on the walk – mayeb bring a double stroller if one kiddo gets lazy – or – leave one kiddo at home with Geric and take 2 on walk, makes it a little easier – Find someone to walk with – or I can watch them 2 evenings a week so you can go or while you shower!!!! – But once Caden starts school and Jacob goes to prschool – you will have LOTS of time you wont know what to do with yourself. At LA fitness, if you get a membership – it’s only $10 a MONTH per kid for kids gym….i hope some of these ideas are a tad helpful. Maybe you should just exercise while elijah isnt sleeping —-

  3. Oh I have Wii Fitt too! So not for me. I just weighed myself after my week of gluttony. Ugh. I have gained 7 pounds since the beginning of the year. I went from being a size 6 to pudging out of my 8’s! Not cool. I just did 15 minutes on the trampoline and plan on doing it few more times today. Oh, and hide the See’s candy I just brought home from CA. I never thought I would have a problem with my weight when I was in HS.

  4. When I first started working out last year I started with one thing (30 day shred) and as I started to somewhat enjoy exercising I added more things. Make a small goal and stick with it for a few weeks. It might be just going for a walk/run two days a week. If you try to make to many changes at once it is had to stick with them.

    I would also love to loose some weight post baby but I am more focused on feeling like I am in shape and eating more fruits and veggies.

  5. Now that you will have two boys in school, join a new gym! One that is actually close by… maybe the same gym I go to (wink, wink). I found that I have to exercise in the morning, if I try to plan for the evening I just won’t go. Find a time that works best for you and stick to it. The summer is the hardest for me because I have all my kids home, but during the school year I add all my exercise to my phone calendar and set reminders to go. And guess what? You can SHOWER at the gym while your baby is in the childcare center, hooray! It’s a little more work to bring your shower stuff with you, but it could be worth it.

    I totally want to try weight watchers, but I have some mental block that tells me I won’t be able to do it. Le sigh, maybe someday!

    • The problem with joining a new gym is that my current gym membership is paid for by my parents… I’m still on the family plan they signed up for when I was in jr. high! Haha! But, you’re right. It’ll probably be easier to find time when Caden and Jacob are both in school. And if you get serious about WW, let me know so we can do it together. 🙂

  6. I had to wait until my littlest one was sleeping through the night before I felt up to tackling exercise again. Summer’s been hit or miss, but I get up before DH goes to work to run. I used to hate running when I was in school, but I realized a couple of years ago that I wanted to try it again. Try something new – something you’ve always wanted to do, but never have. You might end up loving a new sport/exercise.

    Good luck, though, with whatever you end up doing!

    P.S. Some chubby chick always shows up in my pictures, too. Creepy photo bomber

    • Good tip about trying something new. My sister just told me about an online yoga and pilates class. It looks really cool and there a free trial period to test it out to see if I’ll really do it. I’ve always wanted to try pilates! 🙂

      “Creepy photo bomber” cracked me up!!! 🙂

  7. I agree with Rachel that it’s ALL about eating. Even before I started working out a LOT I started Weight Watchers (for the 2nd time). Dieting alone I was losing weight, but the exercise on TOP of watching what I eat has really made the difference. Even now with my broken foot and ZERO exercise I am still losing – you might think you eat okay but until you start writing everything down and really looking at the WW points you don’t really see why your weight is not coming off. 😉 And WW is a once-a-week 30 minute commitment, just think, Erin, it’s 30 minutes out of your house by yourself with other grownups!

    • WW does work. You’re right. I’m still paying for my online membership. Maybe I should use it? Hold on… let me finish this ice cream first. 🙂

  8. Hmm. Good topic and good comments. I am on the verge of getting in shape . . . emphasis on “the verge.” I’ve done a little working out and running in the past few weeks, LOVE feeling sore. My motivation is two things: (1) I want to wear my pre-pregnancy clothes . . . especially my old favorite jeans!!!!!!! (2) I want to stop having chubby girl pictures in my scrapbooks . . . I don’t keep myself out of the scrapbook because I want to be part of the memories but I can’t handle more than one year (one book) full. Oh then there’s another reason (3) I honestly don’t want to wonder if I’m pregnant based on the look of my stomach anymore (I don’t have a period so I have zero ways of tracking this sort of thing, even though I am on the mini-pill). 🙂 Soooooooooooooooooooooo, I have a suggestion that I haven’t done. Download a free app to your phone that let’s you keep a food journal. It actually keeps track of the calories for you and subtracts when you exercise. In fact, I am going to look and see if there is a free app for my blackberry. On last thing, if you want it that bad, by golly, YOU have to make it happen. And it will be so worth it! Just imagine . . . a new wardrobe, cute skinny girl pictures, more confidence, healthier body on the inside keeps you around longer for your kids, a possible bikini, the list goes on! 🙂 You can do it Erin……….oh and thank you for your honesty.

    • Ah, Meg! I love your list! 🙂 And GREAT idea about the blackberry app. Let me know if you find anything. And you’re right, I just have to want to be skinny and healthy more than I want to sleep in or eat a cookie. 🙂

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