Making Time for Exercise – Lycra Pants & Running Shoes

Making Time for Exercise – Lycra Pants & Running Shoes

Original post written on April 4th, 2011 by The Sustainable Sweet & Savory Gourmet at site: http://thesustainablesweetandsavorygourmet.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/lycra-pants-and-running-shoes/

I’ve lost 60+ pounds since I my son was born, a year ago this past February 2011.

It has been a challenging road and at times I wondered if I was getting anywhere with my nutrition and exercise efforts – but here I am a year later and 60+ pounds lighter. All of the pregnancy weight is gone and now I’m readjusting my exercise and nutrition to target the “overworked” and “overstressed” weight that was added a year before I got pregnant.

The other night, while scanning the web for activities to do with my toddler, I read an article by a busy mom trying to find time to fit exercise into her hectic schedule. I connected with her, understanding her struggles in trying to find at least 30 minutes of the day to dedicate to herself. After all, I faced that challenge before I had my son, so now more than ever I could identify. But then the article seemed to change. The tone went from genuine need for good health to exercise is a chore. The writer had lumped exercise in with cleaning the fish bowl and dropping items off at the Goodwill. “…I know other moms who successfully fit a run, a yoga class or a trip to the gym into their busy schedules. They’re the ones who pick up their kids after school in Lycra pants and running shoes…”

I found myself taking offense to the concluding statement of the article – maybe because I have found myself identifying with and have turned into that mom in Lycra pants and running shoes (a cotton spandex blend to be exact). I live in my gym clothes as much as I possibly can. I realize there is a time and a place for everything. At times my husband teases me, “…you never know when a random workout will happen…” From what I gathered, her complaint in the article was about finding the “time”. My advice to that statement is you have to MAKE the time. Exercise and living an active lifestyle shouldn’t be considered a chore. It’s your health after all that we’re talking about here; not cleaning the toilet or doing the laundry or in the instance of the article, cleaning the fish bowl and going to Goodwill. Your health, I would like think, would be pretty high up on the priority vs. the chore list.

Similar to the writer I speak of; I too have found myself wishing I was “that mom”. For example, wishing I could find the time to do my hair and makeup and dress more adult like instead of always being in my sweats and a ponytail. Then I remind myself I am “that mom” and it’s up to me to MAKE THE TIME.

One of the readers to the article commented best, “…life happens; you just have to learn to work around it…” So – You didn’t get to wake up at 5am like you planned because you were up till 2am working, then make the effort to switch things up for the day. Look ahead and see where you can fit in any type of exercise here or there. It could be taking the stairs, parking further from your destination, doing squats while brushing your teeth, stretching at your desk, keeping a gym bag packed at work or your car. Making a conscious effort to not let the 2am work nights rule your life, creating a routine can and will eventually happen.

I still have a big chunk of weight to lose. I try and do double days (exercise twice a day) and fit in as much activity as possible in my day. My alarm is set for 400am so I can get my first exercise session in and prep for the day before my son is awake, by 7am. I make an effort to go for a walk every day with my son (rain or shine). The fresh air and activity will do us both good and it’s a great way for us to spend time together. I hope to influence him that being active is fun. I get my second exercise session in at lunch time or at night when my son is asleep and my husband is off at the gym. This schedule doesn’t always happen, so I do what I can to fit in any activity – even if it’s only 15 minutes.

Habits take time to develop and exercise is a habit. It’s taken me a year to lose 60+ pounds but I am making a conscious effort to work on it. The slow and steady process will allow the exercise and nutrition adjustments I’ve made become a way of life that I can carry on for years.

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