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September 30, 2012

Every Day?

I just saw this photo posted by Under Armour on Facebook:

 I know stuff like this is meant to motivate, but it often tends to make me feel hopeless.  I used to do something active every day.  I used to run miles and miles.  I used to play volleyball 3-4 nights a week and do something else on the other nights.

That was before...

That was when it was just me and I did what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it.

I feel sad because NOW is the time I really need to be taking care of myself.  NOW is the time I need to get extra weight from pregnancies off my body and NOW is the time to build some muscle to help with the aches and pains of aging.  But NOW I do not have the time to devote to this.  NOW is when I should be taking care of myself so I can be there for my kids later when they need me to have the energy and the ability to support them in their activities, as they get on into high school, college even.

This summer, for seven weeks straight I made it to 3 boot camps per week.  My schedule at work allowed me to leave at 4:30 p.m., I had no obligations after work except for a one-off meeting here or there that I was able to work around, and my husband's work schedule accommodated me arriving home around 6:00 p.m. on the days I did it.  That ended in mid-July.  I was feeling really strong and fit right at that moment.  

Then...life happened (again.  some more.  still.)  The end of summer flurry of activity with family visits, preparing for school to start again, transitioning to school (four kids this year including the preschooler), volleyball coaching, swim team practices, ballet lessons, guitar lessons, swim lessons, school board meetings, homework checking, reading instruction, and a new role with my organization that seems to get bigger every time I stand back to take a look at it -- all of that has pushed out any time for me to do the level of sweating I would like to do on a regular basis.

So even though I can justify taking my sleep over workouts and even though I understand that this is just one part of my life and it, too, will pass like the blink of an eye, I still get sad when I see that I should be taking care of my body physically as well as spiritually and I am failing in that aspect.  Sure, I'm taking a step in the right direction by getting back to Weight Watchers and getting the exercise in when I can (I got two 30-minute sessions on the step-mill in during Dani's swim practices this past week), but there's always pressure (it seems) to do more.

What's an out-of-shape momma to do?  I am tired of saying to myself, "I'll get to that in a couple of years when the baby is 3" or "30 minutes is better than nothing."  I KNOW that 30 minutes is better than nothing, but I desire so much more.  It's difficult to balance this need to care for myself with the demands of my children and my work.  Thank God my husband doesn't demand all that much of me (yes, he truly is a gem) because I don't think I could stand it.

Not sure what the point of this post is.  Gripe that I hate running into ads like the one above because it makes me feel "less-than"?  Give me a place to list all my excuses for not being in better physical shape?   

It is most likely that this is my current state in life and like all the others, I need to look to find God's plan in all of it.  I'm a mom.  I work outside the home at a full-time job.  I'm active in many things at our parish and school.  Working out and sweating every day is taking a back seat right now.  Will it be this way forever?  I think that is what is causing me consternation over the whole matter.

Perhaps this will provide me an outlet and a space where I am able to collect some encouragement from you moms who have "been there done that" with large families or something.  Is there ever a time when you feel like you have the time to devote to getting into really good shape again? 



  1. Thank you for writing this post. It is me though I'm too afraid to say it out loud. I, who used to work out at least 60 minutes a day five days a week, barely gets in three 30 minute runs a week. And that's if I give myself a lot of leeway on weeks. I tell myself that I will do better next week but life always seems to get in the way. I'm just happy to hear I'm not alone. Thank you for sharing yourself like this.

  2. I haven't been to the gym in over a year. It is really depressing. I do need to make the choice of sleep or work out and sleep usually wins. Seems like I have put on 10 extra pounds with each pregnancy, and I don't know if I will ever get the weight off... "Sweat Every Day, I will.", I can only hope for the motto of "Pray Every Day, I will." I feel that that is more obtainable in my case. *sigh* Maybe when the baby gets older, but then it will be something else, right? I don't feel very good about my body at this time.

  3. I don't know if this helps or not, but the folks that I have as patients who are in their 80's or 90's that are getting around great are the ones that focus on what they can do. Those in their 60's and 70's (or even in their 50's) that are needing walkers and canes are the ones that have focused on what they can't do. Seriously. So that 30 minutes that you're able to do? Great! Don't ever feel bad that it's "not enough." You did what you could and that's awesome! Or if you have a quick minute, throw in a couple of squats or push ups or something. People that focus on all the stuff that they want to do but can't end up not doing anything, and that's when they get worse instead of better.

  4. I manage to fit in exercise but I have a job that is ten minutes from home that I leave at 3:30 everyday. So even if it's a busy afternoon of practices, I still put in a workout dvd at night or just do pushups and situps while I'm watching tv. For me, exercise makes me feel mentally so much better that I have to make it a priority. If it's weight loss you're going for, I think diet is WAY more importanat than exercise for that, so just stay strong in how you eat and exercise whenever you can. I've found the less carbs I can eat, the more weight I lose...but it's sooooo hard!

  5. I have not been able to fit in regular exercise either. Right now, time as a family is a priority, so I get the 2 block walk to Ms Actions bus stop each afternoon, and my job 4 nights a week where I am on my feet cooking baking and cleaning for 6-8 hours at a time. I'm not losing any weight (I detest dieting, refuse to fall into that rabbit hole again) in fact I just bought some new clothes for my size 14 body. But I have muscles, and I still end each day stinky and sweaty after chasing kids all day long. LOL! Don't feel less than, you truly are a super woman! 5 kids a spouse and a full-time job and just one you.

  6. Oh, we are on the same page today! I'm going to write about this tomorrow. Taking care of self, I mean.

    I think there's a certain amount of discernment. There aren't enough hours in the day to fulfill all responsibilities and things we want to do, so we have to look to God to nudge us toward which ones need to float to the top right now, and which ones have to wait. Irritating as it is, it's not the same all the time. We just have to keep re-discerning.

  7. Maybe you're *too* in shape. Because that image does not intimidate me at all. I can "sweat" every day just by running up the stairs. ;-) So maybe you need to take them a little more literally.

    Seriously though, I am sorry. I hope that you're able to find something like Kathleen and make the basic physical self-care happen. Somehow.


Thank you for reading. I enjoy reading other perspectives, please feel free to share yours. :)