A mom’s schedule is a whole lot like New England weather. If you don’t like it, wait five minutes, and then it will change. And if you do like it – well – it will still change, no matter how much kicking and screaming you might do. (Not that I know this from experience, mind you; but I do have it on good authority). 😉
Case in point, last week I was outside doing planks on the front lawn with my sister and feeling rough grass under my fingertips.
This week (on the second day of spring), my workout consisted of shoveling snow. Yes, you read that right… Snow! *insert rolling of eyes*
And that’s really how the mommy life has been so far. Never predictable; never following a pattern. The only routine that my little Brady keeps is that there is no routine. And for a Type A person such as myself, it has definitely made a fitness and healthy eating routine – among other things – difficult to begin.
I don’t do well with this sort of flexibility. I’m sure there are moms out there who – like palm trees – can gracefully bend with each new gust of wind, accepting whatever is thrown at them and embracing the change with beauty and grace. Me? I’m more like a thick oak tree in the path of a raging tornado.
A structured workout routine just doesn’t work for me right now, as hard as I’ve worked to make that happen. (Because trust me, I have tried to make it happen. I’m very Type A, remember?). But when I wake up each morning, I need to accept that anything can happen during the course of the next 12 hours. My little guy’s nap time, snack time, quiet time, and play time will probably be different than it was the day before. And that means my potential workouts will be at different times too.
Now running will always be my first love, and it’s something that I want to incorporate back into my life this year. But just because I wasn’t able to fit a jog into my day, it doesn’t mean that I can’t do something to get my heart-rate up. And it doesn’t mean that I can’t burn some calories!
Did you know that cooking can burn calories? The other night, I had to accept the fact that the only way my little guy would let me make dinner was if I danced to some upbeat music with him. And honest-to-goodness, with a few squats thrown in for good measure, I definitely burned some calories and worked up a sweat! (Seriously, never underestimate the power of a good hokey pokey).
I’m learning that movement adds up during the course of the day, whether I park in the furthest spot at the grocery store, do some sit-ups while Brady is watching Curious George, or try some yoga poses during playtime outside.
(I call this pose the Dancing Tree, and it’s totally as unofficial – and fun – as it looks). 😉
The important thing is that I’m burning calories and strengthening my muscles. Just because I don’t have the time to do an official workout (like going for a run), it doesn’t mean that I can’t have equal benefits by playing.
Running around the playground after a toddler counts! Dancing to a cd counts. Moving to a workout DVD, going for a hike, doing planks during television commercials… That all counts!
The next step for me, as I’ve begun to embrace variety in my exercise routine, is to make sure that my house is stocked with healthy snacks (so I don’t have a sudden attack of hunger and then grab for a bag of chips or chocolate). As a mom, convenience is just about as important as flavor, so those are two priorities for me. I need something that will ‘hit the spot’ and be quick / portable for those busy days that don’t let me sit down for a moment.
My current favorites? Peanut butter on chocolate rice cakes or apple slices, smoothies with spinach, cheese sticks with whole wheat crackers, fresh veggies with hummus, and Chobani yogurt. I’ve always been obsessed with their flip yogurts, but now they have a Simply 100 variety! It’s the perfect 100 calorie snack that definitely hits the spot, for sure. (Click here for a Chobani Simply 100 coupon, recipes, and a complete list of all the flavors they offer). 🙂
Becoming more active and revamping my eating habits hasn’t been easy, but really focusing on my ‘new normal’ has been the best thing I could ever do. Let’s face it, we’re all busy! And whether you’re a new mom (like me) – or you’re facing a new job, college, marriage, or just a particularly busy phase of life – it can be easy to feel as though you’re failing at your fitness goals when you don’t meet daily goals that you’ve set for yourself.
I’m learning that the best possible thing that you can do is to just embrace the day. Be flexible. Play! I’m not going to feel like a failure on the days I can’t fit a run in. I’m going to do what I can to burn those calories and to eat healthy, and – other than that – I’m going to just live it. 🙂
Workouts and refueling doesn’t always have to be so structured! It can be unique, filled with variety, and FUN.
Baby steps… That’s what I’ve been taking over the past month or so. But – hey – I’ll take it, because those baby steps are taking me in the right direction!! 🙂
What is your exercise of choice? What’s your favorite healthy snack?
Check out this fun list that Chobani put together of activities that burn 100 calories! (I love that shopping is on the list! My sister and I walk a ton, when we go to the mall. Sooooo, yeah, I definitely think that’s my favorite activity on the list, for sure)! 🙂