Right now, I’m in a season of life that becomes busier by the day, despite my decision not to return to work. Even with one major component off my plate, others seem to pile on quickly to take its place. And I’m not even close to the age where my kids are going to a million activities and I’m driving all around town to get them to and fro.
One personal pursuit that has taken a hit has been my work outs. For the past three weeks, that item has fallen toward the bottom of my priority list, and I can’t pretend that being busy has been my only excuse.
I’m sure I’m in the same boat as many moms, and that’s why I want to share my current struggles with working out and steps I plan to take to get back on track while I still can.
PROBLEM: I’m just plain tired.
SOLUTION: When it comes to workouts, I was really doing quite well for a while, gaining energy and strength as Beau began sleeping for longer stretches at night. But just like that, once his five-hour stretches came to an end a couple weeks ago, so did my energy for workouts. James Michael went through various sleeping phases his entire first year, and Beau is doing the same. It will pass eventually, and he’ll figure things out. I don’t have an easy answer for this problem. But instead of pushing myself to work out when I’m physically exhausted, my goal is to work out 3 days a week. If I’m too tired one day, that’s ok; I’ll listen to my body and rest. If I have a little extra energy, then I’ll make the best of it by sneaking in a WOD.
PROBLEM: I can’t make it to the gym.
SOLUTION: For me, it’s much easier to work out if I can get to the gym. I get a second wind and enjoy WODding with other CrossFitters. But with two kids under two, making it to the gym is a real treat. Every once in a while, James will watch the boys so I can drop by a class. But most of the time, he has to be at the gym (totally understandable since he owns it). Most CrossFits don’t offer childcare, and though ours does, I’m the one watching kids instead of working out. So, I’ve decided I need to recommit myself to garage WODs. James brought home some basic equipment for me this summer, and I need to put it to use again. Sure, I can’t do rope climbs or pull-ups or tire flips, but there’s so much I can do, even with limited equipment. The great thing about a garage gym is I can do super short workouts and fit them in when I have time without worrying if my nursing baby will be hungry in an hour.
PROBLEM: I don’t have the time.
SOLUTION: I’m pretty sure all mamas feel this way, so I’m no exception. I’ve quit writing to-do lists for the most part, because they depress and overwhelm me. When it comes down to it, it’s all about priorities. My kids take priority over my work outs, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t shift other things around to make time for WODs. I need to make better use of their naptimes and also better use of my husband’s free time. Right now, I use naptime to clean, cook, pay bills, run errands and sometimes steal a few minutes of me time (i.e. blog, bake, read a magazine). I have this grand idea to start getting up before my kids wake up so I can get some stuff done first thing in the morning. I know other moms and bloggers who do this, and it seems like it really works for them. Once Beau is waking up less at night, I’d like to try it out.
PROBLEM: I don’t have the energy.
SOLUTION: Quite often, this is linked to tiredness and sleep deprivation, but sometimes for me it’s a bit more than that. It seems that for every pound Beau gains lately, I end up losing one, putting me at 5 lbs less than my pre-pregnancy weight. I know I’m probably not the typical mom since my current struggle is maintaining my weight. I’m definitely not underweight and I doubt many people would even notice the 5 lb difference. But I do and I know that what’s taking the brunt of the hit are my muscles. It might sound counter intuitive to work out to not lose weight, but I’m trying to slowly regain that muscle strength. So the past couple weeks I’ve made a point to eat bigger meals and go for seconds when I can. I feel like I eat pretty often as it is, but I need to up my intake, especially of healthy food. I’m also trying to increase my fat intake. I eat avocado every day, whether on soups or salads, and am sneaking in spoonfuls of nut butters (I love Barney Butter and Justin’s) when I can.
I know some may wonder why I’m putting so much focus on getting back in the gym. After all, I have two small boys at home who obviously keep me busy and active. Honestly, I want to get back on the bandwagon for me. I need that outlet in my life; I crave those endorphins. It gives me a burst of energy if I was lacking it before. It’s a way for me to detach for a few minutes and really push myself. It’s a great stress reliever and helps keep me strong as I tote around my kids all day. Just today I had to carry JM on my hip and Beau in his carseat through the parking lot and back of two different places. That’s 50 lbs of weight and I was fine doing it. But I want to continue to be fine as they get older and bigger in case the need continues to arise where it’s safest for them that I carry them.
If I can gain some sort of consistency working out, I’d love to give detailed updates as to what I did, especially the at-home work outs, in case it may help other moms. Though I remember doing a few workout recaps the summer after JM was born but apparently they didn’t last very long 🙂