About three months ago I embarked on a journey to be a healthier version of myself. My first goal was to kick soda for good and to exercise daily. I’ve managed to reach both of those goals and lose 23lb. My BMI is now at a healthy range and I feel better. More energy, almost no headache days when in the past I was living with them almost daily. It feels amazing. I don’t have the same body I did before kids, but I have a healthier body and more confidence. Those are the important things.
There have been two days I skipped exercise in these three months. One was on vacation and one was just the other day because I was busy. I had already well passed my exercise goal for the week, but missing that one day left me feeling more tired than normal. Granted, I had been active the entire week and that day, but I missed my little endorphin rush. So how do you make time for exercise when your schedule is busy?
The easiest way to find time in your day for fitness is to start small and do it every day so that you have incorporated it into your daily lifestyle. Make sure it becomes a habit – soon enough it’s not something you have to make time for as it’s just part of your routine.
When you’re getting started think about the things you do in a day. If you’re spending a couple of hours vegging out on the couch at night, could you sacrifice just half an hour to do a quick cardio or strength training routine? You could do sit-ups, lift weights, or even dance while watching TV. If you have children take them outdoors and play tag. Engage with them, teach them a new sport. Children aren’t picky, they’d be happy with a game of chase and they are sure to keep you busy and on your feet if you let them. If you can, go to bed a little early so you can get up earlier and squeeze in a workout. I know, I know. It doesn’t sound fun to get up earlier and then exercise. But exercise will boost your energy and wake you up. You’ll feel better all day and that is worth waking up for.
When I started my journey, exercise was the thing I hated most. Eating healthier was hard at first too, but that I could handle and it all became easier over time. I’ve never really like sports and just thought I was ‘bad’ at being active. I was wrong. I just needed to give it time and find something I liked to do. The good thing about exercise is there are a plethora of options. Don’t like running? That’s fine! There are plenty of exercises that don’t include running. Kick-boxing, dancing, weight training, yoga, pilates, trampoline, bicycling… There is an endless list to choose from. I’m not a gym person. I’m shy and an introvert. I don’t always enjoy going out and often prefer to stay home. Workout videos are perfect for me because I have guidance on what to do when I want to mix up my workout, but I get to do it in the privacy of my home. I don’t feel embarrassed if I mess up a routine. I get to try all these fun new activities that I ordinarily wouldn’t do.
You can really find any excuse you want NOT to exercise. What works better is finding a reason to. I do it for myself. All day long I take care of two little people. I often feel like I’m the behind the scenes person in our family. I do a lot of little things that people don’t really notice – unless I stop doing them. Laundry, food, budgets, cleaning…it’s all pretty thankless stuff. In the past I may have viewed fitness the same way. Why work so hard at something if my body doesn’t ‘morph’ instantly into the shape I want? I know why now. It really isn’t about what my body looks like to others. It’s about how I feel about myself.
Getting fit is about having energy to chase my kids or the ability to climb the rope swing and monkey bars with them. It’s about being fit enough to enjoy a game of kick ball and healthy enough to one day do the same with grandchildren. Once my kids are grown I don’t want to sit at home. I want to enjoy the alone time my husband and I put aside to raise a family. I want to be able to travel again not letting anything hold me back. My husband and I started our relationship as just the two of us and I’d like to still be able to go on those little adventures together when we’re older. We were never the type content to stay in one place for too long. It is a big, big world and both of us are eager to explore much of it.
My journey started because I didn’t like the me I saw in pictures. I didn’t like that clothes didn’t look good on me and I didn’t feel comfortable in my skin. I feel comfortable now and it has as much to do with a change in attitude as it does a change in body. I don’t pick apart my waist line, hips, or stretch marks as much as I used to. I don’t always have to wear makeup to go out and still feel pretty. I feel happy, full of life. I’m not letting food or anything else tell me how to live or feel. Eating healthy and exercising has taught me that I have control in my life…and that is something worth working hard for.