My lovely lady lumps are extra lumpy right now. Love handles are not staying in bounds. (FOUL! I throw a flag at you!) I've gone soft and pudgy around the middle...wait, no. I've gone EXTRA soft and pudgy around the middle (things were doughy there pre-kids...just my way) and it's not cute on me like it is on Stevie the blind and cleft-palated cat.
I was doing so fan-freaking-tastic with my exercise in the late spring. I set a goal of 30 days of heated power yoga and I just about made it. I got to 27 or 28 days and what stopped me was truly out of my control due to Husband being out of town and the babysitter not being available. So I did great with that. I was proud of myself and probably a little annoying about it, but DAMN it felt good to be a gangster.
And then...dun, dun, dun.
It just kind of stopped. I have a tendency towards all-or-nothing, and while I haven't dropped to nothing in terms of exercise and activity, I'm nowhere close to all. And I miss it so much. For many reasons, and my oozy love handles are only number 4 or 5 on that list. Things like mental health, time to myself, feeling strong and healthy are my main reasons to exercise regularly. It's good that I stay active with the kids - we dance all the time, run around outside, walk, climb at the park, etc. - but I want fitness. Narcissistic kind of fitness that's all about me.
Some of the factors for letting exercise drop as a priority were things out of my control. There were circumstances that really did make fitting in workouts challenging. Oliver went from 7 AM wake-ups to 5-something AM, probably from the non-stop teething. We moved and had house guests for nearly two weeks, disrupting all for weeks. Husband started a new job in July with longer and somewhat unpredictable hours and very early mornings every other week. Moving meant needing to find a new babysitter/child care and I thought that was going to be a simple fix, but it turned out to not be at all. We officially gave up trying to make Bella nap, but eeking out more than 30 minutes of her playing quietly by herself mid-day remains a struggle. So personal time was diminished.
But other factors for not exercising were excuses, plain and simple. I don't WANT to give up my 30-60 minutes of Bella's daily TV time during Oliver's nap to exercise when I am barely getting the rest of my basic stuff done (i.e. showering). I don't want to exercise after 7:30 or 8 pm at night when Bella goes to bed. I don't want to use preschool time (which, once you factor in pick-ups and drop-offs and getting Oliver down for his nap, ends up being around 1.5 hours twice a week) for exercise. I don't want to deal with trying to make the kids stay entertained in the double stroller while I run (and our double stroller isn't a jogging stroller, anyway). Night sleep has sucked for weeks now, leaving me apathetic during the days when it comes to making all the right health-related decisions, even thought I KNOW I would feel better if I treated myself better. I want ideal work-out conditions, but guess what? Life is never ideal so I need to stop waiting for that.
I (re)joined a gym with child care last month, thinking that would solve the problem. I could have child care, offering a much needed break most days, and get a real and actual work-out in, especially since winter was coming and outside options were no longer going to be there. No waking up early or having to give up evenings to fit in exercise. Also, I could play around on the internet or read a magazine and even take a shower there. Perfecto! The gym fees (including child care) were a little cringe-worthy at $80 a month, but I was going to get a $20 refund from our health insurance if I went 12 times a month. Since we aren't paying babysitters, this seemed a reasonable budget decision. Only $15 a week for over 10 hours of childcare!
But it's not working at all and it's due to the fact that we keep getting sick and not just a-little-bit-of-the-sniffles kind of sick. We're talking rivers of green snot and phlegmy coughs and mild fevers and major crab-cakes sick. I blogged about us all getting a terrible cold that kept us away from the gym for 2.5 weeks and we finally went back on Friday. It took that long for symptoms to be reduced down to mild-runny-nose-and-occasional-cough status. But then Oliver must have picked up a new bug that one time we went and by Monday we were back to being ugly sick. I officially became sick myself yesterday. Bella is clearly getting it today as I hear her coughing and sniffling in the next room. So no gym this week and we will have to cancel yet another series of get-togethers & playdates and OMFGAAAAAAHHHHHH!
I'm thinking that maybe I should give up on this gym idea for now since the likelihood of this lasting all fall and winter is very high. Makes sense to cut my losses now rather than pay more money for something I can't use.
Or should I stick with the gym and hope that a few months of constant illness will be enough to get our immune systems in order? Hopefully by January we can be back in business and I can get to the gym 4-5 times a week like I want to.
I rationally see that it's good that we are getting this
bug-after-bug-after-bug immunity building done with now. Oliver will not
be as affected when he starts preschool. Some germ exposure is good.
I've read that you have about two years of sickness while immunity
systems get fully established. Children in daycare go through that
early; children who stay predominantly at home might go through a rough
kindergarten-2nd grade phase. The kids were sick quite a bit from January to May of this year so we've already started our two years. Plus, maybe this recent month of particularly bad sickness is related to Oliver teething and the rest of the bugs he/she/we pick up won't be so bad.
But $80 a month and only being able to work out a few times?? $25+ a work out? NO.
On the other hand, maybe Oliver will go back to sleeping in until 7 am once those darn
canines are fully in and I can go to 5:45 fitness classes every other week (opposite Husband's early weeks)? Plus there are weekends and evenings for group fitness classes - times when I don't need to have child care. I love group fitness and giving up the gym means no chance of that.
What to do, what to do...
One thing is for sure - I need to get back to working out daily/near daily and I simply have to accept that it might be something I do at home during one of Oliver's naps or after 8 pm or even at 5 am with the knowledge that 15 minutes might be all I squeeze in before Oli wakes for the day. I have to accept that I don't get to workout in ideal circumstances most days. I have to accept that I just need to do it. I WILL feel better if I prioritize it, even if that means other things get squeezed out of my life. And actually, I will be more productive if I work out, so maybe I will get more done in the end.
So I'm just curious - what would you do in my shoes? Drop the gym and try again in the summer? Stick with it and hope for the best? Can anyone speak to your kids being sick for two years straight and then just getting sick a few times a year after that?
After writing all this out, I think I know what I need to do (and I know exactly what Husband will say), but I always enjoy your feedback, oh internet masses.