Wednesday, June 6, 2012

You Just Have to Miss It.

I read Mom101's blog post today, "The inertia of busy mothers – not good for our thighs, or so I hear.", and I totally identified with her words. As you all know well, I hate to exercise. But since February, I've been making a real effort, and meeting with my personal trainer on a weekly basis. Some weeks, I workout additional times on my own, and some weeks I only make it to my training appointment. Having someone waiting on me to show up, whom I've already paid, is the only reliable incentive I found to get myself to go to the gym. (And no need to regale me with cheerful tips about how to make myself more excited to go - trust me, I've put in enough time now to know that this level of excitement is the best I can do.)

When I was pregnant with Max, my amazing endocrinologist took a look at my life (3yo Hannah, working full time, finishing my MBA) and said that if I didn't figure out how to exercise by the time Max was 3, she was coming for me. And she was right - when Max turned three, I started off with my first personal trainer (until The Back got in the way for a while, leading me to restart again this winter). Life had calmed down enough that evenings didn't require the "all hands on deck" mentality of dealing with a baby or toddler. And with everything that happened with The Back, not to mention the diabetes (it's not bad enough yet to deserve capital letters), I'm glad I've gotten going. Yea, I can barely move after our sessions, and it's caused some nasty middle of the night blood sugar lows, but I have to believe that something is better than nothing. I'm not doing this with some kind of "Biggest Loser" mentality; I'm just trying to get myself to move more.

The other factor in all of this, and probably just as big of a factor as that I'd prefer to sit at home watching reality TV, is that I had to acknowledge to myself this simple fact: to find time to exercise, I would have to miss things. I would have to let Marc put Max to bed, and test Hannah on her spelling words. I would have to postpone cleaning the kitchen on some nights. I would miss some bath times, and occasional bedtime stories, and the essence of being together after a day apart. We'd still eat dinner together, and I'd be home to see Hannah off to bed, but I had to allow myself to be okay with missing stuff. For me, that is really hard to do.

So yes, I want to be a positive role model for my children when I exercise. I want the health benefits. But I also want to maintain a healthier approach to trying to do it all, and acknowledge that it really can't all be done. You just have to miss things, and find a way to be at peace with that too.


  1. It is better for you t be around when they are grown up. They won't remember those missed nights.

  2. I really appreciate your honesty. It's not my first choice of things to do, all things being equal. But you're right--we should all be able to squeeze in one session a week right? Start small.

    Thanks for the inspiration Cheryl!

  3. You're inspiring me! Keep it up!

  4. This is so true - it is such a struggle to find time for yourself when you're a mom (or to not feel guilty about taking the time for yourself). I feel like a cheat because I sneak in my exercise time (running) during my lunch breaks at work. Without this designated "break" time, I don't think I would ever get it done. Good for you for making it happen!