The other day when I was talking to my sister, I told her that I was bummed about leaving my running shoes at my mother-in-law’s house and didn’t want to wait a week to get them back. She said, “Do you run every day?” I said, “No, they’re part of my Mom uniform.” I don’t think she got it, no kids yet, but I laughed at my little funny.
But it kind of made me feel bad too. I’ve always struggled with my weight, and throw in two kids while working a part-time job in less than three years, and voila! Perfect formula for a really big struggle. Now, I know that you can do whatever you set your mind to do, so if you’re the kind of person who hates it when people wallow, stop reading now. I’ll throw a little pity party, but I promise to give this a happy ending and ask for your ideas, too.
OK, I’m 37 years old with a three-year-old and a one-year-old, and up until the last few months, I’ve worked 20 hours a week. My husband had a pretty high-demand job, so guess who did all the household chores. (Yes, trash and the yard were his official duties, but really how can that compare to the rest? Can I get an “Amen” ladies?) Working mornings and some afternoons, carting the kids to the sitter and all the preparation that entails, and still “keeping up” with the house, which means after the kids go to bed until late into the evening—all that makes for a pretty long day. That didn’t leave much time to get workouts in, and I have the great blessing of a very slow metabolism to boot. Oh yeah, and I love food. It’s yummy. Mmm…food.
So, I’ve tried lots things. I joined a woman’s gym and did that pretty faithfully for a year. Nuthin’. I did a points-counting program for a year. Nuthin’. (To be fair to that program though, I didn’t actually join; a friend figured out my points for me and gave me all the materials.) One month, I even got up 4 times a week SUPER early, like 4:30, to run for 45 minutes before showering and getting me and the kids up and at ‘em in time for me to be at work at 8:00. Nuthin’. Tried going almost all raw fruits and veggies. Nuthin’. As my husband very, very delicately tried to remind me several times, I just don’t see real results unless I work out really hard and really often. Ugh. Fine.
The sister I told you about, she’s getting married in a few weeks. I love her, so I agreed to be a bridesmaid. Our other sister is also a bridesmaid and will be 8 months pregnant, and I’ll still be the larger one. They’d better have alcohol at this thing. Anyway, there’s nothing that’ll get you moving like donning a bright pink spaghetti strap dress in front of a hundred people and having to wear it all day. Yeah, there’s a wrap, a sheer piece of organza. Can’t hide behind that.
Well, my husband and I recently struck out on our own, taking our part-time business full-time, entering the self-employed field. I now get to be a full-time mom, which I love dearly. But as I alluded to before, I’ve adopted the mom uniform. You know, the comfy clothes that I could work out in at the drop of a hat, but that announce me for exactly who I am. In some ways, that doesn’t bother me. I am a mom, that’s who I am, I live my life to take care of my family. And even though I do my hair and make-up every morning, I just hate getting dressed in anything that’s dressy or clingy. Plus, I know I’m going to get trashed by the end of the day, so why bother. On the other hand, I used to buy shoes because they were pretty and then build outfits around them. I used to look really nice every day, and it made a big difference to my confidence. So, where do I go from here? To wear the uniform or not to wear the uniform, that is the question.
Here’s where I am now, and don’t hold me to this a month from now, because I am constantly trying new things until I find what works. I’ll wear the uniform IF I am going to work out that day. That way, I am ready as soon as the heavens part and the angels sing about the hole in the universe that just opened for me to work out. Then I look for those opportunities all day. I might ride my bike, dragging the kids behind me in the bike trailer that holds both of them. Or I might sneak in a run while my husband eats lunch or plays with the kids after dinner. I even ran in the rain the other night. I think something was seriously wrong with me that day, though. On days where I know I don’t need to work out, I’ll try to dress nicer, something without spandex or drawstrings. Something I might even have to iron.
Also, I’ve started calorie counting. In college in the early ’90s, I tried this and found it excruciatingly painful. However, there is the coolest application for the iPod Touch or iPhone that is called “Lose It,” which I first saw briefly on an iPhone commercial. They’re not paying me to promote this thing, but if they want to, great. I’m just thrilled I’ve found something that is working for me. Anyway, you customize it to you and your goals, it has a huge database of foods, generic and brand name, even lots of restaurants, and it’s easy to use. You track your calories and your exercise each day, and it’s really fun to see and check your allotment throughout the day. Today, I got all excited because an hour on an elliptical machine cancelled out all the calories I’d eaten, and I got to eat a decent sized portion at dinner guilt-free! The point really is though, that I’ve found what I need to motivate me and inspire me to keep it up. I’ll do anything to keep my little graph from going over the calories I should have that day, and I like seeing how I can spread out my budgeted amount to work for me throughout the day. I’ve lost 4 pounds so far and am looking forward to kissing lots more goodbye!
So, what do you think? What have you tried and found helpful? Got any ideas or comments for us? I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially if you love and hate your mom uniform as much as I do!
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