Before I had kids, I wasn't in the greatest of shape but I did work out regularly. At least three times a week I would do something, whether it was going to the gym or popping in a workout DVD. I was always within five pounds of my goal weight and I was happy with the way I looked.
But since having kids six years ago, I can't say any of that has continued. For me, it has been one spurt of exercise after the other. You know the drill—workout hard for two weeks, get frustrated, quit. Starting working out three months later, stop once you get comfortable. And so on and so on.
I've tried almost everything to find something that could give me some "stick-to-it-ness." I've tried Zumba, circuit training at the gym, regular ol' running, the 30 Day Shred, a few days of Insanity, one hour of P90X, yoga and more.
But it all comes down to the fact that I feel like my kids have drained my energy. After taking care of them and working all day, all I want to do is relax. And unfortunately, exercising is not relaxing to me.
Another problem is that I lack the discipline to be consistent. I'll work out for two weeks like a maniac, inevitably pull a muscle and then be sidelined for a week, which destroys my motivation to get back out there. So I don't.
I also lack patience. When I'm working out and in a groove, the scale doesn't usually budge. I get frustrated and stop. I forget that working out isn't about some number on the scale, but about giving your body a chance to stretch and get fit.
I don't know why I can't get right. I want to blame the kids but I won't. I know this is a mental thing. Because once I'm done with the workout, I feel great. I feel strong. I feel like I could do this every day. But the mental hurdle of clearing time in my schedule to bust a sweat proves to be too great some days. And so I opt out.
I'm at the age where you begin to set habits for the rest of your life and I want exercise to be one of those things I just do, without thinking about it. I want it to become as routine as brushing my teeth or taking a shower. It seems the only answer is to just do it. No excuses. Get it done. Until I fully understand that, I doubt the scale is going to change.
Are you struggling to make exercise part of your life after having kids? What's your go-to exercise?
Words: Tara Pringle Jefferson
Tara Pringle Jefferson is the founder of TheYoungMommyLife.com and the author of Make It Happen: The Young Mommy Guide To Creating The Career You Crave. Follow her on Twitter or check out her blog for her insights on what it means to be a mom, wife, student, writer, and about three other labels she’s too tired to remember.