Thursday, July 15, 2010

How Do You Do It?

If you haven't read the comment sections, I have been asked a couple of times "How do you do it?" How do you lose weight when you have a newborn and older children? How do you do it when you are tired? How do you do it if you don't have childcare? How do you do it if you work? Check, check, and check. The answer:

You just do.

It's as simple and annoying as that. You just do.

If I waited until I got the perfect amount of sleep, the dirty diapers were timed perfectly and nothing was spilt on the floor, I would never work out.

1) Prioritize : I'm not saying that weight loss has to be a priority. Who cares if you lose the weight? If you don't care, use your time in other ways, but don't complain about your weight 2 years later when you haven't made it a priority. Time is a prized commodity. When I have it, I work out. I choose working out over showering, shopping, nails, playing on the computer and reading. Use your time how you want, but again, don't say you can't lose the weight if you are doing these things instead.

When I was breastfeeding, I would feed the baby, pump (she had reflux issues that I found subsided with bottle feeding the breastmilk) have to burp her for an hour (again, the reflux), put on the 2 sports bras, nursing pads, drink a ton of water and pee every 3 minutes and plan around the boobs refilling. That left about 20 minutes before it was time to do it all over again. And guess how I used those 20 minutes? Yep, plan ahead, be fast and do it.

2) Stick with the plan. But always have 3 plans. You are on your way to class at 10 am, at 9:55 someone won't eat their bottle, someone poops or someone won't get dressed. Either stick with the plan, be late to class or head out for a run with the jogger instead.

You literally have 20 minutes at the gym, someone stops to talk to you, you now have 17 minutes, make the most of it, hop on the TM and work out so hard during those 17 minutes. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard "That was fast" from the front desk as I bolt out after 17 minutes. "At least I'm here" I want to reply, but I am in too much of a hurry to do so. Commit to working out but be ready to do something other than your plan. Use whatever time you have, it's never wasted time.

3) Have a gym with childcare. I will never work out in a place without (good) childcare. I will not hire help to watch my kids so I can workout. I did not have kids so that I could go on with my life and hire someone else to raise them, I am going to figure out a way to incorporate my workouts in my life with my children. Rain or shine, I always have an option to go to the gym with my kids. I didn't start taking the baby until just recently though. If it got to the evening time and I hadn't had a chance to workout, I would take my son and my husband would stay with baby girl. This is tough though because a sick child can take away this option, that's where number 4 comes in.

4) Have a great husband. I have a great husband. But even the best husbands cannot be expected to know when you need help. Speak up. If you can't find 20 minutes per day then you need to speak up. Full disclosure: I put cooking dinners, grocery shopping and errands on the back burner. I choose to play with my kids instead of grocery shopping and walk with them in the evenings instead of cooking dinner. There is something always on the table, but it's not fancy and many times my husband has to cook it.

Exercise makes me a happier person. After 9 months of giving my body to someone else, it's now my time. My husband is a great husband because he understands and supports this. But I also speak up and tell him that this is what I need.

Dinners are about to become a priority again. I will return to making healthy, hearty meals because life is getting easier, and I enjoy it. We just had a little hiatus so I could get myself to feeling stronger and healthier again.

5) Spend the money to have some help. Hmmm...isn't this a contradiction to what I just said about not hiring someone to watch my kids? Not really. I do think it's wise to get a couple hours of help a week so you can plan doctors appointments and at least know there will be a time when you can work out. I work a couple hours/week, but I have my help stay a couple hours extra so I can do just that. Financially we end up even, but it's worth the break I get. If you work, pay to have one extra hour when you can work out. It's worth it.

I still work around nap times and with my children or my husband's help 5 days/week. But getting help those 6 hours have allowed me to schedule my trainer and know I can show up on time. That's nice.

What is your excuse? Why can't you find the time to workout? Why don't you eat better?

Write it down. Then talk to your partner and figure out a way to get your 20 minutes/day.

Then use it. Because as hard as today has been with a newborn, work, no sleep and a toddler.....tomorrow may be worse.


  1. Such great tips! I agree on the gym with childcare. It is my savior because it gives me some me time and the ability to get a workout in.

  2. You know. This is perfect. I get asked a lot how I did it & what it takes. You just have to do it. It's not rocket science really, you eat well & move your body. I used to look for the "secret" too & when I realized that I was the secret then it clicked.

    Now that's coming from the non-Mom but I think my efforts qualify :)

  3. Wow! Very well said! I have a 16 week little guy at home so I can relate on many levels. I enjoy your blog and you inspire me :)

  4. Phew. I was afraid I came across as a little harsh. Just do it. Find your excuse and squash it. Easy to say but I didn't really mention that most days it's so hard it brings me to tears. Both because it's so hard but also because it's so gratifying.

    Heather, I really hope this blog is relatable to non-moms. Because you are the epitome of turning your life around. Not just to look good, but for health, to battle our genetics and to feel great. I know people must be so disappointed when they ask you how you did it. It sucks to hear that you worked hard....really hard.

    So how do you do it? You just do.

  5. WOW- well said, found you through Heather, who is amazing. I'm sitting with my 5 month old and 3 yr old realizing I need to just do it! Thanks!!

  6. I remember you from O2 right Natalie? Welcome!! I decided to blog instead of journal because I knew I wouldn't have time for all the 'conversation' in a journal. But I did like having a day to day record of journaling, may end up doing both.

    Anyway, I hope that even women without children can relate to the "You just do". Replace the words "children" with work, husbands, social events, dining out, friends etc, I realize there are just as many commitments for those without children. Just trying to get rid of the excuses.