Coffee Talk Thursday
Before I had kids, I went to the gym regularly (a free membership was one of the perks of working on-air for the TV station). After I had my first son, I lost all the baby weight fairly easily, and then some. I’m 5’4”, and I was wearing a 4 (I know; I was pretty pleased, myself! I am not there now, though). With my baby in the jogging stroller, we set off for long walks, even some runs, in the summer.
Then I got pregnant again. The last ten pounds of that baby weight did not come off as easily as with the first, and when the summer following my middle son's first birthday hit, I was pregnant again. Those extra pounds got added to the several I gained during my pregnancy.
Now that my youngest is 16 months, and I am not pregnant, I’m setting out to tackle those final ten pounds that have hung on so tenaciously. I do not have a gym membership, and we do not have a treadmill or any other kind of large exercise equipment. Oh, and I have three very active little boys that occupy my every minute.
So what do I do?
- I know I could wake up early. However, for me, on the days I do, it is more important to me to prepare spiritually for my day by reading Scripture and spending time in prayer. Eventually, when my baby is fully weaned, if I can rise even earlier consistently, I could try to find some time in the early morning hours.
- For me, I can't find time to exercise apart from my kids; so what I do has to involve them.
- I am looking forward to the arrival of summer. I much prefer exercising outdoors over indoors and love to load the guys up in the double stroller and head out for long, brisk walks. We garden. We take bike rides. I may try to get back to roller-blading. Lots of outdoor activity.
- Since it's the middle of winter in the Rockies, and I can't take everyone out for exercise as regularly as I would like, I have been doing some exercise videos a few times a week. I like Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred and Denise Austin: Get Fit Daily Dozen. They are both short enough that I can finish the workout without my baby clamoring at my leg for me to hold him. Plus, the 30 Day Shred involves push-ups, jumping jacks, and other exercises that the boys can get into too.
- On the days that I don't get "intentional" exercise, I try to remember that we are quite active anyway. I have three flights of stairs in my house, that I climb up and down several times a day. We eat healthy. I try not to be too hard on myself. I've done that before; it's not too healthy.
- I try to be patient about losing the last few pounds. I find they drop off completely when my baby is fully weaned.
“From my research, I am convinced the Creator’s prescription for exercise more closely resembles real-life activities involved in the daily patterns of work and play.He recommends a brisk, two-mile walk a day. Plus, walking outside gives you fresh air (unless you’re in LA) and plenty of sunshine.
The longest lived peoples in human history usually walked everywhere they went, trailed their animals and herds, hunted wild game on foot, built rugged shelters, or cultivated fields at an active pace each day with intermittent periods of rest. They knew nothing about aerobic exercise, treadmills, or running tracks, but they were masters at anaerobic exercise—activities that incur an “oxygen debt” through temporary or briefly sustained exertion…
My description of the oldest physical activity of the human race can be expressed in one word: walking. Even before Eve, Adam was assigned the task to care for God’s garden—a job that could not be done without walking.”
Above all, it helps me to remember that while it is important to be healthy, a little extra tummy flab is what one friend refers to as our “battle scars”—souvenirs of the sacrifices, but also the joys, of bearing our children.
So that's my side of the conversation this Coffee Talk Thursday. What works best for you when it comes to exercise?