There were too many options for the title of this post… “What I Had To Do To Exercise Today”, “Whatever Works for a Workout”, “When Mommyhood Messes up your Exercise”, “Gotta Do Whatcha Gotta Do”, “What Must Be Done”… and I could go on.
I know it’s strange to most, but my exercise of choice (especially these days with the blistering sun and 90+ degree heat outside) is walking inside my house. I am grateful that I have the *ability* to walk circles in my own home (I love the temperature control, water & bathroom accessibility and that the weather doesn’t matter).
I have a Family Room, Living Room/Dining Room (no table) and Kitchen island I walk around… circles and figure 8 possibilities galore.
Unfortunately, most days I have to pick one side of the house so I can have privacy and stay “hidden” from my kids in the other room.
Here are some of my common routes:
I am very much a solitary exercise person… don’t like being around others, having anyone watch me (even my kids) or doing it with a buddy.
Also, when I walk, I have conversations with myself… may seem a little crazy, but it’s free therapy. The more I talk (usually about the current weight loss journey I’m on… sometimes about issues with parenting), the faster the time FLIES BY. I LOVE when 30 minutes feels like 10! But if I have a nagging 4-year-old chasing after me or purposely getting in my way, my train of thought derails and I get very aggravated and the minutes go by like hours.
For this reason, I love when my kids are distracted or better yet, upstairs and totally unaware I’m doing my walk.
I used to grab whatever time during the day this actually happens, but since last week, I’ve made it a goal to get in FASTED exercise. This limits my window of time and sometimes I just have to deal with whoever is awake or at home at the time.
Somedays are easy… son at school, baby sleeping, 4-year old busy playing… no one in the way of me getting in my fasted workout and I can manage it uninterrupted (win!).
Other days it’s a mix… 4-year-old starts following me (or more annoyingly, putting toys in my path) and making a game out of it when I just want to be LEFT ALONE.
Sometimes I take advantage of my baby’s feeding time and walk while she’s confined and distracted, walking by every few minutes to replenish her food or drink.
Then there are days like today. The 4-year-old I can handle… I can reason with her and do eventually get her to leave me alone. But the 9-month-old? Nope, that obviously doesn’t work with her.
This morning I had a half hour left until my 16-hour fast was over and I was getting hungry, so it was the optimal time for my fasted walk.
My son (now that school is out) was busy in the upstairs playroom playing Xbox with a friend (never to be heard from again) and my 4-year-old daughter was busy playing upstairs too.
Just me and a very awake, no nap in sight 9-month-old who’d already eaten her breakfast, so having her be in her highchair for the majority of my walk was not an option.
First, I tried distracting her with tv in the family room where most of her toys are. I looped the kitchen island and into the living room.
This lasted maybe 4 minutes.
She starts crawling after me and starts crying if I walk by and don’t pick her up.
So, I have her follow me into the living room.
The first loop around I turn on an interactive toy that plays music and has lights. This attracts and distracts her.
The second loop she was losing interest in that already, so I turn on the tv for her and proceed to only loop in the kitchen and family room so she can’t see me as easily.
I get maybe 5 minutes from this.
Then she crawls over to find me.
My next option?
Putting her the stroller and pushing her around while I walk. The advantage to this is I get to loop ALL rooms and zig zag around, making it interesting for her as well.
I did this for maybe 5 minutes and then the programming changed on tv and a theme song started (my baby LOVES music and the intro to almost any cartoon show), so I give her a bottle to nurse and leave her in the stroller in front of the family room tv and I start looping in the living room and occasionally out to the kitchen island and around back to the living room.
I get maybe 3 minutes stroller-free. Theme song over, actual show not holding her interest.
So back to pushing the stroller I go for the remainder of my time.
Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do when you’re a mommy of babies or young children and want to stick to your exercise goal. You gotta make it work, and that I did today.
At least at 9 months old, she’s not judging me for talking to myself and doesn’t interrupt with questions. 🙂