January 3, 2012

How to Fit Fitness in Your Life

  • Wife
  • Mother (of 2)
  • Full time employee

The list above doesn't seem that long, but in reality there are so many unspoken words in that list.  I know I don't even need to explain the work that goes into being a wife and mother, let alone one that has a full time job.  I cook, clean, wash & fold clothes, go shopping (and not always the pleasant kind), etc.  You all get the point.  So how is it that I have the time to workout and study for a certification?  I could say it's sheer determination, but I'd be lying.  Don't get me wrong.  Determination has a lot to do with it, but it's not the only factor.  I would bucket my success (and future success) into 2 categories.

  1.   Priority
  2.   Support
The truth is that being a homemaker, especially one that works full time doesn't leave much (extra) time to do anything else.  I am the first to admit that.  However, we must all admit that there are parts of our day that are idle.  By idle I mean, sitting/laying around watching tv, surfing the web, reading a magazine, talking on the phone, or on facebook. Of course, there are times where some of these things aren't wasted time, but I'm sure you know what I'm getting at.  The truth is that you make time for things that are truly important to you.  

Have you ever had a day where you were extremely strapped for time, but had somewhere to be or someone to see that was just so important, you "MADE" the time for it.  You may have had to put a task on hold for it or you may have had no time in your day for a breather, but you made time for it.  Why?  Because that appointment was important to you.  That is what you need to do with with your health and fitness.  Make it a priority.  Sometimes, a load of laundry may not get done or a trip to the salon may have to wait.  Sometimes, we are just too busy to do it all and something must wait.

Take some time and make a plan.  Set SMART goals.  SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE, REALISTIC, and TIMELY.  If time is your biggest issue then focus on REALISTIC goals.  Ideally, I think we would all love it if we could work out 6 days a week, but for some of us that is never going to happen.  Working out 3 days a week, if done properly, is enough.  If you can manage to squeeze in additional workouts, then great!  You are a step ahead.  If you miss a day - it's ok!  Life happens.  Just make it up another day or pick up where you left off.

Being a mom and being away from the home may be tough, especially if you are a single parent (or a military wife, lol).  Going to the gym or out for a run may not always be that simple.  Hiring a babysitter every time you need to get a workout in may not always be in the budget.  So, that calls for creative thinking.  If you are a runner, you can invest in a jogging stroller and take the kid(s) with you.  Or, you can manage to fit a workout in at lunch time.  Maybe, you can purchase a workout dvd?  If on a budget, there are numerous internet sites that provide you great workouts.  Where there is a will, there is a way.  I know that for some of us, getting fitness time outside the house is ideal...and preferred.  But, the truth is we can't always make that happen.  We need to get creative and find ways to fit fitness into our lives.

I have been extremely blessed to be surrounded by such supportive people.  Between my family and friends I have so much support to help me achieve my goals.  Obviously, the biggest support comes from my husband and girls.  I know my girls are too young to have a say at the moment, but I know that as they grow they will support me because they already see the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle.  When I lived back home and my parents were around, they were a huge support system.  My husband is in the military and has been away for about half of our marriage so when I lived near my parents, it was very important to have their support in my running ventures as well.

I am blessed enough to have a husband who is super supportive.  Don't get me wrong, it's not always a bed of roses for him.  There are times that things he needs from me suffer and are put on the back burner for my running, but in the end he understands.  The reason that I was ready to take on my ultra marathon challenge this year is because I know my husband will be home for most of the time I will be in training (well, I think I know.  With the military change is always a possibility.)  I will have to put in lots of miles, which equals time away from the home.  If he wasn't supportive or home, there is no way I would be able to manage this type of training.  The biggest reason is because my husband is an in-home babysitter =)  Yep, I said it and all the wives out there understand me when I say it.  If I need to get out there and log some miles, early in the morning or late at night, he is home.

If you lack the support, whether it's physical, emotional, or even psychological it is your responsibility to make a plan and recruit your family and friends.  You MUST communicate not only your goals to them, but what they can do to support you.  How can they help you reach those goals?  Express to them how important it is to them.  I would even go as far as mentioning the things you do not want them to do.  If there is something that you feel will sabotage your success, then tell them.

If health is truly something you want, you must take controlYou must speak up.  You must make it happen.  It's up to you.

Obviously, there are many other factors that can lead to success, but at a high level these are the 2 most important to get started.

You CAN do it!  You ARE strong!!  You WILL succeed!!!

With lots of love,

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