I’m officially six months postpartum, and even though I’ve been rocking Weight Watchers for the past three months, I haven’t ventured into working out yet. Honestly, I’ve just been putting it off, because sitting on the couch is much more convenient. That, and working out with two kids is a whole different ballgame.
I’ve been coming up with excuse after excuse for why I couldn’t work out:
- It’s too hot (totally a valid excuse since the heat index tips past 100 before noon most days)
- My neighborhood doesn’t have sidewalks (really annoying when my neighborhood also is quite curvy and hilly—lots of blind spots for drivers who aren’t paying attention)
- My neighborhood is full of ridiculous hills (like really, really ridiculous hills)
- There’s nobody to watch the girls (and I don’t want to waste precious babysitter time on working out)
- I could join a gym, but I don’t want to waste the money if I end up not being able to go (i.e. what if the girls sleep in late or if I can’t get us out of the house in time to make it for a class)
- I could join a gym, but…I’m lazy. (Honestly, I really don’t want to wake up early, haul the kids into the car, get them out of the car, check them into childcare, do my thing, haul them back in the car, drive home all sweaty, and then get everybody out. Just typing that all out exhausted me.)
- By the time we’re all dressed, ready, and in the car, we could just go to Target instead
Seriously, the list could go on and on. I’m basically the queen of procrastination, but “Excuses Excuses” could easily be my middle name. I mean, I just made excuses for my excuses! The thing is, I’ve sort of been craving a workout. My body is tired of just sitting around all day and not doing anything productive. So I finally took matters into my own hands—literally—and started working out a few days a week. We bought a fancy-schmancy double stroller before Maddie arrived, but up until now I’ve just been using it for random things here and there. It was time I started taking it out more so we could at least start getting our monies worth.
First things first: the gear
The first step for me getting out there was actually getting a Fitbit Charge HR. I know that sounds pretty materialistic, but if I was going to do this, I needed motivation and I wanted to actually see that I was working out. I’ve had my eye on one for a while and I finally bit the Fitbit-bullet and bought the heart-rate monitor one. (Thanks, Mom, for the birthday money!!) I’ve had heart-rate monitors in the past, but it was annoying to have to hook up this band underneath your shirt—talk about sweat city when you finished your workout—yuck.
This little guy usually sits on my wrist, and I can even pair it with my iPhone so I can see how fast/far I walk. When you finish a workout it even give you a little motivating message. I’m all about motivation before 8am! My only issue with it, is that it doesn’t count my steps accurately since I’m pushing a stroller. I can fix that issue by attaching it to my shoe or my sports bra, but then it doesn’t record my heart rate. I wish there was a better solution, but in the meantime I’m still trying to figure out what’s more important to me: tracking my heart rate or my steps.
My second step was getting clothes I felt comfortable wearing. Postpartum bodies are just so freaking awkward, and even my old workout clothes fit me differently. (Hello, new boobs!) Old Navy took care of that issue with their clearance section (and I’m totally kicking myself for not buying more comfy tops at a cheap price). I wear my trusty Ecco sandals, because there’s no way I’m putting on socks and closed-toed shoes with it being so hot—I want as little clothing on as possible!
I’m also totally in love with our stroller. We got a Baby Jogger City Select with the second seat before Maddie was born, and I’m really enjoying it so far. I love that the seats are interchangeable—I think we’ve probably used all of the different 16 positions so far, and the wheels are super sturdy. Yeah, it weighs a lot, but I’m wasn’t counting on it being lighter than air. It drives really well, and I feel like the girls are safe in it. The best part is that the girls seem to really like it. Julia loves using the sun visor on her own, and Maddie’s been known to take a nap in it from time to time (the top seat can go into a “recline” position).
Just Shut Up and Go!
The last step to my puzzle was actually working out instead of just talking about it. I can clearly make excuses all night and all day, but I need to just take the leap and go for it, so I made a plan one night, and when I woke up in the morning I followed through.
How I’m actually working out with two kids:
When the girls wake up in the morning (typically around 7am), I change diapers, fill up water bottles, and we make our way directly to the stroller. I don’t turn on the TV, I don’t make breakfast; I just GO! I know that if we started delaying the inevitable (like turning on Curious George or pouring a bowl of Cheerios), or letting her linger in bed for too long, there would be no way we’d get out of the house, especially before the heat started becoming unbearable. After that, my only objective is to just start walking.
We go for a mile walk around our neighborhood, with both girls in the stroller. Julia usually chats about things she sees along the way, Maddie chews on the stroller straps or on some links, and I take in the fresh air (while huffing and puffing my way up the hills). Our stroller weighs a whopping 34 pounds, Julia weighs 30 pounds, and Maddie’s tipping the scale around 16 pounds. By my calculations, that means I’m pushing a total of at least 80 extra pounds, which is just bananas!
During the walk I usually down a bottle (24 ounces) of water, and I eat a snack to give myself a little more fuel to keep going. After we get home I usually strap Maddie into her Rockaroo, and I take a really quick shower while Julia either brushes her teeth, goes potty, or watches half an episode of Daniel Tiger, Paw Patrol, or Curious George. Then I get out, quickly get dressed, and feed Maddie—if I’m lucky, she’ll take a nap after I nurse her. After that, Julia and I make breakfast (a smoothie, usually, or avocado toast), and I finally start relaxing so I can actually start my day.
I’m several weeks into this new regime, and I’m loving it. I’ve discovered that working out with two kids involves making a plan, sticking to it, and just going for it!
Right now, this is what’s working for us, and I’m happy I’ve found a way to start working out again. I really can’t wait for the weather to start cooling off so I can venture more around our neighborhood. It’s just too stinkin’ hot now to be outside and pushing a stroller for any longer than 20 minutes. (Yeah, that’s how long it takes me to do a mile right now.)
I know this may not seem like much to a lot of you out there, but just going on that very first outing was a huge accomplishment for me. Then, going the next day and the day after that helped make it become part of my routine. After my walk this morning I noticed I wasn’t even huffing and puffing as much on the hills compared to those first few walks, so even though it’s not much, it’s helping me get into better shape, and that’s what counts.
Okay, moms, you’ve heard about how I work out with my little ones,
now tell me how and when you work out with kid(s)!