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Mommy Joins The Circus

In college, I was spoiled. I was single, a part-time employee, and living out on my own. Now, life is completely different. I’m married with two children, working part-time doing in-home childcare, and trying to manage all of the chaos that comes with running a household. Just about everything that could change in the past few years, has!

The reason I considered myself so spoiled back in school was that I was easily able to squeeze in a two-hour gym trip almost every day! I got the luxury of a hardcore workout, a cool down swim, and some relaxation time in the steam room. For meals, I ate in the dining halls. Normally, that can be a contributor to weight gain with having so many food options, but to me, it gave me the opportunity to choose from my favorite healthy foods.

Those were the days. If you’re a mom, you know that life becomes a juggling act, and we often have to put ourselves on the backburner. I’m a woman of convenience, and due to a ridiculously tight budget, I’m also a cheapskate. This combination makes my typical day a frenzy of caring for children, junk food, and not a whole lot of “me” time. When there is down time, do I exercise? Uh, no. I generally prefer reading, sipping my coffee just a little bit slower, or even attempting to get a nap in myself.

I’ve been wanting to lose the rest of my baby weight, but my lack of energy and commitment are killing my dream. That is, until recently. I’m slowly working on tricks and tweaks to change my fate. At the moment, I really don’t have much time to exercise. I tried several times to squeeze it in, but it just didn’t go smoothly. I’m finding some wonderful tips that are helping me get in shape throughout the day. As soon as I wake up in the morning, I put on my set of ankle weights and don’t take them off until bed time. It doesn’t take long before I forget I’m even wearing them! Sometimes, when I do a task such as folding laundry, I put weights on my wrists too for some added toning.

Because little ones are such high-energy beings, I try to use it to my advantage. Both my son and the little girl I provide care for, love music. At some point during the day, we set aside some special time for fun. I turn on some peppy music, put my six-month-old in her Jumperoo, and the toddlers and I have a dance party. It’s a nice little workout for everyone and there’s no shortage of laughter! As far as food, one of the greatest loves of my life, I’m not even going to try to cut out my favorite things. I start the day by allotting special times for snacks or coffee drinks in moderation. Just like I’ve learned to budget our family’s finances, I’m learning to budget my food intake. This helps me get in the mindset at mealtimes when I can tell myself, “I don’t need that second helping because I get popcorn later!”

I’m also trying to leave upbeat music playing throughout most of the day. I’ve found it inspires me to move faster or more often and I’ll even throw in the extra dance moves when doing dishes or getting meals around. Every little kick and wiggle helps! To finish off our day, my husband and I enjoy sitting down to watch an hour of our favorite television shows. By taking the “sitting down” part out of the equation, I’ve created the ultimate multi-tasking, calorie burning extravaganza! While the show plays, I sit on the floor and do some low intensity strength training or crank out some aerobic activity. When commercials strike, I leave the room and pick up around the house. Especially when I add stretching, my mind and body are able to release tension through my easy-going workout just in time for bed and my house is nice and tidy for when I wake up the next morning.

So I say, forget the gym! All we have to do is add a little fun to our routine and be patient…which is always the hardest part.

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