Motivation

Charlotte got a big-girl bike for her birthday. She has been riding all around the neighbourhood, and she’s been getting really good at it. One thing she struggles with from time to time, though, is getting started on the bike. I’ve been teaching her to push forward on the pedals to get it moving, and she will lean forward, face scrunched up with concentration, and she will strain to get that bike going. Sometimes she is able to do it by herself, and other times she needs a little push.

Charlotte struggling to get that bike going

Charlotte struggling to get that bike going

I think, like Charlotte, I need a bit of a push right now. There has been a lot going on around here lately- birthdays, nursery school graduation, ballet recital to name a few. As a result, I have found myself in front of the camera, getting my picture taken with the girls instead of hiding behind it like I normally do. When I look at those photos, it becomes clear: I’m not happy with how I look, and I want to get in shape.

My weight has gone up and down over the years, and I know what I need to do now to shed these unwanted pounds. That’s the good news. I’m not overwhelmed by the task- I have done it before, and I know I can do it again. It’s not even so much a lack of motivation that’s holding me back- I want to do it, and I’m inspired to it- I’m just having trouble getting started. The main obstacle here is the logistics of me being able to get out of the house to go to a gym and work out.

Working out at a gym is what works best for me when adhering to a fitness regime. I’ve tried doing workout videos at home- not for me. I feel like a moron, bouncing around the living room by myself to some cheesy video. Plus, if I’m at home, there will be a million interruptions and I won’t be able to complete a satisfying workout. I’ve tried running in the past, and it’s worked ok, but truthfully, I hate running. It hurts my knees and it feels more like torture than fitness. I love being able to go to the gym, use the cardio machines at my own pace, and do the weight training exercises I want. After Penelope was born, I bought a 10-visit pass to a “Mom-friendly” gym. There was no daycare on site, but they had a child’s play area where I could leave the girls while I did a class. The problem with this place is really the same problem I have with working out at home- I was constantly being interrupted by Charlotte wanting a snack, a drink, to go to the bathroom, etc, or to feed Penelope, and I never felt like I got a good workout in. Once my ten visits were used up, I didn’t bother going back.

I know a lot of gyms offer child care on the premises, which would be great for Charlotte, but that won’t really work for Penelope. Most daycare places are not comfortable caring for a baby with a feeding tube, which is understandable, so that crosses that option off the list. What I really need is a way to keep Penelope at home while I go to the gym. And the best solution I can come up with is to get up around 5am, go to the gym, and be home around 6:30 to deal with the girls as they’re waking up. And now you can see why I need a little push to get going.

Honestly, the thought of getting up at 5am makes me want to vomit a little. Just, ugh- it’s SO early! But if I don’t get to the gym in the morning, then I’m probably not going to get there at all. Once the girls are up and Mark is at work, I’m pretty much out of options. Certainly there’s no waiting til Mark gets home from work to go- it’s dinner time, the worst time of day around here, and there’s no way in hell I’m heading out to the gym after dinner. So 5am seems like the most realistic plan. I just need to find a way to make my desire to get in shape overpower my desire for sleep.

I guess what I’m looking for here is someone to say, “Julie, you can do this. You need to do this, and you DESERVE to take some time for yourself to get healthy, and you DON’T need to feel guilty for doing it.”

So what do you think? I can do this, right? How do you all deal with getting motivated to face your challenges, whatever they may be? And does anyone have any other ideas for me to get in shape that don’t involve getting up at the asscrack of dawn??

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7 thoughts on “Motivation

  1. I started at a gym at the beginning of the year. I had to tell myself over and over again that I had to do this for me and that I deserve to take time to work on me. I usually go from 6-7:30 most nights and when my husband gets home from work I tag him and he is responsible for the kids until I get home. I think, as a mom, we never put ourselves first and thats a fault most of us have. The fact is, our husbands are more than capable of handeling our house and kids (we just need to give them more credit). You need to take time for yourself and enjoy it. I have finally let go of my guilt and I now enjoy “my time” (even though I’d rather be at a spa:) You can do it Julie…good luck:)

    • I think the guilt is a big part of what is holding me back- I just have to let that go. Mark is more than capable of taking care of the girls, and I have to start taking better care of myself. Penelope is almost a year old, and that’s too long to keep putting myself on the back burner. Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. I am in the same boat! I joined good life fitness. I myself am not a morning person so I feel your pain. I usually go when Dino gets home. I try for at least 3 times a week. Class help.. But they don’t work around my schedule.. Classes are either too early or too late.. Weekends are the worst. I have my up and down moments. I’m at a low again. Its hard to get back on it. But I took the kids to the grocery store and stocked up on good food. No junk! Which is my total weakness.. Oh chips and chocolate… How I love you.. I just have to keep focused! We can do this Julie! You can get up and make a change! We can do it together. Motivate each other! Woo hoo we are going to be some hot looking mamas!! 🙂

  3. Snacking on junk food is definitely my weakness! Maybe I will join up at GoodLife and we could try to go to a class together on weekends? We can definitely do this, especially if we’re motivating each other!!

  4. Great post Julie! You should post some ads for nurses who are currently in school- a lot of my girl friends who were in nursing did side jobs with the elderly/ medically fragile while they were in school (even if it is just one afternoon a week that might free you up to go to the gym/ have some time for yourself). Additionally, as a non morning person myself, I must say that it feels so refreshing to have your workout completed, a coffee and refreshing shower done all by 730. The hardest part is obeying your alarm clock and not saying “I will do it tomorrow”. Once you are up and at the gym with people trying to accomplish the same thing as you it really is not so bad. I personally would dread it every night before bed -but gave myself no choice once that alarm rang. I might also suggest going to a class (less thinking involve/ more accountability) and to start slowly i.e. once a week and build up rather than set these high expectations. Remember, “it always seems impossible until it’s done”.

    • Thanks for the tips, Kathleen! I’ve been meaning to check out the nursing student as a sitter angle for awhile now- it seems like it could be a good option. I purchased my GoodLife membership today and am compiling my workout playlist now- I am ready to go!

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