Over the years, I’ve decided to get fit and get into a regular exercise routine several different times, but every time I lost my momentum after a few weeks. As a busy mom, it was very hard to find the time to exercise! There were always 10 different things I felt like I should be doing at any given time, and when I took the time to exercise, I felt like I was being selfish. I knew it was something I needed to do, but I just couldn’t justify the time it took. And to be honest, I was less than thrilled about the amount of effort it would take!
About 8 months ago, all that changed.
Sick and tired of being sick and tired
I realized how crummy I felt.
All the time. Every day.
It was getting harder and harder to get out of bed every day, homeschool my children, take care of the house, work from home, keep meals on the table, chauffeur the children from here to there, and all of the other things we moms do every day! It was pretty depressing thinking about how bad I felt and how hard it was to just do the necessary things each day.
It was very hard to get out of bed each morning, and mornings had become kind of a depressing time for me because of it. Throughout the day I did have times when I felt pretty good, but each afternoon I hit a terrible slump and felt like I could hardly make it until bedtime that evening.
I finally decided to do something about it.
A homeschool mom gets fit
I knew it would be hard for me to start an exercise routine on my own without being accountable to anyone, so I decided to join a local gym. I know moms who faithfully exercise at home or who jog in the early mornings or evenings after their husbands get home from work to watch the kids. There are definitely ways to get in shape without joining a gym.
I know myself, though, and I knew that it was going to take being accountable to someone outside of my home for me to really follow through. For that reason, I decided it was worth the time and money it would cost me.
I went for my assessment and then joined a class that meets 4 days a week from 8:00-9:00 a.m. I was excited, but it had been so many years since I’d gotten any regular exercise that I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to do it. I knew the only thing I could do was just jump in there and give it my best, so that’s what I did.
For the first few weeks, it was really hard to make myself get up early enough to do everything I needed to do at home each morning and then get out the door at 7:45 a.m. to drive to the gym. I had to drag myself out of bed. When I got to the gym, the workouts were really challenging, and I couldn’t keep up with the other ladies in the class. But I knew that would get better if I kept working at it, so I did. I kept showing up each day and doing the best I could to keep up. I took rest breaks and water breaks when I needed them and didn’t allow myself to be embarrassed if I couldn’t do everything the others did.
I should stop here and say that the class I joined is taught by a man who is a personal trainer. In the beginning, he made sure I knew how to do each exercise and showed me how to modify anything I couldn’t do to make it easier and to lessen the risk of being injured.
As my fitness level and abilities improved, he had me gradually work up to being able to do what the others in the class were doing. I’ve had a disc problem in my back, and I have problems with my neck and shins, so I wanted to be sure I didn’t hurt myself in my efforts to get healthy! It’s better to allow yourself to “start small” rather than injure yourself and not be able to train for weeks.
Feeling and looking better
It was pretty hard for a while, but after a few weeks, I began to notice that I was waking up in the mornings without the alarm clock. And when I woke up, I felt rested and ready to get out of bed instead of feeling sluggish and tired like I had before. I hadn’t gotten up feeling rested and ready for the day in years! I also noticed that I was sleeping well at night–something I’ve struggled with for many years.
I also noticed some changes in how I looked. I lost weight. I started to notice that my muscles were more toned. I liked the changes I was seeing! It was encouraging to see these changes and to find that I was able to keep up better during class. I was seeing progress, and it was fun!
Three months later. . .
It’s been 3 months now, and I’m at the point where I can really start seeing a difference in how I look and feel! It hasn’t been easy, but it has been so very worth it! I feel happier and more energetic. I actually look forward to going to the gym each morning to exercise and be encouraged by the other women in the class with me. And since accountability is necessary for me, I’m way less likely to skip my workout because I know I’d have to answer not only to the trainer, but also to the other ladies who were expecting me to be there!
Yes, working out is still hard. Yes, it does require a commitment. Yes, it takes time out of my day 4 days a week. But it is so very worth it!
If you’ve been considering trying to get started exercising, I can promise you that I never thought I would be one of those people who went to the gym to exercise and actually enjoyed it and looked forward to it! But now I am definitely one of those people!
And I no longer feel guilty for taking the time to work out because it has had such a positive impact on my entire family! I’m better rested and ready to face each day, I feel happier and have more energy to do everything I need to do, and my children and husband have noticed not only differences in how I look but also in how I feel (and therefore how I act toward them). So don’t do what I did and allow yourself to feel guilty for something that will ultimately affect your entire family in a positive way. Just make the decision to get healthy and go for it!
From Paula: Gym memberships are great, but I know there are those of us who can’t afford the cost or time it takes. But like Wendy mentioned, accountability is crucial! Achieve your health and fitness goals with one of our online accountability groups at Paula Miller Fitness.
Wendy lives in the South with her wonderful hubby and 3 great kiddos! She is a Christian, homeschooling, work-from-home mom. She is co-owner of the Hip Homeschool Moms site where she serves as writer and editor, and she also blogs (occasionally) on her own site—Homeschooling Blessings. She and her husband were high school sweethearts and have been married for 25 years. Her oldest child (now age 20) has autism, and Wendy began homeschooling her at age 2. Her son (now age 19) is graduating this year. Her youngest child (age 13) is a ballerina and social butterfly. Wendy eats gluten free for health reasons and has recently become a healthy living advocate who loves working out and getting fit.