Why I Don’t Work Out

Admittedly, I’ve never been good at working out.

I’ve never been super skinny, but I’ve always been at a healthy and happy weight without having to try much. Then having a baby happened and now I know that to keep my body in shape I’m actually going to have to do something about it.

I had such a difficult recovery from my birth experience that my first attempt to get back in shape did not happen until my son was 2 and in a two morning a week preschool class. I hated it, and I felt like dying. The few times I brought my son with me to child care he cried the entire time. It was just not a good fit.

Last summer I jumped back on the fitness bandwagon with a go at Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred. Another fail. The workout was intense for me as a beginner and even though the idea of a home workout video is great, it’s harder to do than you would think when you have a toddler interrupting you every 5 minutes.

This past spring I joined an adult hip hop dance class hoping for a workout, but it turns out it was really just about learning choreography for a performance. While fun, it didn’t do anything for me. I often had to bring my son with me to class, which meant a lot of interruptions and I’m pretty sure the rest of the class didn’t appreciate it.

This summer, we decided to join a pool. After a lot of research, it turns out that the best fit for us was a summer membership to the YMCA. The branch 20 minutes down the road has a full outdoor water park (which is awesome!) and the cost of membership includes the outdoor pool/water park, full access to the YMCA gym and group exercise classes, free childcare, 3 free wellness coach sessions, access to any branch in the Richmond area, and swim lessons for my son. This summer we could play at the pool and I could work out!

My little guy has been doing a lot of summer camps, so I’ve been dropping him off at those and then going to group exercise classes, which I’ve LOVED.

Then I brought my son with me to the child care area and he liked it and I got to work out. I had my first of 3 wellness sessions so now I better understand the equipment and what exactly I should be doing as a work out (which I think has always been a large part of my problem…I don’t know what to do and at what level). Maybe I could really keep this up this time! Wednesday he went to the child care area, I worked out for an hour, and then we hung out at the pool all afternoon. It was perfect!

And then this morning my son and I were going to the gym. We slept in a little bit, and then he wanted breakfast. Not the kind I fixed him. A different kind. And then he needed to get dressed, but first he wanted to lay his clothes out in a very specific way, and then dress his Curious George lovey. And we had to brush his teeth but with a specific toothbrush that was downstairs. After we finally accomplished getting dressed, brushing teeth, and overcoming A LOT of dawdling, he was cooperative enough to get his shoes. And then he sat down so I could help him put them on and somehow spilled his water cup all over his pants. So we went back upstairs to change and back downstairs to finally put on shoes.

We made it out of the house at 11:00 AM. After driving the 20 minutes it takes to get to the gym and a lot of persuading to get him out of the car..

*”Time to get out of the car, love.”

blank stare

“Noah, come on buddy! We are running out of time!”

moves as slow as a turtle*

….I checked him into childcare at 11:30. They only offer childcare from 9:00 to 12:30 so if I miss that window I miss my opportunity. I would have one hour to work out and then we could eat lunch and play at the pool.

Except he would not go in child care. He stood outside the door screaming “NO” and refused to go in. I went in and tried to entice him with toys, the child care lady was trying to be encouraging, and he would not enter the child care area.

Realizing this was a losing battle I said, “Fine, let’s go home,” crossed his name off the list and we left.

We got home at 12:05.

We spent all morning getting ready, wasted an hour of driving and gas for no reason, I still didn’t get to work out and now he’s in his room and I’m blogging in frustration.

Sigh. I feel like this is a losing battle and I might just have to learn how to be content with being unhealthy.

How do you moms that work out all the time do this?

I went to the gym and then I died

Let’s discuss how I am fat, you guys. Not obese and not horribly fat, but enough where I am in a size I never thought I would be in and where I just don’t feel comfortable. I feel yucky. The kicker? This weekend, I helped throw a baby shower for one of my best friends.  There are three of us that grew up together and have been BFFs (yep, I totally went there) since third grade. A LONG time. Now that we are older the pictures of the three of us together are getting harder and harder to obtain, so of course we had to get one at this shower. You guys, you could not tell which one of us was pregnant. It really just looks like a picture of the three of us and we’ve all just had way too much to eat over the years. Which is true. But one of us has a baby in her belly. And I do not. That’s a problem.

I’ve been feeling yucky about myself for a while but lacked the true motivation to do anything about it. I bought a gym membership deal off Living Social in October but never activated it. Until Friday.

With my new-found motivation to get in shape and my half off gym membership waiting to be activated in my car, I decided Friday was the day. I pulled on my big girl panties, some sweat pants,  the one sports bra I own, and a baggy t-shirt. Rea-dyyy!! Then I got my little guy ready for school and we headed out. After dropping him off I programmed the GPS to my new gym location and headed that way. Of course I got lost. But alas, the gym was found and I went in.

This particular “gym” is not actually a gym, but it is a place geared towards moms and offers fitness programs based on classes. It seems you are not paying for equipment, but rather for the camaraderie of other moms working out with you and for an instructor to keep you going. When you walk in, there is a front desk where you sign in and register and then just a HUGE open room. That is the workout room. They only hold one class at a time. If you need childcare, the children are watched by one supervising adult out in the hallway. (Not sure I was a huge fan of that part.)

The particular class offered that morning was called “Friday Booty Blast.” The description reads, “(for moms only) is a high-intensity circuit training class guaranteed to burn calories and blast fat. Start your weekend off feeling fit and strong!” Or completely defeated. You know, however you want to feel afterwards.

First of all, these moms do not wear sweats and baggy t-shirts and probably own more than one sports bra. These moms were in CUTE workout gear. They looked cute! My insecure inner self immediately resorted to pubescent thoughts of self loathing. Why did you wear such ugly clothes? Now you will never fit in with the popular kids. And why, oh why, didn’t you wear make-up?! 

The class started with some stretching, some neck rolling and some side to side step touching. I got this. Then we moved on to stations in groups of 4. First up, arm workouts with resistance bands with a partner. Done. I carry around a 30 pound toddler on a daily basis people. Next, sit ups with a partner while throwing a medicine ball. Ummm I honestly don’t remember the last time I did a sit up. But I handled it. Third, stepping up on a 5 foot high (this is only a slight exaggeration) platform repeatedly for thigh strengthening. I think I’m losing this game. Finally, planking and walking with your feet in a side-middle-side motion. Yep, after one, I was just sitting on the floor watching.

After stations, we regrouped for group circuit training which involved one minute of various exercises in between sets of 30 jumping jacks. The various exercises included jumping in place, squats, lunges, push ups, planking, tuck jumps, burpees, and mountain climbing. Some of these things are what I imagine football teams do for training. I am not a football player. By the end of this torture, I was just side to side step touching for everything. You go, you cute, popular girls! I’ll just be over here….

Then we got a water break, which I took to mean, go to the bathroom and contemplate your own existence while peeing because oh my god I am dying, then splash water on my face and pretend that I totally belong here. (Even though, obviously, I do not.) I went back in the room to find that the newest game was to crabwalk the length of the room, do a set of one of the various activities from circuit training, and run back to bear walk across the room, etc. I look ridiculous. Is everybody looking at me? Why does my shirt keep riding up and showing my belly? That’s not attractive. 

Thank goodness that after that we came back into a group and finished up with a “butt toning” exercise and stretching.

Afterwards, the instructor came over and asked if I had any questions and said she hoped I would be back.

Oh, I will be back because I just activated this month membership and don’t want to waste the money. I mean I knew I was out of shape, but oh. my. gah.

I thanked the instructor and told the front desk lady I would see them next week. And then I went to my car and died.