Monday, May 11, 2009

HELP! I Need to Exercise!

I've been reading and researching again - this time about hormones, specifically the female ones. Due to things that have been happening to my body which have never happened before (probably because I have never been not pregnant or nursing this long - and, of course, because I am aging!) I have been doing some digging around to see what is really at the root of my problems and what I need to do about it. Here is what I have found out so far. I need to:

1. Change what I eat - eliminate a bunch of stuff that, of course, I really like, like sugar and chocolate and caffeine...I mean really eliminate it, not just cut down on it!

2. Exercise - not just once a quarter, but every week, maybe even every day.

3. Get a good night's sleep - eight hours if possible.

4. Don't over schedule myself - hah!

Doesn't look too intimidating, does it? We've already begun to change what we eat around here. That has been going on slowly and in spurts for a few years now. I also know that how to back off on my schedule when I need to. I've been pretty good about getting the sleep I need; maybe not eight hours every night, but pretty close.

The thing I always get stuck on is the exercising! Here is my dilemma: I already get up at 5:30 to have my QUIET prayer time, take a shower and get breakfast ready in time to get the kids up so that we can get to Mass (which I KNOW we are supposed to be doing every day, so No compromise on that one). I have found over the years that if I don't do something first thing in the morning, it is not as likely to get done the rest of the day - especially when it is something I don't particularly like. So, by leaving exercise until later in the day, I am much more likely to blow it off.

Now I know that there are a bunch of people who read this blog frequently but don't necessarily make their presence known. So, I'm begging you, if you have any suggestions as to how I can make an exercise plan that won't alter my morning routine, PLEASE let me know. How do you handle exercise? How do you keep your commitment to it? Any suggestions on how to involve the kiddos? When is the best time to exercise?

I've been down this road before. We all get gungho about exercising, but then something happens and we fall off the wagon before it ever really gets going very fast. I know I'm not alone on this one, either. Given our hectic lifestyles, I'm pretty convinced that whatever we decide to do has to be easy, inexpensive and flexible. So, I'd sure appreciate any thoughts you might have on this topic! (And I promise to try and not make up excuses as to why I can't implement what you suggest :)


  1. Hi, Laura. I am one of your stealth followers. :-) Here is how I am attempting to work in exercise (albeit not always successfully). My boys like to go to 6:30 Mass (yes, in the morning), so I get up at 6:00 get dressed and off we go. I am blessed in that my husband works from home, so stays home with the 2 youngest who are still asleep. After we get home from Mass, it's right to the treadmill for me. The Mass-goers (6 and 8) have breakfast or start schoolwork (their choice, as long as breakfast is done by 9:00). If they have questions, I answer them from the treadmill. They read to me while I'm on the treadmill. And I can check work on the treadmill. I use my hand weights for a quick arm workout during the warm up and cool down time of my treadmill routine. The best part? If the boys finish quickly, they get to walk/jog on the treadmill too. To them, exercise is fun... mind boggling, I know. Anyway, after the treadmill, I do a 10 minute abdominal workout and I'm done. I shower after that. If the youngers wake up, my husband gets them going on breakfast until my workout/shower is done.

    Of course, this week it's all out the window, as the boys have colds, so I'm letting them sleep in and we go to a lunch time Mass. I'm not disciplined enough to still get myself up early when they sleep in. :-s Baby steps, baby steps. Hopefully we'll be back to our routine soon.

    Hope this helps!


  2. Kerry-thank you for this insight into your day. This is just the kind of info I was looking for. Already I have a few ideas that might work for our situation. Hope to hear from you again!
    God Bless.

  3. Laura Let me know of the solutions that you hear for this (lack of) exercise problem. I suffer from it, too! Thanks! I liked Kerry's ideas! Dolores H

  4. Kerry How long do you walk on the treadmill? Dolores H

  5. Laura,

    I would like to suggest checking out Jillian Michaels' website. I finally admitted, in January, that I had to do SOMETHING drastic to lose weight. I joined her web community and she has a very extensive quiz on there that shows you what type of metabolism you have and what types of foods you should eat. Normally I don't buy into that stuff, but it was spot on for me. Once I cut out the foods she recommended avoiding, the weight started coming off and I was FULL after my meals. You also get 5 workout DVDs with your subscription. They are very good, but I would not recommend using them with kids, only because she wears some very high-cut tops and low-cut pants (how unfortunate). The exercises are excellent, though. Like Kerry, I do my workout very early in the morning. When the alarm rings, I press "snooze" and pray, then when it rings again, I press "snooze" again and do 100 crunches and some leg lifts. Then I go into the kitchen, make the coffee, and do some work with light dumbells on my arms. A few days a week I go on the elliptical. This all needs to be done before the family wakes up or it just doesn't get done at all. Lately I have slacked off because we are moving and I have so much to do. But when we get into our new place, I will make sure I begin again. May God bless your efforts...

  6. This post was a great one, and the answers you have gotten are great. I'm glad I came across you (can't remember how) but I'm sure it was via another Catholic blog.

  7. I used to think that just taking care of four little ones gave me enough exercise each day, but now I'm realizing that I might need something more. Thanks for bringing up this topic. PLEASE let us know if you find something that works!

  8. Bearing Blog has a very thorough (exhaustive, really. :) ) series on this from this spring. I would second just about everything that she has to say on the matter . . . I find myself about midway through the process she describes and my experience seems to paralell hers rather closely.

  9. Actually, I think you have your answer, you just don't like it. As a Mom, I've also noticed that if something is important, if it is a priority, it has to be done early in the day, before unexpected crises, large and small, whittle away at my time. You have already chosen to place quiet prayer time and daily mass at the top of your priority list for the day. You have two choices, you can bump prayer time and/or daily mass, or you can improve your discipline and sense of urgency enough to make exercise a priority later in the day. I'm not a regular reader here, but I am a Catholic, and while I think daily mass is fine and good, I question why a mother of small children would feel compelled to attend. It is not required. Daily exercise, however, is necessary for basic health and maintenance of your body. Failing to exercise WILL shorten your life and put you at risk for serious illness such as cancer, which prevents you from serving God in the way that He intends. It is for this reason that we must take care of ourselves first, before others. I am very saddened that my in-laws' health is failing at a point in our lives when we need their friendship and support in raising our own families. We should not be involved in elder care when our children are young and our parents only in their 50's and 60's. If these people had made it as much a priority to take care of themselves and their bodies as they did taking care of others, we would not be in this sad situation. Some people are able to attend daily mass and also keep up a regular exercise routine. But if you can't do both, then I think I would choose daily exercise and weekly mass (you could still go to an extra mass once or twice a week).

  10. someone else said:

    I'm not a regular reader here, but I am a Catholic, and while I think daily mass is fine and good, I question why a mother of small children would feel compelled to attend. It is not required. Daily exercise, however, is necessary for basic health and maintenance of your body.I was a little bit afraid to jump in -- I trusted you when you said you were sure you were supposed to be going to daily Mass -- but I have to say, I agree with this person.

    A year and a half ago --- fifty pounds ago --- I had a little extra time open up in my schedule two days a week, and I thought and thought about whether I ought to use it to go to two daily masses with my kids (we have not typically done this) or whether I ought to use it to begin going to the gym and swimming twice a week.

    I chose swimming.

    I think, now, that I made the right choice. I received graces along the way that have served as signposts telling me I am on the right path. My health is so much better, and I am certain that I am able to use this new health to build up His kingdom.

    Scrupulosity is tough. I felt guilty for a while, because it was pretty darn clear that I had chosen something else over going to Mass. This doesn't mean, however, that I chose something "less than God" over God.

    Compromise is possible here. One could go to Mass three or four days a week, and get some exercise on the remaining days. There are only 24 hours in the day. Are you positively certain that God wants you to go to Mass 7 times a week more than He wants you to go to Mass 6 times a week and exercise 1 time a week?