Falling Off The Exercise Wagon (And Getting Back On) by Real Mom Nutrition

Confession: I’ve really struggled with exercise since having kids. I was a faithful gym-goer in my pre-parent days, logging hours in step classes, on Stairmasters and ellipticals, and even with a trainer in my 20s. But having children just derailed me.

It was always something: Unrelenting nausea in pregnancy, a colicky baby, a needy toddler, a work deadline, a thousand things to do instead of going to yoga, the unreasonable and self-inflicted (but ever present) guilt over taking me-time.

In ten years of being a mother, I’ve found my way back to exercise many times. Sometimes it’s held for a while (read: “How I Got My (Fitness) Groove Back“). Sometimes it’s lasted until a stomach bug, family vacation, or work project thwarted my efforts again.

After an embarrassingly long hiatus, I was recently inspired to make fitness a priority after reading Younger Next Week by Elisa Zied. Elisa, also a dietitian and mom, is on top of her game–and in her 40s, she looks fantastic. She posts about her daily workouts on Facebook and Twitter to inspire others. And she makes a convincing case in her book that women can’t afford to keep putting everything (and everyone) above their own self care, especially as they get older.

Before I climbed back on the exercise wagon this time around, I decided to get real with myself. There were few truths I had to face if I wanted this to stick:

I am not a morning person. Sure, 5:30am is an ideal time to workout. When I’ve done it, I feel like a superhero afterwards. But I hate 5:30am. Since I don’t have a baby to feed or a ready-for-playtime toddler rousing me, I want to sleep at 5:30am. If I set my alarm for an early workout, I dread it. I think angry thoughts about exercise. I find excuses to bail. I finally gave myself permission to admit that it wasn’t for me and found another time (that wasn’t as convenient but that I could still manage). Then I actually started looking forward to working out.

I can’t always go it alone. I’ve had some success with workout DVDs. But eventually, I need actual people who aren’t making the same corny jokes and motivational speeches every. single. time. Having a real, live instructor also pushes me to work harder (the gal on TV won’t notice if I skip that last rep or half-ass my push-ups). I found a class three days a week with a great instructor and a friendly group of women–and they’ll notice if I stop showing up.

I need to schedule it. For real this time. I’ve heard the tip a million times–I’ve even dispensed it myself: “Schedule your workouts like you would any other appointment”. In theory, I’ve always thought that was a terrific idea. But in reality, I let practically anything (a last-minute invitation from a friend, a phone call, a work deadline ) take precedence. Now I schedule around my exercise class, even if that means (gasp!) saying no to things sometimes.

I am not hardcore. I used to think that if I couldn’t exercise at least five days a week–or if I wasn’t pushing myself to the limit and ending up a sweaty mess–why bother? But this all-or-nothing attitude kept me sidelined for too long. Frankly, I don’t want to do Crossfit or train for a triathlon. And that’s okay. My thrice-weekly workouts make me feel stronger, inside and out.

Tell me: Do you struggle with consistency when it comes to exercise? When you fall off the wagon, how do you get back on?


4 Days of Giveaways: Fitness Watch

by Sally on March 17, 2012

This is Day 3 of my 4 Days of Giveaways! I’m hosting a different giveaway every day.

*This giveaway has ended. Thanks to all who entered!

Sometimes a cool fitness gadget is all you need to get motivated.

Today’s giveaway is a Reebok InShape Fitness Watch. It tracks calories burned, speed, distance, steps, and total time you’re in motion.

Oh, and it’s also a watch. (How handy!)

To enter, leave a comment at the end of this post telling me your favorite fitness gear or gadget–and whether you’d prefer this watch in white, light blue, or gray/pink. To increase your odds, you can also:

  • “Like” Real Mom Nutrition on Facebook here, then leave me another comment telling me that you did.
  • Tweet about the giveaway, then leave me another comment that includes a copy of your tweet.

The giveaway ends Tuesday, March 20 at noon. I’ll choose a winner at random through‘s number generator.

Disclaimer: EB Sports Brands provided me with the prize and a watch for myself. 



4 Days of Giveaways: Reebok Pedometer

March 14, 2012

Some cool stuff has come my way lately, so I thought I’d share it with you. I’ll be hosting a different giveaway every day for four days.  Since I’ve been sidelined from running and jumping (thanks a lot, old knees!), walking has been my exercise of choice. That, and trying to stay as active as […]

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What I Learned from the Fitness Challenge

December 12, 2011

It is with a mixture of pride and embarrassment that I announce: I exercised 12 days in a row! Pride because I haven’t exercised 12 days in a row for about two years. Embarrassment because well, I haven’t exercised 12 days in a row for about two years. I started the 12 Days of Fitness […]

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Giveaway: Adjustable Resistance Band

December 11, 2011

You may remember that I once mocked the mere suggestion of exercising while doing mundane household chores (see that post here). But since starting the 12 Days of Fitness Challenge and struggling to find free moments in the day to work out, I’ve warmed up to the idea of that kind of multitasking. So when […]

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Fitness Challenge Giveaway: My (Second) Favorite Workout DVD

December 3, 2011

I am hopelessly devoted to Jillian Michaels’ exercise DVDs. It all began two years ago with the 30 Day Shred, which brought me back from the depths of a post-baby funk that I wrote about here. I love that workout because it’s fast (25 minutes!) and efficient, with circuits of strength training, cardio, and abs. Though […]

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Join the Project 40 Fitness Challenge!

November 29, 2011

I’m one-third of the way through Project 40, and one thing is crystal clear: I’m failing miserably at my exercise goals. I’ve all but stopped eating at the computer, and evening snacks barely tempt me anymore. But the exercise. Oh, the exercise. I’m not sure what my problem is. I’m busy, but I’ve been busy before. I’m tired, […]

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Project 40: October FAIL

November 7, 2011

I’m not gonna lie: Project 40 is off to a rocky start. The inaugural month started off strong. I successfully ran the 5K and raised $545 for Donna’s Good Things. A mammoth thank you to all who contributed! I made a chart with my goals and was checking off little boxes and taking names: I wasn’t […]

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Project 40: Slow and Steady Finishes the Race

October 23, 2011

You don’t realize how slow you are until you’re in a crowd of 4,000 runners–and about 3,000 of them pass you. Including grandpas and small children. But no matter. I ran a 5K for Donna this morning in the brilliant sunshine. I ran the whole thing without stopping, which was my goal. And I only […]

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Project 40: A Good Thing

October 13, 2011

Next Sunday, October 23rd, I’m taking a trip far outside my comfort zone and running in a race. It’s only a 5K, which I know is a warm-up to my badass marathoner friends. But it’s a big deal for me. I thought I’d never have the desire (or endurance) to run again after I gave […]

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