Getting back in shape after a baby can be a daunting prospect. You’ve got some pounds to lose, and a level of fitness to regain after what we hope was a 6-week break to recover. Then you’ve got the demands of the kids, and it can be hard to make fitness a priority. I know for me, it took a good six months this time around to want to do more than an easy DVD or workout while the kids played happily for 10 minutes (or climbed on me during my push-ups).
I blame a lot of my lack of motivation on the sleep deprivation. That’s a real thing, sure. (Forget the baby; it’s a great night when the bigger kids sleep without waking me up!) But a lot of it was actually mental. I fell into a trap of feeling like getting back into shape was such a hurdle, that losing 15 or so pounds would take awhile anyway, why fret about it? It would come off eventually, right?
Well, it probably would. But never mind the actual pounds. My scale’s battery died, so I’m not even sure what it currently stands at. I just want to feel like my old self again. The fit self. The self that can Zumba my ass off without being sore the next day. The me who can rock real push-ups. The me who looks strong, not just like I had a baby.
I had the mentality that one workout wasn’t going to get me in shape, so maybe I should do it tomorrow instead. Along the same lines, one cupcake wasn’t going to make me gain five pounds, so why not indulge? The problem with that kind of thinking isn’t the one instance of skipping a workout or the one instance of having a cupcake. It’s the fact that habits are so important. We become what we repeatedly do. Everything in moderation, including moderation.
Sure, you may have crazy demands on your time and not know if you’ll get to work out five times this week. Maybe you have to pick up the light weights. Maybe you have to walk instead of run. But it doesn’t hurt to take that one step today. A single workout is better than no workout. A short workout is better than no workout. Each step you take in the right direction is a step closer to your goal, even if you have to take steps back on the way. And cupcakes every day of the week are not likely to get you where you want to go. (Trust me, I’ve tested this theory!)
Do you ever have to remind yourself that it’s the accumulation of work that gets you where you’re going, rather than the single workout? —Erin