After Carson was born, I had a really hard time getting back into my workout routine. I have always been an active person but after you have a baby your whole world practically changes. I had a new schedule, a new body, and a new life! Everything kinda just got thrown out the window once I had Carson. At first, I had a really hard time adjusting to everything and working out was the last thing on my mind those first couple months. But once I started, I never looked back and it has become a part of my everyday life.
I started slowly getting back into running when Carson was about 8 weeks old. My mom came running with me those first few times back and it was so nice to have some accountability and encouragement. I was amazed by how out of shape I was and there were so many times I felt discouraged, but I pushed through and just took it one work out at a time. So for the first 3 or 4 months, I didn’t do a ton of working out, mostly just running a few miles every couple days. When Carson was about 4 months old is when I really started making it a priority. At first, it was really difficult finding the time and figuring out when the best time was to go for a run or do an insanity workout. I couldn’t have done it without Jordan’s help and encouragement.
So I decided to list 5 things that I believe have really made all the difference in making working out a priority. Of course, this list is what I believe has worked for me, but it may not be the same for someone else. I also have not paid for a gym membership once, which has been really nice. There were so many times I wanted to join the gym and just stick Carson in the daycare, but I pushed through the urge and found new ways to work out to keep things exciting. My wallet thanks me for it!
#1- It’s not about IF, it’s about WHEN- I would say this is the biggest and most important thing to remember. There were so many times when I didn’t want to go running, but I did it anyways. I changed my outlook on it and instead of saying “if I get to go for a run today” I say “when I go for my run today.” Even Jordan has caught on and no longer asks me “are you gonna go for a run today?” He knows me well enough now that he just immediately asks “what time are you going running today?”
#2-There is always enough time- There are many days when I wanted to use this as an excuse. Especially, since Jordan leaves for the gym around 5:45 and then heads straight to work. So that meant some days I had to get up at 5am to get my workout in before he left for work and before Carson woke up. I made the time and I made it a priority. I don’t typically like working out in the mornings, but once I do I am so glad that I did it and got it out of the way.
#3 -Work out with the baby- Some women probably hate doing this but I actually really enjoy it. A lot of times this can be easier said than done though. It definitely makes things a little harder, but sometimes you just have to think outside of the box a little bit. Thanks to Jordan, most days I can get in a workout by myself, but there are some days that are jam packed and I have to take Carson with me. A lot of the time I will jog with him in the stroller for a couple miles and then stop at a grassy park and do some sprints. Carson really enjoys getting out and finds it hilarious watching me try to run fast.
#4 –Plan out your workouts- This is a big one for me. Since I don’t have a gym membership, I really have to plan out my workouts in advance. I know Jordan and I’s schedule like the back of my hand. We have bible studies, family dinners, work, and many other different activities and events going on throughout the week so I make it a point to schedule my workouts. That means not every day is the same. Some days I work out at 5am and other days I work out around 1 or sometimes even at night. It changes all the time, so communication WITH Jordan is really important. Every night before we go to sleep I say “okay, so when you get home from this, I’m going to go for a run before blah blah blah” or some nights I will just tell Jordan I’m going to workout with Carson tomorrow that way we can spend the day together when you get home from work. I make it a point to keep Jordan in the loop, even if it seems silly. I feel like communication, especially with a baby, is so so important, not just with scheduling workout times but with anything. Jordan now knows that running and working out is important to me and is a priority for me. At first, that took him a while to get used to, but once he got the hang of it, it has really helped and even keeps me accountable.
#5 –Accountability- I feel like this is probably a no-brainer for everybody, but it really makes such a big difference. My mom and I go running together a lot and it helps so much! We will get to talking and before we know it, we have ran 5 miles! Schedule times to meet up with others to workout. Or better yet, workout with your spouse. This is a little harder to do now that we have a little one, but Jordan and I love going mountain bike riding together. It is so much fun, that it doesn’t even feel like a workout. A few weeks ago, a group of ladies from my church went hiking. It was probably the last thing that I wanted to do at 6am on a Saturday morning but I had already promised that I was going. Before I knew it, we had hiked 6 miles! We were all chatting and enjoying each other’s company, the time just flew right by! So make it a point to have people in your life that will challenge you, push you, and encourage you to stay the course and most of all somebody that you trust and enjoy working out with.
I am definitely not an expert, but this is personally what has worked for me and my family. I still have so much to learn and so much to improve on, but if there is one thing I have learned is that it takes time and patience. Most importantly, exercise should not be the top priority. God wants us to treat our bodies like temples, this means exercising and eating healthy, but also giving our bodies the proper amount of rest. I know I have struggled in the past with exercising excessively. There were days I would workout 2 or 3 times a day and hardly eat anything. I was most definitely not treating my body the way God designed for us to. I now have a much healthier lifestyle and I think becoming a mom has helped me embrace my body. My body is not perfect and I am learning that that is ok. I will always have saggy skin just below my belly button and the stretch marks that look like a tiger molested me. But I grew a beautiful baby inside of my short, 5ft frame. For that, I am thankful for my body and love my mombod; stretch marks and all.
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