Fitting in Fitness (For the First Time)Beth Anne Ballance
Wow, that’s a lot of “F’s” in that title, which is probably appropriate for the amount of F-bombs I drop on the regular when I think about exercise.
Growing up, I was always very active. In the winter I took ballet twice per week and tap once per week; the summer was full of competitive swimming. I was never a soccer or basketball girl, so as I grew older ballet turned to cheerleading and swimming…well, that stayed. I added tumbling and horseback riding to my sports and by the time I graduated high school, I had a mean set of muscles that I used on the regular.
College meant class and beer and eating pizza at midnight and oh, the gym is just so far away. Which meant that I maybe stepped onto a treadmill 10 times in my entire 4-year college career. When my husband proposed to me the summer after graduation, I was the most out of shape I had been in my entire life. I hopped on the gym-rat pre-wedding bandwagon and could easily clock a few miles running by the time I said “I do.”
Then motherhood came along and oh, am I pudgy in all the wrong places. I lost the baby weight, then gained it back thanks to postpartum depression medication and a penchent for Bojangles sweet tea. Now that Harrison is almost three and I’m pushing thirty, it’s time to start thinking about my health and figure again.
It’s not like I can call it “baby weight” anymore, right?
At my old job, it was impossible to exercise. With an hour commute each way (with baby in tow), hitting the gym before or after a nine-hour workday was out of the question. As the face of the company in sales and marketing, there was no way I could workout at lunch. (side note: have you ever tried putting on tights after running? I don’t recommend it.) Once I got home, I felt so overwhelmed with the house tasks and guilt over not seeing Harrison all day that I simply pushed any idea of working out to the back of my mind.
With my new job, there are walking trails and a gym on campus. For my mental health, I make it a point to soak up sunshine on my lunch break, so it just makes sense for me to hoof it a few miles around the grounds. Since I’m at my computer all day, nobody minds if I come back sweaty and hop back into my jeans and tshirt.
Just in two weeks of regular walking, I’ve noticed an incredible boost in my mood and energy – turns out the folks that say exercise gives energy weren’t lying! Crazy, huh? With that energy boost, I’m more focused at work, which means I get things done more efficiently, which means I’m not stressing over work when I’m at home, which means I’m a better momma to Harrison.
Funny how it all trickles down.
How do you get in workouts as a toddler momma? I know I’m lucky to have a job where I can exercise in the middle of the day, but what about the moms that don’t have that option?
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