So... exercising. Bah.
It reminds me of my dissertation in that I hated doing it, but I loved having done it.
I also remember this little technique I used when finishing my dissertation--I changed the way I talked about it. Instead of saying, "I have to do some work on my dissertation today," I would say, "I want to do some work on my dissertation today."
So I'm trying that mind game with exercise. Forget the "I should be working out more" or "I really need to strengthen my core." I'm replacing that with "I want to do a quick workout today!" and we'll see how that goes.
The truth is that I don't always have time for things I want to do (see the recorded episodes of The Good Wife, languishing unwatched in my DVR, and my copy of Wolf Hall which I still haven't gotten very far through, despite my plans to reread it before watching the PBS series of the same name). (Spoiler: I watched a couple episodes of Wolf Hall this morning while Coco napped and I WORKED OUT AS I WATCHED IT).
I was talking with my friend Kristin (by which I mean e-mailing and blog commenting even though I did also see her in person yesterday but we talked about more interesting things than my core) and she proselytized about her gym membership. She's pretty persuasive, but right now I don't want to pay for a gym membership just to take a couple classes a week (this may change when the girls are a bit older and can do more stuff at the Y) and I just don't want to spend ninety minutes exercising in the evening when I'm away from my family at work all day (this is not just a philosophical thing--it is mostly because of breastfeeding).
So I've decided not to bother with thinking about yoga classes until I'm no longer nursing a baby. Once Coco weans, I'll commit to yoga class once a week and maybe something else. I'd love to try a Barre fitness class. My awesome yogi cousin Bekah does yoga everydamnday and I am super jealous of her skills and her dedication to yoga practice, but she is also a darling hipster grad student with a different set of cares and responsibilities and schedules than I currently have right now (once upon a time, I did Pilates like it was my second job...).
The issue is what can I reasonably want to do right now. And by "right now," I mean between now and July 25. I'm setting the goal of my brother's wedding, not because anyone there will be judging me or probably even notice what I'm wearing, let alone whether it's a size bigger or smaller than what I'm wearing now, but just because it's happening in about three months and I feel like that's about the only extended length of time that seems reasonable for me to commit to anything--should be long enough to get into the habit and see results, but not so long that I can't pretend the end is in sight (Although, the idea is that the "end" will just be switching things up rather than giving up entirely. You know, because I'll be totally fit and buff by then. Hahaha. Ahem. Yes.).
A little TMI: I don't like jogging right now because breastfeeding makes my boobs ridiculous. So instead of telling myself I should be jogging but I can't because I don't have a bra that fits, I'm going to (1) make the investment in a $40 sports bra that fits me NOW, and (2) do a lot of fast walking. I'm pretty sure there are studies that say walking briskly is good for your heart and also burns calories and it's got to be better than nothing, so I'm just going to do it.
I'm not going to even think about a treadmill because walking on a treadmill in my university's fitness center sounds disgusting. And smelly. (Not me, the dudes.) Plus part of my thing about not working out is that it's more time away from the girls on work days. So the solution is obviously to push the stroller on a walk. Before work is just not going to happen because hahahaha so after work it is.
My new plan is to pack my workout clothes and change into them before I leave the office. Then after I pick up the girls, I'll push the double stroller for a 25-minute walk. (Why 25 minutes? Because it sounds way shorter than half an hour. I'm going to pick 6 songs I want to walk to that's it.)
I can easily go to Forest Park or Tower Grove Park on our way home, both of which are absolutely lovely and have plenty of walking trails that don't have a clear view of the playground (because then you know it's all over). I may have to give Coco some boob time before we leave daycare, but as long as she gets a quick fix and I remember to pack a snack for Zuzu, this should go smoothly. Plus, walking briskly while pushing 45 pounds of kid in a double stroller is serious business.
Bonus: Fresh air for everyone! And you know I'll be in a better mood after, which is probably the biggest win.
I'm going to plan to do this twice a week. I could probably do it three times, but right now I'm going to say I get Fridays off.
The other trick that I'm employing from my dissertation days is the old "You only have to do this for 15 minutes" thing. When I couldn't get myself to start, I'd set a timer for 15 minutes and make myself sit down for just that length of time. Invariably, the timer would get off and I'd already have the momentum to keep going. It was just the idea of 15 minutes that made it palatable.
The same applies to working out, except in this case it's 10 minute Pop Sugar workout videos. If all I can do is squeeze in 10 minutes, then that's fine. In most cases, I can do two 10 minute videos back to back.
And let me tell you, if I do two 10 minute core videos back to back, I am FEELING it.
The other one I do is Tracy Anderson's 8 minute arms. (I think it's a segment from a longer work out--I searched Tracy Anderson 10 minute arms on youtube and it came up, but really it's 8 minutes. It will be the longest 8 minutes of your life. And I say that having birthed a 8 1/2 pound baby without meds less than a year ago.) Her workout doesn't require weights and it is killer. I can barely finish it right now. But when I do, I feel like a badass. (Bad ass-ness is relative, I do realize.)
So that's my plan. Long walks with the double stroller twice a week. 10 minute workout 5 times a week.
I get that it's not much. But it's something. It's something I can actually DO instead of just beat myself up for not doing. And I do believe it can make a difference, at least in how I FEEL if not so much in how I look.
(Particularly considering I ate a donut for breakfast today.)
(It was delicious.)