If you met me before I became a Mom, you would know about my love of exercising. A body image issue is to blame for that, but exercise also produces some pretty strong endorphins. I worked out seven days a week until the end of my first pregnancy, but after giving birth decided the gym wasn’t for me. Breastfeeding my daughter proved to be the quickest and easiest way to shed pounds, so I found reasons not to exercise. I haven’t exercised regularly in five years. Today I’m admitting all of the reasons I came up with NOT to exercise as I embark on a healthier (and more active) lifestyle. Enjoy these … I got really creative sometimes.
You don’t have to exercise to lose weight.
Breastfeeding made me the thinnest I’ve ever been as an adult. For some reason, I burn an abnormal amount of calories while breastfeeding, even if I’m eating enough for two people. I used to tell myself, “You don’t have to exercise to lose baby weight, just continue breastfeeding.” I went back to work at eight months postpartum and the added activity of teaching 20 first graders/not having time to eat bumped up my calorie burn. I breastfed my daughter until I was pregnant with my second…Breastfeeding became my first excuse to avoiding exercise.
A reason not to exercise: it’s addictive and once you start you can’t stop.
I often told myself after becoming a Mom if I started exercising, I’d become “addicted” again. This was obviously a lie as I was never actually addicted to exercise, I just enjoyed how it made me feel. The truth of the matter – I didn’t want to leave my daughter whenever I had the opportunity to be with her.
THERE IS NO TIME TO EXERCISE.
When Ailey was born, I became a full time stay at home Mom. The girls and I found time for lots of activities together – library visits, nature walks, picnics outside and lots of play dates. Between motherhood, housework, and blog duties, there wasn’t any time for me to workout. I also somehow found time to spend hours watching mindless shows on Netflix, but that’s not the point. Mark this excuse down: there is no time to exercise when you’re a Mom.
Exercising with weights makes you bulk up – and then your clothes won’t fit.
Many people ask what kind of workout I did to lose my post-baby weight. The truth is – breastfeeding and genetics have kept me strangely thin after having children. All of my pre-baby muscle tone disappeared with my lack of activity. We all know muscle is important for things like fat burning and LIFE, but I was cool without having any. My Mom offered to buy me a set of hand weights and my sisters sent over quick, easy workouts. But I found yet another reason not to exercise: weights makes your muscles bulk up, which would in turn make my clothes not fit. Who has money to buy new clothes anyways?
Joining a gym is expensive.
Joining a gym isn’t as easy as people make it out to be. A gym membership can cost anywhere between $5/week to $80/month depending on the amenities of the facility. When you’re a stay at home Mom living off of one income, there isn’t any room in the budget for a gym membership. Nor is there money in the bank for the pricey Flywheel classes I love so much. Reason number five not to exercise: joining a gym is expensive.
Excuses are lies we tell ourselves so we don’t have to admit the truth.
Five years after giving birth to Annabelle, I’ve decided to admit I’ve been lying to myself for a very long time. There is NO good reason not to exercise. Excuses are lies we tell ourselves so we don’t have to admit the truth – I just didn’t want to exercise. It was easier not to exercise than to find the time, money, resources, etc.
I’m turning over a new leaf in 2019. I’m not joining a gym, but I am taking advantage of a new pair of sneakers, our big neighborhood, and free exercise videos online. There are too many reasons WHY we should exercise – it promotes quality sleep, decreases stress, boosts your confidence, and gives you more energy. Plus… I’m thinking if I’m living a healthy lifestyle I might be around longer for my girls than if I continue down a dark candy filled path.
Whether you’re doing squats with a cranky toddler, holding a plank over a squishy baby, or teaching your preschooler a ballet warm-up, there ARE easy ways to incorporate physical activity into your day. Take a walk with the kids in the stroller, play a game of tag in the backyard, or plan a kitchen dance party. From here on out, there are no more excuses to not exercise!
Caitlin Houston is a Connecticut based life and style blogger.