A balance of Mind-Body-Spirit

Monday, June 4, 2007

Introduction (at last!)

Hello, everyone! I have been viewing this blog for a few weeks now (and have been inspired, although not inspired enough to get off the computer and actually EXERCISE, so here's hoping that making myself accountable through posting will change all that :-)).

So here's my introduction: My name is Niamh (pronounced NEE-iv), I have two fabulous children (the youngest of whom is 18 months old, the elder is 3 3/4), a wonderful husband who just turned 40 this past week (and is thus inspired to have a lifestyle change himself) and a 2-year old english bulldog (genetically chubby, with no plans to change ;-)). I have about 10 pounds to lose to get back to my pre-baby weight. My goal, however, is less about weight loss (although lets not kid ourselves here, I'd have a small party for myself if I lost the last 10 pounds!) and more about getting strong and fit (I've only been really fit once before in my life, and it was only for about a year, and it involved going to the gym regularly but with a horribly cranky attitude towards the whole thing...lean but exceedingly mean ;-). Also, I want to work on my eating habits, because they have always trended heavily towards carbs and chocolate. :-)

My plan:

(1) I picked up Rachel's recommended book about running and was TOTALLY inspired, so I am going to sign up for a 5K (several months from now) and work towards that (I always need some sort of external motivation)!

(2) I am going to make myself accountable re: healthy eating. I will start a food journal and occasionally report in re: said food journal :-).

So I have a question for the group (Trying to develop a system. A girl needs her systems :-)). When does everyone find time to exercise? During the day? After the kids have gone to bed? Before they wake up? With them? Any tips for fitting it in?

I am looking forward to being part of the group. :-) Thanks for inviting me!


Leonie said...

Welcome! Loved reading your story - sad about the unhappy gym experience. I'm a big believer in doing what you love workout wise makes you lean and you have fun! lol!

I mostly workout first thing in the morning, usually before kids get up or while they are getting up and getting ready.

When I had littlies, I used to workout at night, when they were in bed and while dh was busy with work stuff .

Then, when I was expecting and had son number 7, I had a Plan A - work out after breakfast and clean up, while kids were playing and before the babys morning feed. If that ddnt work, Plan B was work out during nap time. And Plan C was to walk at night when the kids were in bed. :-)

Hope this helps!

Cindy said...

Hi Niamh!

So neat to hear your bio and about your goals. I agree with all Leonie wrote... and also am firmly witn you... a girl needs her system... but it must be a flexible system. One that is do able but if you fall if it isn't the end of the world.

My system will look differnt than most of you because my boys are now older and I have the freedom to leave the house to work out. I do my workouts first thing in the morning after my coffee, some email and a small bite to eat. But some things I do now are just the same as when they were little, the main one being, I prioritze my exercise and put it on my calendar like an appointment! I will turn down other things if they interfere (to a point). :)

I am going to the Y and doing mostly group exercise so I have a schedule and will plan out my week. I try to alternate instructors and class types to keep variety. I pencil it all in on my calendar on Sunday night and stick to it as best I can during the week. Right now I am trying to do 4-5 aerobic sessions and 2-3 strength. That gives me something to shoot for.

When my boys were younger I mostly ran or walk/ran. I liked that because of the flexibilty- I could go whenever I wanted. I have a jogger which I used a lot. Both the boys enjoyed that.

For a few years when the boys were about age 3-9 I had a running partner and we would get up early and run each day. People would say to us.. how can you get up so early?? lol.. but Kathy and I did it and it became a ritual and we talked about everything and got our run in before our kids and even husbands got up in the morning!

I highly recommend a running partner. It so easy to roll over and go back to sleep!

Another time when the boys were ages 2-3 I had a friend and we worked out together. We both had toddlers so she would come over or I would go over there and we would take turns watching the kids while the other worked out. She lived in an apt with a workout room- when it was empty we would take the kids in and one would watch while the other worked out and we would chat and chat!

We also did a lot of swimming, park play, hiking, etc. I had a backpack I could load one ds in while the other walked or rode his bike.

Overall, I tried to do a lot of active play with the kids, but also liked to schedule in those workouts, as Leonie said, that were for me... where I could really get into them and not have to worry about a little one, as it relaxed my mind as I worked out. If that makes sense!

Some clubs have good childcare, too, if that works for you. Our local Jazzercise is perfect as there are only 1-2 kids in there and you can see them the whole time. My boys never liked childcare much, but some kids do.

Hope this rambling helps... if nothing else maybe it shows how there are many ways to do it.. do what works for you!

And if you try something and it doesn't work.. don't give up... just try something else.:)

Leonie said...

Hey, Cindy, good ideas - its very helpful to see how other mums fit in workouts.

Rachel May said...


Sooooooooooooooooooo glad to see you here! I'm glad the book was inspiring. You are so much smarter than I am (not a surprise) for starting with a 5K. It's so much more doable with the littles, and you can always push them if you must.

Leonie and Cindy are the gurus of exercise to me. I always feel like I'm fumbling along, tripping over tried and true ideas by accident. I hope it goes more smoothly for you.

I'm finding that this blog has become a huge part of my exercise motivation although in reality exercise is a tiny fraction of what I do. Getting to write about it helps me keep going when I don't want to. Did I mention I'm so glad you're here? (BTW, I can't find your email address. Don't know why it isn't in my address book.....)

A balance of Mind-Body-Spirit

Thought for the Day

"Good friends are good for your health."

~Irwin Sarason

"Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy! And happy people just don't shoot their husbands!"

Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde