People like to say that it takes 30 days to change a habit. Of course, if you ask other people, they will say it takes 60, 75 or 90 days. Guess it depends on your people. Regardless, I tend to have success with personal change when setting a 30-day goal for myself. Our seasonal change from spring to summer encouraged me to set a personal goal of working out every day in May…so if you want to split hairs, I set a 31-day goal for myself, HA!
One of the hardest parts of my mommy balancing act is dedicating time for my own physical wellness. I make sure that each of the kids gets plenty of exercise and activity. I hold down the fort while my husband trains for triathlons.
I used to work out. I did CrossFit while I was pregnant for crying out loud! I’m no slouch. But over recent years, I have been consistently putting myself last in the workout chain. It’s not like I don’t have good intentions. I am well-known around these parts for getting dressed in the morning for yoga, but then never actually going to yoga. I make all kinds of other decisions and priorities with my time, like Costco and Michael’s. Once or twice, I’ve ended up in the nail salon instead of the yoga class. Whoops.
So I decided it was time that I started prioritizing my own physical health. I was going to do some form of working out every day in the month of May, which I thought was a pretty reasonable challenge. I was already doing a once weekly barre class, occasional Peloton ride, and running when the mood struck and the weather cooperated and the moon was in the right position, so I wasn’t going completely from ground zero. My therapist said that this was the best idea I’ve ever had.
So what resulted with my challenge? All kinds of good things. In the last 31 days, I have been yelled at by various instructors to “Get up!” “Get down!” and “Get it, Boo!” (thanks Cody from Peloton, I’ll be your Boo any day). I tried some new classes at the Y and revisited some old favorites. I walked back into the Power class with the intimidating instructor after a 2-year hiatus…she welcomed me back immediately, complimented me on returning and told me I was worth it.
I was feeling so good, that I put my big girl panties on and tried a Step class at the Y. You know in the movies when the 30-something mom goes to a Step class and hilarity ensues? That really happens in real life, you guys. I looked like Molly Shannon doing her Mary Katherine Gallagher routine. Seriously, my arms were flailing around so much, that it would have been fitting for me to yell “Superstar!” and just leave the room. But at least I was sweating buckets and got a good workout in!
This May, I finally got back out and made regular running a priority. It’s free, so why don’t I do more of it? I’ve run alone, with a jogging stroller, with a big kid on a bike, and sometimes simultaneous stroller and bike involvement (hey, no one said that a mom working out was glamorous). I rediscovered some old running paths and started using my feet to get anywhere possible. I am lucky that we live a mile from downtown, so I can run down to appointments and barre class; it feels so good to get that extra movement into my day!
I started using the Peloton more than once a month and stepped out of my instructor comfort zone. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t finish every class I tried, because my time is precious and if I’m really not having fun in your class, I’m not wasting my time. But it felt good to challenge myself and try a few new instructors. I also started using the Beyond The Ride feature of Peloton and discovered a whole new world of short videos for arms, legs, core work, yoga and meditation that are easy to incorporate into my day.
I started prioritizing my weekends better too. My husband and I trade off weekend mornings, so that we each get one morning to do what we want personally. I would typically spend my morning reading in bed or taking a long shower. Now, I use my given morning for a run to barre class and a Starbucks trip on the way home. Why haven’t I always been doing this?!
So, what was my success rate, you ask? I finished the month with 30 days of working out. Unless you count cleaning the house like crazy before people come over and subsequently cleaning up the party debris from numerous children, there was no workout the day of my eight year old’s birthday. I’m a mom, so I won’t make excuses for myself here…just suffice to say that what had going on that day kept me too busy. I’m not upset about it.
Your other question: did I lose any weight? Surprisingly, I did not. But losing weight wasn’t what this was about. It was about reclaiming some time for ME and asking my family members to support me. Because I’m worth it. Because I am a better mom and I can laugh easier when I’ve had a good sweat. Because I sleep better with exercise. Because things work better in the bathroom when you’ve been drinking more water, HA! But I am feeling stronger and having more energy, which is amazing. Plus, I have eight years of mom fluff to work through, that’s not going to happen in 31 days.
Overall, this month was exactly what I needed to re-prioritize myself. There’s no better advocate for yourself than you. All it took was me defining what I WANTED and then implementing it. Sure, some things went by the wayside in May…I haven’t been to Costco at all and I’ve had to order more things on Amazon…grocery shopping wasn’t always done and we ran out of lunchmeat more than twice this month…chores around the house had to be done on the weekend because I used my weekday free time to workout…these are all survivable obstacles! I am working around preschool hours here, so it’s not like I have all day to get my stuff done.
The biggest change by far was waking up on June 1st, checking the weather and realizing that a stroller run with the little guy was out, so I was going to have to do a morning Peloton ride while he watched Thomas. All of a sudden, I realized that my May challenge was over and I didn’t REALLY have to workout today. I sat with that feeling for a minute and said, “Nope! I’m committing to a bike ride today!” So there you have it…it only took 30 days to change my habit.
Side note: As moms, time is of the essence, and attending a class or going for a run or bike ride is not always a possibility, so I asked my fellow FCMB contributors what at-home workouts they favored; here are their responses:
- Beachbody on Demand
- Popsugar videos on YouTube
- Fitness Blender on YouTube
- 3 mile walk with Leslie Sansone on YouTube
- Zwift app with an indoor bike trainer
- 7 Minute Workout HIIT Trainer app on iPhone
What would you challenge yourself to do for 30 days?