Tuesday, January 25, 2011

You must be superwoman, right?

I think most of you are regular readers of my blog but for anyone stopping by for a visit (Hi!) you should know that I am a full time work out of home wife and mother. What does that mean exactly? It means that weight loss and exercise were never really priorities for me until I decided to make them priorities. Incorporating weight loss and exercise into your daily and weekly routine is hard.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about what made this go around with weight loss successful (almost at 50 pounds lost!) and wanted to share my thoughts for anyone interested in getting started with your own weight loss and exercise routine. Please note that I went from a person who never exercised or really tried to lose weight/keep it off to regularly watching what I eat and exercising. So I hope this is helpful for people starting at ground zero like I was.

I’m sure won’t surprise you to know that money plays a role in weight loss. Is it possible to not spend any more money and lose weight? Sure! But it helps to have flexibility in your budget. Here are some things that are now in mine:
  • Weight Watchers monthly pass. It is $39.95 per month and includes access to their eTools. I go to the meetings because in person accountability is a key success factor for me. What can I say, I crave validation which is probably why I blog. So please leave a comment! I track my PointsPlus on my iPhone which is great because I have it with me always. I typically look up point values before I eat something so I’m making an informed decision. I should be achieving Lifetime status soon at WW (fingers crossed!) so that monthly fee will be reduced to just the eTool access. I also submitted a request to my insurance last year and got $150 reimbursed. So be sure and check your insurance plan!
  • iPhone/apps are another great way to get and stay motivated with working out. I have been downloading great songs to add to my workout list. Plus, I recently started the Couch to 5K program and yes, there’s an app for that! Next up on the technology front will probably be a heart rate monitor and pedometer. Recommendations on specific brands are welcome.
  • Gym. I joined a gym in May of last year primarily because they had a kick ass outdoor pool/splash park area that I knew Cameron would love. It gradually morphed into an individual membership for me. I get to use their equipment and take their group classes (my personal favorite right now is spinning). Plus they have daycare (more on that below).
  • Personal trainer. My parents generously gifted me with 4 one hour personal training sessions for Christmas. I have had 3 sessions so far and absolutely love it. My PT pushes me way harder than I would on my own. Plus she is creating total body workouts for me that I can use on my own. I won’t be having weekly PT sessions once I’m done (sniff) but I plan on working at least monthly session into our budget. It will keep me on track with weight lifting and force me to do more than just cardio.
  • Cleaning service. What is the most precious thing that working parents need? Time. We got a cleaning service when I returned to work and it has absolutely freed up several hours on the weekend from cleaning. True, my house might be a little dirtier in between sessions but a bi-weekly cleaning service saves me from having to think about cleaning on a regular basis.
  • Prepared meals. I do buy WW and other prepared meals. It is great for “go to” meals when you don’t want to think about what to make or eat for dinner. I’m also less likely to eat something unhealthy when I can pop a meal in the microwave. We don’t do family dinners with Cameron yet so at least twice a week I have a frozen meal for dinner and DH makes himself a pizza.
Childcare is a critical component to making enough time in your schedule to exercise. For me, the daycare at the gym has been invaluable. It costs about $2.50 an hour (if you buy hours in bulk) and Cameron loves playing with the toys there. It’s also a great break for DH. I typically use the gym daycare on Sunday mornings. I joined a Jewish Community Center so unfortunately they are not open on Saturday mornings. Once my PT sessions are done, I plan on hitting the gym on Saturdays during Cameron’s nap. Another good source of childcare? DH, of course! He handles bedtime alone on Thursday nights while I’m at my WW meeting. Plus he usually has a glass of wine waiting for me when I get home. I’m trying to figure out a new routine for getting my Couch to 5K sessions in. Today was the first time I hit the gym right after work. I typically do drop off in the mornings and DH gets Cameron in the evenings. My work schedule (more on that below) allows me to leave work early enough to get a 30-45 minute workout in and still be back to greet Cameron when she gets home from school.

I am fortunate to have a flexible work environment. I work from home every Friday which allows me to get a workout in during my lunch hour. I typically get into the office around 7:30 AM and work until 4/4:30 PM depending on my meeting schedule. I also rarely travel for work which allows me to keep a consistent schedule. I love that BigFinance is so flexible and it’s one of the reasons I plan on staying with the company long term. True, my Blackberry blew up at 5:30 PM tonight but that is a rare occurrence.

So those are my tricks and tips for how to keep on track and motivated for weight loss and exercise. What helpful hints do you have?

Note: I am not paid endorsements for my views (I wish!). This is the second in a series of posts about my journey with weight loss and exercise. You can find the first post in this series here.


Miss Madison's Mommy said...

Great tips, it's hard to fit everything in!! For me it's even harder during the winter because the sun comes up late and sets so early. I can't run in the dark :) A PT is awesome to get you started at the gym and show you great workouts, but they sure are exspensive!!

LauraC said...

Are you thinking about running outside ever? I just got a Garmin Forerunner (305) and LOVE it. It has a heart rate monitor and uses GPS to track mileage. I just put it on and start running. NC is warm enough that you can run outside all year long, only problem is summer when you need to run in the mornings.

I never struggle with working out, I struggle with the food that goes in my mouth. I can go out and run 10 miles but my weight fluctuates. I'm working on that. Hard though!