Second Chances and Do Overs: Let’s Talk Fitness, Friends.

Back in the days before I became a Stay-At-Home-Mom/teacher on parental leave/person without a fulltime job or baby – yet – (otherwise known as July), I was talking about making a commitment to regular exercise when I returned to work.

Uh, well, yeah.

I didn’t return to work and then we tore up the walls in the house and hired painters and I decided to rip the ugly carpet out of Ruby’s room without a plan and well, my commitment to fitness disappeared in a frenzy of the furniture-is-in-the-wrong-room-ness.

Can you relate?

In part of my fitness hiatus I’ve been spending a lot of some time on Pinterest. Hello, new eye candy.

Anyway, there are lots of words of wisdom on the internet.

Who knew?

I would like to think of this time as a second chance for fitness. In a lifelong series of second chances. It is my belief humans requiring exercise to be healthy and sane is a design flaw.

Amy over at Just A Titch has been writing about her fitness journey and she’s got some great ideas about food planning, getting hydrated and rethinking your body image.

Here’s what I’ve learned about myself and exercise.

I love it being done. I’m pretty lukewarm/chilly about actually doing it. {is your head nodding?}

I am a social exerciser. If I am by myself, I’m most likely not going or doing.

The weight room fascinates me.  Where are the women folk? I like lifting heavy stuff and feeling strong.

As it turns out, I like walking outside. Especially in the not-hot part of the day when it is light. I think they call it morning.

My gym is awesome because it is remarkably clean and has the best sauna/steam/soak spot. {Justifying the large price tag? Yes, yes I am.}

Now you – What are your fitness secrets?

What do you do?

Where do you do it?

Who do you do it with?

What time of day do you do it?

What motivates you?


I’m feeling a bit lost in it all these days. Lots of time, lots to do, mostly just running things through my mind.

Please tell me your fitness secrets (or questions/complaints or whatever) in the comments. Let’s start a conversation.

Anyone want to exercise with me?

Images: click for source

12 thoughts on “Second Chances and Do Overs: Let’s Talk Fitness, Friends.

  1. As you know very well, I have always struggled with my bipolarity on exercising. I go through phases where I am really good, and then I go through phases where I let it all go to crap. Two kids later and nearing 40 and I am hoping to have reached into my soul to find some consistency about all this. But a 50 hour a week job, 2 kids, and a husband with a crazy work schedule doesn’t always make for lots of me time for much of anything. Last year I bought an elliptical machine that I really love (, which I now have in the basement with a big TV and my DVR. My rule is that I don’t get to watch any of my shows from anywhere other than on that elliptical machine. That worked awesomely through June, and then the stupid summer season of crap TV came along. So in the next week or so I am totally getting back on that horse. But the TV motivation seems to work well for me. I would love to have a work out partner, but I live in East Bumblefuck and don’t know anyone in my town yet (figuring that will happen once V starts kindergarten next year). So my partner is the TV for now. But partly because I wanted to, and partly because of your motivation, I went and plunked down cold, hard cash (ok, maybe AmEx) for 10 personal training sessions. The greatest I have felt and looked since age 16 was when I was 31 and doing 2 personal trainer sessions per week and playing soccer in West Hollywood. Personal training is a total indulgence, but it adds that social angle plus it is someone who you are paying to kick your ass. And I need that. So I will report back, but for now my plan is new personal training, fall shows in my basement with my elliptical, and the MyFitnessPal app on my iPhone that lets me track my calories (holy crap, I knew I could eat a lot, but this has given me a whole new perspective on my gluttony!). There you have it…wish me luck. As for you…I wish you lots of luck finding that balance in new motherhood. Hopefully having the year off will allow you to make time for that and set up a healthy schedule of balance – having a good husband who helps with the parenting will certainly make all the difference in the world on that front!

  2. What motivates me is that we pay a neighborhood kid come over to browse facebook M,W,F from 8-10pm while S sleeps. It’s way harder to flake out when there is a babysitter coming over. You should try it when Ruby is home!

    But I swear it was just last night when we were entering the gym that I said to M, “I really hate it that our bodies need exercise forever. Over and over again.” Your design flaw line is right on!

  3. I discovered my inner child. Yeah, I said inner child. Better than returning to kid- but that’s it really. Just what did I do effortlessly as a very active kid that I (old & crotchety) could I do now? Bicycling is my fountain of youth. I bike wherever I can and it’s like a shower- I love showers. The sights, exertion, the perception of breeze the only I can feel cause everyone else is in the car or struggling with heat on the street. I never have to fight for parking, fear the meter aids, the exercise is effortless, jobs accomplished, no gas, greener foot print. Enough already- you find that 1 little thing and it might just be your turn on to working out with out even trying.

  4. I’m a group exerciser for sure. I thrive on the energy and momentum of dance classes especially, and I like the fine-tuning and focus that a good instructor can offer. When left to my own devices, I’ll poop out before I even break a sweat. It helps to adhere to the first rule of exercising: do what you love, which is why you’ll not find me in a spin class or on a treadmill. Also, I have to remember to take it one workout at a time and reel in my expectations. I want to feel like I’ve exerted and challenged myself, and I want to sweat, and I want to not think that I am going to see instantaneous results.

  5. Do you think that’s a real wall? I mean, a wall with real words on it, instead of something photoshopped on? I love it.

    I am a solitary exerciser, and also a group exerciser (I do love classes) though I can’t use the word exercise. It sounds forced and unenjoyable. At the moment, I am running on my rebounder because I need to not run the pup and I feel guilty running on the trails without him so this way I at least do something instead of nothing. It feels rather nice, like I am admitting that me and my movement is a priority.

    • @elizabeth – it is a vinyl decal. even better than paint if you ask me. i love it too.

      i’m curious to see how my fitness evolves once the girl is home. will i still have my gym or will i be working out at home? the bouncy rebounder sounds pretty heavenly. i like the idea of calling it something other than exercise…. what would havi do? =) movement is good.

      hope atlas is able to join you on the trails again soon.

      thanks for the reminder about classes. i used to love classes. hmmm.

  6. how did you know the thing i want to share with you on friday is about fitness? :)

    i swim (in a lake or pool), bike (on the parkway or in the hills of el sob #1), run (at land park), walk (in my ‘hood), spin, and strength train. always better when i have a buddy, but i do prefer walking and running by myself (i like the quiet). you will be doing lots of walking with ruby :)

    here’s what helps me: planning my fitness weekly and treating each workout like an appointment i don’t want to miss (pretend it’s a massage or tea with a friend). and if i miss it, i make it up (because who doesn’t want a massage??).

    what motivates me first is that i just experience my life in a sparkly, energetic way when i work out regularly. plus i heart my workout buddies. plus there’s diabetes all up and down my family tree and i want none of that. plus i want to be around a good long while because i really dig my shorties.

  7. “Especially in the not-hot part of the day when it is light. I think they call it morning.”

    And about morning, I will NEVER EVER EVER get up before work to exercise. Like, never. Three of my four work days (I do 10-hour shifts) I start at 7 am. Just getting my butt out of bed at 6 am. is a chore. Getting up before 6 should be against the law and I only do it when I must.

    The good thing is that I get off at 5 pm and I have no commute whatsoever and I work out at home so I am trying to do it every single day. If I have some overtime or something it might not happen and some days I like to do an hour or 40 minutes and sometimes I dick around on the Internet too long and only have time for 20 (like on the day I work at 11 am, for example). The key for me is that I walk on the treadmill and I GET TO WATCH TV. This is the key to getting me to exercise. I love my DVR’d shows and stuff I watch on Netflix. However, I need to get some strength training in because I’ve been doing NOTHING on that front AND we have a weight room at work that I can use FOR FREE and even if I don’t do it on the days I’m at work I can totally just go down there because I LIVE DOWN THE STREET FROM MY WORK. For some reason it is so easy for me to forget about this… but you’ve just reminded me by talking about the weight room, so thanks a million!! And of course the yoga, I don’t do enough of that and I love it so I need to do more.

  8. Why don’t we live closer together, Tami?? I could just as well have written that myself, well, except for the “my gym has a sauna” part, because I don’t have a gym.

    Wait. That’s a lie. I have an elliptical machine and a workout bench in my living room. (At least we’re not hanging clothes on it.) Melody (my almost 5-y/o) uses it more than I do.

    I’m going to Kauai in December. I’m at least 40 lbs overweight. I’ve had well over 9 months to get into a routine and start shedding some lbs, but I have probably only worked out maybe 4 days this entire time.

    I’ve worked out in the past, and I’ve had gym memberships before, and I know that every single time I do something active, I. ALWAYS. FEEL. GOOD. ABOUT. EVERYTHING. Not just myself, but myself and everything around me. My brain LOVES it when I do active stuff. My brain wishes it had its own foot so it could kick me in the ass every time I push those healthy thoughts away. “Stephanie, you really need to work out. You really WANT to work out! Remember?! Kauai in less than 3 months?” But I ignore. I ignore. I ignore.

    I’m married to a man who’s about as motivated as I am. It’s very difficult. I fall so easily into relying on others to motivate me.

    What makes it worse is that I have NO sticktoitiveness. I guess one needs drive for motivation in order to start something, and then to stick to it. I guess drive is what i need.

    I spend so many hours of my day at work, wishing I could be somewhere else, KNOWING that if I WERE somewhere else, I’d probably be doing something very good for ME, like taking a walk around my favorite park, or getting back into doing those stretches I so loved at one point in my life… My attempts in the past to get up at 0-dark:30 have been thwarted by my knees eventually giving me pain for pounding the pavement (er, um, I mean WALKING. “Pounding the pavement” might give the impression I was jogging, or even running! Which I would LOVE to do, but I honestly don’t think my knees can take it.)

    My husband, his brother and his wife apparently started a weight-loss challenge. (Where was IIII during that conversation?!) My brother in law is in GREAT shape, so I don’t know what his role in all this is. I have fantasies of secretly joining their challenge and kicking ASS over EVERYONE.

    Social exerciser says it all. However, there is such a nice feeling to be ALONE… it’s a good time to get you and you only time…. Much healthier than kicking back and drinking a glass, or 4, or wine. Which is what I’m doing when I’m not working out. Read into THAT one!

    Thanks for your writings, Tami. And thanks for letting me rant. There’s OH so much more I could say, but something tells me you can hazard a guess…

    Maybe we can find a way to motivate each other? I could probably stand to have someone who is relying on me to stick to my plan, and vice versa…


    • Steph, so true about how the exercise filters into every aspect of our lives. It is so true. I feel SOOOOOOOOOOOOO good when I’m done. I’m with Tams about getting started not always sounding so great but I’m always so flipping glad I’ve done it. Join their challenge. I also have a friend who started a group on FB called Weight Loss Challenged or something like that and we all inspire each other so I will be happy to add you there, just let me know!! I find that talking about in on Facebook makes me do it… it’s cyclical… I talk about it… people go “Yay!” It makes them want to do it sometimes and it makes me want to do it.

  9. Sounds to me like moving all that furniture was probably good weight lifting.

    Which brings me to how I exercise – I make it a necessity of my day whether I like it or not, otherwise known as not having a car and having to bike or walk for my commute. I curse it half the time, and it’s a total pain in the ass, but also probably worth it.

    I would like to work out with you. Can it end in a steam? Let us make a date!

  10. Well, I’ve been struggling with the same thing myself. For about a month this summer I was super duper dedicated and had a great exercise routine. I walked my dog two mornings a week before work, then went to spin class the other three mornings a week before work. (I was getting up EARLY).

    It was working well and the longer I did it, the easier it got. Then my gym had a remodel project, closed for a month, and I started traveling for work. By the time the gym reopened (without spin classes, mind you…) I was completely out of my routine…

    And now, it doesn’t get actually light outside until 6:30am, which throws off my “walking my dog in the morning” routine. (I have to walk her at 6am for it to work).

    “Exercise after work”, you say? Yeah. About that. Not so much. I will always make an excuse not to go – too tired, dinner plans, blah blah blah….

    So, I’m not much help, am I?

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