Thursday, October 13, 2011

Now She's Just Messing With Me

Remember the post I wrote awhile back, about how Petunia wasn't going along with my plan for an after work run once a week, while her sister was at swim lesson with Hubby?

I eventually decided that I'd stop trying to go for a run, and come home and try to get some exercise in my backyard instead. I used to do Muay Thai kickboxing, and I still remember the moves for shadowboxing. I figured I could do a few rounds of shadowboxing, plus some jumping jacks and other similar things, while Petunia played happily with her backyard toys. I had a grand daydream about how this would eventually morph into me buying a heavy bag and getting to actually throw some punches and kicks.

Well, one thing after another kept me from implementing my plan. I got sick. Petunia got sick. A vendor meeting ran late. Etc., etc. But finally, today nothing was in my way. Except traffic- but even with bad traffic on the drive home, I was home in time to squeeze in a 30 minute workout before dinner.

I got changed while Petunia ate a snack, and then we went outside to "play". It all started out well enough. Petunia readily agreed to go "ai-ide" and insisted that I drag the plastic play gym out for her so she could slide.

I started some marching in place for a warm up. But then she didn't want to slide, she wanted her kitchen toys to play in her little house. So I marched into the garage and got them. She marched along with me, and thought that was pretty funny.

Then she wanted the timer I had brought out to time my rounds. So I gave it to her and went and got a clock to use.

And then she decided she wanted to go for a walk. I tried to ignore her and keep to my original plan, but shadowboxing around my yard while my toddler wailed at the garage door just didn't work for me. I caved, and let her in, expecting her to go find the umbrella stroller and ask for that. Instead, she went to the jogging stroller and asked to be put in.

So I went and got my house keys, and we set off for a run. My asthma has been bad these last two days since we have Santa Ana winds blowing a bunch of junk in from the desert (running is the hardest form of exercise for me when my asthma is acting up) and I felt a little silly running in my loose kickboxing shorts, but I figured I should just take what I could get.

But about 5 minutes in, Petunia announced that we should go back. When I said no and kept going, she actually figured out how to wriggle out of one of the shoulder straps in the stroller.

So I turned back, thinking that maybe I could get away with turning down one of the cross streets and going around the block. No dice. She screamed loudly when I did that.

I gave up and went home. We went inside and I tried to do some sit ups. Petunia helpfully added some resistance by sitting on my stomach.


All of this will no doubt be very funny to me some day. But right now, it is just frustrating. My weight has inched up since my last post about running, and I now need to loose 8-10 pounds to get back down to the healthy range. My pants are too tight. I didn't like how I looked in roughly 90% of the pictures from our vacation. It is definitely time to do something about this. It is not going to get any easier as I start getting serious about weaning Petunia.

I recently came across a body weight simulator from the NIH. It is a little Java applet that lets you put in your current weight and height, etc., and then put in a target weight. You get to choose how active you are now and how active you plan to be while you try to lose weight, and it tells you how much you need to restrict your calories. I'm sure there are flashier simulators out there on some commercial sites, but this one gets the job done.

I hate restricting my food intake. I figured that I could restrict it enough to stop the weight gain, but that losing any weight would require more exercise. I ran some simulations and decided I needed to add one hardish workout per week and two easy ones. For the two easy ones, I'll walk. I can usually get a 20-30 minute walk around lunch time on Fridays. My current location is nowhere near as nice for walking as my previous one was, but there is a reasonable "out and back" route I can take. I have also started taking Petunia for a walk during her naptime once per weekend. I miss my "quiet time" (really time during which Pumpkin watches shows and I try to do some work or read), but it is actually quite nice to walk around my neighborhood, so I don't mind the trade off.

But I'm still stuck for the more vigorous workout. I'll have to do some more thinking and see what I can come up with to try next. I'm desperate enough that I have even considered trying to stitch together a workout from kids songs with actions. Petunia loves those right now. But I'm not sure I could stomach that many repetitions of "The Noble Duke of York" and "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes."


  1. No advice, but I feel your pain. I have put on twice as much weight since my nearly-4-yr-old was born than I did when I was pregnant. The only way I can exercise is if I am not in the same building as him, otherwise he always finds ways to interfere, or "help".
    So no advice. But I did think when I saw the photo of the back of all your heads on the earlier post that I wished I looked as fit as you. So I hope that cheers you up a bit :)

  2. That does sound frustrating. I haven't really worked out since Evan was born, and I sure can feel it. It doesn't sound like it gets any easier as kids get older either.

  3. I keep creeping up, too. I've been trying to fit in a brisk-ish walk of about 2 miles at least 3x a week, but events conspire against me, as well--kid sick, work deadline (& here I am procrastinating anyway!), rain, you name it.

    I want to feel less old & ache-y, & I have some exercises I can do at home, but it feels so grim when I'm winded (asthma, too) from a cheesy exercise dvd! I'm trying to take it all one week at a time. I don't actually miss my 20s, because dating was really horrible, but sometimes I miss my younger metabolism. Ah, nostalgia!

    Good luck with the exercising. Here's hoping Petunia can learn to roll with it sooner than later for you.

  4. I'm never able to lose weight with exercise alone. I also have prehypertension and high triglycerides, so while I do need to exercise and lower my sugar intake, with my schedule, I've found that working on the food intake part is a lot easier than finding extra time to exercise. Since August, I've actually had a lot of success with the low sugar diet from Jorge Cruise's "The Belly Fat Cure."

  5. I couldn't lose weight after weaning and got tendonitis from running, so I decided to have another baby so I could nurse and lose weight. It's a win-win, right?

  6. the milliner12:59 PM

    Oh, @Cloud, I'm simultaneously laughing and crying. I could have written this post. It truly is crazy making at it's best.

    So yeah, when people say lovely things like 'you JUST have to exercise for 30 mins 3x per week' or 'you HAVE to make the time', it's enough to make your head explode.

    FWIW, when one of my friends weaned she found she had dropped some weight (10-15 lbs, I think). This is what I'm personally hoping for. Like you, I hate restricting my food intake, so I'd prefer to exercise it off. The only compromise on this that I'm trying to do right now is to try to make sure 1/2 my meal (in portion size) is vegetables or fruit. But nothing off limits. I want to do it for the nutrient benefits, but can't hurt either in the weight loss department.

  7. That sounds really frustrating, and familiar. I seem to remember that Pumpkin is at swimming class with your husband at this time? Maybe if/when he doesn't need to be in the water during her class, he could take Petunia to the class as well and you could exercise without the 'support team'? I notice lots of younger siblings hanging out with parents where I take my boys to swim class. Although the exercise program with kids music sounds like it might be a winner!

  8. Susan6:22 PM

    I find that weekends are the key time for getting in two vigorous kid-free workouts since I can split duty with my husband and don't have the usual press of out the door/work/in the door/dinner/bedtime etc. I figure if I can do one decent workout during the week and two on the weekends, then that's passable.

  9. After reading this post and thinking about my own weight-loss goals, I am now feeling guilty about that handful of potato chips I scarfed down just now =)

    I feel your frustration, and I am also laughing about Petunia adding resistance to your workouts by sitting on your stomach. My kids did that to me, too, on the few times I tried to work out to a Pilates video at home.

    I'm trying to get back to an exercise kick, myself. My workplace has a gym, and I try to use it once during the workweek, and then once more on the weekend (I usually have to come in during weekends to do cell culture; in fact, I'm here at work right now). I'll let you know how it goes =)

  10. Thanks for the good wishes and ideas, everyone!

    @zed- my husband doesn't want to take both girls to swim lessons. I can see his point. It is a hectic place, and Pumpkin will occasionally get in these moods where she decides she has to get out and go potty every ten minutes. Handling that with Petunia in tow would be hard.

    One the weekend workouts- we're pretty strict about having some family time on the weekends, and once you add in naptime (which only Petunia takes) and chores, too, it is hard to get us both a workout. Which is why the nap walks have come back- even though Petunia naps just fine in a bed. One idea I have is to try to find family activities that are also exercise. I think that particular idea will get easier as the kids get a little older.

  11. Kristin8:13 AM

    I've found that I don't exercise unless it's a scheduled time and place. I just weaned too and started an exercise class. Many, many failed attempts at working exercise into my schedule, and this is the only way it seems to work. Adding any new thing, it's likely that, as you say, there's something else you will miss. I just had to decide what that would be and that getting healthy was worth it.


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