March 2, 2010

Pavlov's Workout

So, what's been the most difficult thing for me when it comes to weight loss efforts beside the mental issues I discussed yesterday? Finding a way to fit an effective exercise routine into my schedule.

For me, it's not so much a factor of time or boredom. I've found all sorts of ways to squeeze in twenty to thirty minutes six days a week, be it getting up a little earlier, cutting out time on the computer, or even doing calisthenics while watching my favorite show and jumping jacks during the commercials. The wide selection of workout videos available on "play now" through Netflix cancel out the boredom excuse rather effectively. No, my problem has been trying to find a way to do an all out, hard as I can go workout with two little ones who want to join in and don't understand why they need to stay back a couple of feet.

I tried waking up before they did, but I guess I must have either shook the house or made a bunch of noise flailing about, because they always woke up a few minutes in. I tried having them go to their rooms and play for the length of the video, but apparently this was just too long to be away from mommy. I tried exercising during their nap, but I ran into the same problem as the early morning sessions, and they wouldn't finish their naps after being woken. I even tried fitting one in during their snack, but they eat quickly and got angry at being in a high chair while I was "playing."

Enter The Flylady and her idea of fifteen minutes of "loving movement" daily. I liked the idea of any little bit helps, even when it comes to exercise, but I know my body. With a metabolism I'm still trying to drag from the grave, I need at least thirty minutes of intensive exercise each day to make a dent in even a minimum of 1200 calories taken in, the lowest amount you can consume without putting your body into starvation mode according to my research. So, I've taken the ideas of letting a little add up over time and using a timer and added in a reminder for my forgetful self to create the Pavlovian workout.

Between the capacity of our washing machine, linens, towels, microfiber cloths used for cleaning, and regular old clothes, I have to do at least two or three loads of laundry a day to keep from being buried in a pile of laundry we lovingly dub "Mt. Doom" when it makes its appearance. So, I've made my dryer buzzer the bell in my experiment. And instead of drooling at the thought of food, I immediately put away the laundry, set my timer for ten minutes, and do either resistance training or cardio depending on the day. I did the videos enough to memorize the exercises, so I don't even have to leave the laundry area. By day's end, I've racked up thirty minutes or more, and the girls don't care because I'm just folding boring old laundry as far as they're concerned, so they keep right on playing.

I know letting children see their parents being active is important to set a good example, but both girls are naturally active, and this is just for the "formal" workouts I'm adding to facilitate weight loss. We still do a lot of playing and running about, and I will let them know I am still exercising on a regular basis once both girls are old enough to understand that trying to get right up under someone's feet while they are concentrating on following an instructor on a video can cause accidents.

* The photo is of my aunt's dog, Sugar.


  1. Oh how I remember the days when my kids were little and how hard it was to find time and space to exercise! Glad you're finding a way to get it done :) Keep up the good work! I too can relate to trying to drag my metabolism from the grave. I too have to work harder at getting in at least 30 minutes of cardio every day....I think that's going to be key if I want to see great results.

  2. Thank you! And best of luck with your efforts as well.