England - I do admire your ability to handle it all alone. As others have said, even 10 minute chunks are better than nothing and can really add up. Take 15 minutes from the reading time and walk the treadmill twice during the week, and then plan one "active" time with the boys each day on the weekend and you'll be off to a good start. Combine that with a sharp focus on your diet and you should see some weight loss AND should feel better.
I would also look into batch cooking and having a handful of "go to" recipes so that cooking is short and sweet during the week. I make big pots of chili, cool it, and then portion out into big ziploc bags and freeze it. I'll take it out the night before I want to use it and stick it in the fridge, and then just dump it in a pot to warm up when I get home. I freeze double batches of casseroles too. Find a handful of very quick recipes that you all enjoy and then keep things interesting by varying the sides you serve.
You mentioned in one of your posts that you don't get breaks at work....this is probably contributing to your stress level. Try to find a way to take a break and walk the stairs or even around the outside of the building.
As your boys get older they will become more and more independent and you'll have some room to breathe. In the meantime, take it where you can get it, you know?
5/22/13 7:55 A
Do your kids play? Can you take 10 to play a game outside with them? I feel you...it is tough to find time...
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5/22/13 7:46 A
By avoiding white carbs, eat healthy meals, use least beverages and give your body a day in the week to eat what it craves for, and you will not need exercise to help you lose weight and keep yourself healthy and fit.
Fitness Minutes: (46,368)
5/22/13 6:34 A
I have so much admiration for single parents - parenting is so difficult & doing it solo is incredibly challenging.
I have 3 suggestions.
1. Focus on nutrition first. You should check out Yojulez SP page for inspiration. She lost all her weight with no exercise & has wonderful (easy!) meal ideas.
2. Be a little selfish. That 30 minutes of reading that you & your kids do? Take 15 minutes of that & head to your treadmill a couple times a week. If your kids have to read outloud for school homework (mine do), they can hang out with you.
3. Don't ignore the weekend! Being a weekend warrior (within reason, of course) is better than doing nothing at all. Treadmill time, family walks/hikes, rollerskating with the kids, etc. - so many good options for a little bit of exercise. And, it doesn't need to be dramatic - 10 mins here & there will make a world of difference in your energy, confidence, & general outlook.
5/22/13 6:04 A
Can you use weekends to get outside with the boys? Can you go to the YMCA, local park or wooded area, or gym to play games and sports with them?
I was a single mother for six years. It was the second hardest time of my life (right after the more difficult divorce). I hear you. I know how busy you are because I did it.
There are lots of posts in this section on how to exercise throughout the day in small doses. Doing laundry? Add squats while folding. Sitting at a desk or standing? Do "butt" squeezes. Waiting in line at the grocery store, post office, or elsewhere? Do 2 sets of 50 calf raises. Anytime....stand and sit up straight with ears over shoulders over your hips. This strengthens your back when you don't have time to do a back workout. Do you have 5 minutes to go to the bathroom? Do tricep dips on the toilet and wall or floor push-ups when you are done.
I wear a small, leather back pack for a purse so that my shoulders are always balanced. This keeps my hands free for bicep and finger stretches when waiting in lines. Roll your shoulders 20 times every hour. Pull your shoulder blades back and together. Tilt your head left and right for neck stretches. The older we become, the more important these are. There are ways to stretch and move all day, every day.
See threads such as "Deskercise" for more ideas, and other posts in this thread to find creative ways to fit fitness into your day.
I hope some ideas here are helpful. My heart goes out to single mothers. It is the toughest job of all.
5/21/13 2:38 P
My days are jam packed as well. My days begin early and I work insane hours...like you, I am exhausted from my day. People continuously gave me suggestions to add 10 minutes here or 10 minutes there. I had a very similar attitude to what you're expressing here...that there isn't any possible way to fit it in...so I just have to live with this.
Obviously no one here can find time in your day for you. If health is a priority in your life, you have to make it one. I HAD to find the time...for myself. I had to tweak my "routine" to add in this very imporant part of my lifestyle.
As tired as I was...health was a priority for me and I HAD to add 15 mintues onto my day for a workout before bed. Now I have a boat load more energy than I did...and getting through my exhausting day is much easier. I find time for at least 30-60 minutes of exercise now.
My suggestion is to add walks or bike rides with your boys after dinner or before you shower for bed.
Sorry that you have such an exhausting day! I'm sure that is tiring. Good for your for getting a schedule and sticking to it!! Yes, I think weekends would make a difference! If you can find an hour or even 30 min - you would be able to get in some movement and feel a little release for that time. I only exercise about 3 or 4 times a week, mostly at 30 to 40 min. I don't exercise daily, but fit in more movement outside with my 2 year old on the weekends or just chasing her around.
Thanks for the suggestions. As I said, I don't watch TV, I have no time for that. I have a desk job. Breaks? That is funny. I don't get breaks. I eat pretty good most of the time, but just like everyone else, I sometimes grab something that's not good for me because it's faster. I would love to have 10 min. anywhere but I don't. The person with the triplets... I bet you have a spouse and friends and family to help you. I have no one. It's me and my 2 boys. They do help out a lot which is great, though it doesn't give me the time. We walk in the door at 5:45, I start dinner while they get bath's, we eat, clean up, they watch TV or play games while I get lunches, bags, etc. ready for the next day. At 7:30 we turn everything off and read. They are in bed at 8:00 and then I get a shower and then I'm bed. This is my daily routine. If you can find me 10 min. in there I would appreciate it. Weekends are busy because I'm trying to catch up and do everything I couldn't do during the week. I could get walking in though. I have a treadmill that I used to use all the time. Now I just glance at it and feel sad. Would it really make a difference if I just walked on the weekends?
I have several suggestions, and I'll take them each in turn.
1) Focus on what you DO have time for: your nutrition. You need to start tracking your calories, because weight loss and maintenance can be controlled entirely by diet (although working out makes you look better).
2) Get your kids to help out: even though they're young, they can always be taught to help. Whether this means getting them to put up their own toys, to put their dishes in the dishwasher after they're done eating, or putting away laundry, it's a great skill for them to learn to be self-sufficient now and will be a great help to you.
3) Work out in small chunks (you can even involve your kids!). Ten to fifteen minutes of working out twice a day will make a huge difference, and will also make you feel better and give you more energy. Even if you can't do it at lunch time, most people can find ten minutes per day to add in SOME type of activity.
4) Utilize your weekends. On Saturdays and Sundays, or the days you are off, make large batches of meals to cook throughout the week. It will cut down on your cooking time, give you some space to breathe, and help you feel less stressed out during the evenings. You can do this for breakfast too (scrambled eggs in bags, etc) and even, to some extent, lunches.
Full time job and 19 month old triplets here. Never miss a workout. I knock out at least 30 minutes 6 days a week. Usually more. Some days I set the alarm for 5 a.m. to make sure I get it done. Sometimes I choose to workout instead of watching television.
If you make your mind up that working out is a priority, I promise you will manage to find a half hour to sneak in some exercise.
You can do it.
Fitness Minutes: (4,601)
577 5/7/13 4:09 P
What's your goal? If it's to lose fat then you need to look at your nutrition first. What's your nutrition like? Are you incorporating lean protein, healthy carbs and fats?
Can you take walks on/around the property during your breaks? Even one break? That might help. I don't have kids so I don't have that issue but I did that when I was working full-time. It does sound like you have a long day! Do you have a desk job or do you get to get up and walk around most of the day? I only ask because a lot of people don't count walking around at work as exercise, but I always counted it (I didn't log it, but it is burning cals). I know it doesn't solve your problem; I think if I had a day like yours, I'd feel the same way. When I was working in the file room, I was walking around all the time and when I was working at the desk, I would walk around during my breaks. Just a thought...exercise will obviously give you more energy but I know the key right now is to actually find the time.
Assuming you work M-F, can you start exercising on the weekends? Again, that doesn't solve the problem (and you are probably too tired by the time Sat rolls around) but it could be a start.
Fitness Minutes: (189,537)
5/7/13 3:11 P
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I bet if you exercised for 10 minutes, you'd start to have more energy for your day.
2 years ago I dropped 2 sizes. I was working part time and able to exercise every day. Now I am a single mom with 2 small boys working a full time job. I'm so exhausted, I can barely get out of bed in the mornings. My day starts at 5:15. By the time I pick up my boys, get home, cook and everything else I'm about to drop. The boys go to sleep at 8:00 and I'm right behind them. People think I'm joking when I tell them I don't watch TV. I barely have time to breathe. If I'm still up at 9:00, that's late for me. I can't exercise at lunch either. HELP!
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