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Practically single, overstressed, no exercise time

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Posts: 661
10/17/12 7:24 A

I think it is great that you are trying to make posititve changes.

Maybe just make one or two small changes to start, so you don't feel even more overwhelmed.

Is it possible to bring your breakfast and eat it when you get to work? Maybe yogurt and fruit?
Only one breakfast burrito at first instead of two an bring a piece of fruit from home to go with it. Pack a few small sanacks for during the day.

Is your morning Dr. Pepper your only soft drink of the day? If you drink several a day, if you could cut it down, that would help reduce calories.

Maybe bring your lunch once or twice a week to start. If you are eating fast food for lunch, lookup the nutrition first and track it.

Tracking your food helps-so you can be aware of what your eating and where you can make changes.

I find being on facebook too much a little depressing. Everyone makes their virtual life out to be so wonderful. Maybe cut down the days you are facebook. Maybe use this time to read a few of the articles on sparkpeople.

Do your kids have the wii or xbox kinect? If they do, you could play with them.

Posts: 2,349
10/17/12 6:34 A

There are many ideas on this post and throughout this website to aid you in getting ideas on what changes you can make to fit healthy eating and exercise into your very hectic lifestyle. Instead then, I would like to focus on a few things you said which caught my eye and I have not yet seen addressed.

You said you were a retired stripper and are depressed. That you are age 22 is critical to this conversation only because when young we lack life experience to help us know how to cope with negative emotions. It is not taught in schools, and often not in many homes of origin.

Studies have shown a relationship between the profession of stripping and being depressed. The act is self-demeaning to women and puts them in an vulnerable position. It is heartening to read that you are working and taking care of children. Other, and unrelated studies show that women with young children, especially with husbands who are often away on business, are just about the loneliest group of people in our nation. How do I know this best? I was one; a lonely mother of young children that is. Studies confirmed what I was feeling and experiencing.
Reading your post, I am not the least bit surprised to read that you are depressed. Recognizing it is the first step to changing it. Taking care of your health, as you are doing, fuels steps toward reaching beyond depression.
If practical, I would recommend counseling to cope with the burdens you carry and to help build your self-confidence. That does not mean to imply that you have a poor self-image. Instead, it means that most women your age have room in our lives for growth in confidence.

I commend you for your efforts to be a healthy mother and caring for your children. People who ask for tips, help,and ideas are often the ones who need it the least as they are actively seeking answers for questions on how to make life work.

I wish I could meet you and give you a hug. For what it is worth from a stranger in cyberspace, I am really proud of you for the choices you are making to make your life positive and strong, particularly for your children.

Hang in there and keep doing what you are doing. Best wishes....a cyberspace friend.

Posts: 1,714
10/16/12 1:26 P

What I've been doing is making a large batch of soup or chili on the weekend and then packaging it up it single serving containers for the week. That way, in the morning I can just grab my lunch and go. It's way healthier than fast food, cheaper, and tastier!

What if you got your kids involved in your workouts? You could all go for bike rides or walks or something else you would all enjoy in the evening. Not only are you getting your workout in, but your setting a great example for your kids and spending some quality time as a family!

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Posts: 20,199
10/16/12 12:08 P


No one says you have to exercise an hour at a time to be healthy. You could break your workouts up into shorter segments and still get all the benefits. Taking a 10 minute walk three times a day, still adds up to 30 minutes. The kids have to sleep some time, so why not check out the fitness section ? Coach Nicole has a bunch of short 10-15 minute workout routines you can do at home. All you'd need are some hand weights or resistance bands. If you have a stability ball, great, but not necessary.

There really are all sorts of ways to sneak in a little exercise. Like I said, you can break your workouts up into shorter segments.

Weekends, can the hubby watch the kids so you can take a class at the gym or do a DVD at home ? You don't even need money for DVDs. YOUTUBE has a bazillion workouts posted of varying lengths and challenges. You can also go to your library. Why buy DVDs when you can borrow them ? try a few. You can also go to your local thrift store or Goodwill. I find all sorts of used exercise equipment there.

AND... if you're feeling really ambitious, take a walk on trash day. I see tons of perfectly good pieces of exercise equipment tossed out in the trash. recycle !!

Also, you might want to do your best to make healthier choices if you do have to eat at places like McDonalds. Opt for the egg Mcmuffin over the sausage burrito. That will save you calories as well as saturated fat. You can also find frozen breakfast burritos at your local supermarket. AMY's brand is really good. Those can be pricey, but you can find generic ones that are good too for less. A frozen breakfast burrito from your supermarket can cost around $2.50-$3.50. So, if you were to buy those instead of going to McDonalds, you'd save money.

If you need ideas for quick breakfasts, check out the spark recipes section. Chef Meg has a TON of great recipes that are quick and cheap.

Posts: 1,228
10/16/12 11:52 A

Another vote for get up earlier. Maybe take it in chunks - 1/2 an hour earlier at first, then larger periods later. One thing to consider is if you avoid the stop at McDonald's you might be able to shave 10-15 minutes off your schedule.

You don't need to go out of the house to exercise. Find the quietest space in your house, put on headphones, get your kids used to DVD's at low volume...there are options. Just move.

Posts: 2,707
10/16/12 9:01 A

First, ditch the fast food. That breakfast has almost 900 calories! That's more than half of my allotment for the day, most days. Get rid of the full sugar pop. Go to on burrito, if you "must" have McDonald's. Keep fruit or yogurt or even the heat n eat breakfast sandwiches instead. Pack a lunch or really browse all the local fast food chains' nutrition info to make good decisions on what you get there. Nutition is 80% of weight loss. You cannot out train crappy eating.

Second, your schedule looks a lot like mine, although my husband is home to help in the evenings. I get up at 4:30 to get in my workout 9usually 30-40 minutes) and then get ready and get my kids up (2 kids, 11 year old is no problem, but I do get a 3 year old around), then my husband comes home from the gym to pick us up and we head out the door together with the 3 year old by 7:15. You can get resistance bands for around $15 for strength trianing, they take up no storage space, really. Get some good cardio DVDs or try some of the SP videos on the site.

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10/16/12 8:32 A

The park is another place to go. The kids can burn off some energy and you can use the equipment for squats, lunges, push ups, pull ups, etc.

Posts: 1,216
10/15/12 10:45 P

Wake up earlier. Exercise a bit in the morning.
Eat breakfast at home. Some fruit, yogurt and a bagel won't cost a lot or require much preparation.
Pack lunch instead of buying unhealthy fast food. It doesn't take long. If you have to buy food try to make healthier choices- look at the menu and nutrition info from the places you usually go and make the best choice you can.

When you cook dinner you can often double the recipe without adding to your cook time. Put the extra in the freezer for another day so you don't have to cook every night. Use leftovers for lunches or breakfast.
Try using a slow cooker sometimes.

Exercise with your kids. Exercise on the weekends as a family or while your husband takes over for a couple of hours. Dance while you cook or do laundry. Go for a walk. Use a pedometer and try to increase your steps each day. Talk to people on the phone while you walk around the house. Try a Walk Away the Pounds dvd.

Cut down on computer time- maybe every other night instead of every night.

Get some child care. You sound really burnt out with being the only parent most of the time. Maybe you have a friend or family member who would like to trade off child care a few nights a week if you can't hire someone so you can go for a walk or a bike ride.

Posts: 5,756
10/15/12 9:42 P

Again, excellent ideas. And I can't recommend emoticon enough. It helped me get off the yo-yo cycle I did for decades by starting small & making gradual changes. Previously I'd be a total glutton/couch potato & wake up on a Monday thinking I'd eat PERFECTLY & exercise like an Olympian. SP works MUCH better!!! emoticon
Also, any exercise buddies you can get with? With or without kids, if you're doing certain activities.

Posts: 1,702
10/15/12 9:32 P

You can make this work, even with the demands on your time.

1) I also vote for the dance workout. Just because you can't do a long workout, doesn't mean you can fit in some short workouts when you have the time. Do 10 minutes of dancing in the morning. Go for a 20 minute walk at lunch. Do another 10 minutes at home in the evening. Maybe your kids would be into dancing with you? There also are some short workout videos on Spark that you could do (all sorts of things - boot camp, cardio, Pilates, etc)

2) If your husband is home on weekends, then you can aim to do at least one longer workout on the weekend (maybe even two). Ask your husband to watch the kids and go get some fun exercise that makes you happy (you mentioned examples in your first post). Even if it's just 30 minutes, it's still something just for you. If he needs workout time, too, then you can take turns.

3) There are options for preparing healthy meals quickly. A healthy high protein/low fat/high fiber cereal (that tastes good), plus a piece of fruit in the morning is an improvement over a takeout breakfast and takes almost no time to prepare. For workday lunches, you could make some lunches ahead on the weekend (e.g. wraps that can be reheated, pasta bowls with sauce full of veggies etc). To reduce the risk of junky lunch temptations, can you keep something healthy and tasty at the office for a mid-morning snack (e.g., fruit, some yogurt, etc)? I also eat a healthy snack just before I leave the office, and that reduces my tendency to eat junk food as soon as I walk in the door. If food prep is just too much for you right now, take a step in the right direction by getting some healthier frozen meals and using those for workday lunches (or some dinners). If your budget allows, you could even look at signing up for a healthy meal service (not packaged yuck like Jennie Craig - more like the healthy fresh delivery services).

Most importantly, don't feel like you have to make massive changes all at once. Instead, pick one or two things to focus on for now - like getting 10-20 minutes of exercise per day, substituting a healthy breakfast or lunch for fast food a couple of days a week, drinking more water, etc. Then gradually add more changes once the first changes become habits.

Edited by: EMMANYC at: 10/15/2012 (21:34)

Posts: 13,911
10/15/12 9:25 P

You don't have to do a 60 minute session of exercise to get the benefit. Even 10 minutes can give significant benefits.

So if you combine 10 minute sessions during the week with more dedicated workouts on weekends when you have more time, then you should be at a pretty good activity level overall.

Can you go for a 5-10 minute walk at lunchtime?


Posts: 5,756
10/15/12 9:23 P

Have no clue why this duplicated. emoticon

Edited by: GINGERVISTA at: 10/15/2012 (21:24)

Posts: 5,756
10/15/12 9:23 P

Great advice, Lora.
SparkPeople is about getting people healthy & fit, which I believe I read means eating healthy foods at least 80% of the time, allowing for special treats (including the nutrition data in the Nutrition Tracker). If anybody thinks they can be healthy eating McDonald's or other fast foods, just watch the movie Super Size Me.
Any kind of workout video can be done inside as well. I do one of the Biggest Loser dvd's in the winter or when weather's nasty out.
And remember to do something fun & preferably outdoors when your hubby's home.
The best thing we can do as parents is be fit & healthy as examples to our kids. They'll live their lives like we do--either sedentary & eating junk food, or eating fabulous, healthy meals the majority of the time & having lots of fun doing physical activities/playing.

Edited by: GINGERVISTA at: 10/15/2012 (21:24)

SparkPoints: (44,595)
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Posts: 390
10/15/12 9:03 P

A) get up an hour earlier
B) make your breakfast and lunch--I make mine in less than 15 minutes everyday and it certainly doesn't cost me $10 a day in ingredients.
C) do a dance workout in your living room before the kids get up. You are a retired dancer, are you not? You must realize what a great workout dancing can be.

You are gaining weight the same way I did. Fast food. It may be fast but it isn't healthy. Simple sandwiches made at home will save you tons of calories and money.

Posts: 1
10/15/12 8:12 P


Daily routine-
get up for 6am,
get ready for work,
get two kids up, and ready for school,
leave for 7:30,
grab mcdonalds- 2 sausage burritos, hash, and med dr pepper- staying under 5$
at work for 7:53
lunch- group vote for nearest fastfood- staying under 5$
home for 5ish, and exhausted...
homework with 6 yr old son-shower-computer time(fb)-and do laundry...
Cook dinner for 8-
Bed for 9-

I'm in a tight 3 story condo, no place for exercise eqp, and my husband is only home on weekends when do I exercise? I'm 22, retired stripper, now home restorator, 5'3 173lbs...
Seriously depressed, hate the way I look in clothes, no matter the price/style..
Wish I could ride my bike at 5am to the levee(2.5mile) and rollerblade 30mins worth of the levee length and then turn around to do 40 swiss ball sit ups... But- wth do I do with the kids?

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