I admire that you are working so hard and making good progress toward your goals.
In 1979, at age 21, I was a single mother of a one- year old girl. I went to college and to work. I struggled with the same issue as spending time with my little one. I found an effective counselor with whom I worked through issues that got me into the situation of being a single mother! Through it, we discussed all of my struggles, one of those was my interest in, and need for exercise.(That was before running was popular, before step-aerobics, yoga and pilates widely known in the U.S.!) Exercise helped me keep my sanity between tests, jobs, and a raising my daughter. I brought her along with me whenever it was practical. We spent a lot of time on bikes, in parks, walking in woods, and more.
The wise counselor gave me some sage advice I hold onto still. "If you don't take care of yourself, you are no good for anyone else."
Have you ever flown on an airlines when the flight attendant said to give an air mask to yourself before giving it to a child? There is wisdom in the adult taking care of self, to enable them to give to others.
Later I married and have a large extended family. No one exercises from either of our large families, and especially my couch potato husband. ( He did it with me before marriage!) I have been criticized for "being selfish" and exercising taking me away from the family and chores. I was criticized for doing exercise instead of chores, but I only spent one hour a day at it.
I exercised before anyone else was awake, and often my husband didn't even know I was out. When we talked about it I said, "I have been exercising for 20 years. You knew that about me before we married. What makes you think I am going to quit? A few decades means commitment, not a fad. You come up with one reason not to exercise, and I'll come up with 1000 articles explaining why to do it." He is a health professional and knows why to exercise.
Now, four decades after I started consistently running in 1972, my cardiologist says I have the heart of a teenager. I keep my cholesterol down through exercise and diet. I wear the same size clothing I did as a teenager, my legs are shapely and strong, and I can do my own, physically difficult chores such as chopping wood and moving heavy objects. I have done some half marathons (never had time to train for a full marathon!).
That little girl is now age 35 with three kids of her own. They ride their horses, hike in mountains, water and snow ski, and all four girls are in ballet, gymnastics and do aerial dancing. My daughter also teaches yoga.
Being a healthy role model for my daughter was one of the important things she learned from me taking time to exercise. But it is also spreading out to family members. Gradually they are beginning to walk, stretch, and otherwise move.
I have other unusual stories of how my habit of exercise has even saved my life after a tragic high-speed roll over car accident when my heart rate got so high I was expected to have a heart attack on the freeway. But my heart was accustomed to getting to a high rate, and recovering quickly. Doctors told me that my jogging and aerobics saved my life, as I had a healthy heart. There are more stories from other times when my four decades of jogging made a huge difference.
Yes, by all means, exercise with your toddler. Have him on your lap while you do sit-ups. Play with him while you do lunges, Yoga, and Pilates in the living room. Get outside on bikes, stroller, roller skates and anything that is practical as the child grows. Go walk in woods and swim in ponds, lakes, and rivers. Get out early before the child awakens, and be ready to get him ready for the day when you return refreshed.
The basic advice was sound, "Take care of yourself."
| current weight: 112.4