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NIEMALEE's Photo NIEMALEE Posts: 827
11/26/07 4:26 A

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Wow! I think these postings clearly indicate that one size does not necessarily fit all. We can all attest, 2parent family or not, that parenting requires us to be both jugglers and gymnasts. It's a challenge, no doubt. We have to compromise and sacrifice in order to meet the needs of our family. Unfortunately, we moms tend to put the needs of our children before our own. There is no right or wrong here, sometimes that is just the way it has to be.

Heather, hopefully sometime in the near future your life will change in a way that allows you more time to attend to your own needs while still meeting the needs of your children. For now, you know your situation far better than we do. We are on the outside looking in while you are living it. Do your best, take care of yourself, and love yourself.

To be a champion, you must be willing to pay a greater price than your competition will ever have to pay.

In order to finish the race, you must first start.


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ZZZANEY Posts: 142
11/23/07 10:13 A

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Dear Heather,

I don't mean to sound condesending and preachy. It was never my intention. It just seems that we have lived with a lot of similarities and I am trying to give suggestions that may (or, apparently, may not) help.

I have been on my own for the last 13 years. No extended family to help, etc. My ex hasn't even visited the kids for 7 years so I get no break there. I'm not saying that you don't 'want it badly enough' but I am thinking that you may be depressed and perhaps are missing opportunities that you don't realise you have. In the least you are very overwhelmed and could use the support there. I know, I'm also on that list.

No matter what, you are the parent. Put the kids to bed a half hour earlier for 'your time'. Doesn't mean you have to work out, hell, read a book, take a long bath. Just do something for yourself. Start them out at 15 min earlier and work your way up.

I say this because I HAVE BEEN THERE. It won't kill the kids to go to bed a half hour early, especially if they stay up as late as you do. Even if they don't sleep they can be in their room.

I work two jobs now, but before I didn't. I went to college part time and worked full time. It took me 11 years to get a 4 year degree because there were times I could only take one class a semester, or none at all depending on my childrens disability. So I guess in a way that is like two jobs. Many nights I didn't get to bed til after midnight and had to wake at 6am to get the kids up and ready.

IT WILL GET BETTER. You need to make yourself your FIRST priority or everyone will suffer. (again, I speak from my experience).

Since we'll probably have to agree to disagree though, I'll post no more on this subject. I hope you find what you're looking for.

Tina



HEATHERCS's Photo HEATHERCS Posts: 22
11/23/07 1:16 A

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I appreciate that you're trying to help, but I'm sorry, your advice simply will not work for me. It's not that I THINK 5 minutes here and there won't work for me, it's that it DOESN'T work for me. If I don't work up a sweat I don't see any effects, I have tried it. I'm not just saying that without actually doing it, in fact I still do small exercises when I'm at my desk, and I always walk the long way, but there are no results with regard to weight loss in doing those things, it just keeps my butt from going numb and keeps me awake. I am not new to weight loss, nor am I new to this site. I've been watching calories and working it for several years now, I've lost quite a bit of weight since I first started, and I know what works for me. When I lost all that weight I had moved in with my parents to help my mother recover from her knee surgery, that was my full time job, so I was able to work out with her when she did physical therapy, and before picking up the kids from school. I no longer have that luxury.

I AM big on exercise. I love to work out, I just don't have the time during the week to fit it in. I was active duty military before I went into the Guard, so I'm not unfamiliar with 5am runs, however when I was doing those I was much younger and needed less sleep, I also didn't have my kids with me overseas and didn't have to worry about finding a sitter during my workouts. If I could make time, I'd be at the gym EVERY DAY.

My ex-husband keeps my kids on my drill weekends. Visitation is every other weekend and 2 weeks in the summer (while I'm at annual training). And no, he cannot keep them during the week so I can work out, even if there were time for me to work out in the evenings, which there is not after my commute home, cooking dinner, cleaning up and preparing for the next day. Believe me, if it were that easy it would be done already.

I am a single parent, I do not have extended family local to me, and I have no friends who have the ability to deal with my special needs child. Nor would I put that on any of my friends, that's a quick way to destroy a friendship, trust me. I do not have respite services available to me yet as my daughter has not yet been approved by the regional center in our area. I cannot move closer to family, due to the fact that I refuse to move my children away from their father, and there's no way I could survive with my income in Seattle as a single parent.

Again, I realize that you're only trying to help, but you're coming off as condescending and preachy, and honestly I don't appreciate people telling me that if I cared enough I would do something.

Wisdom is knowing the right path to take... integrity is taking it.


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ZZZANEY Posts: 142
11/22/07 11:26 P

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Hi Heather,

I really do understand where you're coming from. Two of my children (though they are 17 and 19) have Bipolar and ODD. My 17 yr old is also borderline for autism. I've had to take off work many times for counseling, emergency inpatient treatments, etc. My homelife has been a war zone for many years. When mine get upset, TV's go flying, doors busted, etc.

What I'm trying to get at is: YOU NEED TO MAKE THE TIME IF YOU REALLY WANT TO.

Is it easy? Hell no. I also used to be in the military, first active duty then the reserves. Who watches your children on your weekend? Is it possible they could watch them one or two nights a week for a few hours so you get time to yourself?

Also, don't feel that if you can't exercise for 30 min straight that you won't see results. Cut your calorie intake and do 5 min bursts of exercise at a time. It'll add up to 30 minutes.

As I said, when I go to the bathroom at work I take a few extra minutes and do squats, etc (yes, in the bathroom!) I have to believe that every bit will help. HOWEVER, I am NOT big on exercise.

I read one article recently where they did a study of ppl losing weight with diet and exercise and ppl losing weight with just diet.

Both sides LOST WEIGHT. SO, reduce calories, if not by exercise, then by cutting calories. This site has a food tracker (though I normally just keep track on my own, it's way quicker).

Find your number (thedailyplate.com has a great site for finding your calorie number for your goal weight based on your age, height and activity level. It's been working for me). However, I will not go below 1200 calories a day so my weight loss isn't as fast.

I sincerely hope you find what you're looking for. Have a great turkey day!

Tina

HEATHERCS's Photo HEATHERCS Posts: 22
11/22/07 12:41 P

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I literally have no time in the day to work out, without exaggeration. Like I said, I can take a 20 minute walk, but I refuse to make it a "strenuous" one, because I don't have time to shower afterwards. I work in public service, for the county. I need to look professional at all times. I simply cannot come back to work sweaty and unkempt.

My office is a single floor, so taking the stairs won't help, and I am working every minute that I'm there, aside from scheduled breaks (which I often skip contrary to agency policy if I'm in the zone)and the lunch hour. I have a very tough job, which keeps me sitting in front of the computer all day long typing up legal documents, talking to clients and dealing with other public agencies.

I do what I can on my breaks and during lunch, when I can, but because I'm a single parent, often that time is taken up dealing with family issues and running errands that have to be done during work hours on weekdays. Even if I do manage to get in 5 minutes of some exercise here and there, it simply isn't effective. I'm the kind of person who needs 30-60 minutes of continuous exercise in order to see real results.

My kids are 10 and 12, and my oldest child has been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum. I cannot leave them alone to go for a run before dinner, even if I had that half hour to spare to do it.

I can (and do) work out on weekends, and days like today, but that's really not consistent enough to make a difference. It's really disheartening. And I appreciate the advice from everyone, but if you're not a single parent you can't possiby understand what it's like to be one. I literally have two full time jobs, and I do not have anyone that picks up any of the slack. Having a special needs kid actually adds another full time job, because I'm often having to run interference for her, and attending meetings , counseling sessions and doing all the stuff that helps to make her successful. Add to that the fact that I'm in the National Guard, so one weekend a month does not belong to me, and being in shape is part of my job description there. My life is just a bit hectic.

But I don't want this thread to be all about me, I'm not the only person in the world with these issues. Being a single parent is tough, and trying to add more to your already ridiculous schedule is almost impossible.

Happy turkey day!

Wisdom is knowing the right path to take... integrity is taking it.


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ZZZANEY Posts: 142
11/22/07 11:10 A

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Hi Heather,

As a single mom (for the past 13 years) of a 15yr, 17yr, and 19 yr, I know what you mean by not having enough time to turn around let alone exercise! I'm really not big on exercising myself, but I am trying to incorporate some into my routine.

What do you do at work? I'm a cubby dweller, so three times a day, I stop what I'm doing and either do leg lift crunches (in my chair) squats, modified lunges and when I go to the bathroom I do wall push-ups. All of this takes just minutes at a time so it's not as if you'll draw attention to yourself. I also take the stairs at work as much as I can now.

At lunch, since we aren't downtown, I try to powerwalk at least two loops around the parking lot. I know it's difficult to fit it in, but the energy boost really helps. I used to have to take a short nap when I got home but now anymore.

Also, I try to stay around 1200 cal/day. If I lose a pound a week I feel I'm still doing well.

Being turkey day though... I sooo know I'm going to blow my diet today.

Take care,

Tina

KIMBERLEY36's Photo KIMBERLEY36 Posts: 377
11/22/07 10:50 A

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Heather, I feel for you. I am not a single mom, but both my husband and I fall into bed exhausted shortly after our two kids. I find the time to work out because I am home with them. My husband, however, does not. When we met we always hit the gym after work. Now he feels like he'll miss time with the kids. One thing that has helped me is to make sure my kids understand that I need to excercise. They respect that time because it is something that I always do. I also hope that I am setting a good example for them. Go for that walk at lunch, it is a good place to start, and then see if your kids might let you have a half hour before dinner.

Sometimes Believing is seeing. -Madelyn Alt

Never go into a battle of wits with an unarmed man.- Mark Twain

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. - George Carlin


 
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NIEMALEE's Photo NIEMALEE Posts: 827
11/22/07 9:18 A

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Heather, how old are your kids? What are your off days? Can you make that 15-20 minute walk a strenuous one? Give some more information and we can all put our heads together. There is a solution to your dilemma. Together, we will find the answer that works best for you.

To be a champion, you must be willing to pay a greater price than your competition will ever have to pay.

In order to finish the race, you must first start.


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HEATHERCS's Photo HEATHERCS Posts: 22
11/22/07 12:59 A

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I swear, I don't have time in the day to exercise. How am I supposed to fit everything in, honestly? I could get up earlier in the morning and exercise before getting the kids up, but dangit, I need all the sleep I can get! We get up at 6, leave the house at 7:15, I work from 8-5 (I do have a lunch hour, but doing anything more strenuous than walking for 15-20 minutes ain't happening. There's a gym next door, but I'm not going back to work after a serious workout without a shower, and there's just no time), get home close to 6pm, cook dinner, eat, get the kids going on their chores, do my chores, get lunches and clothes ready for the next day, and by then it's time for bed. As it is I rarely get done before 10pm. There's got to be a way to fit it all in, I just don't have the answers.

Wisdom is knowing the right path to take... integrity is taking it.


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