Life with a baby or a toddler is exhausting, life with a toddler and three more kiddos is extremely exhausting. Most of the time I feel torn in four different directions simultaneously,in addition to house work and staying on top of piles of paperwork, errands, and other commitments.
And I wouldn’t it want it any other way. I wouldn’t trade this for a less full plate:
Though stretched thin, like I usually am, I don’t feel like I have sacrificed myself to my family. It is true that uninterrupted “me time” has taken a backseat for the time being (babies are only babies for so long). But there are things that I am firm on keeping, and making a priority.
Exercising is one of those things. As I mentioned before, it didn’t come naturally to me. I have always been a “sit on the couch with a book” homebody, with the exception of ballet classes I took through Middle and High school. A nerdy ballerina :).
But as I get older, there came a point when I started to re-evaluate my life and make changes. The changes didn’t always turn out to be good (then back to re-evaluating it was!). But a change I made a few years ago was one of the best things that I have done for myself: I began exercising consistently and eating healthy.
Being Capital “B”-busy, it is a challenge to fit in exercising. But just like I said, it is a priority and I make time for it, 4– 5 days a week is my goal.
Why do I keep exercising? What do I gain from it?
- Good physical shape.
- Weight control.
All those things are wonderful and pretty self-explanatory. Weight-wise, combined with healthy eating, it has helped me maintain my target weight long-term.
The not so obvious:
- Work-outs are my “me time”: I am an introspective person. Jogging is a perfect time to reflect on things around me. A lot of my “bright ideas”, recipes, realizations, etc. happen during my work-outs.
Also, I get to listen to my favorite music, uninterrupted. It is not the kind of music I would play on my Pandora station while cooking dinner, but when I am working out– I turn it up!
- Exercising heals my aches: This was a completely unexpected discovery, and it sounds counter intuitive. When I feel like a total wreck, run over by a truck, and hit with a ton of bricks (well, you get the idea: when I do not want to move), I tell myself, “Just a short slow walk, just 5 minutes”. But once I am on it, my achiness starts to go away and my mind gets clearer. Before I know it, 20 minutes have passed, and I feel like a different person. Since I discovered this paradox, I look forward to my work-outs whenever I am not feeling 100%.
- Connection to “Grace and beauty” within: Remember, I used to be a ballerina– a Russian school of ballet at that, the essence of which is “through sweat and pain to grace and beauty”:). My Pilates routine is the source of both: lots of pain, but also undeniable grace and fluid beauty in every movement.
- Setting example for the kids: My 15 year old took after me, and resisted any kind of sport activities for a long time up until recently. But she is now reaching that point when she is ready to make some good changes to her life. I am happy to see it.
I am very happy about the discoveries I made, and I wanted to share them with you.