Forced workouts.

They say “nature” gets you back into shape after having a baby. Constantly holding a quickly growing newborn forces you to put on some muscle. Breast feeding helps lose calories. Chasing a toddler gets you off the couch and moving around.

Then there’s my kids, ages 2 and 5. I’m past the newborn and just about out of toddler stage – although Kate still asks me to carry her often. They have never been to a daycare. The only time Emma has been in that kind of setting was preschool last year.

Scott got the whole family passes to a gym nearby when we moved in out new house. Scott hasn’t gotten much use of it since tearing his ACL. But I started taking the girls to their childcare while I work out. The girls love it. They love it so much that they will ask to go to the gym. No, not ask, they beg me. Every. Day. They love playing with “new” toys. There’s a mini gymnasium for them to play with balls. There’s a kid door leading outside to a fenced in turf. Huge macs preloaded with games. A TV bigger than me with preschool programs running at all times. There’s a hide and seek area. They love it. They don’t want to leave when I come pick them up. All of this is awesome and some days not-so-awesome.

I swear during a class workout, think it was Bar Strength, I thought I was going to flat out die. As I was walking back to the childcare, I was cursing to myself at Kate and Emma for begging me to go to the gym. Some days I’m so tired and sore from previous day’s hard workout, I just don’t want to go. One day I only had 30 minutes to workout because the child care closes early on Fridays. I upped my weights and went through my workout as fast a possible. The next day, I could barely move. *Note to self, good 30 min workout technique. One day at class, pretty sure the lady next to me heard me whispering “eff you, Kate” while putting out the last few pushups. If you know me, you know I hate cardio. The most I do is 10 min, maybe 15 on the ecliptical to loosen up my arms and legs. I spend the rest of the time at a strength class or lifting.

This has been going on for 2 months now. Forced workouts whether I want to or not. I will take the girls to the gym almost every time they ask because I mostly just want some time to myself. Even if I have to pay for it with pain.

My kids did it again as “older” kids. They got my body back in shape. I don’t weigh myself unless I’m pregnant so I’m not sure on my weight. Fortunately, weight is not an issue with me. But I’m showing muscle. I have abs. Those 6-pack abs I wished for in college (and desperately tried to get in abs/back class twice a week) are finally starting to show up, 2 kids later. I’ve impressed Scott with my shoulders and arms…and he’s hard to impress since he makes fun of my lankiness constantly. He still says I need to work on calves but I’ll take the criticism as a challenge. Pulling the 75 pounds of kids in the wagon for 40 minutes a day while taking Emma to school is becoming easier, especially when going up hill.

I have found a reason to go to the gym 5-6 times a week, most weeks. It’s to get alone time. But the changes I’m seeing aren’t too bad either. I think if every mom used the child care (or mothers-day-out or preschool or daycare or husband or however you get rid of the kids) every day for time at the gym – and I do mean EVERY DAY no matter how tired you are, we could all enjoy our halloween candy a little bit more.

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