A Letter of Apology From a Fitness Writer to Aspiring Exercisers With Young Kids
Dear Parent Who Stumbled Across Some Fitness Story I Once Wrote -
I am sorry. I now know that I've published health stories offering advice that, on most days, is impossible for you to even attempt to follow. Having parented through that toddler/preschooler stage during which nobody sleeps, I feel like I have some apologizing and explaining to do.
For instance, Ive written something like this:
"No time to exercise? Just wake up a half hour earlier."
I get it now: Wake up half an hour earlier, and your kid will wake up an hour earlier, which means that you'll still be sedentary and that much more sleep deprived. A+ for effort though...
"Hop on the treadmill after your kids go to bed."
I get it now: Youre exhausted. And even if you can somehow summon the energy to drag yourself down to the basement to hop on the mill, it might not even be the best idea. After tucking your children in for the third time, youve got about six minutes before the bigger one starts to yell that he has to poop, rousing the littler one from his slumber. Had you ventured all the way down to the basement and "hopped on the treadmill," you wouldn't have heard the big guy's cry for help or the little bro sobbing because his sweet dream was interrupted by shouts about excrement.
Better, my friend, to pass the time on Facebook, Twitter or that time-sucking blog that you keep.
Ive said this a lot:
"Eating healthy meals just takes planning."
I get it now: This only works if you have children who actually go to bed. If not, the hours between 8 and 10 p.m. when you've been anticipating chopping vegetables and the like will be spent trying to prevent the big one from waking the little one with screams about poop, water and Daddy in no particular order.
I suggested this, more than once:
"Eating or drinking to relax just causes more stress. Do a yoga DVD instead."
I get it now: Somedays, you are spent. Literally. This phrase makes so much more sense now. So give yourself permission to pour yourself a glass of wine and grab some almond M&Ms. Carve out room for those calories by skipping dinner and eating the few bites of whole wheat pancake your kid left on his plate. After all, research shows that the best sort of weight loss/fitness plan is one you can stick to.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended to be amusing and affirming only, and is not to be used or relied on for any health promoting purposes.
Author's note: Despite that disclaimer, I'm taking all this advice to heart. Especially the thing about the wine and almond M&M's.