Exercise {or, Exactly What Does it Take to Get a Lazy Woman to the Gym?}

Disclaimer: As I write this, I’m sitting on the couch eating some leftover sugar cookies.  I am not “skinny” and I won’t be for at least the next 9-12 months (thanks to the cutie patootie growing inside mah belleh), or – let’s be honest – probably never.  Still, I feel like something has shifted for me, and I thought I’d write about it.  Because that’s how I do.

2 years ago, I lost a bunch of weight.  Like, a bunch.  I was on a super restrictive diet as we tried to determine if one of our kids had allergies, and I decided to try out Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred at the same time.  The cumulative effect was… impressive.  And a bit addictive.  I’m a sucker for fast results, and those fast results had me clamoring for more, more, more.

But then, as dieters always do, I hit the wall.  The lose-no-more weight wall.  And the pounds starting piling back on… at a shocking rate.  I ditched the diet and the exercise and wallowed in my own misery.  I tried paleo twice more with absolutely zero results.  I tried Jillian Michaels again but it hurt my knees and had to stop.  I did the couch to 5K app and built up some stamina, but no weight loss.  If anything, my pants were getting tighter.  Grrr.

So there I was a few months back, chubby and not particularly happy about it, but too frustrated to do anything about it.  And then a few things happened that lit a fire under me, and I made peace with something else, and now we’re rolling along, exercising at a fairly regular rate of 3-4 times/week?.  Minus last week’s Hell Week, of course.

How to De-Lazify Yourself and Git Movin’.

1. Have a husband (or friend) who starts exercising regularly.

Kevin took up running a few months back.  At first, I really didn’t know what to do with that information.  It didn’t affect my day, really, because he went before most of us woke up in the morning, but still.  Something was different about him. And I thought about joining him, ina nebulous, far off kind of way.  But I also didn’t.

See, I’m kind of competitive.  But also, I like to be the first one with the good idea.  So… conflict.  It took a couple more steps before I got my lazy rear in gear.

2. Get pregnant (or otherwise face the specter of gaining 30-60 pounds in a short amount of time)

Then back in March, I found out I was pregnant.  Now, I was ecstatic, make no mistake.  But the thought of gaining more weight was daunting.  At that time, I weighed almost the same as I did just after Zeke was born, so… not my lowest early pregnancy weight.  In the past, I’ve gained between 30 and 60+ pounds during my pregnancies, depending on how diligent I was about eating carefully, and whether or not I exercised.  I knew immediately that I had to be careful this pregnancy.  Since it’s become increasingly difficult for me to lose weight, I was motivated to keep the weight from piling on as much as possible.  I began doing some home workout DVDs that I had (not 30-Day Shred) and trying to eat mindfully.

Let me be very clear:  I am in no way dieting during this pregnancy, other than following a healthy, balanced Brewer’s Diet.  I eat lots of protein, and healthy fats, and I do not restrict carbs, other than to keep it to whole grains.   I’m simply avoiding over-eating and trying to make healthy nutritious meals for the whole family.  I don’t ever ever advocate for women to attempt to lose weight while pregnant, for the obvious reason that dieting can put an unborn baby in significant danger.

4th of July

Thanks, Aunt Marianne, for the fun photo of me with my boys!

3. Find your happy place, and then go work out there.

This is what finally tipped the scales and got me out of the house… the temptation of an hour alone reading.  I know, I know.  I’m a stay at home mom, I chose this life, I should be happy being around my kids all the time, and blah, blah, BLAH.

Listen, I’ve done all that self-talk.  No one knows better than me what I should be feeling.  But guess what?  “Should” doesn’t change facts: having an hour alone is a powerful motivator for me.  I can read on my Kindle while I run on the elliptical or walk on the treadmill?  My kids are otherwise occupied by a reasonably responsible adult?  Sign. Me. Up.

4. The clincher: Put your money where your mouth is.

Ever since Kevin and I took the Dave Ramsey FPU class 6 months ago, we’ve been pretty diligent about budgeting.  And since we know where all of our money is going, we now put it where we want it to go.  When we realized a YMCA family  membership was within reach, we made it happen.  BTW, if you have a family and are looking into gym memberships, I highly recommend checking to see if there’s a YMCA near you.  The rates are low to begin with, and then they have a sliding scale.  The benefits are phenomenal.  Hello?  Swimming and free classes for kids and adults and FREE CHILDCARE HALLELUJAH PRAISE THE LORD!


As I mentioned above, I’m not skinny, and I won’t be for a long while.  But I’m moving and it feels good.  Doesn’t hurt that I haven’t gained a pound yet this pregnancy (all okayed by my OB.  Baby looks fine -big, as mine usually run large – and I’m certainly not overdoing anything).

So there.  That’s my story, for what it’s worth.  If you’re an active person, I’d love to hear what motivates you.  And if not, what holds you back?


  1. Way to go Micaela! I wrote about getting fit today too. The thing that motivates me the most is how great I feel after working out. I just love that exercise high!!
    Colleen Martin recently posted…Your Fitness Cheerleader, At Your ServiceMy Profile

  2. Except for #2 ;), my motivations are pretty much the same. DH puts me to shame getting up to run at 5:30am but the chance to read on my Kindle is really what gets me there. That and my calculations of the per-use cost of our Y membership if I skip a day! 😉
    Catherine recently posted…Essays and the Trumpet of the SwanMy Profile

  3. Good for you!

    I love all your exercise motivation stuff, but the things that struck me the most was how easy it was to lost weight 2 years ago, and how hard it has been ever since. I’ve had a similar experience….and one thing that I wished I had known back then was that losing weight too fast messes with your metablism and makes it harder to lost weight other times. At least that has been my experience and it seem like my body needs a “recovery time” when I don’t try to lose weight at all (just eat healthy and exercsie but no calorie restriction) get things back on track.
    Amelia @ One Catholic Mama recently posted…What I Wore Sunday with Questions about Weird StuffMy Profile

  4. Rita @ Open Window says:

    This is great advice! I think finding someone to exercise with you is key. What a great photo of you with your family!

  5. OH boy! I totally need to get motivated! I REALLY want to get ride of this baby pooch! Thanks for writing this!
    Cassie @Kent Heartstrings recently posted…Thoughts on 30My Profile

  6. I am in an unmotivated rut right now, but looking at running again (I want to do a 5K again this year–I did one last year when my baby was 3 months old!), and maybe Cross-Fit. Actually this week it’s been on my mind so much that I’m looking at blogging about it, too…see what tips I can muster up to motivate me. 🙂
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