The question I get asked most frequently about fitness is "how do you stay motivated to workout with 2 kids?". The answer? I don't. Okay, hear me out. I do have a real answer for you, but it's one that requires a little more than a few sentences.
Motivation is usually what drives us to start a diet or workout routine in the first place. You go to the beach, see the gorgeous girls in itty bitty bikinis, and feel a sense of self doubt and insecurity. I've been there, MANY times. Back in 2006, I was a newlywed. I was also a bit on the heavy side, a size 12. This was before kids, mind you. My husband had just returned from Iraq, and since we didn't have the big wedding that we were trying to plan (schedule conflicts with his homecoming date), he booked us a cruise as a wedding gift to me! It was the sweetest thing ever, and I was so excited. I had never been on a cruise before. He gave us a honeymoon :) Well, I spent most of that cruise indoors, and not in my swimsuit. It was so hard for me to go out in my tankini (yeah...the TANKini) and feel confident in front of girls half my size with my newlywed husband. So...BAM! Motivation. Does it last? Hardly ever! If it did, most of America would be fit. The problem is that motivation does not last.
Is motivation what drives me at 5:45am to roll out of bed, throw on workout gear, and take the assault of Harper's 45 minute Crossfit? Oh hell no.
It's not motivation anymore. It's 2 things:
Dedication & Commitment
I'll go into these more. Dedication is just what it means, being dedicated to fitness, being healthy, and fitting into my jeans. Dedication and habit also go hand-in-hand here. Habit also helps me roll out of bed in the morning, too. Honestly, after taking care of everyone in my house all day long, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and chasing after my 5 and 1 year old, the last thing I want to do is get up at 5:45am and see Harper's face before the sun rises. I do it, though. I owe it to myself to be healthy. What I've found is that the hour that I workout each morning is dedication to myself. I owe it to myself to be the best version of me that I can be. I owe that to my family as well. They deserve the best from me too, and that includes having a happy mommy and wife. You'd be amazed at the changes in my family life and marriage that being healthy has made.
Commitment is very similar, but it's more of a promise I've made to myself. I've promised myself that for the rest of my life, I will be healthy. That's a huge promise, but I will live by the commitment I've made. Too many people count on me to be at my best, and others need my help (like you lovely people reading my blog now!). I've made the commitment to fitness, and it's paid off, but the journey is never over. The hardest part of my jorney is now, while I'm getting comfortable with my "new self" and living the lifestyle. Fighting to maintain is hard. Fighting my "old self" is hard. Commitment is what I have when everything else fails. I committed myself to this lifestyle, and I will live my life this way now. I know there is no going back for me, even if that means I have to miss an hour of sleep or relaxing time when my kids are still sleeping. I will do it. I not only commitmed myself to this life, but my family as well. My kids deserve to be healthy and have a good example of a healthy lifestyle. I will stay committed for them. Does that mean we don't loosen up and have dessert ever? Not at all! We just do things like that in moderation, and we teach them the value of health and fitness.
I know what you're thinking "but HarperGirl, you haven't told me how you work out with kids in the house!!". Honestly, every house and routine is different. If you have the committment and dedication to this lifestyle, you will find a way. Sometimes that means rearranging your schedule, or missing an hour of sleep time, or putting down the remote and DVRing your favorite show instead. If it's important to you, you'll find a way to workout. Plain and simple. If I can do it with a newborn and active 3 year old, then I know you can, too. Even when I was tired from being up every 2-3 hours at night with my newborn, I still got up and did my workout because it helped me wake up and greet the day. I'm just now finished with a run, and my energy is through the roof!
Where there is a will, there is a way. Look at your schedule and routine at home. Write it out, even. Then take out all the non-essential things. I'm sure there is 20-45 minutes in there somewhere that you can do a workout. If I can do it, anyone can!