Swim Suit Shopping Shell Shock

Or should I say PTSD?

I am very excited for our family trip to Florida, but the one part that DOES NOT excite me in the least bit is the part about having to don a bathing suit, unless it’s accompanied by a giant moo moo. So needless to say I was apprehensive about trying on swim suits, but even my wildest imagination it was not as horrifying as the reality.

I have a long history of diet/exercise/weight obsession, for much of my adult life I was slightly UNDERWEIGHT, including when I got pregnant with Jasper. So to say that my new corporal reality sits well with me would be a huge lie. But, so many things have converged to make it seem nearly an insurmountable task to get back in shape, not the least of which is time.

I used to be really torn during Jasper’s naps on the weekend – should I go to the gym or tackle the backlog of client photos, or work on my templates or a million other thing I need to get done? Now, Jasper doesn’t even nap on the weekends anymore so it seems doubly impossible!

But, my recent dressing room trauma DID motivate me sufficiently that I am determined to find time to get back in shape SOMEHOW, come hell or high water. So Saturday morning, Jeff slept in until 9 (Jasper and I were up at 7am) so in return I got to go to the gym for an hour for the first time in…. I actually have no idea how long. So long that Jeff said “What gym?” because he had just assumed I let my membership lapse (which I would have except it’s only $10 a month!).

But anyway, it felt GLORIOUS! I only had time to lift weights and walk on an incline for about 10 minutes, but I’m sore and it feels amazing and fabulous that I MUST find a way to get there at least 3 times a week. I figure if I go both weekend days, I can maybe find one weekend day when Jeff can come home from work on the earlier side and I can sneak away.. or maybe get my parents to meet us at home to feed Jasper while I go. I don’t know, I need some ideas!

If you somehow manage to be a mom and stay fit, please share your tips! I need more inspiration..

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Tess says:

Wow, a gym for only $10-wish we had one. Working at home does have its down falls.like not getting out as much to exercise!

Lisa says:

Ariana, I have two kiddos (2 year old son & 4 year old girl), and I’ve been fighting the extra 10 lbs EACH pregnancy has packed on my 5 foot tall frame. I returned to the gym when my son was about 6 weeks old, and it honestly took a YEAR before he was comfortable with me leaving him in the daycare (sometimes he still has a hard time; he’s such a mama’s boy! :) ). For the first year, on most occasions I would only get 20 minutes to work out before I had to get him; frustrating for sure, but eventually he’s been able to part from me with less drama. As a SAHM/photographer, the cost of gym membership is totally worth the reward of getting out of the house – mostly for the kids’ sake – and feeling great after a workout. :)

Monika says:

Gaining weight and trying to loose it later it’s not fun and so much more difficult when you have kids. I was never a gym person I started running. I take my 17 month with me every time, have a jogging stroller and usually we go to Rockland Lake. After break over the winter I just started again. To motivate myself I register to run local runs. Fist one is in May – God help me:(

Kimberly says:

You don’t have to be a good dancer to Zumba… at ALL. You just follow along with their moves. It’s very repetitive, so you just eventually get the hang of it… Try it, you might just LOVE it like I do! :)

ariana says:

Elizabeth – I used to do the same thing when I worked in NYC! There is no gym anywhere near my work :( I’m jealous that Jeff’s work has their own gym he can use at lunch!

Elizabeth says:

I try to go to the gym on my lunch hour. It’s enough time to do about 30 minutes of cardio and be back at the office in about an hour. I then supplement a little bit of strength training in the evenings with a DVD or On Demand.

Jen says:

I like reading all the ideas here! If I had to wait for naptime, I’d never get to exercise. And there’s no way we can afford a gym. But I’m pretty happy with our routine:
Just about every morning, Henry and I go out for a stroller run/jog. He’s happy to be out of the house and I get to exercise, yay! When it’s been too cold to go outside, I put him in the Ergo and do squats and lift hand weights. He thinks it’s a game.

Sofia says:

Hi Ariana, my son Alex is about to turn 2, i thought it was time to rid of my belly flab. I started 30 Day Shred with JM. I am not a morning workout person, so i do it either while my son naps in the afternoon or in the evening before i go to bed. It sure makes me sweat and gets my heart pumping. Try it. In just 4 weeks i lost one inch from waist. I haven’t lost any weight on scales – that might be because of gaining muscle weight.
Who wants to do P90X? (this is scary to me)

Brittney says:

love your website. just found it the other week and have had so much fun photoshopping all my pictures!
I am a young mom with a young husband. My husband works 25 hours a week and goes to school full time- trying to have him find time to watch our little 15 month old while I go to the gym is quite impossible- I would have to go at 9:00 and by that time I’m not in the mood to exercise.
Like Aimee above, Julian Michael’s 30 day shred is my favorite solution. I know, it sounds lame but it really is an amazing workout and the best part is that it is only 20 mins (25 with the warm up). You just need a set of dumbells and a mat. and, its about $8 on amazon.
My sister is more of a gym girl and she has this dvd on hand for the days that things just don’t work out to go to the gym- we’ve both loved it. Good luck!

Aimee says:

Try Jullian Michael’s 30 day shred. It will kick your butt.

ariana says:

Laura, you are my hero!

Seriously, all of you have motivated me.. the JCC said that if we sign up now, we get 4 dollars down and $99 a month.. not much to lose right?

Lindsey says:

Ben turned 2 in February. It took him a few times to get use to it. He loves it now though. This is the only time he’s ever really away from me so hopefully it would be easier for Jasper. Our gym is kind of expensive to me but is really nice and so worth being able to go when I have Ben with me.

Laura P says:

I manage to remain a competitive runner with 2: one not quite 2.5 and the other just turned 9 months today. Basically, I sacrifice sleep. I get up at 5:30 almost every day and hit the mill in the basement. In warmer months I push both kids in a double running stroller. I wrangle babysitting 2 x a week to get to the track and do a harder tempo run and then my wonderful hubby is on daddy duty both weekend mornings. I’m always home no later than 9 so it’s not that bad at all. As a fail safe, I also belong to the Y which has awesome childcare up to 2 hours, so there’s always that option too. I make my fitness the utmost priority after taking care of my family. You don’t have to be nearly as psychotic as me to get in 3-5 days of exercise :) You can do it!!!

jen says:

I am in the same boat re: not finding the time to do it. My solution is to find things I can do at home to stay fit. This way I can do stuff after the baby goes to sleep and not worry about having to coordinate my work out schedule with my husband and/or find a babysitter. We bought a treadmill about a year ago and I was doing well on that at first (following the C2K app on my iPhone), but having never run before in my life, I ultimately overdid it and really hurt my knees which sidelined me for months. Now, our treadmill has been moved around a bit and is currently collecting dust as it’s blocked and/or covered by a bunch of CRAP that we either need to sell in a garage sale or donate to Goodwill. My hope is that when I finally get our playroom/gym organized (hopefully within the next month), I can start logging in at least 30 minutes on the treadmill every night, a few nights a week. I’ve also heard GREAT things about P90X and I love that my husband and I can do it together since the videos give you variations to follow whether you want to bulk up muscle or slim down/tone up. Bottom line is, I am counting on things I can do in the comfort of my own home to help and get me back into shape.

You’re not alone, though!!!! My daughter is 16 months old and I really thought by now I’d be back to my “old” self…sadly, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Susan says:

I get up in the morning and go for a run with our dog. I only go for about 30 minutes but it’s nice to get it over with right away so I don’t have to stress about it in the afternoon. AND the dog has to be walked anyway so I kill to birds with one stone.

jbhat says:

I am the last person to ask about exercising. Remember when I admitted in a comment that I didn’t know what transverse abs were?

But good for you! Exercise will cure your PTSD from the swimsuit dressing room (aka HELL).


ariana says:

Kimberly – the JCC has zumba! But, I AM THE WORST dancer possibly in the whole wide world. I have such a hard time memorizing the simplest of routines! But I’m sure it would be fun :)

ariana says:

Lindsey – that sound great! How old is Ben? The gym I belong to is not that type of place, in fact it’s kind of like a boxing gym, all weights – lots of cardio but no classes, which is fine because I love lifting and never did classes. But, it’s grungy and no childcare! The only one with childcare around is is at the JCC, but I have been resisting joining until now because a) it’s quite expensive – but probably worth it and b) I don’t think Jasper would be ok with me leaving him with the babysitters.

I arrive at conclusion B because even though he’s been going to the same daycare since he was 3 months old, he STILL often has a hard time letting me drop him off!

Did it take Ben a while to get used to you dropping him there?

Kimberly says:

Post-baby bodies are no fun to dress in a swimsuit. ;)
You must see if you can find a Zumba class… it’s incredibly fun and a total calorie blaster… I hate the gym but I LOVE Zumba and I notice a change pretty quickly. :)

Lindsey says:

I’m not sure I stay fit but I do go to the gym a few times a week! Our gym (a brand new 24 hour fitness) actually has a really nice childcare with really great people working there. I bring Ben with me. In fact most mornings he says “gym?” which really keeps me in check! I am a stay at home mom/photographer though so my schedule is way easier than yours. I also sometimes go at 5am before my husband leaves for work. That way I’m done for the day and Ben and I can spend our day doing something else fun.

Do you have a jogger and a good walking neighborhood? Ben likes walking but doesn’t last as long as I’d like.

Danielle says:

I only find time to stay in shape because I get paid to teach group fitness classes, extreme but it works for me. I had gained about 8 pounds when my kid was dealing with some health issues (that NAET has helped tremendously I might add!) Now that my kid is doing better, I’m able to put some focus back on myself. I found recently found a book called ‘The 17 Day Diet’, which I started on 2/26. I am down 12 pounds, and it’s not just water weight. I’ve lost 2 inches from my hips and waist, and of course 2 1/2 from my chest–oh well, take the good with the bad =) It’s basically no processed foods, no grains, and no sugar and it really works for my body. There’s a bunch of facebook pages with people doing this ‘diet.’