I am a single mom to a special needs toddler and a teenager. My life is consistently moving, and there isn’t a lot of down time. And when there is? My attention better be on my kids. Personal time is a luxury that only exists when they sleep. Which, as most parents with toddlers would agree, is never when you want them to.
As a yo-yo dieter who’s tried every program that exists on the planet, I shall self-proclaim myself an expert on anything health related, but feel free to challenge me on this. You know where to go if you do. (To hell, guys. TO HELL.)
One such program that I decided to try was Team Beachbody. In theory, it’s awesome. One meal-replacement shake during the day (any meal you like) and a home work that you purchase along with your Shakeology. Pretty simple; a no-brainer.
If you are child-less, have a deep bank account, and have endless hours to spend on the internet promoting yourself as a coach,, then this is program is the one for you!
I did like it; kinda. The shakes were good, delicious almost when I tried a few of the recipes, and the P90 work out was challenging but completely do-able. The problem? It was impossible to maintain with my own lifestyle. I quickly learned that tension bands, weights, and exercise balls had no place in my household. My toddler runs a tight ship.
Now, I wasn’t successful, but if you’re thinking “I’m super mom and can totally do anything I set my mind to, even if that means exercising with my toddler pulling my hair, spilling juice down my sports bra, and screaming that she can’t find the TV remote… ” I have some totally realistic advice you should probably review before you do. Here goes my Single Mom’s Guide to Home Workouts:
Remove every piece of furniture from your living room. Get a storage unit. Start using bean bag chairs to sit on. If you’re going to work out every day, there is no need to have a couch or chair, ever. In fact, practice your balance and just use your exercise balls to save you the expense of the bean bag chairs. Your company will appreciate the attention to ergonomics, and your kids will love the built-in home-gym.
Schedule your work outs at 2am. The only time you will have the peace and quiet to listen to Jane Fonda or Richard Simmons telling you to “squeeze those buns” at a tolerable level, is in deep R.E.M, which as you all know, can sometimes NEVER happen with toddlers, but 2 am is a good time to try. And don’t sneeze or cough…the combination of a bodily function noise and a “Step up! Step down”, even at the lowest volume could wake up your child and instantly change your work out from “Lift left! Slap Right!” to “This little Piggy went to the Market”.
If your toddler happens to be awake, prepare yourself for body slams. Seriously. Do not, for even a second, think this is a joke. A body slam can be painful if unexpected (most are) and can seriously jeopardize any work out. Practice, even. Because at some point during your pull downs with the tension bands, your toddler will sneak attack and you could end up flat-lined under the kitchen table. I may or may not have been there already.
K.I.S.S: Keep it SHORT Stupid. Because if you don’t, you kind of are a little dumb (sorry). The attention span of a toddler is about 45 seconds. And when you’re not paying attention to him, that greatly decreases by at least 75%. You can stretch your work out time by setting up hidden snacks around the house for him to find, but remember to make it easy… a body slam sneak attack will inevitably be coming your way if you make them too hard to find. Consider making it something difficult to eat too; I’d suggest jujubes or laffy taffy. What’s a little dental work compared to your own alone time, am I right?
Wear a helmet. Toddlers throw things. And most often then not, they’re at your head because you aren’t paying them any attention. Usually it’s something like a stuffed panda bear or a squishy ball… but every so often you’re going to get a giant Transformer that weighs approximately 57lbs (give or take) thrown directly at your forehead. I’ve taken a few sippy-cups full of juice guys, and the bruises weren’t pretty.
It’s taken several attempts and multiple learning experiences for me to consider myself a pro. I am glad that my pain and suffering has given me the opportunity to share my knowledge with all of you single mom’s out there. If nothing else, I’ve encouraged you to sell off your furniture and sleep at the office. Now that’s you’ve prepared yourself for a (successful?) work-out plan at home, please also remember that you do have the option of quitting completely, settling yourself on your couch with a glass (or bottle) of wine, with Treehouse on the TV. The hand-eye coordination you will develop from this exercise will serve you well, too.
My toddler prefers it. And what he says, generally goes.