Several months ago, in a post called “The Battle of the Bulge,” I posed a question: Is it really worthwhile to struggle to get fit when I want to have more kids, who will inevitably ruin my looks anyway? The feedback from readers was a decisive YES! Don’t be a lazy a-hole, Liz! You must be fit for the sake of your future offspring! Set a good example! And yada yada and so on and so forth.
I took this to heart. Well, sort of. Ok not really. But in the past few months I’ve come to my own conclusion that I would indeed enjoy a return to basic fitness. Sure, my looks will be ruined once again if I get pregnant, but at least I’ll have some stamina. Perhaps my back won’t ache so much. My ankles may fight off cankle status a bit longer (and it’s hard to argue in favor of cankles).
With the aforementioned health benefits in mind, we went ahead and bought a TREADMILL! Everyone knows that simply buying a piece of gym equipment and setting it up in your house virtually guarantees a complete bodily transformation. All the top trainers will tell you so. Jillian Michaels actually recommends buying a piece of serious cardio and weight-lifting equipment for every single room in your house, including the bathrooms, to ensure your success.*
We couldn’t afford a treadmill for every room, but we could afford a treadmill for one room. Here it is, in all its glory:
This bad boy was under $300, which, lets be honest, is pretty much why we bought it. It was the only treadmill at that price point that got good reviews. I figured it would be serviceable; probably a little flimsy, but usable. Turns out this thing is a rock! I love it. It’s a real treadmill you guys. It has real treadmill features, like the ability to go faster and slower as you please. And it’s in my house. No big deal, but yeah. Big deal. It’s an inspiration. I won’t go so far as to say I’m an inspiration, but probably I am. Nobody has actually said so out loud, but I think it’s just that they are so inspired by me that they’re too nervous to say anything.
My Facebook status update after my first workout really sums up how I’ve been feeling about this athletic revival:
I just worked out ONCE for the first time in like 4 months, and already I feel way hotter and more athletic. I’m walking around like I own the place (which, actually I do own the place because I’m in my house). But anyway, it’s amazing what a 20 minute slooooow jog on zero incline can do for the imagination. – Liz, hot mother of one
You guys, my imagination has REALLY gone wild now that I am five workouts in. While to the untrained eye I look 99.999% the same as I did last week, I am almost 100% sure that on a cellular level I have an entirely new body. It’s science. Look it up.
Can I also just say that I actually really like running on treadmills?! There’s something soothing about it. People are always dissing the treadmill. Everyone wants to be out in nature. But you know what? If you’re from New England like me, nature has been giving you the middle finger for weeks now. While nature is busy effing with you, the good old treadmill is there in the spare bedroom, just waiting for company.
While the treadmill and I have joined forces, Brian has been mixing it up with P90X. Those videos kind of make me want to gouge out my own eyes, but Brian is taking right to them. Nolan isn’t working out per se, he’s mainly focusing on his diet. For a while he was only eating brown things. Then green things. Then cheese. I’ve told him none of that is helpful, but when that kid gets his mind on a fad diet it’s really hard to reason with him.
Our family will be unrecognizable in our hotness come Spring. As the saying goes, “Fitness is 1% perspiration, 99% owning a treadmill.”
What are the rest of you doing to stay fit? The internet is always talking about “support communities” so maybe this can be one. Or else people can just feel free to talk about ice cream and bitch about the weather.
*Jillian Michaels recommends no such thing.
Stroller strides. You can bring your baby. It's awesome
Liz Curtis Faria
I love walking with Nolan in the stroller, but I hate running with him! Ugh. I was excited about that pre-motherhood. But it seems so heavy to run with him. Do you run or walk? I get impressed by the jogging stroller crowd 🙂
I felt like I was firmly in the why bother/who cares camp. I mean we’re in New England! We’re all trapped under several layers of fleece/three feet of snow anyway. But then I remembered! DH (yep I typed DH) and I are going to Punta Cana in 23 days!! Strangers will see the 15 pounds I need to shed! Help! Can you put me on a strict (but not actually strict) diet?? Can I borrow your treadmill??
Chrissie, YES. I mean, I have been working out for 5 whole days, so I am definitely authorized to be your trainer. I will put you on a diet, and of course you can use the treadmill! I’ll PM you with details. And I’ll see you at my place, tomorrow 5:00 am SHARP. Time’s a wastin’.
Baby Boot Camp…you can bring baby and it is a total body work out that kicks my ass!
Ooh that sounds hard but also bad ass. I like the sounds of it!
ditto in GA
Liz I’ve been following you since your invitation on what to expect way back in the beginning and I swear you’re writing about my life every single time!!! My baby and Nolan have been at the same points, I’ve picked up new mom friends and we even converted a deck into a playroom for the fun of construction chaos. I’ve recently been coerced into running a half marathon and my ‘supportive fans’ have named me captain of team sloth just to give you an idea of how ridiculous this is!
Your hilarious accounts have gotten me through many sleepless nights. I always look forward to your emails to see what my Eliza has told Nolan to have you write about this time!!! (do they have walkie talkies hidden in their cribs?!)
Thanks for the entertainment! Keep being awesome!!!
That is awesome! And funny that we are so on the same page. I’m glad you like the blog! This comment made my day 🙂 Also, I’m impressed with you captaining Team Sloth. I want to run another half marathon, I did one pre-baby but that seems like a stretch right now. I will need to become more intimately acquainted with my treadmill first….
I’m all about running outdoors in New England in the winter. It makes you feel hard core and like you’ll be SO HOT come the spring. Sure, the dog walkers and Grandmas are passing by while walking, I am running and therefore on my way to pre-baby levels of hotness. Or I’m delusional, but that’s useful with a toddler in the house too. So it’s a win, either way.
True Erin, total win-win. I kind of like outdoor running in the winter too, actually, But, I don’t like running with the stroller, even though I got a jogging stroller just for that purpose. So the only time I can find to run is during Nolan’s naps, which means I’m in the house. I think I might try to do some outdoor weekend runs, though, once this shitshow of a snow disaster clears a bit.
Yay! Go Liz, go! There is an undeniable feeling of accomplishment when you’ve got it together enough to get back to working out. (Aka: My house is a wreck and no supper is ready but hey I made it to the gym!) My personal fav is Crossfit. Caring for your child is no fun unless they feel like 57 lbs instead of 27 post workout.
Jenny you do CrossFit?! That’s badass! I did it briefly pre-wedding, and it kicked my ass. I kind of liked it, but it scared me. I was always worried I would get hurt. But I have friends who do it now, and they are in amazing shape. Hmmm….
Find a place with coaches that teach good form on the lifts, focus on your technique and use common sense and you won’t have any troubles with serious injury. It kicked my ass in the beginning as well. I couldn’t walk up stairs for like 2 weeks. The community is very supportive though and there’s something nice about a starting assumption that we are all strong in our own ways.
The “Couch to 5k” apps are good to get you going on the treadmill if you’re starting at like zero…I did one of those and ran a 5k and was pretty proud of myself. I happened to get pregnant (unbeknownst to me) about 2 weeks before said 5k…now I’m 19 weeks along and a really poor role model for all things fitness and dieting. I have hope for the future though!
Kim, during pregnancy it was SO HARD for me to keep up with exercise. I was just too uncomfortable. But like you, I see hope for the future 🙂
I’m three months into motherhood now and I keep telling myself that nursing is my “workout.” At some point sitting with my baby and surfing Pinterest will not work. Thanks Liz for the inspiration. I love reading your blog!
Megan, I told myself the same thing about nursing for MONTHS! Ha! I was all “nursing burns the same number of calories as going on a run, so I’m all good.” But my thighs didn’t seem to care about my calculations, they just kept increasing in girth. So, onto the treadmill.
I seem to recall you ran that half marathon with virtually no training or prep. You basically got up, threw clothes on and were out the door and at the starting line. Ah youth. You’ll get your mojo back, one treadmill mile at a time.
Thanks for the vote of confidence LP! And yes, you are correct. In my early 20s I did run a half marathon with no training. That is not advisable. I was incapacitated for many weeks afterwards….I later did a half marathon that I DID train for, and I think that’s really the way to go 🙂