Operation: No More Muffin-Top.

Enough messing around, y’all: it’s time to get back on the horse. Or the exercise bike, in this case.

Last winter, after I officially lost all the baby weight (Thanks to Weight Watchers Online, woo!) I started taking yoga and pilates at a friend’s studio, and I looooved it. I had never really done yoga before, other than a $10 video I picked up at WalMart like 5 years ago. And it was the type of yoga where I wanted to just lay down go to sleep already, the lady was SO BORING and she held each pose for like AN HOUR and I just couldn’t get into it. But going to yogo at this place was great- the classes were a much better pace, and even when I accidentally took the ‘Power Yoga’ class one day, I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I loved it even more- it was an awesome workout, and on top of all that: I GOT TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. Win Win Win Win Win.

After the free 1-month trial, I purchased a block of classes. And I went on average twice a week. Not an insane amount but it fit with my schedule of Maggie-watching and work. I would sometimes take her with me if I went during the day (there’s a free childcare room there) but after a while I started only liking the Power Yoga or Yogilates classes, and those were mostly in the evenings. So I would have to ask Dan to watch her… and to be honest, I felt kind of bad dumping her in his lap the second he got in the door just so I could drive 30 minutes to a yoga class. (That’s the other thing- this particular place isn’t exactly close by.) I didn’t want to take her with me to the evening classes, because it ran into her bedtime and the last thing ANYBODY wants is a cranky, tired kid. So I left her with Dan, and he said he was fine with it, even said I deserved to have a break and do something for me (LOVE HIM.)

For a few months, I was doing awesome. February through April, I could feel myself getting in better shape. My pants fit better, my body felt stronger, and I really looked forward to going and getting a good workout.

Then May came and I don’t know what happened. Well actually, I do. Life Got Busy. I had a bazillion things going on that month, with work and family stuff and getting ready for our first family vacation, etc etc. I think I went twice the whole month. Then we went to the beach in June, and when we got home, there was the whole ‘Vacation Recovery’ period where it took me like a week to get caught up on laundry and work emails and all that stuff. Then Maggie got sick… and started cutting 4 molars all at the same time… and we went WEEKS without getting a decent night of sleep. And you know, when you don’t sleep, you REALLY don’t have the energy to exercise (though, if you exercised, you probably would have more energy- I believe they call that a ‘Vicious Cycle’.)

I did manage to get my butt there a couple of times in July, but that was it. Other than that, all I’ve been doing exercise-wise is the occasional evening walk with Dan and Maggie, and every once in a while if it’s not eleventy-thousand degrees outside, a daytime walk with Maggie. And the teething and sleep issues have continued… most nights I’ve only been getting 6 hours of sleep, which isn’t bad here and there, but after a while, it catches up with me and I am just SO TIRED ALL THE TIME. Combine the lack of good sleep with a pretty dang full workload from my clients and emotional/bored eating (I seem to eat more when I’m sleepy.) and what do you get?

A Jen with a Muffin-Top.

Basically, I just feel like crap. I feel gross and tired and so frustrated with myself because I was doing SO GOOD in the winter/spring and really made progress and was finally liking my post-baby body again. And now? I have trouble sitting down with my jeans on because it feels like they’re cutting me in half. And that ain’t cool, yo.

The good news is, I haven’t actually gained any pounds, according to our scale. I think most of it is just muscle moving its way back to flabbyness. And I need to stop that process and get it going back the other way. My first thought was hey, I’ll just do WW again and it’ll all come right off! And really? It probably would. But it’s about so much more than just losing weight and eating right. I need to move my butt and get back into the shape I was a few months ago.

As much as I love the yoga and pilates classes, it’s just not going to work with my schedule right now, and probably not anytime in the near future. The 20-30 minute drive one way makes it almost impossible- that’s 2 hours allotted for the whole thing. DANG IT I WISH WE LIVED CLOSER. (And yes, I realize there are probably yogo places closer to my house, and that’s still a possibility.) However, pretty much every waking moment of my life is accounted for- either taking care of Maggie or, while she’s napping, I work. And lately in the evenings when Dan gets home, we eat dinner, I clean up, and he takes her outside to play while I work some more. So I need to find something quick and easy to do.

We have a BowFlex and a nice exercise bike in our basement (the one that now DOESN’T stink of cat pee). Dan uses both of them a lot… me, not so much. I have just never been very into working out like that. I get SOOO BORED. That’s why the classes were working so well for me- I need the motivation of an instructor and the peer pressure of other people in class totally seeing me if I’m slacking in that tree pose!

But I just need to suck it up now. I’m going to make myself take 20 minutes at least twice a week to go down and use them. I started this morning. Ten minutes on the bike (4 miles, I averaged 25mph!) and then 10-15 minutes on the BowFlex- mainly on my upper body. Then I did a few ab exercises. I was downstairs for probably 30 minutes total. Surely I can spare 30 minutes twice a week?? And the BowFlex commercials says 20 minutes, 3x a week. So if I use my Woman-Math (you know, the same math that rationalizes that I’m SAVING money when I SPEND more money so I can use my ‘$30 off when you spend $70‘ coupon at NY&Co. But I SAVED $30!!! This drives Dan CRAZY.) that should mean that if I do the BowFlex twice a week PLUS the exercise bike, that’s kinda the same thing, right?

The ultimate problem, and I know this is true for all Moms (and even those without kids, actually), is this: I feel like there is not enough time. EVER. I constantly feel like I am rushed through everything and when I’m doing one thing, I feel like I should be doing something else. If I’m playing with Maggie, my mind is thinking ‘Hey you should check your email and see if Client X emailed you back yet…‘ and then if I check my email while Maggie is playing, I feel her little hands on my legs and her eyes are all ‘Come play with me, Mommy!‘ and if I take a night off (like last night, I played XBox for the first time in AGES) when I go to bed, I think ‘Man, I really should have done something more productive with my night than just pretending I was an assassin during the Crusades.‘ My life has ZERO BOUNDARIES, very little division between ‘Home’ and ‘Work’ and ‘Me Time’. Everything runs together and I am just tired of feeling like I need to do it all at once.

But. Whatever. Enough whining, because that’s not going to change things. The only thing I can control is that I WILL be working out twice a week. Just to start. If I can do more, yay! But seriously? This muffin top has GOT to go.


  1. Jaime

    August 30, 2008 1:19 pm

    I have been looking for something to do from home so that I can be with our baby girl and I have done some reading on how to successfully run a home business. One major thing that I have read people recommending is a set schedule. That way you won’t feel guilty when you’re working instead of playing with Maggie, because you’ve in your schedule. I’m not sure if Maggie naps on a schedule or not. Mine doesn’t! I’m sure that plays a big part in everything. Good luck with it. I understand how hard it is to juggle work, baby, marriage, and little things like oh . . . eating and laundry!

    Jaimes last blog post: Resemblance

  2. Maura

    August 30, 2008 2:11 pm

    I can’t recommend running outdoors highly enough. Way more fun than a treadmill or exercise bike! And we’re getting to the part of the year where it’s really pleasant.

  3. Melissa

    August 30, 2008 2:45 pm

    I guess I’m the opposite in that I prefer to work out at home – I can really push myself and sweat and look stupid all by myself, heh. It’s hard to find time either way, though, when you’re a Mom. Too bad exercising off calories isn’t as quick and easy as eating them!

    I wish you much luck!! I’m sure you’ll be all Hott and Muffin-less while I’m going through this all over again next year!

    Melissas last blog post: just an ordinary night

  4. ambitious mrs

    August 30, 2008 3:13 pm

    I really feel your struggle. I never really have gotten on the bandwagon again as well as you did post-baby. But I WANT to! I think you just have to set a small reasonable goal and go from there. Right now my goal is to find a reliable babysitter so that I can get out every once and a while (family members just are cutting it.)

    ambitious mrss last blog post: When A House Is Not a Home

  5. Jamie

    August 30, 2008 3:40 pm

    I totally have the perfect idea to merge your whole bike riding thing…and include some “Mommy and me” time too. Get a bike with a seat on the back , strap Maggie in and go for a spin. Perfect way to excercise :)

    No more muffin time in no time

    Jamies last blog post: Edumakashun

  6. Nichole

    August 30, 2008 7:54 pm

    *sigh* I put everything off! as I am reading your blog I have 3 loads of laundry and a full clean dishwasher and I need to cook food for tomorrow! Oh well and I was on a diet last week, it lasted till dinner the first day!!
    AND you look great crazy skinny girl!!!!

  7. Rachie

    August 31, 2008 12:48 am

    Everything in my life that I can put off I do, because I can always find something else more important (even whens its so not) to do in that allotted time. Exercise is the number one thing I always put off. And I’m am already there on the muffin top thing. I need to get my butt in gear.

  8. Jen

    August 31, 2008 12:16 pm

    @Jaime: It’s definitely a good idea in theory… but I think until kids are older, trying to stick to a schedule can make you crazy!! heh I’d say we finally have a ‘loose and flexible’ schedule- meaning that on any given day, it could be thrown out the window because Maggie wakes up early, is up all night, or refuses to take a nap at her ‘usual’ time, etc. So yeah… a great idea if it would actually work ;) hehe And it’s those days that things get screwed up that are the hardest, because I had in my mind what I would get accomplished that day (be it work, or chores, or grocery shopping, or whatever) and I have to adjust and realize it’s NOT gonna happen. And I’m not very good at that. Getting better, mostly out of necessity, but still sometimes it’s rough.

  9. Jen

    August 31, 2008 12:19 pm

    @Maura: heh you also live in The South, where it’s not 5 degrees come November ;) There are really only a few precious months where it’s actually nice enough around here to do anything outside. Spring time and early fall. Other than that, it’s too darn hot or too darn cold. Plus if I had to take Maggie with me (in a running stroller or on a bike) I have to be even more aware of the weather. I could probably handle it when it’s 30-40 degrees, but I don’t think she could.

    I used to be a runner in high school, but honestly? I hated it. I had a lot of knee problems which probably didn’t help… and now I’m just so out of shape that the thought of running around the block makes me want to cry. LOL

  10. Jen

    August 31, 2008 12:22 pm

    @Melissa: Surprisingly enough, Looking Like An Idiot while working out doesn’t bother me. Probably all those years of cheerleading and jumping around like goofball, finally paying off ;) hehe I have a hard time pushing myself if there’s not a group of people watching me. There were SO MANY times in class when I’d be like DUDE, if I was at home right now, I would totally be quitting and going to make a sandwich. But instead, I kept going and felt great afterwards. It’s like a good kind of peer pressure!!

    heh I might be Muffin-less this time next year… or I might be working on my next Basketball Belly ;) who knows!! (AAAAAH!!! I can’t believe I’m even THINKING about that already.)

  11. Jen

    August 31, 2008 12:25 pm

    @Jamie: That is a good idea… but see my reply to Maura: The weather here isn’t very conducive to that for very long. I HATE the summer heat (which is why our walks this summer have been few and far between) and then by November, it’s usually freezing already. I’m just going to try to squeeze in as many walks in the next 8 weeks or so before the weather starts getting crappy :)

  12. Jen

    August 31, 2008 12:29 pm

    @Nichole: bah everyone says that: ‘skinny girl’- trust me, SO not true. True, I’m way better off than I was this time last year (20 lbs less!) but my pants are seriously killing me. lol That’s how I know it’s time to do something- I don’t pay too much attention to the scale number, it’s more the change in my body that’s got my panicking.

    “Diets” have never worked for me. If you’re serious about it, I highly recommend Weight Watchers online. You have to pay for it, but it’s not crazy expensive and they have some great tools for tracking food, calculating recipes, etc. It worked incredibly well for me- after 3 months, I didn’t really need it anymore! (though my bad habits have creeped back in lately… heh) It’s amazing what seeing the hard numbers on the screen does for stopping me from stuffing my face so much ;) hehe

  13. workout mommy

    August 31, 2008 1:12 pm

    oh, I so hear you on this! Never enough time, always too much muffin top! :)

    i recommend a jump rope. It’s easy, cheap, portable and something you do with or around the kids. It burns a ton of calories and is also fun!

    workout mommys last blog post: The results are in

  14. Sara

    September 1, 2008 8:19 am

    I worked out at home for a year, then we moved and it took a back seat. I need to go to a gym, I work out and actually like it! I wish you much luck, I know you can do it!

    Have you thought about getting a Wii (if you don’t have one) and Wii Fit? We have both and it’s actually a pretty good workout when you cannot get to the gym. There’s a lot of different things for it.

  15. Rebecca (Ramblings by Reba)

    September 1, 2008 2:04 pm

    I am SO hearing you! I don’t have the baby, but everything else I am nodding my head at. I got back on the exercise horse about six weeks ago. I’ve LOST very little weight (maybe a half pound), but I’ve lost some inches in the Muffin-Top region, and feel much better.

    Of course, now I’m sick with a double ear infection and a sinus infection, which has interrupted my groove. But as soon as it goes away, I’m back in the saddle.

    Rebecca (Ramblings by Reba)s last blog post: My blogging space

  16. Jen

    September 1, 2008 8:57 pm

    @Rebecca (Ramblings by Reba): Isn’t that always the way? Just when I get into a groove with exercise, something happens that throws it all off- I get sick, or I have bad PMS/cramps and can’t even THINK about working out, or we go out of town for a few days… bah! Always something!

    I wish you lots of luck getting back in the saddle! :)

  17. becca

    September 3, 2008 9:06 am


    This is exactly– EXACTLY– where I’m at right now. A few months back, I was exercising religiously, and then about a week ago– after the same type of thing: stress, work, bored eating– I noticed my pants barely buttoned. Ugh. I’ve been breaking out the Exercise TV on Demand, which has helped a little. At least I feel like I’m doing something (the heat has been keeping us indoors, too).

    And I know what you mean about lack of division between spaces, and YES YES YES to the feeling of guilt and the constant nagging that whatever you are doing is outweighed by what you aren’t doing. When I finally got this Sims 2 expansion– which was my first in almost a year– I felt bad about: (A) spending the money on a toy, (B) missing time with my kids, (C) missing time with Jason, and (D) not working on other things, like web stuff and/or laundry. And (E) sitting down for two hours versus moving, thus making myself fatter. Heh. I feel like my own mother makes SO MUCH MORE SENSE the older I get.

    Best of luck to you, Jen! We’ll get out of this slump.

    beccas last blog post: High note.

  18. Jen

    September 3, 2008 3:24 pm

    @becca: Yes we will get out of this slump! And if we don’t, wanna come over and eat ice cream out of the carton with me? ;)

  19. sparkyd

    September 5, 2008 10:56 pm

    All hail the muffin top! So sad. I was so active pre-baby that I never worried about such things, but none of my old activities fit into my life anymore. Need to find new ones. I am newly motivated by the fact that I just went back to work this week (after 16 months) and NONE of my old work clothes fit. WTF? A great excuse for a new wardrobe perhaps, but a a big huge kick in the butt nonetheless. Does make you start thinking about baby #2… If I just got pregnant again I could deal with it later…

  20. Jen

    September 6, 2008 8:46 am

    @sparkyd: LOL I have to admit, that thought HAS crossed my mind! When I was pregnant, I didn’t have to worry about ‘sucking it in’ and that? WAS AWESOME. But then I remember that at the end of it, there’s a BABY and I erase that thought real quick. ;)

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