I have never been one to exercise. OK, let me rephrase that: while I have made exercise a priority at times in my life, I have never, ever enjoyed it. Never. And I never thought I would enjoy it. As a mom, one of the things I’ve learned (the hard way) is never say never. Yep, once again, I’m eating my words.

I recently had my second baby, and after gaining unspeakable amounts of weight, I’ve decided to reclaim my body. I know dieting can only do so much. But when in the world does a mom of two kids under the age of three get a chance to exercise?

I started with the resources at my gym. The child-care provided there seemed like a blessing – until my two year-old decided to cry like his life was ending each time I left him there. I was called out of three different exercise classes before I figured out that wasn’t the best solution for us.

Then I saw a flyer posted for a stroller class that the gym was organizing. It has been a perfect fit for us – both of the boys get to come with me as the class strolls through a neighborhood that adjoins the gym. And “strolling” is an understatement; I have never exercised so hard in my life!

Soon after the class started, my husband and I made a pact: each morning, we both get up at 6:00am. One of us goes to the gym, and the other gets some quiet time to himself with one rule: no falling back asleep. (That wouldn’t be fair to the one who was working out.)

But I discovered something last week – over a month after all of this started. I would go to the gym at 6:00am even if my husband fell back asleep – heck, even if he rolled over right away and fell back asleep. It feels so good to get to the gym early; I get to workout, and if I get there early enough, I get to take a shower – uninterrupted – before heading home to feed my 5 month-old.

Not only does getting to the gym early feel good, the workouts themselves feel amazing. Maybe not while I’m in the middle of pushing myself just a little farther – but getting to the end of the workout and knowing how good I am going to feel the rest of the day is awesome. I have never felt like that before in my life. I finally understand what everyone says about how good exercising feels.

So what happened? What changed? Why did all the previous “episodes” of exercising not create the same feeling of excitement in me? I have several different theories I continue to ponder. Regardless of “why”, things have changed and I’m so glad I tried exercise again.

We’ll be talking more about scheduling in the weeks to come. I wanted to address exercising now because it’s so fresh to me… but we’ll come back and talk more about this. In the meantime, I’d love to know what your obstacles are regarding exercise. What are your challenges to fitting it in to your day? If you don’t have any problem finding the time or motivation to exercise, what have you found works for you?

Are you having problems with motivating yourself to schedule exercise into your day? Has your experience been like mine – not enjoyable in the least? We all know how good exercise of any kind is for us – we just need to be able to stick with something that works for us.

I want to encourage you not to give up. You may need to play with your schedule many times to try to fit it in to a time that works for you. The time can be very important – while morning exercise sessions have never worked for me in the past (not to mention never being enjoyable), right now, it is the best thing for me and my schedule. And you may discover that you’ve changed, that what you used to dread now has become a delight.

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