Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Montana Momma Workout (of sorts)

Bruised arms, sore chest, scabbed knees.  Sounds like I have been hitting the trails and gym hard huh? Not really.  I am just a  mom.

Reality check:  unless you have a full time nanny, expendable income, and the mental ability to leave your child on a daily basis for "me" time -- you will not be sporting 6-pack abs or a nice tiny butt.  You might even find yourself with unexplained bruises and pains with zero recollection of how they appeared.  I have NEVER "sported" a perfectly athletic, hot-girl physique, or really been close to being that tight-assed mom that we all secretly despise, but at least in my "pre-baby" world I could have had those aspirations, if I was so inclined.  I was as active as the above-average person, but by no means "extreme."   Now, I am a slightly muffin topped, saggy, bruised woman who feels fortunate to get a shower every third day.  While "pounds" haven't been added, I think I have just lost the majority of my muscle mass.  I know what you are thinking.  Hot, right?

The Pre-Baby way of working out?  Spending a weekend running a half marathon with friends ... Actually, was pregnant here and didn't know it ...
I have managed to not gain weight per-se since the arrival of the Little Dream, and I find myself wondering how that is even possible given how drastically my activity level has declined.   Or has it?  Gone are the days of long runs, summiting high peaks, and back-country ski days (for now).  Welcome the new reality: taking the everyday hub-bub and making it like a weight lifting-Zumba-Tae Bo-speed walking sort of workout trance that is done ALL day long, even in your sleep.  The example workout:

The Sleeping Yoga Floor Routine:   Do I start with early morning or late night?  Not sure, they all run together and I am still not sure wthat the "beginning of my day" is any longer.  We'll start with 5am.  Lately the Little Dream has passed on dreaming and instead thinks she needs to scream "momma" and "ouieeeee!" from her crib before the crack of dawn so that she can "cuddle" with mom and dad.   Cuddle my butt.   It's more like a Crocodile Dundee movie for me, where I am wrestling a baby alligator while being bitten!  She is now old enough to just play with my boobs and poke them.  Reminder, it's 5:30am.  On top of me, next to me, boney heels into thighs, over the arm, under the arm, lay on my side, my back ... What?  She wants "up" now.  I have been working out before I was even out of bed?   It's now time to dead-lift her to the floor and hope she feels like chasing a dog around the dark house for 30 more minutes.  That still hasn't happened by the way.

Breakfast time, aka, the Cross Fit Milk Jug Workout:   Balancing 25 lb of moving person on your hip, while you simultaneously squat, pick up the rejected  sippy cup 14 times, butter toast one handed, pick up scraps of dropped food, kick the begging dog away, switching 25 lb milk jig to the other hip for equal bruising distribution, fighting off the Little Dream's arms from going down your shirt in search of the still desired breast -  while cooking eggs.  Up and down a few times, she can't decide if she's in an independent mood this morning of just wanting to be held by mom.  My biceps and quads better look good after this session!

Gymnastics for Adults, or "It's time to get dressed Little Girl":   Ugh... one of my least favorite parts of the day, besides meal time (to come later).  I feel like a high school wrestler on the mat for the first time.  Thank goodness there isn't a crowd watching and cheering (or booing) me on.  They would witness some outward and inward profanity and quite a hideous spectacle.  In this portion of the Montana Mom Workout, the Little Dream and I demonstrate the gorgeous balance of somersaults, floor spins, and often even some crunches and sit ups.  I have to TACKLE my child, and perform a fine balance of standing on my knees while fetching clothes and body parts all over the room.  My efforts to hold her still feel similar to the dreaded rubber band routines I did in a kick boxing class.  Back to tickling and rolling on the floor with the cheery Dreamer - another sit up or two.  I almost forget I was frustrated ... she's so perfect!   Bruised knees - check!  I must be burning a calorie or two, right?

Play Time - the Endurance Race:  As most parents can attest, this can be a combination of running, sprinting, dead lifts, crawling around on your hands and knees as the "horse" for the day, holding, scooping, and somehow stretching your appendages in a way that makes you feel like you are Inspector Gadget's wife.  I overheard a mom telling me just the other day, "isn't it amazing how quick and far your arms can reach now that you are a mom."  She was so right.  I can be across a room and catching this child from falling on her head faster than I could have ever imagined before.  What is that?   Whatever it is, I am hoping another 100 calories are burned with every "close call" or "no you can't have that Sharpie Marker" grab. 

Nap time - this is is the Cross Training Portion:  You think that nap time would be a respite from the all-day Momma Workout - maybe for some (and good for you) but certainly not me.  It's when I RACE around the house cleaning, vacuuming, mopping, and carrying the loads of laundry that are taller than me down our basement steps and up again.  This is the time of hauling in 6 loads (large loads) of logs for our wood burning stove.  Being the genius Workout Junkies that we are, we put our wood stove downstairs so that we can carry the wood up and down the stairs over and over again... We just looovvvve the extra stair climbing. This is when the heart rate get's into that glorified "good zone."

As soon as the last load of laundry has been folded and hauled back upstairs, I MIGHT sit down to, oh I dont' know ... ea, but now .... "waaahhhh" - and round two of Playtime begins. 

Extra Credit Workouts:  I throw in a few treacherous walks around the neighborhood on ice - try balancing, on ice, with 25 lbs of squirming child on your back - if that's not a core workout I don't know what is!   Occasionally we get motivated to spend 1 hour prepping for a 1/2 hour of cross country skiing.  That's a blast.  Just as soon as you hit your groove at mile 2, you hear the faint whines of the Little Dream behind you and you know it's time to kick it into high gear and skate back to the car before the Witching Hour before the Meltdown.  Shoveling snow is always a treat around our house.  Small shovel means lots of heaves and ho's - a child trying to walk on the shovel as you scoop adds an extra element of resistance training.  Fetching the gloves and hats that get thrown off add an extra 50 calories to the circuit.

Walks happen most days, especially if it's not below Zero and the wind is less than 15 mph (in Livingston that's a "still" day).  The occasional tromping through snow and throwing balls to the dogs.  You'd think they would do the fetching, but no,  I end up fetching most of the balls, as one of our dogs hasn't got the "retrieve" thing down yet.

"Swimming" for Abs:  This is another fun form of exercise (torture) that we enjoy:  I really must have amnesia or a memory problem.  There is nothing more fun than watching Little Dreamer play in water - bathtime, hot tub at Nana's house, or going to Chico Hot Springs.  I am always pushing to do it because in my brain I think it will be a treat for me too.  I am not sure why I think that.  While it's a treat to see the pure exhilarating joy on my child's face, it isn't relaxing AT ALL for the parents.  We spend the entire 1-hour at Chico diving and lunging and chasing (again, on our scabbed knees) the 20 month old that loves to "run" in water.  Half the time it's foggy and we can barely see her, so we have our arms flexed and touching her and end up dunked, underwater and doing back bends to make sure she doesn't go under and she ends up being one of the other lost objects at the bottom of the Chico pool (old band-aids, plastic cocktail straws, and the occasional "unidentified green object").   This is before she figures out how to climb up the stairs and jump off the side of the pool - over and over and over --- catch 25 pounds of cuteness, swirl her around, lift back up again, wash, rinse and repeat.  I am surely going to look like Serena Williams after 2 kids, right?

Dinner Time and Bed Time:   I will combine these because I really prefer not to talk about trying to get my child to sit still and eat anything. I just get angry.  She ALWAYS ends up eating two bites of something and then on my lap as I sway and lean to try to get three bites of something myself.  Little feet digging into thighs, lifting up and down .... La, la, la .... We all know the story a bit.   Days are blissful, but admit, we are all a bit excited when they are over and we have a few moments to ourselves (whatever that means anymore). 

Bathtime and bedtime are great. After a few round of bouncing the Little Rider on my leg (switching legs repeatedly because of the grinding knee sound that I now hear .. yikes), she is ready for a few splashes in the bath (on her own) and for a few good books, and "night night."  Thank goodness this kid loves to sleep and she giggles as I lay her to rest for a good 11 hours of stillness! 

#1 job in the world - Being a Parent!  
#1 way to not gain weight - Being a Parent! 

If you combine this workout with only eating the leftovers of what your child doesn't eat (and an occasional calorie filled carbonated beverage for energy), you might even lose the Muffin Top! 

Patent Pending.


ally said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!! you are so so creative and i am laughing outloud all the way as i read {and empathize!} thanks for the laughs! love you!

Anonymous said...

You write so well and vividly....abook?
Muffin top, my eye. You're gorgeous.
Judith of NYC

Jo said...

hilarious...and soooooooo true. seriously, that is my exact same workout every day! but why don't i look hotter after all of that hard work???

Sarah said...

You made my day! I can't stop smiling after reading your blog post! Funny way to look at things. love it!

Andrea said...

Now it makes sense! I'm much lighter now than I was when I got pregnant. I haven't "worked out" once! It's all the running around and chasing. (I guess the nursing for the first 6 months might have something to do with it too.) As a mom, you stay so busy. I think I just forget to eat. I really related to the part of only eating the kiddo's leftovers. I've got to do better taking care of myself!

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