with Karli Larson
The transition from stay-at-home mom to divorced-and-working-full-time mom can be challenging, and sometimes very lonely. Throw in a few cats, an ancient dog and one very brave boyfriend, and life gets downright crazy. Join me as I talk through my thoughts and struggles, my miscalculations and my triumphs. We're in this together, you and I.
When I'm not writing here you can find me over at work on the TisBest Philanthropy blog.
At the moment, just at my entrance point to my mid-thirties - I am in the best shape of my life. This is foreign to me, and a little maddening, because I think: why didn’t I love my body when I was 22 and didn’t have to work to have a nice jean bum? How, when I was 18, did I ever think my body wasn’t suitable for a bikini? (hint: I had a diminutive chest that, at the time, shamed me. Now I love it because small things get hassled by gravity a little later than giant water bomb things, and also kind of look better in dresses.)
I was inspired last summer at the BlogHer Conference, when I met Linda for the second time in “real life” and she talked about putting together a fitness site. Wicked, I thought, awesome. If anyone can inspire people that they can look better than ever after babies, it’s Linda - who shredded herself into shape after her second born solely via do-it-yourself methods.
I was in pretty crap shape after my split with my son’s father. I subsisted on black coffee and jittery adrenaline, an occasional handful of Dorito’s. By the time I was ready to do something for myself, get really in shape, it was almost two years post-split. I was skinny, gaunt, with little folds of fat in inopportune places: on my arms and hanging from my legs. My stomach was flat but soft and bloated, I essentially looked like hell.
In January of this year, I wrote down that I needed to get in shape. Since then, 5 days a week, no matter what, I make time to exercise. I’ll run half an hour or two hours - and if I really don’t have time at all and I need to combat the internal protests that, god this proposal is due and prospecting is needed - I’ll just slip in Ye Olde Jillan Michaels Standby - because twenty minutes is the time I would otherwise take for a coffee break.
But I realize I’m a bit of an anomaly. Because I primarily work from home, I can go on a 45 minute run at lunch. I generally do a loop around my neighborhood, past the marina and sometimes up through the forest paths. And I can come back to my office - at home - and sit down in my sweaty yoga pants and get right back to work. No one glares at me because of my ill smell, and I don’t feel self conscious that my hair is in plasticky wet tendrils on my red-flushed face. When I’m swamped, I work straight through to 5 and don’t even bother showering to pick up my son. That’s what deodorant is for. Plus, it’s daycare, not a board meeting.
I realize I couldn’t work out this way if I worked in an office job downtown. I’d have to shower after or at least take the 20 extra minutes to make myself presentable. And the thought of interacting with people face to face after I’ve killed myself on hills outside in the sun - well - I’d rather just deal with people by phone, and via email.
So I’m curious, Single Moms - do you exercise consistently? How do you make time? Is this something you’d be willing to do at all costs, even if it means hiring a babysitter 3 nights a week so you can kickbox? Even though I know I have it good, I’m always looking for time saving tips to magnify these muscles.
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