Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fitting it all in . . .

Sometimes there seems like more things to be done than there is day to do them in, and lately, I've felt stretched a lot and frustrated trying to do it all. Of particular concern for me has been fitting in time to exercise and watching what I eat better. We got a treadmill for Christmas, and I'm determined to get back to my ideal weight before August, when I'll probably quit nursing and become pregnant again (at least that's been the pattern!). So far, it's been working, and I've slowly but surely lost 4 pounds the last two and a half weeks. However, it's been at great cost to my calm, organized days. Finding time to exercise and resisting the urge to snack at my most exhausted moments has taken a ton of effort, and it's cost me a lot of sleep.

Finding the right time to exercise has been one the hardest challenges. Our family wakes up at 6:45 for scriptures, and I just plain don't have the willpower to wake up any earlier than that, especially when I've already been forced into wakefulness several times during the night to feed a baby.

At this point in my life, I need all the sleep I can get. Up until the beginning of December, I was blessed to get a nap many weekdays. Eliza and Harmony would go down for naps at the same time in the afternoon and I'd have quiet time for the twins, where I'd turn on a video for them (their only TV during the day) and lie down in the next room. It was heaven. I hadn't felt so rested during the early baby stages since my first baby!

I'm not sure what's changed, but now it seems that every day something interferes with my nap. If I've exercised in the morning, my body is usually too keyed up at naptime to rest. Other days, Eliza will go down wonderfully, but Harmony will sleep a mere forty minutes, and by the time I get lunch cleaned up and the twins settled, she'll wake up. I'm an incredibly light sleeper, so other days it's been the twins opening a door to let a kitty in or sneaking into the pantry for a snack that's woken me (they've yet to remember I have superhearing!).

In any case, my final exercise time only compounded my sleeplessness. I would hop on the treadmill at 8:00 after the kids were settled in bed. It worked great, except then I was too keyed up to fall asleep before 11:00 or midnight, making that 6:45 a.m. wake-up time seem like the hardest thing in the world.

But the last two days, I've discovered a great new time for exercise -- 2:00 in the afternoon. Sure, I have to change and shower in the middle of the day, but so far, the kids have been rested and have played happily nearby while I worked out. By then, I've gotten a nap if I'm going to get one, and I've found that the extra adrenaline boost at that time has gotten me through the tough after school and dinner hour.

In fact, today I pretty nearly had a perfect day. I was able to talk to my mom on the phone, plan visiting teaching, play with my kids, clean my kitchen, run to the store, take the twins to preschool, take Eliza to storytime at the library, get a nap (hooray!), exercise for forty minutes, take four kids to gymnastics at two different times, plan two service projects for tomorrow, and all with (almost) perfect patience. I LIVE for days like today, when everything goes smoothly and I feel like I'm fitting it all in. Of course, tomorrow may not go so well and life wouldn't be life if there weren't challenges and problems, but days like today fill me with joy and excitement. I just want to pause and savor it and say, "What a great day."


Jacki said...

Yea for productive, happy days! I love it when I get things done, am organized, and patient! I have to remind myself on days that are not that it will happen again! Kudos on your excersizing and weight loss! I did Weight watchers with friends who knew the system last year and lost 20 pounds. It felt great! Even at 10 pounds I had more energy.

3in3mom said...

Awesome! I love that when it all works out well. I admire all that you do--and I too need to slim down. . . now to find the perfect balance for that.

Good luck with it!

Wendy said...

Aww working out!!! I so need to get going with that again too!! But like with you, my days are just so full of everyday things that are required to function well. So much to do and no time to fit it in.... someday I know it won't be so FULL of things to DO!!

But good luck with the new time. I think that is the perfect time to get the extra energy in.

Jillienne said...

I know what you mean. Today was the first time this week that I missed a workout and I felt sluggish and tired all afternoon. Good luck on on your quest!

alligood said...

I sort of dread those 'perfect' days because, for the life of me, I can't figure out how to re-create them everyday! Why are some days a struggle to get the peanut butter wiped off the counter, get anyone anywhere on time, or even take the time to get myself cleaned up??? Then, like a gift, one day I'll be up early, look great, be patient with my children, have a spotless house, and dinner in the oven (in my perfectly clean kitchen) by 5. I'm not sure I'll ever understand the why's and how's of those blessedly perfect days!
Good for you for having the WILLPOWER to find time to exercise.

Ambrosia said...

I should try the mid day exercise schedule and see how it fits for me. The early morning and evening thing isn't working for me now. Thanks for the inspiration. How are things going now? I love productive days too. that feeling of fitting in all the needful, important things is a wonderful one.


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