Need to lose weight but don't have time. How do you/busy mums fit time in for exercise etc.?

(55 Posts)
foxinsocks Mon 02-Dec-13 12:50:52

I am heavier now than I ever have been. I need to lose around 5kg. I can't fit into ANY of my work clothes sad, have gone up 2 sizes and urgently need to get back on track otherwise I will need to invest in a new work and casual wardrobe (seriously). At the moment, I have bought 2 pairs of work trousers to tide me over sad.

Here is my daily schedule - just looking for tips as to how you all fit it in. Am a mum of 2 kids (12, 13), am separated.

Wake up 6.30am-7.40am wake up, shower, get dressed for work, do breakfast for kids, make sure they are ready to go to school, leave house at 7.40.
7.40-9am commute to work (train)
9-5.30/630 (ish) work
5.30/6-7.30pm commute home
7.30pm-9pm sort out dinner, sit with kids if they have homework to do, basic catch up of washing, dishwashing, running around finding PE kit etc., might have to do 30 mins more work
9pm collapse in front of telly normally
10-11pm bed

Weekend on Saturday, ds has sport. He plays in a football league so that normally takes up most of Sat morning so say 8-1pm. If we are driving, we normally stop at mcD on the way home for lunch. Rest of weekend, I can get free time but normally spend a good few hours doing washing, putting clothes away, monitoring the kids doing homework. Also try and see a group of friends virtually every Sat from around 3pm-7pm otherwise I would be v bored and lonely!

Sunday I am so knackered, I normally try and do a family thing (so going out for a walk or going out for lunch) and then have a quiet afternoon/evening sorting out stuff for the next week.

I don't enjoy exercise so would rather get it out the way. Going to a gym is probably a no no. I have joined so many and I never go (I live where it's hard to park so the thought of coming back and driving round 30 mins looking for a parking space really puts me off).

Am also guilt tripped a bit as kids often say I don't spend enough time with them etc. etc...so am thinking exercise videos from home might be an idea?

motherinferior Mon 02-Dec-13 16:26:33

Right. I have had a think. I think in terms of your overall energy levels you can be getting the kids involved more - and do you need to sit with them while they do homework etc? Getting them to do a bit more will just free you up and stop you feeling so TIRED which is, as we all know, the Short Cut To Scoffing.

5:2 does have good results (if you can bear it, ahem); is there any way you could fit in a run etc at lunchtime?

Lavenderhoney Mon 02-Dec-13 16:32:49

The low carb bootcamp on here by BIWI under weight loss section is an excellent way to loose weight without being hungry. I think the new one starts in Jan- hope so as I will need to be on it!

Its very good, and hugely supported. Plus results!

Timeforabiscuit Mon 02-Dec-13 16:45:50

Habits are the things to break, like always having a biscuit when the kids get home from school, packet of crisps or three when you sit down in the evening.

Switch those for alternatives like dark chocolate, carrot sticks, portion of popcorn, pint of water and your half way there.

my fitness pal really helps in that respect, you can see what works for you.

foxinsocks Mon 02-Dec-13 16:47:31

thanks all

hi mi smile! The kids like me sitting with them while they do their homework. I don't do anything but I think they like the encouragement and tbh, I don't get an awful amount of time with them so I don't mind.

low carb argh, I don't know how you all manage. I also get migraines if I let me sugar levels drop too quickly so have to really watch what I eat but I'm aware that I should increase my protein. When I have days when i don't eat a lot, it often ends in a migraine but what I need to do is eat little and often. For me that is the key I think.

believe it or not, I had never heard of 5:2, I shall have to try it. I suspect I do need to drastically decrease what I eat. As someone else said on here, my lifestyle is actually incredibly sedentary as a full time desk worker and it's so so easy to get lazy. I also find the more weight i put on, the lazier I get.

I don't think I can get up earlier than 6.30. That's already very early for me, even if I'm awake earlier, I can't start the day then, i'd be exhausted.

OK tomorrow I shall start! Thanks for all your advice, I have really taken it on board and shall try and lose this extra weight in a few months! ds says he is going to take me out for a bike ride to help ;)

motherinferior Mon 02-Dec-13 16:54:37

No, earlier than 6.30 would be vile, especially at this time of year. I reckon the big aim for the next month is actually not so much to lose weight as to remain stable over Christmas, what with it being winter and dark and pudding season and all....but a few weeks of cutting down in advance will probably help too grin

motherinferior Mon 02-Dec-13 16:56:08

I myself am finding dragging myself out at 6.45 to run round the park is effective, it must be said.

youretoastmildred Mon 02-Dec-13 16:56:13

I agree with cutting yourself some slack - it is hard to lose weight when you are knackered and I think you need to take a kind approach to working out why things aren't working and rejigging things where you can, rather than a will-power approach of just trying to slice foods out without changing anything else

I used to get headaches when my blood sugar dropped. The problem was the fact that I was eating too much carbs, not that I needed to eat more. Once I switched to eating fewer carbs and more protein the headaches and mid afternoon slumps stopped. However if I have a day where I eat more carbs (for example if I eat a carb heavy school dinner in work) I am right back to square with headaches and falling asleep mid afternoon.

You have to change the habits, and sometimes that means going outside your comfort zone. I hated getting up at 6am to begin with, but once it becomes a habit you wake up naturally at that time.

I lost 6 stone BTW, and dropped from a size 20 to a size 10.

youretoastmildred Mon 02-Dec-13 17:00:21

WOW! well done Jemima.

CreamyCooler Mon 02-Dec-13 17:06:03

I really agree about upping your protein intake and even if you can't face low carbing try ditiching bread and all the biscuit/crisps. It really is like magic how your appetite shrinks. I went from 13 and a half stone to 9 stone and it took 7 months.

motherinferior Mon 02-Dec-13 17:06:38

I honestly don't think that this is a good time to go outside your comfort zone - and not if the OP has had other stuff going on in her life too like separation.

The bit of wiggle room that is there is the optional 30 minute walk instead of bus ride. And that, I think, would be a good first thing to go for.

decaffwithcream Mon 02-Dec-13 17:10:28

A quick fix to get you seeing results is the Jillian Michaels shred DVD others mentioned.

Easier to face up to doing as it's 20 mins a day.

You start seeing results within a week as you get more toned and pulled in so it's motivating.

That encouragement helps you to gradually make other changes.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 02-Dec-13 17:13:24

If you do fancy trying the Shred, the first level is available on YouTube so you can see what it entails (the dvd is only £5) and there's always support threads which can help keep you motivated.

namechange74 Mon 02-Dec-13 17:13:59

My DH lost 2 stone recently, 1/2 stone by juicing (don't think that's an option for you atm though) then the rest by doing the 5-2. When he was in the swing of it, it became more 4-3. He is keeping it all off. Also should mention it didn't take long at all.

I lost 1/2 stone (taking me to my ideal weight) and i now fluctuate a pound or so around this and have done for a few months now. We seldom need as much food as we think - i had my body composition (BMI/fat/muscle mass etc) all worked out by a specialist with a machine you stand on recently, and given that i work out very hard 4-5 times a week it still said my recommended calorie intake is only 1400.

Cut back on your portion sizes, do some body weight exercises where practical for 20 mins in the evenings if you can to tone (sit ups/press ups/lunges/squats/plank etc) and on 2 days a week only eat 400 cals and by Xmas you'll probably have shifted over 1/2 stone. Good luck and stick with it smile

CreamyCooler Mon 02-Dec-13 17:18:22

Slightly of subject but while you are trying to lose weight it may be worth buying yourself a couple of pretty tops and a new lipstick just so you feel better about yourself. I did this and it seemed to encourage me to make healthier choices.

MrsFlorrick Mon 02-Dec-13 17:22:16

I give you The Shred. Or anything by Jillian Michaels.

It's fab. It's high intensity training intervals with strength. Her program is 20min workout. You do that 5 days a week (some do it 3 other 7 ).

It's one you can do at home and the DC can join in or watch something else while you do it.

I have 2 and a 4yo and a DH who is away with work a lot and works serious hours (60 to 70 a week) and no family nearby. And therefor no chance of going to gym regularly.

So on the advice of other MNers, I tried the Shred, the Six Week Six pack and now Ripped in 30.

The first two I have been doing since the spring (the shred is 30 days and six week 6 pack is obviously 6 weeks) and have done them many times over. Currently doing Ripped for the first time.

I manage to do it circa 5 days per week. I am now fitter than I have been in years.

After two pregnancies I was fat forty and unfit. This alongside diet has done the job.

The year I have been low carbing and lately 5:2. 5:2 is great and seriously flexible. So have a look on the 5:2 threads.

There are also several Jillian Michaels threads over in exercise if you need pointers.

I downloaded my JM workouts to iPad and started off just using water bottles and tins for weights. I have now moved on to heavier weights and bought some cheap ones from John Lewis.

I am sure you can squeeeeeeze a 20min workout into your day somewhere.

Gangie Mon 02-Dec-13 17:25:25

There is an app I use called 7 minute workout it's great! Literally takes 7 minutes, you could do it as soon as you get up in your bedroom, you don't need any equipment except a chair (to stand on and for tricep dips)!

It is 80% diet but I find exercise motivates me to eat healthier grin

Newrowsees Mon 02-Dec-13 21:32:08

Is that hour in front of the telly negotiable at all? That's been the key thing for me - as I no longer watch television I have a lot more time / energy for working out.

I wasn't a fan of Jillian but I really like the fitnessblender.com videos, or hasfit (crazy American guy) for body weight exercises / Pilates / kickboxing etc - loads of variety.

And as for the time with friends - can that be spent doing exercise? Finding a group of like-minded mates who you can go for a run / do a dance class with might be a healthier option than a boozy lunch...?

I think that if you can find something you enjoy doing you're more likely to stick at it.

dingdongduckyfuzz Mon 02-Dec-13 21:40:22

Fox I am was an evening snacker, after being 'good' all day but 5:2 has driven that habit away, although I can still indulge a couple of evenings a week and get away with it. I've lost at least half a stone since half term, without really feeling I've missed out.

youretoastmildred Mon 02-Dec-13 21:54:23

If you want things to change, then things will need to ....change.
sounds obvious but I struggle with it, it;s like the rubiks cube, there is no point in staring fixedly at one square and willing it to move on its own - you have to move things around to get it where you want it.

Sleep - you need it (maybe more, imho - it's your life though so you get to decide obv)

Time with dcs - you need it, and want it

Work - sadly you have to do it

commute - you have to do it but you can change how you do it. Bike, walking, jogging with music, even alternate days. can you think of it as "me" time? Make it me time. Get audio books or music that you want o listen to and don't usually get around to and build time in to walk with them. I love my commute. Obv, like everything, up to you.

time with friends - you need this but you can think about how you spend it (without bludgeoning every single thing you do into a chore) - would they like to walk with you? anyone for tennis? ;) Don't make yourself do uncomfortable things with this if you don't want to.

TV - do you love this and live for it? Your choice. You could do something else instead, or as well (gentle exercise with TV works well if you live alone and is good for relaxation and good sleep afterwards) Or pick something you really want to watch, on iplayer or similar, and do the 20 min burst of exercise and then watch it, feeling all glowy and rewardy. Just ideas

Food - you need food, but if you want to eat less of certain things you need to eat more of certain things at certain other times. This is the one I always used to struggle with. We are so encouraged to think of eating as a stupid indulgence that real women aren't weak enough to do. I think this may (subconsciously) lie behind the not eating in the day habits. (definitely was behind mine - an overweening rule that not eating = good) So there is raging hunger in the evening and it is just too hard to cut down when under the influence of real, deserving, exhausted hunger. If you add something somewhere you may find that things you then don't need fall away.

I sound really lecturey but I don't mean to be pompous and annoying. It's just that, as Larkin said, where can we live but days? It is nice to find the chinks between blocks that you can squeeze your true self, your best self, into. It's even pleasantly subversive in a way

namechange I accept that everybody's calorific needs are different, and you may be very tiny, but unless you are indeed tiny, that 1400 calories the machine gave you is, I would think, your basal metabolic rate, the calories you require to maintain your current weight doing no exercise whatsoever, ie lying in bed, not even day to day moving around. Nothing to do with how hard you work out....

motherinferior Tue 03-Dec-13 08:57:46

Mildred, I think I love you grin

Especially the point about eating being seen as a weakness. I once - many years ago - heard myself saying to a boyfriend that "I eat, and it's so bad for me" shock

My suggestion is still that 30 minute potential walk (or even run) slot....

Grokette Tue 03-Dec-13 09:28:07

I love you too, mildred

The guilt is so deeply ingrained, and it is so utterly destructive and very, very difficult to overcome.

I would also recommend the Shred; it's a good hard workout that is over and done with quickly, you could do it in the evening when you would ordinarily be sitting in front of the telly (instead you'll be jumping around like a madwoman, but it's fun).

Things have reached a pretty crazy level, haven't they Mother - that's a bit like saying "I breathe and its bad for me' smile. So many women with their relationship with food and body so screwed up confusedsad.

Shred is great.

foxinsocks Tue 03-Dec-13 13:46:24

the weird thing is it doesn't matter if I eat less, I don't lose weight until I start exercising. I can cut my calorific intake to about 1500 calories and I will not lose a pound. My life is incredibly sedentary. Adding in a walk will help but like today, I was late for work as I left the house slightly late and the train was delayed and I also put heels on grin which means I definitely won't walk. One of the reasons I am struggling is I have so few work clothes that fit me now but I also don't want to invest in new stuff only to lose the weight in 8 weeks! It's a vicious circle argh!

I think you're right MI, I need to just work in 30 mins walking a day and hopefully that will do the trick but I have started my fitness pal again as this is also a good reminder of the lack of exercise too!

I don't know if it is an age thing too. 10 years ago if I just cut what I eat it would work and I would lose weight but the older I am (and I am 40+), the more exercise has become key rather than the food!

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