Before kids I spent my free time sewing, reading, running, and I practically lived in the yoga studio. Some weeks you could even catch me going to the 6am class before work and hitting up another after. I just love it and I love how I feel when I am able to exercise. Fast forward four years and I find that I’m letting myself go.
I do not mean that I think I am getting fat, or I’m dissatisfied with my body. Quite the contrary, I am constantly amazed by what my body can do and how it has adapted over time. Bodies are magical! What I mean is amidst the joy, utter fatigue and chaos of motherhood I have lost myself. I have let MY SELF go. My former identity has been been completely consumed by my new identity: mother. I adore being a mom. I think my children are the bees knees and I wouldn’t trade them for the world, but 4 years in I am coming to the realization that I need to reclaim a little of my time. I need a break. I need a pause for me. I need to invest in some self care. BUT HOW?!
Between work, a partner who works 60-80 hours a week, a 4 year old, a one year old, house priorities, and a new blog 🙂 there is literally no time in the day. I have not worked out a reasonable way to get to the yoga studio or a gym, so I’ve settled on home workouts. Before I became pregnant with Brendan, I tried the Beach Body 21 Day Fix. It was fun, a good work out, not a huge time commitment, and I actually had defined abs for the first time in my life (struggles of a bonafide apple shape). But here’s the thing; I try really hard to limit screen time for my kids and I am genuinely concerned about the messaging. For example, my (at the time 2 year old) daughter came prancing downstairs in her undies and a (self) cut up onesie proclaiming she had on her “work out gear” and was ready to exercise… In hindsight, the women are pretty scantily clad. As adults, we’re exposed to this in so many forms of media, we almost don’t notice the messages they’re sending until a moment like this brings it to our attention. There is also a lot of reference to working out so you “look sexy”, again… that’s just not a message I want my very young daughter to absorb Every. Single. Day. I want her to associate exercise with maintaining a strong and healthy body, not with “looking sexy.”
Ok. So home workout with no video and women showing more clothes than skin. That shouldn’t be too much to ask, right? Enter the Sweat with Kayla App. There are 4 programs you can choose from and the app guides you through 3 resistance and 3 cardio sessions a week (each at 28 minutes). It’s organized in circuits, which I like, and there’s no video so I don’t mind doing it while the kids are awake and bopping around. There is a clear image of an exercise with the number of reps, then when you complete it, you push the arrow key and the next exercise appears. There’s also places you can track water consumption, there are recipes, there’s a progress tracker, and an activity log. Basically it’s a pretty neat little app and my body hurts so good. I hope the variety continues and that squeezing 28 minutes of exercise into each day will help me feel a little like my old self again. It’s good to have goals!
Speaking of goals, nothing gets me more in the workout groove than new gear. There’s something motivating about feeling fresh and fierce when reaching for my workout clothes.We’ve noticed some pretty great deals on these New Balance for J.Crew pieces, so we wanted to give them a test drive and let you know how they fit and feel.
New Balance for J. Crew| Scalloped Capri Legging | $19.50
With warm weather (and my petite frame) in mind, we decided to try these scallop-waisted capri leggings. The scalloping is just at the waist, pretty and yet subtle enough to keep these from feeling trendy. Because of this detail, the fabric is noticeably stiffer at the waistband, but I still found them comfortable with enough stretch. I love the high-waisted cut, and the fabric through the legs felt soft with a comfortable amount of compression. They fit fairly true to size in the medium, my usual for leggings at this weight.
New Balance for J.Crew | Scalloped Performance Sports Bra | $16.50
The scalloped bra echoes the pretty scalloping detail found in the pants, in this case the scalloping is around the band. I definitely needed the large for the bra to accommodate my nursing bust, but I also had to cinch the straps down as tight as they would go to fit my smaller frame. Over all this bra, with it’s lined cups, left me feeling modestly covered, fully supported, and provided a really nice shaping and lifting for my bust (I honestly don’t think I’ve felt this confident about my bust shape since having babies). I probably wouldn’t take this bra out for a run, but I felt completely supported and contained for a yoga and or weight lifting workout. I would consider this bra to offer medium support.
New Balance for J.Crew| Free Flow Top| $9.50
I found this top to be cute, comfortable and flattering, though not flowy on me in a size medium. If I wanted the top to “flow” I should have opted for the large. The medium just fit and did a little bit of an awkward gather around the cute back strap details. I think this problem would have corrected with either a larger size or a longer torso. Over all, I cannot get over the deal! The shirt is soft and feels high quality.
As we find ourselves a few months into the new year, how do you balance what’s expected of you and still find time for self care? What are you doing to meet the goals you’ve set for 2018? Share your story in the comments, we’d love to cheer you on!