Recently, right before my Disney vacation last week, I hit my 200th day of working out. To celebrate, obviously, I went to Disney World. That’s what athletes do to celebrate, right? Unfortunately for me, I had the best vacation ever and ate all the food on the free dining plan and came home, 7 pounds heavier, despite walking 20000 steps every single day. I know most of it is water weight from the change in diet but still, I need to figure out ways to work out when I don’t have time to hit the gym.
Old Debi would be freaking the freak out right about now. New Debi, well, I may or may not be eating my smuggled Biscoff cookies from my flight this past weekend with a hot chai tea. The thing that I’ve learned on this weight loss/ get healthy journey is that it is a journey, not a race. Being 50 pounds lighter than I was at this time last year is a huge accomplishment and I am not going to let vacationing in the real world, derail 6 months of hard work and exercise. I’m going to get over it and learn from it.
Hey, I enjoyed my vacation. I was mindful of my carbs (because I’m diabetic and I have to be) but I still ate and drank around the world. I had cocktails with meals and dessert. I don’t feel guilty about it. Guilt is a useless emotion. I feel human about it. I enjoyed the food and the drinks and now, I’ll just get right back to it. The thing is when you are out of your routine, sometimes it is hard to find the time and place to exercise and that’s why this post is so important to me because I feel like this is a universal problem for most people.
In honor of my 200th workout, I’m going to give you some pointers for ways to work out when you don’t have time to hit the gym.
A crucial part of the journey is the scenery, enjoying life on the way. I’ll be honest, working out can be boring. It can be painful and it’s hard to maintain enthusiasm when you are a grown-ass person trying to work, take care of kids, keep a house clean, a dog alive and a marriage functioning.
Sometimes you need to flip the script and do something else. Exercise comes in all shapes, sizes and in the most unexpected places so don’t give up. Set your apple watch to “other” and do you, boo! You’ll be surprised how many calories you burn and steps you take doing “other.”
Ways to Work Out When You Don’t Have Time to Hit the Gym
Walk around the neighborhood
I know this one sounds almost too simple. My mom suggested this to me when I first found out that I had diabetes. Obviously, because I am still a teen when it comes to my mom, I poo pooed her. Like I legit, was like yeah right mom. 50 pounds later, I am woman enough to admit, my mom was right. There I said it. And for as simple (almost childish as it sounds), it is my favorite part of the day. Every morning, I get outside and get some fresh air and see the beauty in the world. It also gives me time to clear my mind and get in tune with my body. It also reminds me every day just how much I love my mama.
BBG or any home video or YouTube workout
I’ve worked out at home for years. When I was in middle school, my bestie’s mom introduced her to Jane Fonda step aerobics and we were fans. Since then, I’ve done lots of home workouts from Zumba to Tae Bo and Turbo Jam. More recently, I’ve been addicted to Beach Body’s CIZE and BBG and there are a plethora of workouts on Youtube. My point is that it’s not so much how you choose to move your body as it is that you choose to move your body.
Window shop with your teen
Remember when I was telling you about the walking around my neighborhood trails and how well that works? Well, walking around the mall with your teen, window shopping burns just as many calories and on top of that, you get bonding time with your teen. Don’t overthink it. And believe me, it is much easier to get your teenager to accompany you to the mall than it is to get up early on a weekend morning to take a nature hike with you. Hell could freeze over waiting for that to be enjoyable.
Play at the park with your preschooler
Have I told you guys that in my day job, I am the pied piper of preschoolers? I am and it has reminded me that it takes a lot of energy to keep little kids entertained. There is a surprising amount of running, jumping, chasing, carrying and picking up that I had forgotten about. If you think I’m not being serious, in about 4 hours at work, I burn about 1500 calories playing with preschoolers and if you’re carrying babies around, just think of how buff your arms will be. Not joking at all. Playing with kids especially at the park where you will most certainly be running, jumping, swinging and air planing and carrying them on your shoulders will burn loads of calories.
Beach walk with your partner
Now, you probably won’t burn a zillion calories walking after dinner on the beach with your partner in the moonlight. But you will burn some and some is better than none. But if there is some playful flirty chasing or maybe a pit stop for love under the moonlight, all of that burns more calories than just sitting on the couch, falling asleep watching tv. Bonus, you get alone time with your special someone under the moonlight and they get to burn some calories too.
These are just a few ways to get exercise when you can’t get to the gym. Also, FYI, walking around Disney in the hot sun all day having the best day ever with your whole family burns about 3000 calories a day. Just one more reason that Walt Disney World is my favorite place ever. Of course, I went way over my calories while there too (vacation cocktails) so it all balanced out in the end.
The past few months have been life-altering for me. I was diagnosed with diabetes and, in that moment, my life seriously flashed before my eyes and I knew I wasn’t done. I was faced with the question, do I change my entire life and live or do I continue on the path I’m on and die? It sounds simple enough but it was anything but.
I knew I had to change but it has been hard. I took a solid week to mourn my old life; my old ways. It’s not easy. No more autopilot. I had to put on my big girl panties (and they were getting pretty big) and take responsibility for my actions. It is a choice every single day to keep going, even when I hit plateaus and I’m not getting where I want to be as fast as I hoped. I have to accept that this is s journey not a destination.