Exercise Conundrum

If you’ve met me, you know this: I am a skinny bitch.

Not only am I skinny, but I’m tall.

I am this way for two reasons: DNA and a normal relationship to food.

First off, I come from a skinny family. I don’t know how my dad manages to get his weight over 200 pounds (it has happened). When he married my mom he was about 145 soaking wet. Must have been all that Italian food over the years. But even so, I’ve never seen my dad really fat, even when he was his heaviest, he didn’t look that heavy. And when he’s in shape, he’s in good shape for a sixtysomething. And don’t even get me started on my mom. She’s got a better figure than I do, and she’s not tall like me. But dang. I hope I look that good in twenty-odd years! (I’m sure DearDR hopes that too.)

Second off, as far as food goes, I have a pretty simple philosophy made up of a few parts:

1. Eat when you’re hungry.
2. Eat what tastes good.
3. Eat fresh food.
4. Eat low on the food chain.

When I go looking for a snack, four times out of five, I want a handful of nuts, or a piece of fruit, or some yogurt. That’s what I’m craving. (Yes, that fifth time, sometimes I’m looking for a Snickers bar or some chips. I ain’t gonna lie.)

But for all my tall skinny hotness (*snort*), let me tell you something else: I am out of shape. I am probably in the worst shape of my life, actually. And I need to do something about it. Stat.

I have almost always exercised: sports (mostly soccer), aerobics, step classes. For years I ran; although I never trained for a marathon — or even a 5K — I could, and did, enjoy quick 3- and 4-mile runs around the South Side. I weight trained; I did crunches. I was toned and fit and comfortable in my body.

But since having kids… need I say more? I have had short spurts of structured workouts in the four-some years since Monkey was born. And I’m hardly sedentary these days between kids and cleaning and laundry, but it’s not consistent, and it’s not enough to tone my triceps and give me rock-star abs.

Since I also work full-time, with only a 1/2-hour lunch, I simply do not know what to do. DearDR’s not home evenings in time for me to go for a run; my spring and summer time strolls around the neighborhood with the girls, while refreshing, don’t really get my muscles burning. (Nothing is slower than taking a walk with a couple of children.) Trying to work out in the evenings with the kids (I’m looking at you, Mom and Toddler Fitness was a total fail.

I’ve heard a lot about this 30-Day-Shred. Should I give it a go? Should I join a YMCA and take swim classes with my kids? Should I convince DearDR that we should Wii Fit?

I need to get in shape. I’ll be hiking in Cook Forest in a couple of weeks, and I’ll be walking three miles in a couple more after that. I think one of the reasons I got sick this past weekend (besides the fact that I co-habitate with a couple of petrie dishes) is that I got run down running around. Getting back in shape should give the immune system a good boost, shouldn’t it?

If you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them. What works for you?