children make you lose weight

Can having children help you lose weight?  Here I am starting on the journey of both kids in school five days a week:  Rex preschool, Vivien 2nd grade, and  Oliver off to college. I’m hopeful that this new schedule means my workout routine will skyrocket me back into my size 4’s. Here I am jogging for 30 minutes on the first day of this new, freed up mommy sked.

Yeah, not pretty.

However, I was asked by a fitness writer if she could contribute a post. I don’t normally do that, but I’m  wondering, “did I just send my best personal trainers off to school?”Wouldn’t I look cuter playing with children than the hot mess I am here?”  Pass me the air guitar!

So, from Jennifer Bayliss, who has lots of initials after her name, from Everyday Health is part of the answer.

Channeling Your Inner Child

I don’t know how or when it happened, but my kids are growing up. My oldest child is now entering kindergarten and I am finding myself bombarded with organized activities–soccer, T-Ball, hockey, karate, even outdoor play is now a scheduled event instead of a spontaneous childhood endeavor.
I can remember being the same age as my son and asking my parents to go to gymnastics, tennis lessons, and dance classes like my friends. As the proud, but overwhelmed, parents of a new set of twins, their reply was to tell me to go play outside, but not to leave the yard. What? How fun is that? But I found myself, literally, outside and running laps around our house. I would try to see how many times I could go around without needing to stop and each time I would try and top my last number.
I find myself trying to find a balance with my son. I want him to be part of an organized activity so he learns the benefits of team play and working with others, but I also yearn for him to spend lots of time running and exploring on his own. I now understand the value of unplanned and free play as an opportunity to tap into his imagination, to learn that not only is our yard an outdoor extension of our home, but it can also double as an Olympic Track and Field venue. And to top it all off, it’s great for his health.
These days I find myself playing right alongside my son

(a)because I love spending time with him and

(b) because now I know that outdoor play burns calories and builds lean muscle. As an adult, I still tend to crave organized activity as well–Spin Class, Zumba, Boot Camp Class, or a half marathon. And I still do all of those classes and running events, but now I find myself looking at the playground at our local elementary school in a different light. Those monkey bars and wobbly bridge are a boot camp style obstacle course. I just need to use my imagination and be creative with my workouts. So while my son is acting like an almost 6-year-old little boy, I am getting my exercise in for the day. Just to give you a little idea of how many calories you can burn per minute playing with your child:
Average Calories Burned Per Minute (based on a 150lb person)

Riding Bikes: 5 calories
Jumping Rope: 14 calories
Climbing a Tree: 4.5 calories
Hop Scotch: 7 calories
Dancing: 9 calories
Exploring in the Woods: 7 calories
Jumping On and Off a Tree Stump in Said Woods: 14 calories
Playing Tag: 7 calories
Running Laps Around the House: 12 calories
Playing Air Guitar: 4 calories
Just think how good this is for your child too! Now get out there and play.

Jennifer Bayliss, MSEd, ATC, CSCS, Manager of Fitness for Everyday Health’s Calorie Counter is a guest blogger and mother who loves burning calories while benefiting her son’s health. 

Source: 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities

Ring, Ring! It’s Your Baptism!

When Vivien was a little I had heard about Stroller Strides. A group of gals, led by a mom teacher, who workout together in public places as they push their kids in their strollers. It’s an inexpensive exercise class and one of the few ways you can workout without hiring a baby sitter. Being a new mom everything seemed so tough to do at first.  I did eventually go and got something out of it but, didn’t know if it was quite my people.

With Rex I didn’t care if I was throwing off our precious schedule. I needed to move this body. So, I started back with the striders. The same nice gal is running the group and fortunately this time I feel like I connect with the moms better. In the beginning of the year I wasn’t working much I went a lot.. now, not as much.

Anyway, one day the moms were talking between dips and singing “Wheels on the Bus” while we worked on our triceps, and that is what led to this vid.

Post-Pregnancy Weight Loss

Argh, I know! It’s only been 7 weeks, but I’m feeling impatient to not have what looks like a small butt on my lower belly. I know it took 6 months to lose weight with Viv, but I’m worried. And it doesn’t help that I have recently done a red-carpet event staring up close at Anne Hathaway, Nicky Hilton, and the like, and that I just did a shoot with Kim Kardashian (she is selling shoes now at Shoedazzle.com). I feel big and old.

[Sidebar: you can be thin, pretty, and rich, but the humor and charisma meter pin won’t budge. The worst offender recently was Nicky Hilton. Honey, don’t act all shy and meek; you are at a public event for Pete’s sake.]

But I digress. I started trying to do a decent walk everyday. And some mornings I say I will go to an exercise class, but by the time I feed Viv and nurse Rex, class has begun, and I stay seated in my milk-soaked gown. Maybe I’ll just play a lot of hide and seek with Viv.

Madonna Arms

I know it’s tawdry, but I do a have a passing interest in this Madonna divorce. What really caught my eye was a piece that said her super fitness was getting in the way of the marriage. I’ve long said I’ve wanted “Madonna arms” (Note the place they are in now: not saggy, but not Queen of Pop).

Daphne Brogdon flexing

She is 50 and has defied gravity and womanhood to prevent the arm flaps that start to appear in the late 30s (earlier if there is a weight issue). Well, now the truth the comes out: she gets perfect arms ’cause she works out FOUR HOURS A DAY. And she banned sugar and dairy from her home.  

Now, if I was performing in a corset in front of millions, I’d probably do the same thing, but having part of my body on basic cable doesn’t quite warrant such drastic measures. If I consistently worked out an hour a day and put half and half in my coffee, I think I’d be happy with the results.

But the ol’ “don’t envy people” is easy to find here. I do envy her arms, but her hubby allegedly saying the workouts got in the way of their life together is a big bummer. Or that he wanted to cuddle with more flesh.

Trolling For Mom Friends

Along with the miracle and wonder of children comes BOREDOM. Especially while they are nonverbal. Gosh, the pattern of your life can start to melt from one day to the next. So, that’s when I started to cast about for any kind of groups or classes. At 2 months we did Itsy Bitsy Yoga; basically a few socially starved moms were led through gentle exercises with their baby. We would roll our kids around, kiss their tummy, and do other stuff like that.The gym was walking distance from my house, which was a real bonus since my kid screamed her head off every time she was in the car. This did not end until we could turn her seat around.

Here I am at a My Gym, talking about this lonely mom thing.

Pregnancy Brain

I am transitioning! That’s right, it’s time to go from master of my own body – from wearing cute clothes, from the ease of a three-year-old I can leave in a room by herself for a while – to that final cross-over into the pregnancy world! I find myself wondering why I am so out of breath on the treadmill and remember, oh, yeah, I’m pregnant. Suddenly, Curves has become a bit of a workout.

Even Fun Makes Me Tired

Here is Vivien in a dress that hasn’t been worn since the ’60s, as we were walking to dinner in Chelsea last Friday night. My brother-in-law Mark’s sister was in some kiddie beauty pageants and would get dresses as prizes. One dress was presented to her by none other than the girl who played Buffy on “Family Affair.”

Vivien in NYC

When I go to NYC, I always love it. The excitement, the energy… to a point. I have about 6 or 8 friends I really like to see out there, so even trying to see a few of them takes up some time and it’s stimulating catching up. Plus, I am often doing press for whatever TV show I’m on at the time–which is fun. This trip, most of my press calls were for Cool Mom. Also, I usually do a 48-hour child-free trip… yeah, I’m free and not gone so long I feel guilty.

This trip, I had 36 hours solo and then Mark and Vivien arrived. By the third night, I started to slow down. Mark went bar hopping with friends as Vivien and I met up with a friend at a nice restaurant, walking distance from where we were staying. (Sidebar: instead of a crazy-expensive hotel room we were lucky to be in a two bedroom apartment in Chelsea of friends who were out of town. The best.)

As we walked to dinner, Vivien said, “Mommy,” pointing to the sidewalk, “This is dirty.” I’m sure she was wondering, “When is the clean-up time?”

Um, that was Giuliani, I guess, and he only got so much done. I still saw not one but two gentlemen brazenly peeing on the street. And mind you, not homeless guys with shopping carts, but people who probably had an option.

Sadly, I figured out why I am still dragging even now that we have been back home for a bit. 1) I’m not a spring chicken and 2) I have to exercise. It does help my energy level. But if I don’t do it before 9 am, forget it. I like the recreational exercise of being home, not that constant walking-in-shoes-that-hurt NYC thing. It makes me so tired.