Dear Dr. Laura,
I am writing about a caller who was worried about her husband's weight. One of the excuses was they have four young kids and just want some downtime together at night.
I too am my four-kids'-43-year-old-mom; boys are 9 and 7, twin girls are 31/2 (surprise!). We are beyond busy, exhausted and all the rest of excuses; however, being fit is a priority. We don't try; we do it. I am a competitive long distance runner, work out intensely with and without a trainer even for just a half hour. I can actually crush my husband at full on pull-ups, but I digress.
Here is how we make it work: every morning my husband leaves for a run or the gym by 4am. I do kids-off-to-school duty. Then I exercise. I take them to the gym playroom so I can swim, or I sit on our stationary bike for an hour while they nap. Yes, I could be folding laundry or playing on Facebook, and so on, but the energy and pride I get from being a fit mama helps not only me, but our family dynamic.
On weekends, my husband and I switch off workouts between soccer and basketball and play practice. In summer, one of us drives the kids to a park, the other runs there and then we trade places. My husband trained for a grueling 50K race this way last year.
We just do it, even when we are tired. We eat clean and healthy, but not loony strict. Kids do not own devices and downtime for them is playing anything with a ball, even when it is 4 degrees out.
Keep up your tough love messages by holding people accountable for their bodies. Challenge their excuses. People say, "You are so lucky" having a fit body after housing full term twins at age 40. Luck? Uh-uh, no such luck, no magic, just sacrifice, commitment and prioritization.