if you want to, but think you can’t, you can

January 15, 2014

the girls
the girlsthe girlsthe girlsthe girlsthe girlsthe girlsthe girlsthe girlsThese kids are a ball of energy. It’s been almost exactly 4 years since I started working out consistently. It was a month after I had Soul, I was just feeling kind of blah, and I was hoping exercise would change that. Having the girls back to back to back at that point made my body just feel out of it and I needed something to boost my energy levels. I know it’s going to sound cheesy, but I started doing P90X. Yup, those informercial workouts! Ben bought it several months prior and I figured this was as good as I was ever going to get to having a personal trainer.

This was back in the day when True and Brave used to nap too, so I would put them and newborn Soul to nap, and I would pop the DVD in and start working out. After a consistent month of working out 6 days a week, Ben decided he wanted to join in, so we both started waking up early to do the workouts together. That was 4 years ago and we’ve been doing it like that ever since!

I did get pregnant with Glow after almost exactly a year of consistent exercising 6 days a week, and since my body had been used to such rigorous exercise, my midwife said it would be fine to continue while pregnant and I did! I think I missed about a month during the first trimester due to feeling sick, but as soon as I was feeling well, I was back to my morning workouts with Ben. I continued to exercise 6 days a week my whole pregnancy up until I gave birth. You should have seen me, I was full on still doing jumps, pushups, and (assisted) pull-ups with this ginormous belly! I am sure if my mom or MIL saw me working out, they surely would have made me stop (and freaked out!). We wished we would have taken a picture of it then, but we didn’t even think about it. It would have been fun to look back on the picture and just laugh at how ridiculous I looked. I took another 6 week break after I gave birth, but once I was cleared, I was back at it.

Exercise gives me the energy I need throughout the day. I don’t drink coffee or soda, so this is my boost to get me energized to deal with the demands of the girls. Ben and I do the exercises together still and we wake up to do it before the girls wake up. Of course, he wakes up first and then he wakes me up, and I still always have trouble getting out of bed, but I just have to remember how good it feels after.

Four years later, I’m thankful for the time we have invested to strengthen our bodies. If you been following here for awhile, you know how much I love doing the “fun runs,” especially with obstacle courses, and it really has helped us in all we do in our garden. All that shoveling, digging, and maneuvering around really requires muscles, so I’m glad to have strengthened them over the years.

I must also mention that along with working out, I generally eat pretty healthy. I say generally because I do have a hard time saying no to desserts. Moderation is hard when cakes and chocolate is involved (like yesterday’s post), but otherwise eating healthy is not a problem. Being married to a dietitian makes this lifestyle of making good food choices kind of easy. Have I ever told you about how when we started dating I lost 15 lbs?! Usually, the opposite happens when a couple starts dating, but not in my case.

If you ever think you can’t ever possibly get to a place where you’re consistently working out, I’m proof you can! I was never an exercise person prior, but I knew something had to be done to prevent my body from feeling sluggish. The first 2 months are tough, but you just have to keep pushing yourself. Once you get those couple of consistent months in, you’ll be motivated to keep going. It also helps to get your spouse (or a friend) to do it alongside you, it really helps keep you both accountable.

A little disclaimer though… my body looks nothing like the informercials talk about. After 90 days, I didn’t have abs of steel  (and after 4 years, I still don’t!), but I definitely feel stronger and healthier, which really does feel so good. I have more to say about it, but I will save it for another post since this one is long enough already. We’ve moved past P90X and have done a ton of other DVD workouts, so I will have to do a breakdown of each one we did and my pros and cons of them.

So yes, it’s doable to be active and have 4 kids! It takes time and dedication (and someone who will wake you up in the morning to do it), but seriously, if I can do it, you can too!

on me: vintage style shirt, c/o old navy. sweatshirt, c/o old navy. active compression capris, c/o old navy. shoes, new balance. on true: shirt, mightee kids. dolman sleeve hoodie, c/o old navy. pants, molo kids. shoes, new balance. on brave: striped sweatshirt, c/o old navy. active jersey pants: c/o old navy. shoes, nikes. on soul: dress and pants, old navy. shoes, new balances (she’s way into sneakers right now!). on glow: dress and leggings, misha lulu. sweater, vintage. shoes, freshly picked.

This post was sponsored by Old Navy. Check out Old Navy’s latest fashion lineup in store or online at oldnavy.com. Thank you for your continuous support of this space and my sponsors. xoxo

16 comments on “if you want to, but think you can’t, you can”

  • Bethany says:

    Hi Ruby! You are such an inspiration to me! I have only been exercising 2 times a week but it’s not enough. I used to do The Firm from 9:00-10:00 pm every night when my kids were little because that was the only time I had to myself. I don’t know what my excuse is now! Feeling good is the best motivation to exercise… Thank you for the reminder!!!

  • Caitlin says:

    what a great source of inspiration! i love a good post about a mama who makes sure she gets her workout in. i always think about when i have children, when i will find time in the day to exercise. it’s just so important to me, that i’d probably do it at midnight if that was the only time available!

  • Emily Baker says:

    I’ve always wanted to try p90x. you guys are so amazing!!

  • heather says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I feel like there is no time for me to exercise- but if you can do it, I know there is no excuse for me! Six days a week is amazing and maybe the reason you remain so consistent- no days in between when you don’t get up…inspiring for sure. Thank you so much. I really do think this will remain in my mind and motivate me. I just need to get started! I’d love to see the one about the DVD’s also! 🙂

  • Anne says:

    Yup! I need to work out too if not I feel like CRAP. I have to get up VERY EARLY to get it done since I have kids to get ready, take them to daycare/preschool, then be in the office by 8:30. Even when I was in my early twenties and considerably heavier than I am now, I still ran 3- 5 miles every other day (over ate a lot). Only reason I stopped running all 3 pregnancies is because after 6 months, every time I would attempt to run I would need to pee. (TMI) So I always modify to run/walking. Doctor says its fine so why not!
    And ha, like you when my husband and I started dating, I lost weight. When we met I was considerably larger. To give you an example of how large….when we first started dating, my weight was the same as it was when I was 9 months pregnant with my first child. Crazy right?

  • Alma Wall says:

    This motivates me to work out! however, I always feel like I don’t have enough time to work out! I am embarrassed to say that I only have one baby : ) I know I should have time but between cooking, cleaning, laundry, and chasing my vary active little Huxley around it just seems impossible. Thank you for the inspiration though! maybe one day : )

    • Rubyellen says:

      If I didn’t wake up before the girls to work out, I definitely wouldn’t have time. We wake up at 6:15 to work out and the girls are up by 7-7:30. It took me awhile to figure out how to add in exercise. The boost I get from it, really helps me with the stresses of the day, so I’ve felt the benefits of it, and it motivates me to get up before the kids.

  • nikki says:

    what great motivation! i needed this today



  • Frédérique says:

    Very inspirational post! I also find exercising very energizing and run or swim pretty much every day (I like running because I can do it with the babies pushing them in the stroller). I exercise because it gives me more energy to take care of my family, because it helps me stay calm in stressful situations and because I want to stay healthy and strong for as long as possible to be able to take care of them! Waking up before them to exercice is SO impressive! I can’t wait to hear more about your schedule and dvds! xo

  • margaux says:

    oh, ok, rubyellen. if you can do it with four, i SUPPOSE i can do it with one (and another on the way). i should probably turn off the real housewives and pop in an exercise DVD, huh? ( ;

    thanks for the motivation! looking forward to your DVD recommendations!

  • lin says:

    work it, girl

  • This is awesome. I sometimes fall into the trap of seeing myself as not an “exercise person”…but everyone needs exercise! It’s inspiring to me to see someone who’s a mom and a creative taking good care of her body. Sometimes those things seem to be at odds.

  • Andria says:

    That 2nd picture is just the cutest!!

  • Krystal Dawn says:

    Good for you! You look strong and happy 🙂

  • kara s. says:

    dont you love ONs compression wear? i give you kudos for working out. I have to go to the gym. I am group class girl, but its all about working out right?

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