My Crappy Exercise Plan

I am bad at exercising.

I have good intentions. I think about starting exercising. There is a lot to think about!

How should I exercise? When? How often? What will I wear? Do I need new shoes? Do I need an iPod? Do I need a yoga mat? What color yoga mat should I get?

Just thinking about exercising can take months.

But finally, the week arrives. I am going to start.

I exercise that very first day. It feels great! I’m awesome.

My exercise plan is in full swing!

This is what that first week looks like:


I never last more than a week.

Maybe I picked the wrong color yoga mat.





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128 Responses to My Crappy Exercise Plan

  1. Kira says:

    The key is to embrace the soreness. My goal is to be sore every day of 2013 and I’m 1/6 of the way done. You can do it!!!!

    • Sara M says:

      It’s true!
      I feel like if I’m not sore, I didn’t work hard enough. When you stop being sore, you just need to push harder.

      Man I sound obnoxious.

      But uh, seriously it’s worth it. And STRETCH. For godssake, stretch.

  2. Angela says:

    Oh my gosh! We have the same exact exercise plan!!! The last time I tried “Wii Active”, I couldn’t walk for almost a week. Those squats are a killer.

  3. Tarina says:

    This is the most accurate representation of my life ever! I showed my husband and he laughed!! Then he looked a bit afraid of me and ran away….

  4. Heidi O says:

    Get some cute workout clothes. That actually helps for me. And I couldn’t do it without my ipod.

    • Sara M says:

      Buy workout clothes.
      I put them on first thing in the morning. I don’t allow myself to change (or shower) until I’ve worked out. It is motivating. Although to be honest, they are comfy and flattering so sometimes I wear them all day anyway and shower before bed. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Robin M. says:

    I started the 30 Day Shred last week and it took me three days before I could even sit down to pee without pain. Ugh.

    • Trisha W. says:

      Yes! Level 1 had me hobbling for a week after Day 1 but I stuck to it and the pain either changed or went away.

    • Jena says:

      same here, i havent worked out in longer than id like to admit, but when i did 30 day shred? the third day is when i got sore and there was no bending at all, stand or flop in a chair, thats it haha. i teared up everytime i had to pee.

    • Beth F. says:

      I started Ripped in 30 on Monday. I was sore but still did it again on Tuesday. I decided to skip Wednesday, as I couldn’t walk correctly. I plan on doing it again tonight, since my 17 month old decided not to nap today…
      But really, I thought I was the only one that winced at the thought of sitting on the toilet to pee.

    • That was the best workout I ever did, too. I did it for 4 months straight, because once I got to the end of the first month and wasn’t sore anymore, I couldn’t bear the thought of starting over.

  6. unglammama says:

    Yes! Thinking about a swim first thing in the morning on a cold winter day makes me want to never wake up. It’s the feeling after that motivates me most days ๐Ÿ™‚ But that overdo part is a 1000% true.

  7. Kendra says:

    Why can’t this be a situation where “it’s the thought that counts” be true? I could rock that shit. I’m a good thinker.

  8. Rachel says:

    Love it!! I’m on the exact same plan.

  9. ariel says:

    you know what’s terrible?? when your legs are killer sore and you have to hover over a public toilet! i don’t speak from experience, of course…

  10. Sam says:

    It seems like a popular plan, I have also been on that plan for quite a while. In fact this is exactly what happens every time I garden or do yard work too.

  11. Becca says:

    Love this post! But my exercise plan is more like, start exercise, “Mom, I need…” Get said need for child, send child back to bed, start again, phone rings, answer phone (because its husband who works nights). Hang up phone, start again, child starts crying from room after being asleep for an hour. Soothe child, decide I’ll try again tomorrow. Repeat!

    • Lori says:

      Wow! My plan is that way! I’m always trying to exercise & have to stop 10xs because of crying baby, older son needing, phone rings, hubby needs me. I’m lucky to get 10minutes in!

    • Chessie says:

      I completely relate to this part. I try to get my workout in during my 17 month old’s nap while my 3 year old is at preschool. If I can manage 15 or 20 minutes for those four days that he’s at school, I don’t bother on the other three because there is literally no point. I get interrupted constantly. hahaha I’ve been working out for a month this way somewhat successfully now so hopefully I can find the drive to keep it up.

    • Kristin says:

      Haha YUP! I can remember doing my pilates DVD with a grumpy (possibly colicky) baby in my arms. I figured the extra weight helped! Otherwise I would have been exactly the same!

  12. Sara says:

    Yup, this is me! lol.

  13. Cindy says:

    LOL! Love your blog! I feel the same way about exercise…. but I recently found a “Couch to 5K” walk/jogg program (smartphone app) that I like and it is getting me out of the house and moving several times a week. I’m really liking it so far. You might also like it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Heather C says:

      LOVE the couch to 5k plan! The first 5k I did was last OCt. and was actually 5miles…should have read the fine print. My next 5k will be end of next month and I’m thinking I should be training for it right now. The beauty of a running-excercise plan is that you ARE NOT HOME and can not be bothered. I loved my trail runs so much that I brought my two boys with me. After an hour of “this is too long” “it’s too hot” “is it done yet?” I realized why I like it so much. Because I’m ALONE.

    • Devan says:

      The BEST ever C25K plan is the Running Mate 5K101…love it!

    • Cynthia812 says:

      My husband did couch-to-5k seven years ago and has now run two half marathons and a full one. It’s a great program. I was eight months pregnant when he started, and have had three more kids since then, so I haven’t done it. My exercise program is just like Amber’s. And like the poster with the constant interruptions.

  14. Heidi says:

    Ha! You’re 6 steps ahead of me!!!

  15. Kim says:

    I run. I have to run for my sanity. Plus, I have to
    1) be able to keep up with my kids and
    2) get away from them.

  16. Denise says:

    I took it further, I got a job at a gym thinking with the free membership and the convenience of already being there I would actually work out. Turns out I’d rather go to lunch. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  17. Jessica says:

    I embrace exercise as “me time” My husband won’t let the kids interrupt and I get an hour of quiet while I run.

  18. Lacy says:

    You and I have the *same* exercise plan!

    Except mine includes things trying to nurse on me if there are any floor moves. Or bending over moves.

    And sometimes I’m too sore from housework to implement my plan. ;p

  19. Woolies says:

    I have horses, so I shovel horse manure. Plus, I walk to the horse stalls. Then back again. I empty the wheel barrow. I used to let my husband do this. Now I do it. It’s my exercise plan.
    I’m not sure why I seem to have gained 2 pounds. Muscle! I’ll bet it’s muscle!

  20. Cathy says:

    I started exercising last November and actually have mostly stuck with it. I discovered in December that my yoga mat was causing me a lot of knee and wrist pain. Bought a hugely expensive mat, but it was worth it. Bad news is my husband made some stinky meal the other day and found out my new mat is great at absorbing smells too. Now all I can smell is meatloaf while I’m in yoga class.

  21. This is very complex. I just do steps 5 and 6.

  22. Fenny says:

    You need to join the martial arts class I go to. I only started in November. Just passed my first belt. This evening, I got to kick a 13 year old. I told her I’m not allowed to do this at work!

  23. Andrea says:

    I love your exercise plan. It seems so well thought through. I think it’s going to become the one I stick with! On another note, the only time I stuck with exercise was when I signed up for a half marathon and told everybody about it. And I mean EVERYBODY. So it would be kind of embarrassing if I bailed. I trained for 2 months (well, other that those 3 weeks or so when I was too lazy or injured) and then I ran it. And I did it! And you know what I did after? Nothing. For about 3 months. And then I signed up for another one and told everyone about it…

  24. RedinNC says:

    The key to sticking with it, I’ve found, is not to think. At all. Thinking is definitely the enemy of doing, when it comes to exercising. I can think myself out of anything unpleasant. But when the clock hits noon, I stop what I’m doing, put on my shoes, and go. No thinking allowed :). Also I try not to be too ambitious. I figure getting to the gym for 20 minutes is better than not going at all.

  25. diana says:

    I would exercise more….if it did not make me pee my pants!

    • Alicia says:

      Ahhh, the joys of motherhood. I couldn’t even look at a trampoline for at least six years.

    • Devan says:

      Yeah…I am not even 40 and I have to wear adult pads when I exercise…that or do the walk of shame when I am done, with a ton of “sweat” between my legs. LOL.

  26. Jen H says:

    I hate exercise just for exercise sake. If it involves putting in a DVD, forget it. I love things that are fun and inadvertently exercise. Taking my toddler to the zoo–fun! And I get a lot of walking in! Plus I end up schlepping my 35 lb toddler around a bit, which is also exercise! ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. allison says:

    When I had kids at home I joined a gym that had child care. I thought I’d never use the child care. Then I realized that if I tied working out to someone else looking after my kids for an hour that I would drag myself to the gym even if I was missing a limb. Now that my kids are in school full time this plan doesn’t work as well.

  28. Grace says:

    Amber, I always hated exercise and quit after 2-4 weeks. Only a year and a half ago did I finally find out what worked for me. 1) I realized that I had to stop making my motivation appearance-based. I need instant gratification or it just doesn’t work for me. Luckily, I discovered that 20-30 minutes of cardio (fast enough so you can’t talk) gives me an endorphine rush almost as good as sex. 2) I had to force myself to start out slow. I started with 20-30 minutes of cardio 3 or 4x a week. I couldn’t think about it, I just had to put my shoes on and go. No thinking. 2) After a month of doing the same thing I get really bored. Every 30 days or so I switch to one of the following: bike, yoga class, circuit, cardio+ weight machines. It always feels good to move. The feeling I get during and after a good workout… there’s nothing else like it.

  29. Whoops says:

    I made a resolution to exercise this year. I did three weeks great (even if I had to take breaks), but then I found out I was pregnant. Now I’m so tired and sick I could care less. Life seems determined not to let you exercise. :/

    • amber says:

      It really does! Congrats on having a great excuse not to exercise! Course some healthy people would suggest to keep on exercising. Ha!

    • Devan says:

      I did the same exercise I had been doing up to about 7 months (weights, power walk, step aerobics, etc) pregnant. I thought I was bad ass….not sure it had any real benifits, I still gained the weight of a cow and still have it over 3 years later so….

  30. Alice says:

    I bought a hula hoop and it’s the first time I’ve ever wanted to do ANYTHING active. OK, it’s not ‘workouty’ but it’s better than sitting down all day long (which is my best skill/hobby).

    • Lily says:

      My best skill/hobby is lying down, so you are still way ahead of the game:-). And in a few years when your kids get older, you’ll get to experience these hobbies again!

    • Fenny says:

      I bought a skipping rope some years ago. I took it with me when I was travelling and skipped in my hotel room every night for 10 minutes. It’s better than going to a strange hotel gym and being ogled by sweaty blokes!

      I used to be a whizz with a hula hoop when I was a kid. Now, not so much.

    • amber says:

      I did the hula hoop thing a couple years ago! (The hula hoop was purdy too so that helped.) It was fun except the part that Crappy Baby (who was 1 at the time) would walk right INTO it every time I attempted to use it. Dangerous. I eventually gave up.

      • Meagan says:

        *snort* I humbly request illustration of Crappy Baby running into the hula hoop. I promise to snort-laugh again.

      • Devan says:

        I hoop….but a story, I started with one of those weighted (5 lbs!!) hoops, my oldest when she was 1 or 2 walked right into it, mid swing….took a 5 lb hoop traveling ?5mph? to the jawline. It were not pretty. We couldn’t leave the house for a while after that.

    • Cynthia812 says:

      I love my hula hoop. It is hard to keep my kids from walking into it, though.

  31. Jennifer says:

    This is me! I was a CRAZY exerciser before I was pregnant with my daughter and even continued to walk and do light weights when I was pregnant. Yeah, I haven’t exercised in 2+ years now. I always say I’m going to start again but I have zero motivation…or time for that matter. Way too much to watch on TV from 8:30-10 ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. I think we have the same exercise plan!

  33. Jackie says:

    I used to go for walks after the kids went to bed, when it was still daylight at 7:30pm, and warm outside. I don’t like to be cold. So I don’t get out much in the winter, or when the time changes and it’s dark before I get off work at 6pm, or when there is something I want to watch on tv at 8pm. That leaves very little time out of the year for me to get outside and do something, like when my fave tv shows are in reruns. I was sort of doing great last year, then I put my son in Fall ball, then I got sick, for a long time, then the time changed, I ended up with pneumonia, so that ended my exercising. I really should get back to it when the time changes again, I need to build up my lung capacity, hopefully I won’t get sick, well as sick, again this year.

  34. Tia-Maria says:

    My only hope is the scientific study that claimes that eating dark chocolate has the same effect on (rat)muscles as exercise.

  35. heidi says:

    I have to go to the gym before my brain is awake and realized what I am doing (that is about 6am)… I have a workout friend that takes turns driving so that only one of us really has to be awake, lol

  36. Kay says:

    Yep, that’s me.

    How do you get a workout done without having a toddler climb on you anyway?

    I give up…

  37. Mandy P says:

    Working out is just about my only kid free time. That is my motivation to work out…and I started slow. I tried to jog 1.5 miles every day for 5 days. If I actually ran for 1/2 a mile I would be surprised. Good luck when you decide to try it again:)

  38. Lisa Lutes says:

    I force myself to exercise by planning errands on foot lugging the kids (and whatever I’m picking up), often through deep snow. A few errands a week like that is better than any gym could ever be…

  39. Amanda Reed says:

    Every. Time.

  40. Rebecca says:

    I just simply love the post! Its so true! And I love you. I have been following your blot for more than a yearโ€ฆ you make me smile with every post. Thank you

  41. Melly says:

    A tip for Jennifer! I get sucked into the good programs after 8.30 too! What I do is use the ad breaks to do exercise! The first one is jumping up and down, next one is 1 ad(usually 30 seconds) worth of push ups 1 ad rest then repeat….next ad break sit ups…and so on. I do arms, legs, core and then stretches towards the end to cool down and relax before bed! In no time you are doing 30 seconds of exercise easy!!

  42. Kathleen says:

    I’m trying to avoid the “Overdo” part by taking itty bitty baby steps this time… but it’s almost takes more self discipline NOT to do more. I only resist the temptation because I’ve completely followed the plan you outlined far too many times. I think it’s tempting to overdo because of the desire for instant gratification. After all, if we exercise REALLY hard for a couple days or a week, that means it won’t actually take the months that logic tells us it’s going to take to lose the weight or gain the toning we want… right? If we just work hard enough, it’ll happen faster. Yeah. Right. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  43. Angela says:

    Hahahaha! I’m a Beachbody Coach, so your post REALLY made me laugh! I’m sure that’s most people out there! Start out slower next time OR learn to love the burn! Hooray for trying!

    • amber says:

      I have no idea what a Beachbody Coach is but I’m guessing it involves soreness.

      • Angela says:

        yes, most times. Beachbody is the company behind P90X and Insanity, as well as Shakeology. so, yes, sore, until you get used to it and addicted to it like me. When you find something you love, you naturally get addicted to it. Like chasing your boys. That counts as excersise!

  44. Lynn says:

    I am reminded that the boys being potty trained means that you have lost that diaper change race exercise regimen mentioned in the “Toddler Diaper Changes” post. The kids must have some other ideas for tiring you out.

    • amber says:

      So true. That and they hardly ever run away from me in public places.

      • Erin says:

        You would think that chasing after 2 little kids all day would keep you in shape. Not true! It must be because you eat a little something every time they do (which is about 10 times a day). I finally signed up for the gym because you just can’t get it done at home. But now someone is always sick so I can’t take them there that much. Oh well, I”m hoping I’ll get back in there one day.

  45. Leslie says:

    That used to be my plan, until I enrolled in belly dance classes several years ago. Now the women in my class are my best friends and I wouldn’t dream of missing class because that’s my social time. Also sometimes we have margaritas after.

  46. Robin says:

    I absolutely love that your picture shows you exercising in your little purple dress. Too cute!

  47. Umm… sign up for Tough Mudder? (Google it for verification that I’m insane.) I did it. Every day that I didn’t want to exercise, I did it anyway… because I was afraid of falling in the mud somewhere around mile 7 and not being able to get back up. I would just slowly sink like that poor horse in The Never-Ending Story and people would be like, “What happened to Kristen? She was just here…” I’m signed up for this year, too. I can do lots of push-ups and I have abs of STEEL. (Under a layer of fat. But STILL.)

  48. Kim Hake says:

    I lie to myself. I say I’m going to just phone it in on the EFX with an UsWeekly from fourteen months ago. Then if I feel like pushing myself for five minutes, I will. And then I’ll go back to “new” speculations on Kate Middleton’s wedding dress. Either way, I’m super proud of myself for making it to the gym, and psyched for a full shower by myself!

  49. Mercy says:

    The only way I get any exercise is to get up at 6 a.m. and do it while my kids are still asleep. Otherwise it doesn’t happen.

    Oh, and if you don’t overdo it (next time you begin), you will be able to keep it up. ๐Ÿ™‚ Being fit takes work.

  50. Miranda says:

    In case my example may help you, here’s what I do:

    1. Set an alarm on my phone for every single day at noon.
    2. When alarm goes off, drop everything that’s not absolutely necessary, grab my work-from-home hubby, invite my kids (ages almost-7, almost-4, and almost-1), and exercise outside in the sunshine! We get vitamin D and exercise at the same time! Every other day is cardio: jumping on the trampoline, playing tag, going for a brisk walk down the road, etc. And every other day is strength training: pushups, pullups, squats, etc. It is so funny to watch my kids try to do pushups!

    You’re awesome, and I love your blog, and I can’t wait to buy your book!

  51. Ali says:

    Me, too! I have followed that exact same plan MANY times!

  52. rosa says:

    Lol! I do that too! I find that I can do little things, like standing on one foot to brush my teeth, and it actually adds up! Good luck!

  53. Amanda says:

    You should check out! It is exercise meant for normal people just starting out and then you can advance to the more difficult stuff. It has seriously changed how I feel about exercise. And on those days where the kids won’t leave me alone I just stream one of the 10 minute videos on my phone while they’re in the room. It’s normally $9.95 per month, but you can use the code “agarner” to get the first 3 months for $20. I am an affiliate and do get a small commission if you use the code, but even if I didn’t, I would share this site with the world! It is that good!

  54. Gracie says:

    I’m so relieved to see that everyone, including u, seems to have the same exercise plan as me…! Such relief! I can’t seem to find time to exercise… My husband works 16-18hr days & I’m exhausted after having 3 kids around…!

  55. Kara says:

    My exercise plan was unexpected,we adopted a LARGE German Shepherd from the animal shelter and he needs to go on walks…lots of LOOONG walks. So, I go power-walking with what looks like a small horse to the extent of 2-3 miles a day. I lost seven pounds just from that.

  56. Robonanny says:

    I identify strongly with the people who had trouble sitting down – or getting up from! – the loo after too many squats.

    What worked for me is LOTS of stretching. Like, at least 30 seconds for every muscle you’ve worked out… which feels like forever when you’re doing it and you really want a nice cool shower, but trust me, the following day you feel a wee ache but nothing unmanageable and the day after you’re raring to go again.

    Now if only I found actually _going_ to the gym as easy as working out once I get there…!

  57. Devan says:

    I actually love to exercise. I feel like I am out of air if I go a few days without it. Also? I love to eat just as much. ๐Ÿ™ And the bad thing is, no matter how much and how hard you exercise, you can’t out-train a poor diet. Truth! So, I live life taking one step forward and two back….at least there is SOME movement forward…
    Keep trying girl! Look for a Curves in your area, they are great for a doable, consistent, routine work out. ๐Ÿ™‚

  58. Kristin says:

    You’re an everything or nothing type person. I’ve found when it comes to exercise (at least for me) you have to do something, but not everything.

    You don’t have to do every rep. You don’t have to run a whole mile. You can stop and take breathers. And just say, I’m going to do this for a certain amount of time at a pace I can handle. And if you keep this attitude (in my case anyway) you’ll start to see small improvements.

    And I refuse to compare myself to anyone else when I work out. This has been key to keeping me on track. I wish I had learned how to do it before I was in my thirties but I’ll take it now. Good luck!

  59. Beth says:

    I am so relieved to know now that my problem is the wrong color yoga matt. And to think, I thought I was just lazy!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  60. Briony says:

    The funniest thing I read this week was on an old college friend’s blog, she regularly wears sports clothes on the school run so she feels like one of those healthy mums who goes to the gym everyday, she says she feels healthier as a result without having to do the hard work!

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  62. ChristineG says:

    LOL!!! I used to have that exercise plan, too!! I think it is by far THE most popular plan there is.

    I have to give a shout out for my favourite plan, now, though. It is which is an online fitness studio with tons of workouts arranged into different pathways, by difficulty, by time, etc. I just love, love, love it and she even has a bunch of workouts for kids, which our kids enjoy. I can’t say enough good about it. She has a little survey about rectus diastasis that you can fill out for a free trial month:

  63. Heather says:

    I hate to sound like a commercial, but I discovered Jazzercise about 5 years ago and it’s the best exercise I’ve ever done. It is nothing like it was 30 years ago and I’ve met the most wonderful women. I try to go 3-4 times a week, 3 of times being at 5:30am, and it just makes me feel great. It is truly one of the toughest workouts.

    Plus, I really have to do something to offset all the wine I drink…

  64. Diana Anderson says:

    This is EXACTLY my story this week. Literally.

  65. Carol says:

    Haha, yep!

  66. katie says:

    DDP Yoga is all about not working too hard. If your heart rate is too high, you modify to make it easier. I’ve stuck with it for weeks. I love it and it feels so good- no soreness at all. My toddler can do certain yoga moves on command!

  67. Sarah says:

    Ugh. The motivation is so hard. I do any working out after my kids go to bed (around 7:30) because I like to take showers at night (no interruptions!). But it is SO hard because I’m so tired. But I’ve been switching it up with some Crunch videos and I really like the “10 Minute Solution” dvds. There are five workouts at 10 minutes each which that you can switch up and do as many (or few, in my case) as you want so it doesn’t feel so bad. Three times a week interspersed with yoga. Then time for a post workout glass of wine…

  68. Better plan: Do Nia. A way to exercise that’s pure fun. And you learn to sense your body’s way to be gentle or energetic as needed. To sense how not to overdo it while still getting energized. Look up

  69. Beki says:

    my friend and I work with men so we decided we would start working out together in the conference room 2 times a day.. the first week we would walk out after working out and the guys would look at us.. finally I asked one of them what was with the looks.. he said that all they could hear was us groaning and breathing heavy and saying stuff like “oh god” “fuck you” “holy shit that is a tough position” he thought we were making porno’s in there!! hahaha!!.. needless to say we said screw the exercise (all we needed was an excuse to stop) ๐Ÿ™‚

  70. Cheryl P. says:

    I absolutely feel the same way. I seriously need to workout though. I have a three year old and I don’t want to be a mom that cannot keep up with my little one.

    We were at the park the other day and he challenged me to a race. I ran. I felt like I was dragging a thousand pounds, but I did it. I felt great to see that smile on my son’s face when I let him win. (Thank goodness he can’t beat me yet.) I think I found my motivation. That smile. ๐Ÿ™‚

  71. I’ve been working the 10 Minute Trainer DVDs from Beachbody for 45 days and it’s AMAZING!! I started running again too and use this as my strength training.. we all have 10 minutes.. even if it’s 11:30pm.. and these things work!! I’d love to share more with anyone that wants to know!! Feel free to friend me on Facebook (/KathyGaalaas) or send me an email! (

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