Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mommy Guilt

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It's Tuesday and I'm two days into a three day plan to eat clean, at least my definition of clean. It's not been perfect, which of course would have been nice, but it's helping in the ways I was hoping it would so that's good. I'll back up just a bit before I get to the imperfection.

Monday I went to the gym after work and did strength training - chest/triceps/PT exercises. It was the first time I'd done my PT exercises in at least a week and I could almost see Kate's raised eyebrows. The amazing thing is that my back had been practically cured, I haven't taken ibuprofen in at least a couple weeks and hadn't been noticing any back pain at all. 

After the gym I went home to get my bike for my planned 8-mile training ride. Miguel is home with the kids on Monday and they were super excited to see me, I got a nice round of "Mommmyyy!!!" when I walked in the door, quickly followed by hugs and kisses. The guilt of knowing I was only there to change and leave was immediate. I told the kids about my leaving again and they quickly set in with, "I'll go with you." My daughter was particularly persistent, "I got an idea mommy, I'll get my helmet, wait right here I'll go get it, and we'll go together."

Times like that I really question myself...why am I doing this? My daughter was filled with excitement and enthusiasm at seeing me, and I just changed and left. Ugh. Of course I know why, and I have to remind myself that the next 7 weeks of training are not how the other 45 weeks of the year play out. Normally I don't come home until I'm done with my workout. Actually I plan to take my bike and gear on Mondays from now on so I don't come home and cause a disruption by leaving again. It's only going to get worse as the distances get longer - but come 9/29 it will all but be over.

Tuesday was a short run, 15 minutes on the treadmill for 1.69 miles, followed by legs/shoulders/PT exercises. I couldn't do my full run or strength routine because I'd gotten to the gym too late. So I did what I could and considered doing the rest later. Then I met Miguel and the kids at Chinese Food for dinner. I planned on having a tuna/avocado roll (this is a Chinese restaurant with a sushi bar inside) but ended up taking more than a few bites of the food Miguel had ordered (fried rice, sesame chicken, etc). I ate more than I needed to but didn't go crazy with it. And, my back started hurting again. I guess that's what happens when you skip your PT exercises for a week.

My baby babies.
Today was my day home with the kids. I had a doctor appointment this morning and my private practice in the afternoon. The practice is going really well, I only have one slot left open. It's tempting to think about adding more time, especially as I've been contacted about other days/times, but for now I really need to stay balanced given the triathlon training and all.

My eating today was quite commendable until this evening. We are taking a somewhat impromptu camping trip and Miguel was starting to pack and (insert myriad excuses here). Whatever, I ate a bunch of junk. I think I need to pay sharp attention when my routine gets thrown off - that's when I go off the reservation for a while and then I have to struggle and claw my way back. Even if it's for a short time, I'd rather just stay on track all the time. But who wouldn't, right?

Sometimes I think I should be one of those people who cuts out whole food groups altogether. No sugar, no processed this or that, no wheat, no soy - etc. But I know that won't work for me for life, at least I'm not committed to it so that's why it won't work. But on-again off-again in terms of what I will or won't eat isn't easy either (mostly I'm talking processed/junk foods really). Let's hope the camping food choices don't send me spinning for two weeks anyway. Oh my, I'm not sure I'm even making sense at this point. If you're confused, it's me, not you. I better get to bed, it's way too late to be writing.

ps - I went on a bike/tricycle ride with my kids tonight. It was short (on distance, not time), but after Monday, oh so sweet. Looking forward to many more rides with them in the years to come and grateful to have a body and mind that are up for it.

I am a licensed clinical social worker with a private practice offering Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for weight loss and maintenance. I have an office in Marin County, CA and I'm also available to see people via Skype. To learn more please visit my professional website at


  1. It's hard, but remember how you were 7,9 or 10 years ago. You couldn'tt have ridden with your kids at all. The time away to train and exercise is immensely difficult, but the rewards are soooo sweet! I don't have kids but I've seen the rewards in my interactions with my niece and nephews. I'm no longer the fat aunt that sits on the sidelines watching. I'm the healthy aunt that plays with them and can do things WITH them! Trade off? Worth every second!!! Your rewards with your own kids? Even bigger.

  2. I think Mommy guilt is one of the hardest things to deal with, but I honestly believe that it is healthy and important for my kids to see that I work hard at a job I love, that I respect my body enough to keep it well fed and exercised. Your kids are seeing that you love to exercise and as a result are growing up loving to exercise. What a wonderful gift you are giving them!

  3. Gorgeous pic of you with the kids. I think your kids will appreciate the great example you are setting for them. I think they only reacted the way you did because you came and left so soon, like you said. They probably love cheering you on.

    Our city has a kids' tri -- maybe when they are old enough, your kids would enjoy something like that.

  4. I totally "get" that mommy guilt thing. Of course I can only compare it to "doggy" guilt! Running with my pup is awesome, but training for a long distance run, she's just not up for it, and I feel just AWFUL when I get up early on Saturday or Sunday and put on The Outfit and have to convince her to stay behind.

    One compromise that I get to use, though, is to have my hubs meet me when I have 4-5 miles remaining. He drives to where I am, drops the running dog off, and heads home to walk the non-runner! And I get the added benefit of an energetic and enthusiastic partner for the last few miles of my long run, when I most need the pickemup!


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