Each day, we work hard as moms. We rarely sleep, and we are constantly running, so why doesn’t it show on the darn scale?! Somewhere between getting the 10,000 daily steps my Fitbit demands of me and checking my scale religiously, I pondered that question. And came to one conclusion: Forget the treadmill and gym memberships. Screw the weigh-ins and calorie counting.
Although this is not how actual weight loss works, I have decided that in my perfect and completely imaginary world, moms would automatically lose weight doing the following:
1. Cleaning surfaces.
I know I cannot be the only mom who’s children enjoy spilling, smearing and playing with their food more than eating it. As a mom, you channel your inner Mister Miyagi and “wax on, wax off” daily. So, shouldn’t your arms be toned and your abs made of steel from all the spilled juice you clean off of tables and smeared peanut butter you wipe off of walls? In reality, all you lose is some of our sanity. In my perfect world of weight loss, you would automatically deduct 1 pound per clean up.
2. Carrying your kid.
Believe me, the best weights you own are your own offspring. As soon as your toddler masters the art of walking independently, he will want to be carried everywhere and for an assortment of reasons: to the car because it is too hot, around the store because his feet are too tired, and on the playground because this workout is on him — like it or not. Ideally, every mom should lose 3 pounds for manual labor of this nature. But, because life isn’t always fair, most of us just lose a functioning back.
3. Chasing your child.
Remember the kid who wants to be carried everywhere? Yeah, well he also likes to run everywhere too. The great or not-so-great thing about toddlers is their never ending energy and their ability to run like Usain Bolt — especially in the most challenging of places. Skip the elliptical and its resistance levels. Chase your kid through the aisles of Target, dodging carts. Run after your child to stop him from running into traffic. Follow your kid up the tallest hill of the park, on the hottest day — until he finds an even taller one to run up. In my fantasy world, all moms would just go ahead and automatically subtract 2 pant sizes.
4. Making a bottle.
A little bit of formula + A little bit of a water = A whole lot of shaking and arm toning. Forget Rob Kardashian and his Shake Weight. All you need is a baby and a bottle. How much weight would you lose? Heck if I know, but your arms would look hot!
Between your 9-year-old’s Science Fair project and your baby’s projectile vomiting, chances are you don’t have time to hit the gym. No worries, because dishes are a workout all their own. There are squats to be done and high shelves to reach and other gym lingo I am not privy to. And because dishes are about as enjoyable as a Jersey Shore marathon, I’ve decided that if life and scales were fair, moms everywhere would lose 2 pounds per load. An additional pound would be subtracted for each dish that requires extra scrubbing before being placed in the dishwasher.
6. Grocery shopping with kids.
Wanna throw a little bit of cardio into your daily routine? Take your kids grocery shopping with you. They will beg for every over priced toy. Their legs will stop working (see # 2). And they will throw the biggest and loudest tantrums in the middle of the busiest aisle. Why does this count as cardio? Because with your kids in tow, you will want to get out of the store as quick as possible. Consider it your very own personal version of Supermarket Sweep. In the perfect world, you should be able to lose 5 pounds for this feat if you manage to get out of the store under 30 minutes with at least toilet paper, bread, milk and your dignity still somewhat intact.
You’ve probably heard that sex is great exercise. Word to the wise, the same guy who created the Fitbit and the scale came up with this lie too.