Over the past year, as I’ve tried to settle into this person who is conscious of her diet and fitness, as I’ve stopped and started, as I’ve changed and regressed, I’ve learned a few things:

1) A regular schedule is necessary.

2) What you eat actually matters.

So since this is Fitness Friday, this is how the fitness part goes down for me.

I’ve learned that any impact from exercise, for me, will only be realized if I push myself through FOUR sessions a week.  Not 2, not 3.   At least 4.  That’s my workout goal.  I aim for 4 workouts, at least 40 minutes long, every week.  I can tell you right now, that it’s not easy, and it doesn’t always happen, but when I walk into the gym to start workout 4 – I feel like I’ve absolutely got my shit together and I rule the world.

A little fit-shaming: I have an 86-year-old Grammy.  I love her more than anyone, ANY.ONE., in the whole world.  Grammy goes to the gym 4 days a week.  And on top of that, she goes to water aerobics at the community pool every night in the summer.  We talked the other day.  She was giving me an update on her daily goings on.  She did all her laundry, hung it out to dry, brought it in, IRONED it, put it away, went to the gym, met a friend for lunch, went to the pool, and stayed late for the water aerobics class.  Hate yourself right now, because I can promise you that none of us did any of that this week.  Let me use the word IRON again.

So when I don’t feel like going to the gym, I channel my inner-Grammy, and I get off my wrinkled ass, and I go.

I’m very lucky that my fancy new office building has a fitness center with cardio equipment (treadmill, elliptical, stair climber, etc.); free weights (I use 5-10lb hand weights); 3 benches; and a weird pull-up/chin-up stand for dudes.  It gets a little crowded at lunch and around the new year, but overall – it’s free and I use it.  To amp up the motivation factor, most days I work out with my very good friend at work – we have really similar fitness goals, try to support each other, and try to keep it light and fun.  She’s a rockstar & hopefully drinking her face off at a wedding this weekend where I know she’s gonna kill it in a kick ass dress.

Me & the girls at the crack of dawn.  I bribe them with fruit "princess-unicorn" drinks.
Me & the girls at the crack of dawn. I bribe them with fruit “princess-unicorn” drinks.

A little background info on my work/life, it’s pretty crazy.  I work full-time.  My girls go to a really great local daycare center every day.  It’s our world, and it works, sort of.  Daycare hours are 7:30am-6pm.  My husband commutes about 40+ minutes to work daily, so I drop the girls off at their full-time daycare center each morning.  When he’s coaching, I do all the pick-ups, too.  This limits my ability to squeeze in workouts pretty much ever.  I hate picking them up late, so I never work out after work.  So, I’ve managed to arrange to drop them off 20 minutes early 2 days per week so that I can work out in the mornings before work.  This makes me about 40 minutes late for work.  Sometimes I do lunchtime workouts, sometimes I workout after they’re in bed, at about 8:30 or so.

Here’s my schedule/best case scenario:

Monday – lunchtime workout, usually a 5-10 minute cardio warm-up & a 20-30 minute full body toning circuit, followed by a quick shower and back to my desk for lunch.
Tuesday – drop the girls off at daycare 20 minutes earlier than normal to head to the gym, do a cardio session (C25K) & abs, try to make it to my desk before 9am.
Wednesday – off or evening toning or abs.
Thursday – another lunch session (toning).
Friday – another early morning session (cardio).
Weekends – a short run, a 20 minute toning session, family play time, etc.  I also count cleaning, grocery shopping, toddler-wrangling, sprinkler-running, gardening, and laundry as “exercise.”

Put the girls to bed, choose sweat session, hope the laundry folds itself.
Put the girls to bed, choose sweat session, hope the laundry folds itself.

It’s not perfect, and by all means leaves a ton of room for excuses and laziness.  Which I guess is another reason why I’m thrilled to be doing this with Mary.  With her keeping me accountableand supporting me, and reminding me that it’s Fitness Friday and confessing my fitness successes (failures) to the interwebs — it’s pushing me.  Hard.

So that’s my fitness part.  This month I had a rum-filled Labor Day Weekend and a Bloody Mary & Sangria soaked girls’ weekend, so to kick off fall, on Sunday I’m starting another round of the Tone It Up 7-day-slim-down.  Hoping that it kick-starts my nutrition again, and keeps me on the right track.  Because FOOD.  It’s my downfall.  Give me all the carbs (DRINKS), always.

Sisters + Mojitos + Holiday Weekend.
Sisters + Mojitos + Holiday Weekend.
Revel Casino, AC.  They put BACON in their bloody mary's.  Do I have to even tell you anything else?  Just go.
Revel Casino, AC. They put BACON in their bloody mary’s. Do I have to even tell you anything else? Just go.






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Also a transplant to New Jersey and Mercer County, Merritt McGlynn is walking a tightrope between career woman and devoted mother: hanging on for dear life with her dishpan hands. Merritt is a mom to two of the most adorable children in Jersey: a darling and spunky 4-year-old and a certifiably insane but heart-melting almost-3-year-old. Married to the always-working "Coach", Merritt tries to maintain some appearance of a work-life balance, and often finds that the scales are usually tipped in one direction or the other - but she’s still trying! In her spare time, if she ever gets any, Merritt would like to read books, travel with her husband, drink margaritas on the deck, and one day, if she’s really lucky, enjoy a phone conversation without interruptions. For now, she’ll settle for 20 minutes of an Audrey Hepburn movie and a diet coke.


  1. […] Friends, you know how I front like I’ve got this working mama stuff totally covered (Hashtag Work Mom)?  And how I just breeze in and out of these roles every 8 hours or so?  And that I cut my little lovelies’ sun-butter & jam sandwiches into adorable cookie-cutter shapes served with a side of homemade, organic applesauce?  And that I haul my Tone It Up ass into the gym 4x’s a week? […]