Why getting in shape is so important for single moms

fat ass

The necessity for single moms to get your fat asses in shape is far greater than the general public.

Three things made me recognize this fact this past week:

1. I read “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food” in the New York Times. The story is fascinating and harrowing, and details just how fat and in horrific health America is. No big surprises, yet always surprising.

2. I finally got over a series of crappy winter illnesses that lasted a month and left me exhausted, grumpy, under-productive and far less emotionally and physically available to my kids, work, friends and personal health than I’m used to. Now I feel better, and I have a new appreciation for health.

3. My two brothers and I are dealing with a recent bout of our longtime single mom’s own serious health issues.

You don’t need a lecture about why you need to be in shape: Fit people of a healthy weight have more energy, better sex, earn more money, spend less on health care and are better parents.

Who doesn’t want all that?

But the stakes are much higher for single moms. The burden of emotionally, physically and financially caring for children is disproportionately placed on the mother in most families, and this fact is exaggerated in single-parent homes. And that is not just for the time the kids live at home. Because, guess what? As you get older, you grow less healthy and have less money — and if you’re not physically and financially independent, you will likely be dependent on your adult children, especially if you don’t have a spouse.

We owe it to our kids to get to the gym a couple of times per week. Go for a walk, join your nagging girlfriend at the yoga studio. Go out dancing, for God’s sake. I know all the excuses: no time, no money. But your time and money are directly tied to your health. Neglect your body and you are more likely to be poor and die young. Health must be a top priority, perhaps the single biggest priority. Everything in your entire life stems from health.

And of course, now you’re single. You want to feel physically attractive. Enough said.


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13 thoughts on “Why getting in shape is so important for single moms

  1. The more you move, the better you feel. The better you eat, the better you feel. Someone who is well-rested (always the pursuit of a single mom) is able to function, think and just “be” better. It’s worth it to find a way to fit in getting fit — and be a healthy example for your kids!

    I wrote about it here: The Successful Single Mom Gets Fit (read a sample here: http://buff.ly/XwB7Iz).

    Happy exercising!

  2. Thanks Emma for the perspective in this post! My mom is single and out of shape because of that my sisters always think we will be sure to take care of her as the years pass and hopefully not prematurely. It’s good to frame your health in the perspective of your family that you may affect with your decisions. As soon to be new single mom my self I’ll be looking to get in shape for myself and so I can make sure I got longevity for my little one.

  3. Hi Brielle,

    Thanks for this perspective – I can totally relate, sadly. And your new baby will thank you for not only the longevity, but your good healthy and energy while you’re still young.

  4. I am a single mom who works out all the time (5-6 times a week, lifting heavy, bootcamps, running intervals and zumba). It keeps my stress and grumpiness in check and I am almost down to my pre-baby weight, mother of an 18 month old. I need to stay in the best shape possible so I can take care of my son and not be a burden to him when I am older.

    1. I keep reading posts about “Single Moms shape up” or “Taking the time to get healthy”. They tell me to join a gym, go walking, go workout, but fail to tell me how? So here I am a mother of a 4 month old, single, and working. Let me run down my day….4 a.m. up dress baby, pack daycare bag, make bottle feed baby, baby goes back to sleep 4:45 a.m. take shower get dressed and get car packed. 5:30 a.m. take baby to daycare then head out to work…..(I work two hours away) do to lack of jobs anywhere even close to were I can afford to live….6:45 a.m. – 7 a.m. (depending on traffice) arrive at work. Work till 11 a.m. (one hour lunch) 12 pm back to work till 4 p.m….Arrive home 6:45-7 p.m. (grandma and grandpa have baby) feed baby then feed self, 8 p.m. dress baby for bed then dress self then off to bed to begin again (lets not forget getting up twice to three times in the night for feedings). Then comes my weekends….6 a.m. start laundry while baby is napping, take shower, get food, baby wakes at 7:30 a.m. clean baby, feed baby, dress baby..8:30-noon try to clean house plus take care of baby and do laundry (remember this is my weekends the only time I have to do this stuff). By 1 p.m. run errands (ie, grocery shopping, mail, bank, etc.) return home at 4-5 p.m. get dinner going, return to laundry, feed baby, baby naps, I eat. 7-9 pm baby and mommy time (also I call my relax time)….9 p.m. feed baby again baby goes to sleep for night then time for me to put clothes away and get ready for bed. Sunday its get up at 7 a.m. (yes 7 a.m. is considered sleeping in for me) take shower, eat, get baby up for bath then dressed. Meet with family then off to church at 10 a.m. get out at 12 p.m. Then it’s time for my weekend to begin….from sunday 1 p.m. till I go to bed I dedicate my whole time for my baby since I never see her during the week and only for a few hours here and there at night and on Saturday…..So when do I get in a workout? Should I decrease my time with my daughter or how about skip out on church? I could always just skip on my sleep (that should make my 2 hr commute exciting). I just wonder if people like you ever stop to think….Wow, some ppl just really don’t have time. Maybe offer ideas to fit schedules like mine, without taking away from the little time I have with my child or my religion. Oh did I mention my daughter was a preemie, so I should have just worked out while she lay in the hospital fighting for her life….if your going to put stuff like this out please be considerate and think of ways to help instead of hurting peoples feelings by making them feel like they are not doing enough. Oh yea prior to pregnancy I was a size 4 and 123 lbs. do to pre-eclampsia I blew up to 200 lbs and was hospitalized because of blood pressure and on bed rest. Try that mental f-u from life….but I guess this weight is my fault too, because I was the lucky one to get pre-e….what a way to make someone who has gone thru hell feel worst. Thanks for the blog.

      1. It gets better. The first six months are really hard. The biggest favor I did myself with my second was not worry about exercise until his first year birthday. I just enjoyed my baby, and then as things got easier, I whipped myself back into shape, hardcore in a couple months. So relax and get used to being a mom.

  5. Vicky – I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time. I’m not exactly sure to what extent you are suffering because I don’t have time to read every word of your lengthy post because I am running out the door to a yoga class. Imagine if you invested the time you wrote that in a brisk walk around your neighborhood?

  6. Greetings EMMA, what is wrong with single moms asses, I for one don’t see anything wrong about single moms asses here is the problem sometimes men think they can find gold on women asses or single moms asses, it doesn’t work like that if you really want a single mom her ass will have nothing to do with that caring relationship or marriage.
    If I have to date or marry a single mom I will look for someone who cares instead of her asses and I am that makes sense.
    Please remind single moms that the are beautiful and sexy, above the mom must know how to dress.
    By the ways there no ugly women no matter what I have never seen one in my life all I do is accept them as the look and appreciate them.
    In fact I am looking for a fat business professional single moms.
    This my opinion.

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