Losing weight tops the list of New Year’s resolutions for a good chunk of people. But parents wanting to shed a few pounds face the extra obstacle of a weight loss program that fits their busy lifestyle. Enter, the 21-Day Weight Loss Plan: Parent Edition, where the simple act of spawning a few kids dovetails nicely with a workable program that delivers fast results in a short time.
Day 1: Catch a nasty stomach virus that your six-year-old brings home from that petri dish called First Grade. Don’t eat for three days. Score.
Day 2: In the only free time you have available to exercise, spend it looking for the You Can Hip-Hop at 40! DVD that your kids took out of the DVD player to pop in their Star Wars movie.
Day 3: Take your kids to the park. Carry one of them on your back all afternoon because he doesn’t feel like walking.
Day 4: Jump into the mix when your kids engage in a brawl. Get kicked in the stomach and dry heave the rest of the night.
Day 5: Negotiate with your 10-year-old for an hour about doing his homework. Look guiltily at the fruit bowl on the table as you rip into a bag of Doritos in frustration.
Day 6: Join your kids when they’re jumping rope in the driveway. Trip on the rope after 12 seconds and fall to the ground. Spend the rest of the night nursing your swollen ankle.
Day 7: Spend every spare moment running your kids to soccer practice, trumpet lessons, youth group, art class, chess club, and Boy Scout meetings. No time to go grocery shopping. Drink water to stay hydrated and nibble on stale crackers you found in your purse.
Day 8: Instead of making a full plate for yourself, just eat all the vegetables your kids didn’t touch at dinner.
Day 9: Look at yourself in a dimly lit mirror without your contacts in. You look pretty good, don’t you?
Day 10: Drive to the store to pick up supplies for your kid’s forgotten science fair project, due tomorrow. Skip dinner. Spend the rest of the night helping him find and print images of the heart, lungs and other internal organs. Wonder why glue sticks really don’t work as you keep re-gluing pictures to the poster board.
Day 11: Take your kids back to the park. Push them on the swings for a few minutes. Sit on the bench and revel in your upper body strength.
Day 12: Join a gym. Look over the group exercise schedule and excitedly plan out which classes you’ll go to. Show up, put your kids in the gym’s childcare and relax in the sauna for 30 minutes.
Day 13: Lunge down to retrieve Legos strewn all over the floor, making sure your knees are aligned over your ankles on the way down.
Day 14: Listen to your kids argue about whose turn it is to feed the cat. Feel drained. Pour yourself a glass of wine.
Day 15: Tend to a sick child all night, racking up a whopping three hours of sleep. Stumble through the next day in a fog. Mistake exhaustion for hunger pains and eat a pint of ice cream.
Day 16: Sign up to do a Color Run with your family. Begin training. Give up in defeat when you try to run around the block but can’t make it past the third driveway.
Day 17: Shoot hoops with your kids. Forget how much you suck at sports. Hit the rim with the basketball and try to duck as it ricochets back at your head. Wake up on the couch three hours later with an ice bag on your head, wondering what the hell happened.
Day 18: Carry a load of laundry upstairs. Feel winded on the way up. Lie down on your bed and take a nap.
Day 19: Wake up early today. Sneak quietly downstairs to do some yoga before anyone wakes up. Get in downward facing dog pose. Try to hold your balance as both your cat and your toddler dart out from behind the couch and encircle your legs.
Day 20: Chase your cat as he escapes through the front door that one of your kids left open. Run around the neighborhood obstacle course as you hunt for kitty, jumping over garbage cans, soccer balls and other assorted items. Scoop up the cat (now cowering), then rush home breathless and vomit in the flower bed.
Day 21: Trip on the lightsaber sticking out from under the couch. While you’re face down on the floor, plank for 30 seconds. Weigh yourself. Rejoice at the stress-induced 5 lb. weight loss of being a parent.
Lisa Beach is a freelance writer, humor blogger, and recovering homeschool mom who lived to write about it. Check out her writer’s website at www.LisaBeachWrites.com and visit her humor blog at www.TweeniorMoments.com.