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How Marbles Get Me In Shape

It’s February. The New Year has come and gone, and all of those lovely resolutions have gone by the wayside.

Sound like your life? Yes, mine too.

I didn’t even bother to make resolutions this year. I figured, why bother? I never make it. The one thing I always try to do is get back in shape. It’s just so hard! My kids distract me, jump all over me when I try to work out at home or cry at the gym childcare. I cannot get motivated to work out, especially if I don’t have a workout buddy to get me to the gym or in front of the television to do a video.

As you can see, I’m the queen of excuses.

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Tired of my own excuses, I took a page from my “mommy” book. Since the New Year my boys, 2 and 5, have each been slowly filling up a mason jar with marbles. My 5-year-old gets one marble for doing his chores and two marbles if he has no screen time at all that day (this is a tough one, but it puts it on him to understand his choices). Once he fills up his jar, he will get 30 minutes of MineCraft time with his dad—the ultimate prize in his mind. My 2-and-a-half-year-old is potty training and resisting naps. So he gets a marble for each stop on the toilet and another for taking a nap. Once his jar is full, he will get a Chuggington train, something he has been asking for for ages.

I bought myself a mason jar and stuck it next to theirs. Every time I go to the gym or work out at home, I get one marble. I haven’t figured out my prize yet, but it needs to be a good one.

It took me a few weeks to get into the groove. For weeks my jar sat with one marble and then three. It was sad to look at as my boys’ jars filled up with with red and white marbles. My blue marbles were pathetic.

Finally I grabbed the class schedule at my gym, figured out which classes I might actually enjoy and gave them a try. At the same time, I also signed up for Barre Basics at the local yoga studio. Now I was paying for a gym membership and a barre class. I hate to waste money, so I had to get my act together.

I found that I love Zumba. I learned salsa between the birth of my two boys, so it was easy to pop into a class and pick up the routines. Honestly, you don’t need to have any salsa knowledge for Zumba. My daytime Zumba classes are filled with grandmas, but I love it. The evening classes I go to are packed to the point that I can’t move my arms without smacking someone.

Slowly but surely, I have seen my marbles rise. My boys are still beating me, but while they can earn several marbles in a day, I can only get one—unless I work out more than once.

RELATED: 15 Mixed Messages I Send Myself About Food

It’s OK though. I love seeing my marbles come back. I love that my boys notice how many marbles are in my jar. My oldest gets excited with me every night when I give him his marbles for the day, and he notices when I give myself one. I guess I found my gym buddy after all. Now if I could only figure out my prize for filling up my jar.

What reward would you want to fill up your jar of marbles?

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Image via Twenty20/Jenn050164

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