A while back I joked (sort of) on Twitter that “If I lived alone I would work out all the time and eat broccoli for dinner every night.” I was sort of kidding.

But now I’m going to have an Empty Nest for THREE WEEKS and that means… well, tonight I had an evening workout, I had broccoli and cauliflower for dinner, and nobody cared!

Having a young family definitely impacts one’s ability to exercise and eat what one might eat on one’s own. Of course I have to remember that when I lived on my own, in my twenties, it often meant snarfing down boxes of Kraft mac and cheese (in those days 1 box = one serving) and cartons of Haagen Dasz. Living alone doesn’t guarantee healthy habits, I know that.

But my kid likes to have real meals and I do not blame her. She likes the way I cook, and she isn’t thrilled with YOYO (you’re on your own) dinners or dinners that Dad throws together when I’m out at Weight Watchers in the evenings. So I try to pull it together to cook a Real Meal a few times a week at least.

Mr. McBody is not overly attached to Real Meals. He acknowledges the effort I put in to them but he is just as happy with a can of black eyed peas or a vegi burger. He’s not picky. My mom is also pretty easy going.

So now, these days, it’s just us three. Every night can be a YOYO night if I want it to be!

I remember back when my eldest was about a year old. Her godmother, my good friend, came and lived with us for a few months. She’d get up and go running in the hills whenever she felt like it.  I used to watch her go off and feel such longing for the freedom she had. Of course, she probably would’ve been happy to watch her godchild while *I* went running but I had no such desire. I remember taking one or both kids to the daycare place at the gym. After a while it just seemed like too much hassle, all of it. Activity came to become painful and unpleasant, so much so that I dreaded going to the playground because it made me so exhausted. Even to get up and push my kid on a swing. That makes me so sad now. I mean I did it – I logged in a thousand hours in playgrounds – but it felt like running a marathon every time.

So I totally understand when moms with young kids just throw in the towel. And I am completely awestruck and boggled by healthy moms like MizFit who do not see parenthood as an excuse to become a couch potato (as I did for many, many, many MANY years) – in fact who sees it as an imperative to be as active and joyful as possible. (um, can I have a do-over please?)

These days, nobody needs a ride home. Nobody needs to have their favorite chicken pot pie for dinner. I’m gonna work late, I’m gonna work out, and I’m gonna give her a big hug when she finally gets back.