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I run on our treadmill five days a week, Monday through Friday, usually without fail. I know that if I were to skip, I would uproot the day’s entire routine and who knows where that domino effect might lead. Motivation is a head game so when I’m not feeling up to it, here’s how I win that game.

treadmill

1. I get some “me time!” Motherhood can some often seem monotonous with endless hours that are filled with nap times, play dates, bath time, etc. Exercising is just another way to kill some time. During my littlest one’s morning nap, my toddler and I make our way to the basement. While I put on some jams and run a few miles on the treadmill, he plays with his trains and trucks. It’s a win-win: I get to be selfish for an hour and he learns how to self-entertain.

2. I have an addiction to expensive jeans. Pre-children, I used to splurge on new pair of designer jeans at least four times a year. Since having children, my jean budget has dwindled (ya know, diapers and stuff ain’t cheap) so fitting into my “Squiggles” and “A-Pockets” from 2010 helps to keep cash in my back pocket and my butt in tip-top shape.

>> Read more: Legs That Don’t Quit: Exercises to Rock Your Skinny Jeans

3. A good book goes a long way. If you are using a treadmill, elliptical, or stair climber, make sure you have a good book downloaded on your e-reader. I purposely save all my reading for the treadmill so that my juicy page-turner forces me to ramp up the speed and knock a few miles out.

4. Turning on the treadmill keeps things turned on in the bedroom. Once you throw babies and toddlers into your marital mix, it can be easy to slip into the “not tonight, babe” zone. When you feel like blowing off a work out, just remember this semi-Elle Woods phrase: “Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people have more sex.”

intimate couple

5. I like cookies and I really like my wine. The cookie thing has become a legit problem, like “they can’t be in my house any more” type problem, but the wine, oh, the wine can always stay. Exercising gives me an excuse to indulge in some empty calories while watching the trainwrecks on Real Housewives. My motto is “you’ve got to work it to earn it.”

>> Read more: For Moms, By Moms: Motivation Comes in Many Forms

Plain and simple, I feel happier and more confident when I’m fit. In order to keep the happiness train chugging along, I need to keep working out. If I do have to skip, the guilt and laziness eats at me all day. Speaking of which, I’d better get to it!