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 » Gallery: Participants  |  Special Report

New parents struggle to find time for health

Pam and Michael Kirkbride

Michael and Pam Kirkbride
Michael and Pam Kirkbride

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CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta checks the weekly progress of Kimberley, David, Kathryn, Pam and Michael in the 'New You Resolution.' (January 13)
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PRESCRIPTION FOR CHANGE
•Organize apartment and schedules to find 10 minutes a day to plan ahead
•Exercise at least 30 minutes, three times a week
•Nutrition expert will help them
-plan diet, meals ahead of time
-cut back on takeout
-snack healthier

(CNN) -- With a new daughter, full-time jobs and school classes to balance, Pam and Michael Kirkbride struggle to find time and energy for the gym and their pre-baby active lifestyle.

"It's time and nutrition," says Michael, 35. "We eat the same way we've always eaten, but we haven't been to the gym for the last eight months."

When they first dated, Pam and Michael went to the gym together and spent time walking around New York City. They both were involved in sports growing up and kept up with a program in the first part of their marriage.

But with the birth of Olivia, they both have gained weight, and find that any time not spent at work is spent with the baby. Pam, 30, returned to her job in December and Michael is taking graduate classes at New York University along with working full time.

"We're in a bad cycle," Pam says. "We're new parents and we keep thinking we can lose [weight], but we're getting older so it's not as easy to get the weight off. We have to do something now."

She envisions cardiovascular workouts twice a week and exercising at home while Olivia is sleeping as an ideal way to get started.

"That would give me a lot more energy. I am on the go, and I hide the fact that I'm tired all the time," she says. "And I want to fit into my old clothes."

Former gym rat Michael hopes a return to a regular workout will not only help him lose some weight, but also help him relieve stress, which he says has built up as he juggles his job, school and home life.

Nutrition has also taken a backseat lately. Before the baby, Pam said she would cook enough on the weekends to last them through the week, but now they eat takeout, especially pizza, almost every night. They both eat out often at lunch and breakfast, too.

Michael agrees that little planning is done on the food front.

"It's very short-term thought -- whatever's convenient or easy now," he says. "If it's Friday and we're at the grocery store, we'll buy for a weekend, but not usually beyond tonight and tomorrow morning."

"We both feel unhealthy," Pam explains. "We spend a lot of time really not doing much for ourselves... so our reward is food."

At the end of the eight-week New You Resolution program, Pam and Michael both want to shed a few pounds, get back to the gym and establish a healthy lifestyle that they can maintain while keeping up with infant Olivia.

But both agree on the most challenging aspect of those goals.

"Time," Michael worries. "Finding time."


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