Finally seeing a difference!

I’ve been exercising a lot over the past couple of months. I have been going to two exercise classes a week (plus running there and walking back), running every second day and then doing my daily dog walks which I’m loving but I’m pretty exhausted. Some evenings I’m falling asleep on the sofa which is not like me! Yip, I’m one tired mama but today I finally noticed a change in my body and I thought… yes, this is what I’ve been working towards! 

Now by no means did I wake up this morning and I suddenly had the body of a super model but the fact I could see a difference (even if slight) made me feel pretty awesome! I had been struggling to see any… I don’t like the word improvement as I don’t think that’s the healthiest term but I hope you understand what I mean. I haven’t been doing all this exercise to have an amazing body. I’ve been doing it to feel healthy with the hope that I’d have a healthy figure as a by product, so while I have been disheartened with little change to my body up until now, I was not going to quit. 

My fitness level is much higher now, I can feel my stamina grow all the time. When I began running to my exercise classes (an accident to begin with, I’m terrible at time keeping) I had to walk some stretches and now I can pretty much run the whole way without much bother. The exercise classes themselves have become easier too. I’m enjoying pushing myself further all the time and reminding myself I’m capable.

So while I knew my fitness levels had definitely been increasing steadily, I just couldn’t see the physical difference on my body. Well not in the part I truly wanted to…my mummy tummy. However as I said in be beginning, I finally noticed a change today. I put on a pair of leggings that I hadn’t for a while (probably not since the beginning of this fitness journey) and I was surprised. Where were my bumps? Sure I wasn’t lump free but I was definitely smaller and tighter. Writing that makes it sound like a huge change and although in reality it’s probably unnoticeable to others; to me it really is that big a difference!

So this has brightened up my day. It’s reinforced the fact that my exercise plan is paying off for me; both inside and out. 

Wife and mother, x

Workout in the rain!

So I tend to run late for most things although I actually (mostly) get where I’m going at the right time. I blame life as a parent as things always seem to take far longer than you expect! There is also always the possibility that there will be an unexpected, unplanned and last minute nappy change as we are just about to step out the door!

So my exercise class stared at 10am and it is roughly a 45 minute walk away. I planned to leave at 9am so I would have a comfortable walk to my class. It was my first time trying it but I thought it would warm me up and burn some extra calories…win win! Well that was the plan before I was actually living the morning and everything was taking ages! Nothing seemed to be going to plan despite being awake at 5.30am! My planned 9am leave turned into rushing out the house at 9.30am. Hmm 30mins to do a 45min walk…there was no way that it was going to work! So my casual stroll turned into a run to my exercise class. In the rain. With the buggy. Along the side of a main road. Like a mad lady! 

I made it though! Only 3mins late! I looked attractive…well, as attractive as a drowned rat! Although that was the least of my problems as I was now having to embark on an hours intense work out and I was pretty exhausted. I’m not going to lie. It was pretty tough going and I was pleased when we moved on to some easier things. Easier being anything that used my upper body and gave my little legs a rest!

My class was also outside, so at least everyone else quickly looked as wet as me and actually the rain kept us cool as we felt the burn! The only thing I did not care for was my incredibly soaked feet. By the time I got home (yes, I walked back, phew) my feet were pure white and shriveled. I was so thankful for a warm shower!

Oh well, it was definitely a good work out but I think I’ll still plan to leave earlier next time…

Wife and mother, x

Mirror mirror on the wall…

I had a great exercise class this morning and I am really feeling the benefit of them now. Between the exercise classes, running and chasing after a child all day, I have noticed a huge difference my stamina and over all fitness. I’m starting to really feel my muscles engaging again which is good as I am working them hard! Suddenly I’m remembering to use my stomach muscles regardless of the task which in turn helps my back.

Yes, I am feeling good. I am feeling much more like myself again. Fitter, healthier and just excited to live each day with energy. As someone who has spent most of my life as (what my siblings would call) an “exercise freak”, I am loving to regain such a big part of my identity. 

The problem with stamina, mind and body is the fact that my stamina is doing great, my mind is feeling energised and healthy, yet… why is my body letting me down?!

I know this is very harsh on myself as I’m just getting back to exercise after such a long time out yada yada…but I’m struggling with the fact that I can feel my muscles working. I can feel my fitness gaining. I can see the hours I am spending exercising and the distance I am running…and then I catch myself in a mirror.

I don’t think I look any different yet. It’s so disheartening.

When I set out on this path back to health after recovering from a baby and complications in recovery I said I wasn’t going to focus on scales since there wasn’t much “weight” that I needed to lose (also still breastfeeding) and instead I would focus on how visually my body was changing. I have been very good about the scales and hardly ever step foot on them as I just don’t care about the number. It’s just a number. Quite frankly it’s my stomach that’s the problem. 

I can see some toning around my arms and legs redefining themselves but despite working my stomach, there isn’t any noticeable difference. 

It’s just as well my attitude to fitness is that it is a part of my life as if I was treating it as a quick fix or diet, I’m pretty sure this is where I would feel tempted to throw in the towel! 

While I’m disheartened by my stomach, I’m going to just have to focus on the fact that at some point I will begin to see a difference and for now I’ll just have to enjoy all the differences I can feel. I guess if I had to choose…I’d rather feel fit with a mummy tummy than be skinny and breathless climbing the stairs (or at least I’ll tell myself that)! I’ll get there eventually.

Wife and mother, x

Nighttime run

Running in the dark isn’t something I would normally do but the day had been so hectic, I didn’t have another option. I really wanted to achieve my run as I had missed my exercise class, so off I set once my baby was down for the night. 

It was actually very pleasant running in the dark. The beach was my own private space to let off steam and leave the day behind me. The moon softly shimmered across the sea and touched the tops of the trees in front of me, picking out tiny bits of detail. It was lovely and cool after a hot day, the muggy air had broken and had left a beautiful freshness.

Some parts of the path I ended up on where too tree covered to see more than a few steps ahead so I powered walked through those parts and ran as soon as I was in a clearing again. 

Running in the dark isn’t something I would do just anywhere for safety reasons but in my little safe spot with only the cows around, it was a little peace of tranquility at the end of a crazy day.

Wife and mother, x

At least I tired!

So as I have mentioned in previous posts, I am trying to get fit and get rid of my mummy tummy. I feel I have made a good start over the past month or so and I am already feeling like I have more stamina.

I began by running everyday or second day to begin with and once I began my exercise class I have reduced it to a few times a week. There is a fine balance to be had I feel as even though I am loving being back in the game, it also makes me very tired. Which would be fine if I didn’t have an almost 1 year old to run around for the rest of the day and then a sleepless night ahead of me. I also heard that too much exercise can reduce your milk production which I think I will look into as I love breastfeeding and don’t wish to stop anytime soon.

The exercise class I have joined is good fun. It is a class designed for mums getting back to exercise and the babies come along with us which is great. I think all the mums assumed it would be a bit of an easy class under the circumstances but boy were we all wrong! None of us could move the day after class and not because we are ridiculously unfit but because it was a proper hardcore workout (and okay we aren’t unfit but we aren’t quite “fit” either). I swear the babies find us hilarious to watch! We really must look silly to them; jumping around like crazy people! You also have to be creative if they do get a little fussy…its not everyday I shout peek-a-boo every time I am up on a push up but if it keeps my daughter happy while I work out, then why not?!

I do enjoy running but I really must be amusing to watch. As my husband works away it means that most of my runs are with buggy and dog along side. It isn’t the easiest but I make it work. Although today’s run was just not working out! Everything seemed to be against me.

Firstly there were children everywhere! It is the holidays and I think its fantastic they are out playing but they are like tiny obstacles and I am running with a wide load! So I spent a lot of time having to stop to pass them safely.

Then there were an abundance of people out with their dogs…on leads! Which I have no problem with however I have a dog that wants to go and say hi to every dog they see. It meant that I also had to keep stopping to put him on a lead so we could pass the dogs that were not up for playing.

Then lastly my dog decided that it was a day for smelling the flowers and not running along beside me. I eventually got fed up jogging on the spot, waiting for him to decide he wanted to move again and popped him on the lead until he remembered it was fun to run. Which in fairness didn’t take long and then he was happy to run along with me off the lead but it was frustrating non the less.

So I must admit I got to the point that I just didn’t want to run anymore. The fun was totally sucked out of it as I wasn’t able to get into any sort of a rhythm. At least I tried though and I did manage 3.5km which is better than nothing!

I have a day off tomorrow but then my exercise class the following day. I am already looking forward to it! Bring on the burn!

Wife and mother, x

Too hard on myself

Do you ever get to the end of the day and look back at everything you have accomplished and think…why am I so hard on myself?

Well tonight is one of those nights and while it is much better than the evenings where I am scolding myself for not getting enough done, I still feel a bit cross with myself. Cross because I wish I could see things clearer at the time rather than hours later. Although I am sure it is a gift many of us wish we had.

Time can bring clarity. I know being hard on myself is not the worst thing in the world or the hardest thing I have to face and yet in some ways it is. Fighting with yourself gets you no where and there is no winning.

I spent most of today feeling like I was underachieving. Underachieving at being a mother, a home maker and well just as a human in general. Why wasn’t the house tidier? Why couldn’t I find the time to finally sort through the box for the attic? Why am I so tired? The list goes on…

Yet here I am, having just settled my daughter after her evening feed and everything is calm. Once her toys were tidied away at the end of the day I remembered the mess was the fun we had been having together. I see the chores I have managed to do and know I will get to the rest in time. My heavy eyes remind me of our early start in the morning, all the play we have had and the run that I managed to achieve (with dog and buggy). Most importantly looking at my sleeping baby tells me that I have had a successful day. She is happy, loved and well looked after which is all any of us can ask for in life.

So actually I did well today and I should stop being so hard on myself. I did my best. I made it through the day.

Wife and mother, x

Go mummy, go!

Well it has been 5 days since I decided to get rid of my mummy tummy and I am proud to say that I have gone for a run every day so far! Not only that but I managed  just over 4km in half an hour, which might seem nothing to many but is a huge achievement for a mummy that hasn’t exercised in years!

I downloaded an app which helps you go from nothing to 5k over an 8 week period. I have to say I like the fact it says things like “well done, you’re doing great” as who doesn’t want a little praise when getting back in the saddle?! It tracks my run and tells me the distance I have covered which is motivating in itself as I can already see and feel a difference in my stamina.

The only thing I would say, is that I am terrible at sticking to what it tells me to do… I did follow it the first day but I’m a little impatient so day 2 I just decided to do my own thing. I think I’ll still use it for now though as I know how long each section of running/walking is allocated during the half hour workout, so I have a pretty good idea of how much time is passing without looking at my phone. Add that along side the motivational speaker and tracking ability and I’m pretty happy. At least for now anyway. I’ll look into another app the fits my bill later.

I have also booked into two exercise classes; totally feeling the drive to do this if you couldn’t already tell! 

I intend on dropping the running to three times a week and have two classes a week for the next month or so and then I’ll reevaluate timings as my daughters activities will begin again. 

It’s great because not only can I run with my baby but one of my classes is designed to have baby there too! So I am actually only taking one hour out of the week away from my little one to do the other class. I’m not going to have to rely on my husband being home to do it either as granny will happily step in for an hours cuddle a week if he is away. It does mean I don’t have much of an excuse not to do my exercise plan though but that’s probably a good thing!

I’m not going to focus on the scales as this isn’t about weight, it is about making me feel confident in myself again. I’ll probably pop up some shots of before and “now” once I start seeing progress. Although I have to admit, I’m already feeling more positive if nothing else! 

Wife and mother, x