The Reality of Mum Exercise
I want to share with you my reality of exercising with kids. So I made a funny movie which you'll find below. But first, how did I get to this point....
I was always fairly happy with my figure pre kids. You know, usual hang ups and insecurities, but NOW, with hindsight, post kids.... I didn't appreciate enough what I had back then. I know in this modern day you're supposed to embrace your "mum bod", but I'm going to be completely honest. I don't.
Pre kids, I was lucky. I was active but, pretty much, I could eat what I wanted and look generally ok. If I put on some weight, it came off pretty easily with a little effort. And, to be honest, I have never been an exercise fanatic. Oh to be in my 20's again!
It's a different story now though, my shape and metabolism seems to have changed. Can I fully blame it on the two humans I grew? Or is is age creeping up on me too?
I do enjoy exercise (despite the efforts I sometimes go to to avoid it) particularly the social side. But, I do not feel energised by doing it. In fact the opposite (I appear to be a bit unusual in this respect). Mostly I enjoy the way exercise changes my body.
Over the years I have learnt about myself that, for me, exercise tones. Of course everyone is different. I find that if I have extra pounds that I need to shift, then the way my body best responds is to my being careful with the type of food I eat and restrict my portion sizes (tricky, I have an epic appetite).
I used to be a big swimmer in school, and I loved horse riding. I have never really been a runner, but I have dabbled in it. I like signing up for events and have done things like the "Men's Health Survival of the Fittest" (a 10k run with obstacles), "La Parisienne" (7k run in central Paris for ladies only), and "The Colour Run" (5k run where dry paint is chucked at you!), so that I have a goal to work to. I need this. Maybe I am a bit of a glory hunter... But also, the risk of failure, and letting people down (friends, charity), I find the most motivational of all. For some reason, letting my body down doesn't feature very highly in motivation stakes... it should.
My husband is a very keen cyclist, and this has rubbed off on us as a family. We really enjoy cycling together and I think it is a great way to get around, but I wouldn't regard myself a "cyclist". I've even done some pretty cool cycling events (like the Paris circuit of the Tour de France just before the actual tour finished in 2017 - see previous reference to "glory hunter"!) Pre kids my big love was walking, and I have done countless walking events that I thoroughly enjoyed, the more mountainous the better. I am also a lover of pilates, and when I really get into it I find it makes big changes to my body.
But, with all things, you have to be consistent. Therein lies my failing. I'm faddy.
Since having kids, not only do I lack the time, but frankly also the motivation. I have so much going on, as we all do whatever our circumstances, there never seem to be enough hours in the day. I'm tired!
My kids are 16 months apart. My single regret about this is the toll it has taken on my body. After my first baby, whilst I was on maternity leave in the UK, I enlisted the help of a personal trainer a couple of times a week. This is what I ideally need all the time (in a world without financial constraints!): Someone standing over me. Someone I have paid for. Someone I don't want to let down. I was pregnant again by the time my son was about 6 months old, had morning sickness. The training sessions stopped, and it all unravelled. And 3 years on, here I am.
After we moved to Paris and had my second baby, I tried joining a gym to do classes (mostly pilates). I wanted the social side, as well as the exercise. I learnt a lot of pilates related French language, but found it difficult to go regularly through my husband getting home from work in time, and frankly I was knackered. Excuses! Excuses!
My youngest is now 2.5. Until very recently my babies were with me all.the.time. Now, I get 2.5 days of synchronised child care - this is heavenly. As well as running errands, writing for Five Little Stars, I also have a Copywriting Business. Exercise isn't getting a look in.
So I dusted off an exercise DVD I had owned in the lead up to my wedding.
This is what happened....
Can you relate to this?
If not - tell me how you do it??!!
We have just moved house and its a brand new year. Seems to me there is no better time than now to get this body whipped back into shape.
p.s. I went for a run on new years day.....