My body will never be the same again after having my girls. That is a fact. I know some may say that's not true, that exercising will get it back to normal but the truth is, it just won't. After breastfeeding two babies, my boobies have lost their oomph, I am thicker round the middle and my belly button has seen better days.
Both my girls were big babies, Mads being 9lb and LL being 8 lb 12oz, and that was just them. Thats not taking into account all the fluid, and my placenta. (After the birth of Mads the midwife said it was 'the biggest one she had ever seen'. Not sure I am particularly thrilled with that accolade!)
Anyway I digress. My body isn't going to be the same again but I am fine with that. I gave birth to two beautiful girls, and I fed them both for the first year of their life. I am not a teeny tiny waisted teenager anymore and I wear my Mummy badge with incredible pride.
That being said, what I am not proud of is my diet and lifestyle. Some days I can go a day without eating any fruit or veg, let alone five a day. I have never been a exerciser, bar a brief stint before my wedding in 2009 when I lasted a few weeks with the help of a personal trainer. Countless gym memberships have been purchased throughout my twenties in all the different cities I have lived in. The one defining thing in common is that I don't end up going.
I also drink way too much diet coke sometimes going to bed before realising I haven't drunk a thing all day except a can of the fizzy good stuff. I get bad headaches and my skin is dry. I also have a terrible habit of piling way too much food on my plate, even having a bigger appetite than my husband.
I should be a lot bigger than I am considering what I eat, but I have always been pretty lucky that my arms and legs stay slim and my tummy takes the brunt. It's always been my 'problem' area and the bit I am have never been completely happy with. (bar my dark circles but there's always Touch Eclait for that!) However since having those 9lb elephants I like to call my children, it's taken even more of a battering. Bad diet, no exercise and a second pregnancy have really taken their toll on my abs, in fact I literally have no muscle at all and my core is very weak.
In December I decided enough was enough and I was going to do the typical thing everyone does (and that I have done many times before) and start 2014 in a healthy style. Which I did. Except this time weirdly I have stuck to it so far. And even more weirdly, I am really enjoying it.
My goals are simple. I want to get fitter. I want to feel confident again. No matter how many times people say I look fine or nice, it doesn't help the way I feel. I am not desperately unhappy but there's things I want to change. I want to go into a shop and feel comfortable buying new clothes. I want to feel good. For me. Not for my husband or not really from a vanity point of view, although of course some of it is that. Not because I feel society or glossy magazines deem I should look like a certain way. I want to feel fitter for me and try and regain a little bit of that confidence I had before having children.
I want to lose a stone. That was my weight before pregnancy. Once I have lost that stone I want to maintain my weight and focus on toning- I want to see muscles that I have never ever seen before. I am not overweight but two c-sections has meant that my belly still looks a little rounded. I want to try and sort it out. I also want to watch what I eat, without going crazy. I adore carbs, chocolate and diet coke, and there is no way I am giving them up. I am just trying to be more sensible. Less big portions, less munching on the girls leftovers and not treating myself to chocolate and cake every single day.
I am going to monitor my progress on this here blog of mine so I hopefully can look back and see where this journey has taken me. I have some before photos that I took on my first day of exercise which I might share soon- but I don't think I am brave enough for that yet!
Here is my progress for January....
I started off the month running and I completely surprised myself that I absolutely loved it. There's something about running that feels amazing, I can feel my body and muscles working and I also love the space it gives me. It's a great way of clearing my head and letting me have a think about all that's going on. I really surprised myself realising I could run 5k in just over 30 minutes, something which I never thought I could do as I haven't done exercise for years.
I have downloaded the Nike Running app, which I totally recommend, and I have been really enjoying the buzz I get from beating my own records. I can tell it is something I could get really addicted too, the only problem is that in the latter part of the month I sustained an injury on my knee which actually used to be a problem when I used to run at school. Therefore I haven't run the last two weeks. I had an appointment with a physio who told me that it could be a case of too much too soon as my knee was clicking in and out of place, and to take it a bit easier for the time being, perhaps going shorter distances while I build up the muscle.
I have been going to the gym at least twice a week. I have been doing a mixture of just working out in the gym, and classes as well. Gym wise I love the treadmill, but again have been taking it easy due to it being high impact on my knee. I also enjoy the cross trainer and I do a couple of weight based exercises as well. Classes wise, I have done kettlebells and spinning, both absolutely knackering, with spinning just about being the worst thing I have ever done! However after going I really do feel amazing, it's almost like I can feel the endorphins high fiving me.
I have definitely been watching what I eat. It's like something has clicked and I think if I am doing all this good stuff to my body in the form of exercise then why do I want to fuel it with rubbish. Don't get me wrong, my diet still isn't great. I still love carbs and don't think I could ever cut them out completely, but we have made the switch to wholemeal bread, pasta and rice. I have been trying to eat a lot more protein in the shape of chicken. I don't really like fruit and never have, but I have been trying to eat more veg and eat smaller portions as well. I am not a huge fish fan, but have been eating more of the fish I like which is cod and tuna steak.
I still treat myself, we had a Dominoes Pizza last weekend and I will have the odd chocolate bar or piece of cake. Plus the odd glass of wine. It's just now it is much more in moderation than every single day which I was doing previously. Food wise, Alice is giving me lots of inspiration in the form of what kind of thing she eats, check out this post to learn a bit more. While I couldn't stick to this completely, I am taking hints and trying out different ideas. I have also been trying to drink at least 1.5 litres of water a day although I find it so boring.
Overall I have lost 11lb in January, taking me from my starting weight of 10 stone 1lb to 9 stone 3lbs, which I am quite amazed at really. I have lost two inches around my waist, although my lower stomach is still rounded which I believe is quite common from c-sections. Obviously it's not going to go flat overnight but I am slightly concerned I may have a diastasis recti, which is where the ab muscles separate and can therefore leave your tummy looking bigger. It's quite common after pregnancy, even more so with large babies and c-sections. I am going to see how the next few months goes and if it doesn't look to be getting better I am going to contact a physio. It's not a severe case, but I think if it doesn't get better it's worth checking out.
Overall I am really embracing this change of lifestyle. I feel much better- less tired with lots more energy, and just generally less sluggish. I am looking forward to seeing what February will bring.
(Apparently the lovely Alison has informed me that these kind of photos are 'healthies' - like a selfie but a fitness version!)