7 days to go and I find myself thinking back on the journey I have taken and how proud of myself ( yes I said it, not very British I know!) I am with how far I have come. This blog update is a bit of an answer to the question I always get asked… how do you find the time with a little one?!
I actually can not believe where the time has gone! It feels like only yesterday Rob talked me into entering the competition and persuading me that I could do it!
I was tired emotionally and physically, my son was 11 months old and still breastfeeding like a newborn. I needed something for myself and something to motivate me. I love being a mum but it is all consuming and there is no break, even for a shower! I don’t think I had prepared myself for that aspect, I stupidly thought after the initial newborn stage it got easier and I never accounted for the strugggle of finding your identity again. We fell into a natural style of parenting as that is what my intincts automatically tuned into and it felt right for us. We breastfeed on demand, babywear, use reusable nappies and generally do all the typically ‘hippy earth mother’ things that can put people off so called ‘attachment parenting’. I would always read about how this simply isn’t feasible long term or if you want any kind of life. I completely disagree and am living proof! I won’t lie it is hard work but the trick is finding something for yourself- it can be anything but I found my motivation and it involved fitness and setting a goal of entering a competition 🙂
DISCLAIMER I don’t think it matters what parenting style you fall into and this isn’t really about that as it’s none of my business how you parent and I am not judging anyone but I have read so much negative stuff I felt I should put across my experience!
Anyway back to the point of what I was saying… when it comes to being a mummy you need something that can help you feel a little bit of your old self again not just so and so’s mummy! It can be so easy to fall into that trap of being so exhausted you just want to stay home and not see anyone but I really think it helps to get out and meet people- even if at first it is just other new mums and take it from there.
Luckily I have a supportive husband who helps ensure I get the time to train. At first my only option was to do it late at night once Rob was home from work- about 9pm and get into the garage and train in there, the days I managed to train in the day time sometimes meant Rob would have to join us in the garage or the garden and have him in the sling or play with him so he could still see me! Some times in the evening he would wake up and only wanted me so I would have to come back inbetween sets and put him back to sleep before dragging myself back downstairs and outside again to finish my session.
I only joined a gym in January when it got too cold to train in the garage so don’t use that as an excuse either 🙂 The first year after our son was born I went on a few runs but never got back into and so most workout were done in the front room. Work out DVDs definitely have their place and for new mums they are perfect as you can do it when the baby naps. Yoga is also a very positive thing to do and can be fun to do with your little ones too. I am not encouraging or a fan of losing all the baby weight weeks/months after birth. Your focus is on your new baby and enjoying that time. I didn’t do anything other than walking with him in the sling for the first 6 months and after that I took it slowly and as I said I focused more on what I was eating, notice I say what I was eating rather than how much!
It has got easier as he has got older and I am guilty of taking him to the childminders oaccasionally so I can train if Rob has a long day at work. On a normal day when I’m not working I normally get to train in the 90 mins Rob is back from work or the little monkey is having his afternoon nap, if Rob doesn’t manage to come home then I have to wait and do it later. Thursday is the hardest day as I work in Cambridge from 8-6 so have to train straight after work then pick him up from the childminders at 8pm and then get home and get him to sleep (this can take an hour easily!) then have dinner and prep all food for the next day, housework and fit in some posing practice then its bed time for me! Then the same again on Friday and Saturday.
I don’t get any evenings in front of the TV and I have to plan my meals carefully to make sure I always have enough with me ready to eat but that is how I do it. Organisation is the key and accepting I can’t do everything! Some weeks I don’t get to go to as many toddler groups as I would like or have the house as clean as I like but I always get my training in and make sure my son is happy, feels loved and has lots of stimulation. Sometimes the only downtime in the day I get is when he wants milk and it’s a nice time to cuddle up and focus just on each other and remember these days will go all too soon and he will not be reliant on me for ever!
I know there are also lots of questions about breastfeeding and exercise. I have not found any negative effects and my milk supply has not been affected. Nor has it tasted funny to him due to build up of lactic acid which is just one of the various myths I’ve read. I would however stress that I was not straight back into a punishing gym routine as soon as he was born. I took it very slowly and wasn’t too concerned with losing the baby weight, I knew this would happen when my body was ready. The most important thing was the food I was eating and making sure I was eating enough nutritious food to help support my body, not eating enough actually causes your body to store fat not lose it and affects your energy and hormone levels so don’t skip meals! This was for me and my health and not because I was worried about my milk! Your milk is nutrititious despite what you eat- your body will make that the priority and ensure your baby is getting all the nutrients it needs so don’t let anyone tell you that you need a special diet to breastfeed.
So 7 days to go, am I scared? Yes I am petrified! I also found out I am first on stage in my category and up against some amazing women but I am also very excited and can’t wait to go up there and enjoy my time on stage!
Well that was a bit longer than I intended but hopefully it has dispelled some myths and let you see more of an insight to why I decided to do the competition.
I have a practice day tomorrow for the comp in London so will update you on that tomorrow and be back on track with the normal blog 🙂
I have attached a picture of me pregnant and more recent one for comparison. It’s amazing the changes your body can make if you help it get everything it needs!