I’m not one to set New Year’s resolutions usually, however this year I have set myself some goals. One being to take better care of my body and mind by getting back into a fitness regime.
I’ve always been into fitness, however since having children any form of exercise has gone on the back burner a little bit. After giving birth to Immy I got really fit using the Sweat app, only to fall pregnant with the twins soon after. I love working out. For me it’s all about how it makes me feel on the inside – it clears my mind and gives me more focus.
2020 was not kind to my body or my mind, and this week I completed my first postpartum workout (if you can call it postpartum almost one year after birthing twins). I’ve attempted to get fit a couple of times this year but have felt so tired and my mind and heart really wasn’t in it. However, now really does feel like the time to heal my body and mind from the effects of 2020.
Before I had children I worked out a lot. You’d find me doing boot camps, gym classes, endurance events and half marathons (okay one half marathon, let’s not get carried away). I was body confident and knew who I was as a person. I genuinely enjoyed working out and meeting new people. It wasn’t a chore for me. Call it a hobby if you will.
When I was pregnant with Immy I continued to work out gently. I did pregnancy yoga and pilates, and would run on the treadmill at the gym as well as use light weights. I definitely think this helped me to carry her to full term with no back pain, and helped me during the birth too. As they say, giving birth is a marathon not a race!
I didn’t workout much when I was pregnant with the twins, as both the pregnancy and having a 1 year old was hard enough on my body. Immy wasn’t walking when we found out I was pregnant, so carrying her around could be classed as a workout I guess.
During both pregnancies is probably when I felt at my most confident and proud of my body and what it was doing. I am still very much in awe of pregnant women.
Apart from walking, I haven’t done much in regards to keeping fit over the past twelve months. I’ve walked a lot. I think most people have walked a lot. After all it’s been the only thing we have all been able to do in lockdown. However, I’ve also consumed a lot. Tiredness has made me grab for convenience foods instead of fresh and healthier alternatives. Lockdown (and having 3 children) has caused me to indulge in a glass of wine or two in the evenings.Well, that’s what I tell myself anyway. Needs must!
I have to say though, at 33 years old and after having 3 children, although I appreciate and admire my body more than I ever have, and by no means do I dislike it; I don’t quite feel like I’m the best version of myself. And it’s not just my physical body. Sometimes I feel like I’ve lost myself a little as a person too. I’m no longer Lizzie; I’m Mummy. A badge I wear with honour and wouldn’t change in a million years. I’ve birthed three babies in the space of 19 months and that’s definitely something to be proud of. However, it would be nice to feel like Lizzie again too. Some people find solace in baking, some in retail therapy, knitting or reading. For me it’s working out. And working out for my mind will help me find her again.
Working out with multiple children
So I’ve come to accept that working out might not be the same as it used to be. Gone are the days of going to gym classes followed by a sauna and steam and then chilling by the pool. For the time being at least.
I used to go to buggy fit classes after I had Immy and those were great. However the thought of doing those with a double buggy and a toddler in tow makes me want to poke my eyes out.
So, we have set up our garage with gym equipment and it’s all about finding half an hour to do a quick online workout. But even that half an hour, as I found out this week, is enough to brighten the mind and make your body feel better. It’s all about opportunity now. Forcing myself to go out on a walk with them come rain or shine. Doing some squats in the kitchen while waiting for food to cook. Okay, I’ll admit I’m yet to do this. Mainly because Ross does 99.9% of the cooking and my duty is stopping Wilf from climbing up the wine rack, Tabby from emptying the dog’s water bowls, and Immy from plummeting off the sofa. But it’s an idea all the same.
I’ve found online forums amazing for motivation. I signed up to the Sweat app as I achieved my goals with that last time, and there’s such an amazing community of mums looking to get fit that it really gives me the motivation to push myself forwards. I follow other fitness accounts on Instagram too to pick up any other tips for a healthier lifestyle.
My workouts consist of 3 HIIT workouts a week (25 minutes each) and 3 cardio (anything from a 10 minute walk to an hours cycle). There’s also a rest day. It works for me but there are plenty of other apps and online workouts available.
I’m not going to diet, because personally I believe the best way to a healthy body and mind is everything in moderation. So yes I’ll still enjoy wine, but I will try and restrict it to the weekend. I’ll aim to add more of the good stuff into my body to nourish it, thus leaving less room for the crap. And of course I’ll still have treats every so often. I might lay off the excessive amounts of McDonald’s breakfasts I’ve been having though (3 in a row recently, true story. And I’m complaining about feeling unhealthy. That’ll do it)!
This is just the start of my journey to heal my body and mind. I’ll give an update in a few months time, but until then wish me luck, and I’m sending positive thoughts to anybody starting a fitness journey this year.
If you have children, when do you find the time to workout with such a busy schedule? Let me know in the comments below.