If you have been reading for a while, you will know that this year I’m hoping to get my health and fitness back on track on year – it’s not been the easiest journey but I’m getting there!
In my last post I spoke about how I’d had my fitness assessment and that it wasn’t as scary as I thought it might be. Since then, I’ve actually been making use of the weights area of the gym. I can’t believe how comparatively weak my arms are – I really thought that almost two years of lugging a baby/infant/toddler around would count for something but I am still on the very low weight settings for all my arm exercises. Where I’m noticing the most difference is in my legs – both in looks and feel. I’ve had trouble with my knee for years since an accident and yet as the muscles are tightening up, I’m not having anywhere near the patella slippage issues that I used to. Part of me is kicking myself for leaving it this long, but hey, that’s hindsight for you.
I’m feeling my best on days that I manage to knock out an hour’s cardio. Now some days that is purely done through some of the more major household chores, some days that’s at the gym. Today it will be by wrangling a toddler at the mall. But I’m noticing that if I don’t hammer out a gym session (and let’s be real, I can’t manage that every day – especially as a solo mum) then I need to get active somehow. I’d had quite a stagnant, inactive day on Tuesday and was itching to get moving by the time that CJ got up. I strapped him in his stroller and we went for a late afternoon stroll. So endorphins actually are a thing, who knew?
I feel like the more I’m active, the more I’m actually interested in being active. I had an unexpected free hour in a day of work last week that in addition with a lunch break added up to more like an hour and three-quarters. My gym was literally around the corner from the site that I was working at that day so I managed to cobble together a gym kit from what I had in the car (thank goodness for the mummy/emergency kit!) and blat out a mini-workout. I book creche sessions a fortnight ahead. Part of me looks at myself and is like “Do I even know you?” – but this new, fit mama is definitely the version of me I want to know.
People have asked if I’m dieting too… and the answer is “not really”. I am way too much of a foodie to deny myself what I think are some of the greatest pleasures in life. My eating has changed somewhat since becoming a solo mother; having the choice in what to eat and when rather than cooking for others (I still don’t eat dinner at the same time as CJ, it’s just TOO early) but if I’m going to a restaurant I’m going to have that delicious dessert and not feel one iota of guilt about it. I posted the above picture on Instagram the other day with the caption that “I gym so that I CAN taco” and that’s pretty true.
Even with still eating what I want (in moderation), I’m definitely noticing changes. My stomach is not flat (and to be honest, I doubt it will ever be) but I’m starting to lose the fat that found its way there during my pregnancy. My legs are noticeably smaller, especially around the knees. My “magic pants” that fit me perfectly and were on a ridiculous special of $5 no longer look that magical on me. It was the final one that actually prompted me to jump on the scales and see what my weight was reading – I was shocked to find that I was six kilograms down already from the weight that I was at when I started at the gym. I’ve been losing between 500 grams to a kilogram a week and that’s a really sustainable level of weight loss for me and a great motivator.
One other thing that’s really helped me get over those “I can’t be bothered” days is a little accountability group I belong to. While we’re geographically distant, thanks to the web we keep each other accountable through messages, pics and snaps. It gives me that extra little boost on days that I need it… but surprisingly that hasn’t been too often. It’s crazy… I never saw it coming but I think I’ve become one of those people who likes going to the gym. And even crazier, one of those people who likes working out solo at the gym. I just strap on my headphones and go.