I’m a mum of 3 boys. Nearly 14, 10 and 3. I’m 34. I met my husband when we were 12, we got together at 17 and have been together ever since. Being a mother has tested my body in ways I never knew. I suffered from Hyperemisis Gravidarum with all three of my children. At 20 years old, I had lost 20kgs in 8 weeks with this disease. My organs were failing. I was hospitalised. At full term, I weighed 11kgs lighter than when I fell pregnant. I lost 11kgs with Son number 2 and 5kgs with son number 3. I’ve never had to lose weight on my own. Mornings sickness did it for me.
Well. I am not having anymore babies.
2 months ago, I got out of the shower, got changed into some ‘work out’ clothes that I had no intention of working out in. While I was getting dressed I stared at myself in the mirror and was not happy with what I saw. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t shocked. This didn’t happen overnight. It happened from excess eating, drinking, not moving and placing not enough value on myself.
I made the decision then and there. I was going to get healthy.
Being a stay at home mum and a wife, my instincts were to make sure everyone else was ok and everything would flow. I’d be happy if everyone else was happy. It’s true. I did it for years. But it meant that I got lazy on myself because that’s the first thing that I can sacrifice.
Sorry, it WAS the first thing that I could sacrifice.
As I started thinking about how on earth I was going to fit me in to my life, I needed to get creative. I still have a toddler. I still have older kids. I still have school runs and homework, housework, friends and family, soccer games and training, bills, work, marriage issues, shopping, sick kids, assessments, car rego, whatever! Everything! What changes can I make that don’t affect any of that.
Food. I got rid of the shit. And not by eating it first. I also knew I wasn’t giving up wine.
Now shit to me is anything white or blue or red with a bunch of numbers. High sugar foods. Any cookie, chip, snack that I used to enjoy. No more Bacon and Egg rolls for Saturday soccer, no more soy or almond chai’s. I made the decision on food every time I wanted to buy or eat. “Will this nourish me or danger me?” Nourish won 99% of the time. There was a Papa’s baked ricotta cheesecake screaming my name mid way through these last 2 months though. I added green tea to my diet, apple cider vinegar in the morning, gluten and wheat free breads where possible, No snacking on foods in the afternoon when my kids do. Not finishing what they don’t eat. I make another green tea in the afternoon and drink that while organising and doing homework or starting dinner or dealing with the toddler. I don’t eat after dinner. 13 nights out of 14. There was a few Saturday nights where i’d grab some corn chips and eat those because my wine had kicked in (For those playing at home, Woolies Macro range of Original corn chips are amaze and make for a great snack instead of chips). Apples. I hated apples. I don’t love them now but they are the perfect school run snack. They taste nothing like a mars bar btw. I stopped snacking. One biscuit here, one handful of something here, one bite of the kids food there, all added up to calories and food on top of my meals.
I now live on Salads with beetroot and feta, mountain bread rye wraps with salad and chicken, pumpkin and vegie soups, spelt sourdough with peanut butter, hemp seeds, honey and cinnamon, apples, turkey dishes, eggs, rice cakes, nutty muesli bars. Sometimes I make my own juices, Green and red. Adding chia seeds and spirulina for a boost.
I no longer feel bloated or uncomfortable. I eat and then still feel great. I’m rarely hungry. My body seems to be adjusting.
Food, I felt ok with. I knew that I shouldn’t eat shit and that was the easy part because I could not purchase it or Say no. Even if I wanted to say ‘hell f#@king yes’ to that cheeseburger. Moving my body though, I thought ‘How will I fit this in. I feel like I never stop.’
I can’t find time or afford the gym.
The hours our family works, there’s no time for me that doesn’t complicate things any more than they are with 3 kids right now.
Weather is unpredictable. Routine is unpredictable.
I have a small child who really shouldn’t be in public right now because he has his own 3 year old issues to work through.
My exercise clothes are 4 years old and 2 sizes too small.
What will I do? It’s probably too hard.
Nope. Everyone else is having their needs met.
This is what I decided to do.
- I’ve limited my sitting. If you can stand to do the task do it. I’ve been using my kitchen bench when I use my laptop or i’m doing paperwork or reading the mail. Sitting used to make me stay longer or get distracted. When I stand, I focus on what i’m actually doing and get it done.
- I thought, if i’m going to stand to do those things, why not squat? Or lunge? Or flex my calf muscles. Or grab two tins from the cupboard and do some arm work. I did this waiting for my toast to cook or pot to fill up with water or washing my dishes. Obviously I didn’t do tinned arm work while doing the dishes. That wouldn’t work. Any time I was idle, I did something. I brushed my teeth morning and night while moving. Steps on the spot, squats, lunges. When my phone would ring, instead of standing or sitting, I walked around my house. Through the rooms, up the stairs. Any time I was on hold, I put the phone on speaker and used it as an opportunity to move. What else was I going to do in that time on the phone? I wasn’t going to start a project or cook or vacuum or shower, I was going to listen to bad music. Whether it was 3 minutes to wait or 57mins 25 seconds. Thanks Centrelink! When I was hanging the washing out I didn’t just bend to get every sock, I did a squat. Made every piece of clothing a work out. By the end of the load, I’ve done an extra 40 squats I wouldn’t have normally done.
- I get out with the kids. I forced myself to walk to the park. I hate almost all of the elements and seasons. Too hot, too cold, too windy, too rainy, too bushfirey, too cloudy (only two clouds). Always making an excuse. The first few days I walked directly there. Every day since then I increased my distance. My walk was 5 minutes and a 45 minute play. Now it’s a 25 minute walk and 25 minute play. We both need to get out. Not just the toddler. I play tip at the park with my boys. I lose a lot. They are so fast. And I stop a lot because i’m not fit yet, but i’m moving. I walk around while we waited at school pick up. 5 minutes early or 20 minutes early. We got out of the car.
- I have music on every moment possible. Dancing around the house while doing what I need to do, picking up the toddler and dancing with him. Constant moving.
- When I sit down to watch tv, some nights I sit on my yoga mat. I’m trying to work on my posture as years of being lazy with my core and holding babies has left my kinda hunchback like. So, sitting on the Yoga mat makes me sit up straight and stretch. I also like to think it helps digest dinner but that could just be wishful thinking.
- Get excited to move. The first day I decided to do this I thought I’m going to look weird. My family will think I’m nuts. But who cares. They didn’t think I was nuts and now i’m excited when I have to move. I used to hate when i’d forget something upstairs or in another room and maybe even yell out to one of my kids to grab it for me, now all I see is another opportunity to move.
I didn’t see results for a while. But I felt them. The bloating disappeared, I wasn’t uncomfortable after eating. I had more energy. I am exhausted at the end of the day and sleep so much better. And i’m physically exhausted. Not just mentally exhausted. My body had worked all day. Then physical results started appearing. Slowly, slowly, until one day, I didn’t look how I did. And I knew it was all paying off.
The biggest thing from my last 2 months has been how strong I have become in my mind. I don’t need a gym membership (I signed up for a month to learn to dance but only did 3 sessions. Dancing is not my thing, even though it is amazing for fitness.) Programs and training work for lots of people. Not me. I have what I need at home.
And so might you.