Is ‘me-time’ one word or two? I don’t know but it’s definitely my theme of this week.
Now that I’ve finally found the mental strength to get fit, I thought I’d share my fitness journey. I never exercised. Ever. I was a gangly beanpole of a girl at school and avoided sports as I wasn’t that good and just looked wrong!
I think it was some boys calling me Penelope Pitstop that meant I never ran again. I wouldn’t even run for a bus if I was late! But as you get older, and a whole lot wiser, you realise that those kids were just being bullies and you stopped caring what other people thought a long time ago. But even so, it wasn’t until I was about 34 that I blended making time for exercise into my life.
I’d been working for myself, at home, for about six months and all was great. I could stay put all day, work, then be with the children after school. However, now that I wasn’t even shuffling along for buses anymore I realised I was feeling tired and heavy. The only real movement I did all day was walking to school and back, and that takes five minutes each way.
I didn’t look terrible (I’m 5’9” so can carry extra weight without looking toooo bad), but was the feeling out of shape, older and the muffin was more ‘a stuffin’ (aka stuffing into my jeans to hide the rolls). I’ll never be tiny thin again, after pregnancy, but I wanted to be fit, not a stick. I realised I couldn’t do it alone.
The exercise DVDs still in their cellophane gathering dust taught me that. I tried running but got demotivated when I couldn’t run far. I needed support but at around £30 an hour, I couldn’t afford a personal trainer. It was then I came across a women’s running club. I emailed the instructor. It cost just £2 when you turn up and she guides you through the runs. So before I knew it I was going to my first session.
The first session she got me doing their warm up run which was a killer. I didn’t know how I could manage the session itself but I was told to run and walk for the duration and I was amazed that I was OK and made it to the end! What’s more, despite feeling hugely self-conscious and out of my depth, no one laughed at me, people didn’t jeer in the streets and I didn’t fall on my face. So this girl CAN run after all!
At my fittest. I was competing in races and comfortably running 10k, running 2-3 times plus two rigorous exercise classes a week. It became my me-time, my stress relief and if anything, I found I had so much more energy and confidence. My daughter dying in February 2013 saw my routine grind to a halt. I continued to run, I made some very good and dear friends through the club so it was lovely to see friendly faces each week. We even ran Bristol 10k to raise money for Bristol Children’s Hospital in Abi’s memory, but I found it hard to keep doing the things I did now that she wasn’t here.
Not long after my last race, I fell pregnant with Grubbalo, so pregnancy put a stop to any kind of movement at all. I experienced early bleeding, SPD and swelling so moving became a real effort. And, unsurprisingly, I put on over six stone (I stopped getting on the scales at 5.5!).
So Grubbalo turns 11 months old this week and I’ve just started going to Buggyfit with him (do look it up and see if you have one local to you as it’s great!), and also a weekly Pilates class to help strengthen my back and core. I’m feeling back where I started a bit, with a very wobbly tum and a chest I have to strap down, but with two stone left to lose, I’m feeling more determined now to get back my me-time and get back to feeling more like me.
Exercise eats a lot into my week as I have to work out when my baby is at the childminder’s (and I should be working) or I take him with me to Buggyfit, but I can already see how much better I feel – mentally – from being outdoors. When I had Grubbalo I resigned myself to never running again as I was certain my body would just not be able to cope with it… but after this week, I think I will!
I even treated myself to some new gear. I’d been putting off buying anything as all my stuff is in a smaller size. I turned up to Pilates in joggers than had shrunk in the wash and a tatty old maternity tshirt (yuck!). But I’m never going to get to my normal size if I don’t workout so I’ve justified buying some decent clothing as an extra motivator to get out there.
So, this word of the week is rather selfish, yes, but for me, it’s about time! I’ve linked up with The Reading Residence’s Word of the Week. Why not pop over there and see what other words have been used to describe this week?