It is that time again – you know, around six months after having a baby and I think to myself ‘that’s enough, think I’m ready to start and try and get bit active and healthy again’.
If you have followed along for a long time you know I have had varying degrees of success with these ‘health kicks’, usually depending on the goals I have set (matron of honour duties anyone?!?).
Before having kids I loved playing soccer. This kept me fit and gave me the dose of endorphins I needed. I never wanted to let the team down which made for a great motivator along with trying to win each week being the perfect ‘goal’ (get it, goal, as in soccer and personal achievement, haha Queen of Dad Jokes).
But I haven’t been able to keep soccer up with young kids. Trainings around bath and bed time just doesn’t work. I intend to play again in the future, but for now need another exercise solution.
After Ari I tried the gym but it never worked out. Again, the whole young kids, needing to be super organised, gyms not being my cup of tea etc. so I’m going back to what usually works for me-walking/jogging/running/nearly passing out and healthy eating.
Here is how I am going about it third time around …
As I said before, I need a goal to work towards to, otherwise cleaning the house, writing or watching Netflix is just too tempting. So I have registered to do the 5km Canberra Times fun run. Not sure if I will do it pushing Rosie in the pram or on my own yet. I have also made the realistic goal of walking/jogging the entire thing, instead of ‘running non stop’. The reason being I have tried to make this ‘run the whole way’ goal before and haven’t achieved it as it was too overwhelming and seemed out of reach. So I am aiming to ‘walk/jog the entire thing without stopping’, with the hope I jog more than walk. My long term aim is to jog the whole next 5km I enter, and if I’m still at it, run the third 5km I partake in.
This week I have been focused on building habits, as I know habits is what will keep me going for the next seven weeks. This has involved going on regular long brisk walks, mindfully eating (will go more into this in a minute) and drinking more water. Next week my plan is to start including jogging into the walks.
In order to stay on track I am borrowing a parenting technique we use with Leo – the classic reward chart. Leo has three tasks assigned to him, once he has five ticks under each task he gets a reward. I’m applying this system to myself. I have a chart with each three tasks (walking/jogging, mindful eating and water) and when I get five ticks under each I’m going to buy myself proper trainers. After another completed round I’m going to buy myself some decent tights to run in and so on.
The major motivator for getting fit again is overall health – physical, mental and emotional. Of course this can’t be achieved if my eating is out of whack. With a history of being an emotional eater, I also always stack on the weight when breastfeeding. I’m like a camel storing all the fat that eventually comes off once I wean. I think a large part of this is due to being crazy hungry when feeding. A big part of my problem is not conscious eating but rather just going for the quickest and easiest options all day, without considering what I have already had and recognising what my body actually need in terms of enough protein etc. I also don’t believe in depravation because I love food and sometimes you just need that ice cream. Deprivation never lasts long anyway and you end up binging. My solution? Using the good old Fitness Pal App which leads to my next point…
Using apps and technology for your health is a no brainer! The right tools can help you keep on track, encourage behaviour change and keep you interested, because let’s face it, going for a walk can sometimes seem boring, but when you are doing it to achieve your step goal and distance for the day, now we have a game! The two main tools I’m using at the moment are Fitness Pal and my Garmin tracker and app.
I have used Fitness Pal before and it is great. On the surface it looks like basic calorie counting but it offers more. Firstly, it allows you to be educated on what you are actually putting in your body and calculates how much carbs, protein and fat is in each meal. It makes this easy with a simple ‘look up’ section and you can even use a barcode scanner on food that comes in packaging. Sometimes I have been surprised by the results. You can then have that dessert knowing you have eaten healthy for the whole day without feeling guilty and coming off the rails. it is all about balance, which I’m hoping is the key to a lifestyle change, not just a quick fix that will lead to poor habits breeding back in.
You can also record your exercise in the app which will then readjust your calorie intake allowance. What is even better, you can sync Fitness Pal with your other exercise tracker app, meaning it is all done automatically for you.
I used to have a Fitbit and now have a Garmin but the basic principle is the same – wearing a device that records your steps, heart rate, distance and activities. By connecting to an app on your phone, it allows you to keep a record on how you are going and keeps you motivated. It’s a great feeling when you feel the buzz (literal buzz, as the device vibrates)when you have hit the day’s step count. I especially like
How the Garmin automatically adjusts your step goal based on previous days’ activity, meaning it
starts off at an achievable level and progresses as you do. I also love how it tracks your distance, as I have been doing a 3.5km circuit near my house but had no idea how long it was. Now I know I need to add in another 1.5km each session to be reaching my distance target of 5km. Just wish I could add in ‘pushing pram’ because going up hills is a lot harder when doing so and must surely count for something!
The Right Support
I’m talking bras here Lovelies. As I have large boobs and I’m breastfeeding, I need the correct support or it is physically impossible and painful. My dear Lovely Emma Kelly aka Versch as she is known to us, is helping me out in this department. Emma runs Stay Put Girls where she vlogs reviews on all sports bras. I’m currently trying out the Cake Maternity sports bra. Keep an eye out for the review later on in the month. In the meantime be sure to check her out, as she knows what she is talking about and is hilarious at the same time!
Finally, a big benefit of getting outside and walking/jogging is active mindfulness. Some people think mindfulness is all about being still in lotus position, eyes closed and breathing. Whilst that is a great form of mindfulness, I’m finding my walks super beneficial for my mental state. I practice mindfulness by observing my surroundings including sights, smells and noises. I also try to calm my constantly running mind by focusing on my breathing and having an internal chat with my mum. She LOVED walking, especially bush hikes. I feel on my walks I can connect with her which is wonderful.
So there you have it. I’ve only just started which is why I’m telling you Lovelies. Because I want you to keep me accountable. I have a history or starting things and then stopping. I’m hoping by making this public declaration is another way to keep me honest and motivated.
I really want to hear about you keep healthy and incorporate wellbeing in your busy lives! Let me know by leaving a comment here or on social media!!