Maintaining your fitness with kids whilst working and running a busy household can be tricky, but it doesn’t need to be. Things don’t always go to plan, I get that. The kids get sick, our days get filled with work, shopping, coffee catch ups and then there is just sheer laziness. I know, I’ve been there.
I gained almost 30 kilos during my first pregnancy, 28 to be exact! I remember proudly getting my Costco card a week before I went into labour and that card is now placed on my fridge as a reminder of what I became.
For those who have seen the movie, I looked like Shallow Hal and it was not the person I wanted to be.
I had once been a fit, athletic, happy go lucky girl and I loved the outdoors (I still do) but I was that pregnant woman that used pregnancy as a ticket to consume as many magnum egos in one go as humanly possible. And when the magnums were gone, it was on to the bag of Natural Confectionary lollies that are 99% fat free right? Wrong.
My birth story wasn’t the greatest; baby came 6 weeks early, emergency caesar, meningitis scare when my son was 48 hours old, intensive care unit for 2 weeks – blah blah blah.
As traumatic as all of that was, I had two choices. I could let my weight spiral even further out of control or I could take action. I was determined to get my sexy back. So here is what I did:
• I set myself a goal to lose my pregnancy weight within 12months
• Each day I walked religiously for an hour and yes there was the regular stop off at the local café for my daily fix minus the cake
• I got the all clear from my paediatrician 6 weeks after the birth to start running so entered myself into the Mother’s Day Classic
• I ate 6 times a day (instead of 26)
• My portion sizes became a lot smaller (just because my husband ate super-size portions, didn’t mean I had to)
• My whole attitude changed – if you think you can or think you can’t, you’re probably right
• Oh – did I mention, my husband brought me a gym membership for Christmas (I didn’t read into that too much – OR DID I?)
Did I do it at my own pace and sensibly? Abso-bloody-lutely! Within 5 months I lost 20 kilos and it was all due to motivation, the right attitude, eating sensibly, daily exercise and a supportive husband. Not rocket science hey?
Within 6 months, I was well and truly on track when I encountered a slight hurdle, I was up the duff again. It was busy times ahead but it did not deter me.
During my second pregnancy, I maintained my activity levels the whole way through. I had to. There was no way I was going to do that to myself again. I no longer went to the gym but I continued to walk at least 5 times per week. I ate a lot cleaner than I did during my first pregnancy (thanks to James Duigan’s book – Clean and Lean Diet). Sure, I still had the occassional magnum ego. I gained 9kgs the second time around.
My regime has changed a bit now that I have two ankle biters. I have given up work full time, so to all you stay at home mum’s out there, here’s what I do:
• After breakfast we put on some funky toddler music and we do our morning exercise together – star jumps, jogging on the spot, follow the leader – (jump, gallop, tiptoe).
• We finish it off with some daggy dance and yep, I win that hands down.
• After our exercise sessions, we head out for our morning walk and a trip to the park. Sure the pram is getting harder to push these days but I see that as a few extra calories that I get to burn.
I politely told my son yesterday that soon mummy won’t be able to push the pram as my babies are growing up and they will have to walk themselves. His response, “Get a bigger pram mummy”
• My daughter loves the swing at the park and as I push her, I can conveniently squeeze in 30 squats. Bonus!
• We have running races on the oval and not to get too competitive; we make sure that each of us gets the chance to win the race.
The most important thing for my kids and I is that we do something on a regular basis. Fitness is part of our lives because we choose for it to be that way.
It is also important for me to have my own time to exercise so I try run 3-4 times a week and yeah, there are times when that doesn’t always go to plan so when the kids go to bed, I do a weights workout on the patio for 30 minutes. No excuses!
My philosophy with being a parent and keeping fit is simple – don’t make excuses and keep it fun! Just 30 minutes of exercise each day can burn 250 calories and believe me, you will be a much happier person for it.