Posted in fitness, Parenting

Losing the Pre-Baby Weight

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One thing I’ve noticed since starting to blog some 4.5 years ago (and this is probably because I read a fair amount of blogs written by mothers) is that there seems to be this desire to lose the baby weight and try to regain as much as one’s pre-baby body as possible.  That’s great, really (and no, I am not being sarcastic)!

In my case, I’m super happy with my post-baby body.  Ah, but now I hear you thinking: “But why is she talking about losing weight, then?”

Let me explain.

I am well aware that three pregnancies and deliveries have wreaked havoc on my body.  Let’s talk, for instance about:

  • my droopy breasts (nope, cannot even think of going out of the house without a bra anymore – as for strapless bras…useless!);
  • the road map of stretch marks on my belly;
  • my plumbing problems (oh hello unexpected flow of urine accompanying laughter!);
  • the scar(s?) along my perineum.

Need I say more?

Anyways, like I said, I’m totally cool with those.  I’m happy with all of the changes that have occurred in my body in the last 5 years.  They are the reason I have three beautiful children.  I would go through it again.  Heck, I want to go through it again!  But I digress.

The simple fact is that I don’t want to go back to my pre-baby body because, for me, that would mean regressing.  To be honest, even though my pregnancies took a toll on my body, it’s is my years of sedentarism before pregnancy that have caused the most damage.

For years, I convinced myself:

  • that I didn’t need physical activity to lead a balanced life;
  • that I just didn’t have time to work out;
  • that I was more of a bookworm and gamer;
  • that it was absolutely fine to spend so many hours sitting each day, every day.

If I could go back in time and talk some sense into myself, I would.  Of course, if I could do that, I probably wouldn’t listen to myself.  I’m, hum – how can I describe it…pridefully independent?  I don’t like receiving unsolicited advice.  I don’t like asking for advice.  I suppose I take it as a challenge to my self-reliance (“what, you think I can’t figure that out on my own?!”).  I like to be in control.

The good news is that I’ve taken control now.  I’m already fitter than I was five years ago.  And though it’s tough sometimes, I’m determined to get my body in decent shape.  In the past, after an injury (as has happened to me recently because of running), I would have just stopped.  Now, I found an alternate activity while I wait to get back on my feet.  In the past, I never would have even considered working out in the evening.  Now, I’ll take the time I have to exercise, even if it is in the evenings.

It’s no secret that to make any change three things are needed: a catalyst, a plan and a great deal of perseverance (at least, in the beginning).  I’ve always been super organized, so making a plan isn’t super difficult for me.  I’m also very stubborn, so perseverance works pretty well for me.  What I was lacking, was a catalyst.

As it turns out, my kids are that kick-in-the butt I needed.  I realized one day that I want to be able to run alongside them with ease as they learned to ride a bike.  I want to be able to play and run around with them without becoming out of breath within 30 seconds.  I want them to know that if you put your mind to something, you can achieve it.  Most of all, I want to do everything in my power to be here, in this world, with them for as many years as possible.  That requires a healthy body.

I’m still a gamer.  I still read.  I find time to crochet and play the flute.  But it’s not all I do now.  Now, I don’t only try to eat a balanced diet (which is something I’ve been pretty good with overall), but I am also working to have a healthy body.

Have you made any major changes to you life recently?  What has been your catalyst?

Posted in fitness

Success!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love the C25K running program.  I find it well thought out.  It really can take someone who lives a sedentary lifestyle and allow for that person to go from being out of breath after 1 minute of running to being able to run non-stop for 5 kilometers within a reasonable amount of time (they say 8 weeks, in my first experience, it was more like 12 weeks).

However, there is one run that scares the heck out of me.  It scared me the first time I attempted it and it scared me today.  You see, you go from doing run/walk intervals.  Then, you reach week 5 day 3 and bam! they lay the following bombshell on you: brisk 5 minute warmup walk, then jog two miles (or 20 minutes) with no walking.

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As my brother would say: “what the actual F*&%”!?!

I mean, the workout before is run 8 minutes, walk 5 minutes, run 5 minutes and now this?  I remember, the first time I followed this program I was dead certain that there was a mistake.  I googled, consulted numerous forums and sites only to find out that it was no mistake.

So, I went for it (and managed!).  This time, though I was again feeling shaky about the run again, I figured I may as well seize the day and go for it.  I knew I had done it before and knew I could do it again.

When I got up, what I saw was a grey misty day with streets full of puddles.

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The dreary weather alone should have been enough to discourage me from running outside, but it didn’t.  I checked the weather app on my phone which confirmed that though a comfy 14 degrees C was forcasted for the day, it would only be happening in the afternoon.  I did not want to wait that long.

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20km/h winds, light drizzle?  Oh yeah, bring it on!

I decided I’d go for it anyways.  I layered on some weather appropriate clothing and headed out the door.  I felt a little chilly at first, but knew that it was perfect as I would warm up as I ran.

I hit my first mental hurdle after 5 minutes of running, but I talked to myself, reminding myself that only four days before I had run 8 minutes straight.  I could, at least, run to 8 minutes.  My next hurdle came up when I hit the 8 minute mark.  I talked to myself, reminding myself that since the start, I’ve been progressively upping my running time.  I could surely make it to 10 minutes.  I pushed through.  At the 10 minute mark, I hit another mental hurdle.  I reminded myself that I was already halfway through, my legs could still handle the run so I persevered.

After 12 minutes, I was starting to have issues with my breathing, I wanted to start walking, but I knew that if I stopped running, I wouldn’t be able to start again.  I told myself that I only had 8 minutes left, convinced myself that it was like running the second split from my Tuesday run.  I slowed down my pace slightly worked on getting my breathing in a pattern and got it under control.  By the time there was 5 minutes left, I gave myself some visual goals (I’ll make it to the mailbox, I’ll run to the end of the street, I’ll keep going until I reach the stop sign…) and managed to finish my 20 minutes!

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A 7min. 32 sec. average pace for 20 minutes, not bad!

I won’t lie.  I was very happy when it was cool down time.  By then, my legs were starting to burn.  I had almost given up on a few occasions.  But every time the little voice inside of me told me that it was too hard, I silenced it.

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Post-run selfie: tired, hungry and dang proud!  (Ok, perhaps a tad camera shy too hahaha!)