As I write this, I am a day off Little L being 12 weeks old. I really struggle to comprehend just how quickly the past 12 weeks have passed, it's really flown and I'd like time to just slow down a bit. The 12 week mark has been on my mind quite a bit recently. It's such a bittersweet landmark I find as while many say that everything becomes that bit easier after 12 weeks, it also marks the end of that newborn stage, which although hard work, is wonderful and so cute in so many ways.
In the past couple of weeks, I've also had this 12 week mark in my mind as the time when I wanted to begin a bit of a post-natal fitness mission. I feel I've given my body enough time to recover since having Little L, and in reality I was told at my 6 week check that I could begin to do some light exercise. I am unbelievably lazy when it comes to keeping fit and have never really enjoyed it, except for when I did middle distance running at school, which I enjoyed because I was good at it. In my twenties, Mr F and I started doing a bit of running but we quickly stopped after about 2 weeks, and briefly signed up to a rubbish gym at a council run swimming pool. I think I went twice before getting bored. It's not something I enjoy and at the risk of sounding like a total moaner, it makes me feel chronic afterwards.
I am a small frame and only 5ft 4 tall, but for some reason I seem to carry large babies for my frame. LO and Little L weren't heavy as such (7lb 14oz and 7lb 9oz) but they were both big in size when they were born and I think I carried a lot of extra water. As a result, my belly and muscles suffered quite badly after I had LO and while the rest of me got back into shape over the course of about 2 years after LO was born, my belly never really got back into shape, which I am totally fine with because I know what an amazing thing my belly went through to produce two beautiful boys.
I think I put on 2 stone over the course of my pregnancy with Little L. I lost the 2 stone pretty quickly after he was born, which I mainly put down to breastfeeding constantly and chasing after and carrying a heavy toddler. So the fitness mission isn't about losing weight, it's about toning up a bit, gaining strength, particularly in my core and back, and just feeling a bit more confident in my own skin again.
One problem I find is that because I am breastfeeding and not getting enough sleep, I also feel in constant need of extra calories to keep me going. Mr F and I are terrible for snacking and are often so tired in the evenings that we just sit on the sofa watching Netflix and eating desserts and chocolate or crackers and cheese. In fact, as I'm writing this I'm sitting on the sofa eating a small bowl of mint choc chip ice cream... and that's my biggest problem, I, like many, find treats way too hard to resist. We are a family who love our carbs. We cook proper meals every day, but I'd say it's good old hearty food on the whole, and I've never really liked eating fruit, except for berries, pineapple and watermelon.
This past week, I spent many a moment thinking about how I want to feel more energised and just healthier in general. I have had a sickness bug twice since I had Little L and at least 2 colds. I think the lack of sleep has made me run down and having a winter baby has meant we have been inside more than we normally would. Perhaps it was the guilt of eating so much chocolate before Easter, but I got the urge to get my trainers on and just go for a run. Admittedly I didn't do any stretches, I just threw on some trainers and off I went. It was just over 1km around the block. Not a lot, I know but as I was running, despite being really really out of breath, I did feel quite good and motivated.
The following day (Easter Saturday) I decided to go for a second run with my mum's dog. I ran with him the whole way to the park, then walked him around and then ran back again. All in all, just over 1km again. Other than my head pounding and my throat feeling a bit tight, I felt pretty good, and I think I could have run further had I tried. I haven't done any more running the past two days as I haven't felt much like running through a hailstorm, but with these lighter evenings, I am hoping to get out again this week.
I am really hoping I can stick at it, because so far, any previous attempts at a fitness mission have come to an abrupt end, either through laziness or boredom. I am using our forthcoming holiday with Mark Warner as an incentive to get fit and in shape and also, because I just want to have a bit more energy.
I hope that through writing about it on my blog, I will have a bit of a focus as well, and through documenting my progress, I'll be able to see an improvement. So I am going to set myself a few simple healthy goals:
*Drink more water. I've been better at this since breastfeeding because it makes me so thirsty, but I could do with drinking a bit more.
*Eat more fruit- even if it is just berries, pineapple, watermelon or a smoothie, that is better than nothing at all. I am going to aim to start with one portion a day.
*Take LO and or Little L out for a brisk pram walk every other day.
*Run around the block twice a week as a bare minimum. If I have the time and inclination to do more I will but I want to set myself a realistic goal.
*Once a week, I want to do a short post-natal pilates session through my Joanna Helcke subscription.
And there are my fitness goals. I think these are realistic and I hope I can stick at them. I would love for fitness to become a more orindary moment in my life as I think it will make such a huge difference to my entire well being. Watch this space...
Covered in mud and dog hair after a mad dash run with a very big and strong Dalmatian.
Excuse the distorted mirror selfies, but I want to document how my shape, and in particular, my posture each month.