You gotta shake it to wake it. Fact.

In my case, that means I gotta shake my wobbly bits in order to wake my dormant metabolism from its food-induced coma. I did used to have one, but it has been MIA for some time. Last seen somewhere in Manchester City Centre.

Hitting thirty and getting pregnant with my first child, seemed to be the catalyst for the total loss of ability to eat food without gaining weight and the crumbling ruin of my body. Add to that the lack of opportunity to get out of the house alone to exercise and the result is something akin to Jabba The Hutt with stretch marks, grey hair and zero strength.

It’s a known fact that carrying a child takes a lot from your body. Pregnancy & childbirth will change your shape/health/size/hairline/foot size/physical ability in some way, be it small or life changing. Not that I’m complaining. I’m extremely fortunate to bear the marks of my children on my skin. To me, they are beautiful and I honestly wouldn’t get rid of them for all of the tea in China.

I would however like to be healthier. Stronger. I want to ensure I can keep pace with my beastlies, with no physical or mental barriers to what I can do. I want to be around for as long as possible to watch them grow into adults and maybe one day, parents.

So when a friend, Marianne, contacted me about being part of a free 7 day exercise group, I threw caution to the wind and said ‘hell yeah’.

Actually, that isn’t strictly true. I was nervous. I made a lot of excuses about my ‘health and my back’ and the fact that I’d just recently thrown my running shoes away. I didn’t think I could do it. I needed a kick up the backside and who better to do it than a highly motivated BeachBody Coach, with more energy than the Duracell Bunny.

The group begins today.

I am in the worst shape I have ever been in.

My flexibility is like that of one of those infuriating hair bands you can’t get your hair into, without it snapping.

My physique is, erm, how should I describe it…..? Imagine a really big, hairy potato with two very old and sad looking deflated balloons attached.

My back is weak and often gives way.

My hairline is thin thanks to breastfeeding and growing back in a set of curtains a la 90s Nick Carter.

My pelvic floor must’ve got binned along with the placenta when I had Posey, because I don’t appear to have one anymore.

Suffice to say, I need some help. But this isn’t about aesthetics or weight, I must stress that. Dress size isn’t as important to me as physical condition and I think it’s crucial that we don’t send the message to our children that their weight/appearance is what defines them. There are enough vain/insecure adults in the world. Rather it’s about righting wrongs before it’s too late to repair the damage. It’s about feeling confident in my bodies ability to do its job without my innards falling out.

I’m hoping that this will be the start of my journey to post-partum recovery and regaining control. I know it’ll be good for my happiness too. Exercise is a known mood enhancer, I’m aiming for ‘annoyingly perky’. Perky in the cheerful sense (not physical), there ain’t no rescuing the milk makers – I’ve come to terms with tying them in a pretty bow for the rest of eternity.

The only barrier to my health and happiness is me. No more excuses.

So, day one, let’s have ya. Give me what you’ve got.

2018 is the year of Strong Women and I’m going to be one of them!

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