This was me before kids
Not that different to now really – except that now I don’t have a whole lot of spare time on my hands to do all the health and fitness related things that I used to love doing so so much. And I am a little softer around the edges.
I would say that for the 10 years before I had children I was obsessed with my weight and fitness. I wouldn’t have called me a gym junkie until the later years but from the time I was 24 until I was 30 I was on a diet of some description.
Around my early 20′s I discovered the world of female figure bodybuilding competitions. To say I became obsessed with looking like these girls was a bit of an understatement. It became quite an unhealthy obsession that led me between weeks of hard core clean eating and weeks of unstoppable binging. Around my 25th birthday I became extremely depressed and the gap between who I thought I wanted to be and who I was only served to make things worse. I became friends with girls who competed in figure competitions, I ate like them, I bought programs from online personal trainers, I went on bodybuilding forums, I stalked body building competitions. It really wasn’t a healthy approach to fitness for me. I was never going to enter a body building competition – I just wanted to look like I could. I saw it as an easy way to drop the fat from my body and be sexy and healthy. Little did I know that I already was!
After a few year of this and a fairly regular approach to exercise my now husband proposed to me and I went absolutely crazy trying to lose weight for the wedding. Double gym classes and Tony Ferguson soups and shakes say me get down to my lowest weight ever and I was quite happy with how I looked on the day – but I still though I could do better.
After the wedding I was feeling a little without direction and I decided to commit myself to running a half marathon. I had done 10 – 12 km events before this but never anything further. I became really involved with a local running club and I was intensely motivated to reach this goal. I discovered that I enjoyed running a lot and that it was exceptionally good for my mental health. I also began spending quite a bit of time on the bike as part of some cross -training – riding around 80km a week to and from work. By the time I did the half marathon I was a converted runner and couldn’t wait to do it all again.
About three weeks later I went to visit my Husbands mum in Canberra and went out for a ride with his cousins. I came off the bike while I was out and smashed my elbow and was completely out of action for about 3 months. It was fairly close to the end of the three months that I discovered I was pregnant with the H-Boy. We had just moved to Canberra and I was pregnant and feeling awful – all the exercise went out the window. But I still wanted to be doing it – I just couldn’t right now.
After I had H-Boy I attempted to get back into it all again – probably a bit too quickly. I had hurt my hip in labor with H-Boy (a long and difficult labor) and going back to exercising and thinking I could do everything as I had before only made it worse. For a while theer I couldn’t get up off the ground by myself – I had no power in that leg at all. It was extremely painful.
After months of physio and acupuncture it finally began to come good again. I was managing to run short distances somewhat regularly. This was 18 months after I had H-Boy. Then I fell pregnant with Baby B. This pregnancy saw my hip become much worse and I had a constant limp and weekly physio throughout most of my 2nd pregnancy.
I hoped and hoped that a second labor would see my hip put back into place but sadly no. I still can’t run without pain and if I don’t do weekly hip opening work through yoga the stiffness comes right back again. It is incredibly frustrating because I would love for nothing more than to be able to run again and to run long distances.
The good thing that came out of my having kids is that I became friends with my body and my shape. I look at myself now and I see a healthy mama who can run around and play with her kids without getting puffed. Walking features strongly in our daily activities and I hope that bike riding will again sometime soon. I fit into the clothes that I did before I had children. I am grateful that my body has produced two beautiful and healthy boys and that I have the opportunities for fitness and health available to me.
A blessing really!