Most women would like to change something about their body. It's almost a normal state of mind. Even the slimmest girls want to be more toned and the buxom birds want smaller boobs. Androgynous women wish they were a bit rounder and many Mums just wish everything was a little perkier.
It's very hard for women to avoid the images of svelte celebs that proliferate the media. No wonder we all want to be skinnier if famous people get slated for being too chubby and the most desirable bodies are slim, tanned, toned and luscious. The constructed ideal is actually not that ideal if you're a woman who has carried one or more babies for nine months. I now want to be a healthy role model for my two boys but a big part of me would also like to be a stone lighter and able to fit into the Diesel cords that I wore when I was 21. I think the best advice you can take when trying to get fit post birth goes along the lines of ignore what the papers say.
See you tomorrow. I can feel a fun run coming on :-)
Have you ever considered what it is that makes you get up in the morning and what you look forward to each day? Do you feel motivated by succeeding at work? Are you spurred on by achieving a PB or losing half a stone? Or, is it a simple thing like ensuring you have free time with family and friends?
I was thinking about this on my way to work today. Like everyone else I’m motivated by my obligations; making sure my children are clean and fed before they leave the house, turning up for work and doing the job to the best of my ability and then being the perfect domestic goddess when I get home in the evening (yeah, right!). But, since I’ve had my children I’ve been motivated by a different force.
Driving me each day is the desire to be a good Mum. Not a perfect Mum or a Tiger Mom, but one that makes her boys laugh as much as possible and who has the energy to dangle them upside down in a game of rough and tumble. Its little things that keep them happy and I hope I can fulfill those things, particularly as I’m a working mother.
This is why I look after myself. I try to eat the right things. I try to exercise when I’m not too sleep deprived and I learn about ways to achieve longevity. Without being sentimental, I want to be here for as long as possible for my children. How great would it be if my children and yours could grow up with a Mum who takes time to be fit and healthy? Who likes to run around in the park, go for long bike rides on a Sunday and be full of life? It doesn’t always happen that way but I aim to be the best I can at keeping up with my two little buckets of energy. It’s the least I can do.
Going for a lunch time walk seems like a bit of a cop out in the exercise stakes but I actually love a brisk walk. Before I had the boys I walked to work a couple of times a week. It was a 12 mile round trip so I had to power walk to get to work in time to shower and get to my desk on time. During that period of walking exceedingly fast for nearly 3 hours a day, twice a week, I became pretty lean. It was a great workout and my leg and bottom muscles toned up a treat.
There's lots of evidence to suggest that walking is perfect exercise for most people. Almost anyone can take a walk, at their own pace and in the area around their home. No effort required. This week reports have suggested that walking can delay the onset of dementia. That's a pretty good reason to get back in to walking when I can find free time, so this morning I dug out my trainers from under a pile of washing and chucked them in the car with the boys. The little tikes are at nursery today while I go to work, so I can squeeze in a quick shuffle round the block in my lunch break.
Of course, like everything these days, leaving the office for lunch takes a bit of planning. If you spend most of your break walking, you need a lunch that doesn't take long to eat. Yesterday I had a chicken salad with raw vegetables (broccoli, beans, baby corn) and it took me about 50 minutes to eat (trying not to crunch too loudly). Today it's a chicken and salad sandwich (on rye of course) which I can knock back in 5 minutes. Now I just need to check the weather forecast because if it rains, I'll be staying put!
I've been under the weather you see. 2014 has been generally miserable so far. I've had a nice little mixture of infections and am now a little bit lethargic, a little bit podgy and despite spending a couple of months reading some great nutrition books, very keen to eat baked goods.
My two little fitness saboteurs have been keeping me well and truly on the tips of my toes. One wants to run away at every opportunity and the other likes covering every surface with yoghurt and snot. Once they're in bed and I've cooked something edible I have to decide whether to have a soak, read, watch an American sitcom or sculpt the perfect body out of what I've ended up with as a 30 something mother of two. Sometimes, thinking about going for a run is as far as option three goes.
Tonight I'll be heading for bed to read a chapter of Whole, by Dr Colin Campbell and plan how to squeeze in a bit of exercise tomorrow.
As an aside, I want to share this series of documentaries about the obesity crisis. Interesting if you want to know more about the causes of our biggest health epidemic.
I'm Sophie, a Mum of two small boys. I blog about food & nutrition, health, children, my body (not in a wierd way), stress and general observations about stuff that goes down when you're on the mum/work/mum treadmill.