Disclaimers: Not sponsored, contains some naughty language, and might get slightly ranty.
OMG am I writing a health/fitness/wellness post? Someone slap me in the face with a packet of Tim Tams.
Don’t worry, it’s not that kind of post. I’m not trying to offer any wellness wisdom. I actually get sort of pissed off reading about other people’s health habits, usually because they make me feel all lazy and/or inadequate, but sometimes just because the sight of wanky words like ‘macrobiotic’ and ‘wholefoods’ and ‘fitspiration’ make me stabby. They’re so fucking smug. I know what they’re really saying.
I crave things like quinoa and steamed chicken salad. Don’t hate me just because I’m perfect.
Don’t judge me for bingeing on two hand crafted Paleo chia balls just because I’m judging you for finishing that entire family size block of Cadbury’s.
I’m up so early to prepare organic cold pressed activated super healthful Paleo fruitarian Bircher muesli and run 20km I don’t even go to bed.
I don’t go for fad diets – I believe in moderation. That is, when I can moderate myself. People who are fanatical about what they eat annoy the shit out of me. Don’t tell me sugar is poison or that carbs are the enemy. Even the I Quit Sugar woman still eats sugar, she just calls it different names – ‘rice malt syrup’ and ‘molasses’? Um, otherwise known as SUGAR? Yes, that’s right. I love it and will never!! give up chocolate, but I am eating a lot less lately. I’m also a newly minted fan of ‘raw’ desserts; not as wanky as I first thought! I never thought I’d consider something with avocado, maple syrup, almond milk and cocoa to be an acceptable substitute for some Whitman’s, but there you go.
The incomparable Jackie Chan’s philosophy is 5 days eating well and training, and the weekend off without going overboard. Who am I to argue with The Young Master? If it’s good enough for him it’s good enough for me. If I could get even half as fit at 41 as what he is at 61, I’d be stoked. Turning 40 wasn’t a big deal, but I look back to how I’ve been (energy levels, discipline, general attitude) and I want to feel closer to 30 than 50. I’ve gotten softer since having the boys, and I don’t just mean in the tummy.
When you’re preggers you have to force yourself to take things easier. Don’t get up with a situp or your abs will like, split in half. Kind of roll over like a beached walrus and grunt repeatedly while lurching up from your knees instead. Don’t run, waddle. Don’t make any sudden moves or stretch too far or jump. If I forgot, my body would remind me with pains/ strains/ dizzy spells/ hernias. So I went easier, and got softer, and I accepted this as part of motherhood rather than pointlessly beating myself up for being a wuss. Need to upsize jeans? Fine. Shirt doesn’t fit? Sweet; I can buy a new one!
Except the pre-kids, more active mindset didn’t just turn itself back on. I got very unfit, my muscles atrophied, I got even more aches and pains and the kilos snuck on. For some reason I found it a very long process saying to myself again no it’s not okay that you can’t jog the length of the driveway without getting puffed, or do a handful of pushups without wanting to puke, or even jog 10 metres to collect the cricket ball without straining a calf muscle.
It didn’t help that after Finn was born my body belatedly went WHAT the fuck just happened and started unleashing all manner of mischief at me. My knees went, followed by my hips and back. I learned what ITBs are and that I hated them. My pelvic floor was shot to hell… I found that out the first time I tried jumping on a trampoline and instantly had to bolt for the toilet. (Annnd didn’t quite make it. Motherhood is such a blessing, isn’t it? Getting older is also the best.)
Physiotherapy, swimming, pilates and the best invention since the dawn of time – the foam roller – helped a bit, but it seemed like every time I tried to run or walk even a middle distance I’d hurt myself and get derailed again. Motivation was also a major problem. It was harder to make time for exercise … pre-kids if I felt like going for a bike ride or a swim I’d just go. And I didn’t drive until I was 35 – I’d always gotten so much incidental exercise riding my bike, sprinting for buses and trains, and walking everywhere I’d never had to worry about my fitness before. It was great!
But with kids, when I had to plan specifically for exercising and do it at certain times when I didn’t feel like it (oh dark hundred in the morning – ugh) it was work and I resented the hell out of it. I still went to the gym but not often enough, and fell into a vicious cycle of boredom-and-stress eating. I wasn’t getting anywhere on my own.
So this year, once the boys were both at school, I signed up for an 8 week challenge with Urban Energy Fitness in Currumbin. J got me onto them – he’d been with them for a few months and well, *phwoar*. I gave it a go because I wanted to push myself harder, the trainers really know their stuff, and I’ve liked the variety of circuit style training ever since Army. The gym practised CrossFit, or “CrossShit” as a friend refers to it; I knew enough about it to know it’d be hard. But as the saying goes, if it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you.
Next post, because this one is quite long already: I attend my first CrossFit class and manage to not die.