Maybe it’s boredom, maybe I just need a giant kick up the arse. Whatever the reason, my postpartum fitness journey has well and truly ground to a halt! A few months ago I wrote about how I was working towards building myself back up post-pregnancy, the goals I had set myself and the programmes I was using in order to do so. I’m forever thankful that I found the motivation to commit to the twelve week Mutu programme when I did (read my Mutu Review here) as I do feel like that gave me a solid foundation to build from at a time where I really didn’t recognise my body at all. It helped to solve the issues that had arisen as a direct result of pregnancy itself (hello abdominal separation & leaky pelvic floor). When I felt as though I was ready to move on from recovery mode, I signed up for the fairly intense BBG ( bikini body guide) programme and still, my motivational levels remained relatively high. I hit all the targets and powered on through the achy joints & muscles. I persisted in my fitness journey even as the exercises intensified to the point my exhausted body could barely get out of bed to feed the baby. And then I hit a wall. One Monday morning my body and brain aligned and just said no. That was two months ago and to be brutally honest, I’m struggling.
Before I had my daughter, I didn’t need to exercise to remain trim and as one friend put it, food never ‘stuck to me’. I’m not going to lie, the realisation that that carefree existence is most probably over for good has been a bitter pill to swallow and yes I’ve been guilty of some serious diva stropping. I’ve stomped and wailed with the kind of Kevin & Perry style attitude that’s most unbecoming of a woman in her 30s. Aside from the fact that I really do not enjoy exercise in any way shape or form, I find scheduling it into my day, difficult at best. I don’t care what anyone says about ‘half an hour a day being easy to slot in’. By the time you’ve psyched yourself up to do the workout, poured your engorged boobs into a sports bra seemingly designed for a ten-year-old, assembled the necessary equipment, found something to contain/occupy the baby, done the physical workout (furiously hating every painful second), mixed up a powdery protein drink that tastes like vanilla-infused cardboard, showered and dressed (while simultaneously containing/occupying the baby), half the morning or more has disappeared and you still haven’t made any headway on things that actually need doing. Not to mention the fact that you’ve most likely been up half the night and this ‘half hour’ (read two hours) has just about finished you off before you’ve even started. (Christ that was one long sentence…apologies)!
Exhaustion is a funny old thing. After a while, it sinks so far to your bones that you’re not really aware of it anymore. Sure, you feel it in the sandpaper-like quality of the backs of the eyelids or the dull grey pallor that tinges the skin but its the general sense of malaise and complete ambivalence to the world and everything in it that shrouds you like some kind of heavy, mist and pulls you down into places you’d rather not visit. We give ourselves such a hard time on an almost daily basis. We spend every spare moment, phone in hand scrolling through the perfectly curated Insta feeds. The fitspo accounts, the bronzed, long-limbed, designer activewear clad girls, the smug 5 am risers – all for what? To feel just that little bit more shit about ourselves? That old adage “comparison is the thief of joy’ has never been more relevant. In order to move forward with my own fitness journey, I feel we need to be kinder to ourselves, stop self-flagellating, comparing ourselves with others and actively trying to make ourselves feel like we’re crap.
I wish I could conclude with an action plan or give you a comprehensive list of what to do when you just can’t find the drive. The honest truth as you can probably tell is that I’m all at sea, a little bewildered and at a loss to know how to get my fitness journey back on track. I’m loathed to try again only to fail. This isn’t a pity party, I don’t expect anybody to feel sorry for me and maybe at best, this rambly, incoherent post will give somebody else the piece of mind that they are not alone. Moving forward on my fitness journey, I would like to be able to find a way to incorporate exercise into my life without making a chore of it. As much as I want to be that girl who loves the gym, it’s just never going to happen and I think I’m at the point where I’m at peace with that. I’m going to start small by simply getting out into the fresh air. Autumn is made for walking and it takes significantly less time and thought to bundle myself and the baby up and out of the door than it does to prep for a workout. For me, fresh air is also key to managing the inevitable physical and mental effects of exhaustion so it’s a win-win. If anybody has any thoughts of their own on this topic then please do leave me a comment or, if you have any tips on working exercise into your day (without taking over it) then I would love to hear them.
JEANS – LEVI
CAMISOLE – UTERQUE
CARDIGAN – MARKS & SPENCER
SHOES – GUCCI
BELT – GUCCI
BAG – JW ANDERSON
NECKLACES – MISSOMA
NAME NECKLACE – GIFT SIMILAR