Thursday, 6 April 2017

Mama's got a brand new gym membership.

I have been meaning to start jogging for a while but it’s not really my bag. I’ve done charity runs in the past, the odd 10k and finished the London Marathon before dark but I’ve never been one of these whippet-like women who runs everywhere. I have to be really in the mood. The only time I get to do any kind of jog is when small one is safely tucked up in bed, washing up is done, toys are out of tripping distance and husband is home. The thing is, that by the time I am ready to clad myself in lycra, I’m knackered and end up walking to the Sainsbury’s Local for wine and crisps or chocolate.
Before my daughter was born I was a proper bouncing gym bunny. Four classes a week, including Zumba, Legs, Bums and Tums and Body Pump. I was well fit. I had tight buns, my legs were frickin awesome and I could walk up to our sixth floor flat without my lungs collapsing. Oh, and the muffin tops were minimal. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been a skinny Minnie but a size 10 wasn’t out of the question. I was also a regular on the tennis court. Just after my little lady was born, I was doing home workouts and then it all just slipped away into the ether. Piff, puff, poof!

So, the other day I had had a particularly good night’s kip and woke up with renewed vigour. I emailed our local YMCA gym and booked an appointment forthwith. At 11:30 I went in, by 2:30 I was a fully fledged member. Buns of steel here I come! Or thunder thighs more like. I wasn’t quite as unfit as I thought so that’s good. However, I stepped on the scales this morning and it’s not good news. Since going to the gym my appetite has increased somewhat but I don’t think I’ve been doing the requisite amount of exercise for the amount of carbs consumed. I’ve started doing weights and although my thighs don’t wobble as much their circumference has expanded. I would be a rather useful speed skater at the moment. .

 When you have a baby your body changes. Hips widen, pelvic floor becomes like a weak bridge and Pepsi and Shirley hang towards the floorboards. I will be honest with you, that for years before having a baby I suffered from eating disorders and image problems. I used to worry about what I looked like, the number on the scales, the measurement on the tape measure. I was diagnosed with anorexia and bulimia when I was 17. I lived with it all the way through University, my 20’s and early 30’s. I went to my GP before I went off to Uni but was told that I was 6 pounds over the designated weight for treatment. That’s just what you want to hear. So, I basically screwed up my acting career by being too self-conscious to go up for certain parts and worrying constantly what people thought of me. I did a lot of touring theatre and then finally found my happy place with voice over. I was good it and it wasn’t solely dependent on looks. However, having a baby and especially a daughter really changes your perspective. Also, being in my late 30’s has made a difference. I just don’t care like I used to. If you don’t like me, that’s a shame but that’s life. If you don’t like the way I look, that’s a shame but that’s life and if you don’t like what I write in this blog, well, that’s a shame but that’s life. Its ok.

 I loved being pregnant and although I really looked after myself and watched what I ate I didn’t worry about weight gain or how my body was changing. I embraced it. Going to the gym is not about making myself look nice for other people and watching the numbers and how many calories I’m burning. It’s about keeping fit and healthy so that I can run around after my daughter and also feel good. And by that I mean healthy. That great feeling when you breath in and you feel really good. Sadly, as I write this I am at work with a vile cold and the most important thing is blowing my nose and eating biscuits. But once I feel better I will be back on that treadmill and lifting that shoulder press. I have always exercised and played sport so it’s great to get back into it. My daughter will be made to play tennis whether she likes it or not. I am expecting her to be the next Jo Konta so that I can go to Wimbledon and not have to queue. So here’s to feeling good. Really good. Happy Thursday everyone.

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