Recently I’ve noticed an influx of body-shape before and after photos popping up everywhere, and it’s hard to ignore the pressure media places on us all. The constant barrage of slim bodies that have seemingly changed overnight, can have varying effects on the viewer. Another person’s transformation can either motivate you or dissuade you from obtaining the same outcome, because you don’t believe it is achievable – but it is. As the doubt creeps in, you begin to ask yourself questions, like: ‘Where do I find the time, or energy to work out?’ This is where I stop you, now take a deep breath and relax. Post pregnancy is no joke, and a lot has changed on the outside of our bodies, but it’s the inside we need to focus on first. I am so passionate about women’s health and creating a greater awareness for your journey back into health and fitness. It all begins with your mindset and adjusting your perception of what you can and can’t do post-pregnancy. Forget the glorified photos you see on social media, I’m discussing long term plans to not only get you back into shape, but to do it safely.
This is me on the right, 7 months postnatal. Little do you know looking at this photo, I was suffering from pelvic pain, back ache, incontinence and an undiagnosed pro-lapse.
I don't think you ever reach an age where you listen and abide to everything someone may tell you, even if it is for the greater good and your best interests are at heart. Maybe it is stubbornness or a feeling of 'I know best' or you might even be in denial. Whatever the scenario, 9/10 we learn the hard way. I often seek advice or ask opinions from others, only to do it the way I intended to in the first place and I am certain I am not alone in that. For those close to me - I think they have learnt to tell me what I want to hear as they know I will do the opposite to whatever they say anyway. My Mum would say I am contrary - I call it determined.
In this particular instance I wish I had listened, not only to my body but those close to me and also health professionals. For those of you reading this who don't know my journey, I continued to exercise post baby when I was advised to stop, or at the very least slow down and I didn't. There was time to correct the damage that I had encountered with my pelvic floor, although unfortunately I didn't listen and now it is too late. Nearly 2 years on and learning to live with it.
As I sat on the plane travelling from Brisbane to Sydney for work this week, an array of mixed emotions came flooding to me. I couldn't help but wonder how many Mums feel the way I do. This is the first time I have been any great distance away from my baby girl, bringing a combination of sadness, excitement, worry and not to mention anxiety, that rears its ugly head.
Before becoming a Mum I used to travel for work frequently as an Area Manager and on those plane rides would take the opportunity to sleep. Wow, if only I knew what super powers I was missing out on back then. The countless sleepless nights you encounter as a Mum and yet we still carry on. Here I am on a 7am flight, with the whole day ahead of me, feeling like I have already done a full day at work and think it is a good idea to start writing a blog. Good one Rach.
Nearly 18 months ago I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl. When I was pregnant I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted which consisted of cakes, lots of cakes. I had a great plan to carry on working out to stay fit throughout my pregnancy, although unfortunately the all day sickness and lack of energy seemed to drain every ounce of intention I may have had. So from about 10 weeks, the only exercise I did was walk my dog around the park and that walk soon turned into a waddle. On some days this was hard to accept as pre-preganancy, I would go to the gym or a long run 3-4 times a week. My fitness journey started about 5 years before this, when I was diagnosed with hashimotos disease and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) so I always had to work hard with both my exercise and eating. I believe you can achieve anything you put your mind to and have great memories completing marathons and triathlons.
Just finished Washington DC Half marathon, it was so cold!
I remember this moment like it was yesterday – laying in the bath 3 weeks after bringing my daughter into the world, looking at myself and thinking 'this isn't me'. I'm sure if you are a woman reading this and have had a child or children, you can relate in some form, looking at my jiggly tummy and feeling the aches and pains, ever wondering if I will be like before again. I had two options, continue to stay in a mindset of self pity and do nothing about it, or take action, get my body back and feel like myself again. Scrolling on Facebook in the bath I saw Mooloolaba Triathlon advertised, that was all I needed. I signed up there and then and roped my friend into doing it with me too. (The bath was getting cold by this point).