I discovered the gym when I was seventeen. I went with a few friends from sixth form and I definitely caught the bug! I had felt for a while like I needed to lose weight and so the gym turned into my sanctuary.
After a short time I started to go the gym every day, for two hours. I had a set routine and a calorie target to hit. I wouldn’t leave until both were completed. It wasn’t long before my relationship with exercise became very unhealthy. I lost too much weight and wandered around in a daze most of the time, always hungry and knackered.
I had fallen into a trap of believing that being thin would mean that I would be happy. Like it was that simple. It just isn’t true though is it? Whether I lost 3lb or 3st it wouldn’t automatically mean I would be happy. Happiness comes from within, it’s often learned through getting to know yourself and being comfortable in your own skin. Happiness comes from learning how to maintain a positive state of mind, as well as giving yourself a break when this becomes difficult.
The turning point for me happened when I was around twenty. I was skinny, pale and struggling to maintain my routine. I started to become queasy, breathless and had palpitations when I trained too hard. I woke up one morning and felt incredibly ill. I had zero energy and couldn’t stop being sick. After a little investigation from my GP I was diagnosed with iron deficiency anaemia. I had trained too hard and not eaten enough, especially not enough of the good stuff. I was running on empty.
This was the kick up the bum that I need to sort myself out. After a course of iron supplements and a lot of healthy eating, it was time to find a good exercise/food/life balance. It wasn’t easy and I relapsed on more than one occasion but in the end I got there.
I managed to keep up a healthy routine until I found out I was pregnant with my first. At this point I stopped all high impact training and instead opted for walking. As I got pregnant six weeks after giving birth this meant I carried on with low impact training for nearly two years.
I am now seven months post partum. I began doing bits of training around two months after giving birth but it’s only now I feel that I am ready to get back to the old routine. I want to be the healthy, happy and physically fit person I was before I got pregnant. This is the start of my new fitness journey as a Mama of two. Maintaining a regular routine can be difficult with the added pressures of two under two, but there are ways and means of adding a workout to my day!
This time around it’s not about being skinny or the person that trains the hardest. It’s about being a healthy mum to my girls so that they get the best of me. Let’s face it, when they are both walking I’m going to need to be able to run after them. I won’t know which way to turn first!
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