Thursday, 3 January 2013
Young, hip and...healthy in 2013?!
Whilst deciding against committing to new year's resolutions as per my last post, there is something I know I must do this year - actually look after myself properly. I know deep down I haven't done this since about 1998 when I ditched netball, horse riding, and swimming, and discovered boys, fags and Lambrini. In short, I thought being healthy was too uncool and when you're young you think you're going to last forever don't you?
Since my school years, uni and entering the world of work, but pre-children, I have swung back and forth between being a gym bunny and a bar fly, and probably not balancing either particularly well or responsibly (I'm an all-or-nothing sort of person!).
Whilst pregnant with both Freddie and Sasha I found it easy to ditch smoking and alcohol, bar the odd glass of wine with a meal, and whilst expecting Freddie I was particularly healthy. I went to the gym for some gentle exercise and went swimming, attended a pregnancy yoga class and ate really, really well. I'm ashamed to say that with Sasha I really didn't do any of this- I was so fried with having a baby to run around after, and moving house, that I know (guiltily) that I didn't always have regular, balanced meals, or get enough rest, and exercise was out of the window (life WAS my exercise!). As a result I put on barely any weight with her, and whilst that sounds great, I know now that was due to just not looking after myself. I also think that this contributed to me having very low iron levels throughout the pregnancy (I was prescribed iron tablets), and general feeling really shitty and having a low immune system for the last few months. I also know this low immune system contributed to me developing Guillain-Barre Syndrome 3 weeks after Sasha was born, and subsequently being pretty ill in hospital.
Fortunately I made a speedy recovery (some people aren't so lucky). You'd think this scare would have been enough to make me really assess the way I treat my body and my health in general, but it sadly didn't. Once I wasn't breastfeeding, I went back to drinking much more than I should in a week, purely out of habit (wine-o'clock time gets earlier and earlier doesn't it?!), having the odd cig on a night out (I was SO annoyed with myself as i'd found it so easy to quit when pregnant, WHY start again?) and having too many late nights, skipped meals/meals on the hoof, and not starting any exercise as promised. The Resurrection of my love affair with the gym lasted about a month! I haven't been to the bloody dentist in over a year, i'm embarrassingly inflexible for my age, and my back is knackered from picking up the kids constantly.
Sorry if i'm whinging, but I guess the question to myself is: Why don't you look after yourself more? We treat the kids like golddust, and quite rightly so - they get the best diet, care and attention possible. I used to drive 45 minutes there and back to Putney once a week to take Freddie to see a special osteopath FFS! So why don't I treat myself the same way? After all, if i'm not well, then I can't be there for my kids, and if i'm always tired through late nights, or slightly hungover, then i'm going to be grumpy and not 'present' for them, and that's just not fair. I'm not saying I can't have a good night out with friends when an appropriate occasion arises, but should really not reach for the booze after a hard day, or at a social occasion out of habit. Taking part in 'Dryathlon' should be a start with helping cutting back on drinking full-stop. Then I know if I don't drink as much then the not-smoking should follow. I hate that I have fallen into the cliche of 'the-mum-who-puts-herself-last-and-looks-and-feels-like-a-sack-of-shit'.
I have been feeling so sluggish and (whisper it), OLD, throughout Christmas, that as well as the usual January detox mentioned above, I feel I need to make some other small changes. I looked in the mirror the other day and almost didn't recognise the person looking back at me, they looked so grey and knackered! These changes need to be realistic, and gradual, otherwise, I will fall at the first fence! They also need to fit in with my busy lifestyle.
So, to start with I am going to do the following:
- Make sure I am in bed, ASLEEP by 11pm most nights, if not earlier. A tired me, is not a happy me.
- Exercise. Must happen. I quit the gym in November as we just weren't using it enough, and paying 60 quid a month just to take the kids swimming was crazy. I want to run 2/3 times a week, and start by following the couch-5K fitness plan. I have come across a few blogs written by busy mums who run, and fuck me, they run a lot! I have found them really inspiring. If they can do it, so can I!
- Do 10 minutes of stretching every morning to try and become less geriatric. Once I am in the habit of some regular exercise and conditioning, i'd also like to throw in a yoga class once a week, but this will be time-depending. If anyone can recommend a great yoga DVD I can do at home instead, then I would be most grateful!
I think that will be enough for now. I would really like my body to be a (less rickety) temple, and if I can stick to the above, then I will hopefully be half way there.
Here's to a healthier 2013! x