So I’ve had my 3 kids, I’ve contributed to society and the human race. Now it’s time for me to shine. I will be a super fit Mammy, running marathons while cleaning the house and feeding the baby. I will have perfectly groomed hair and immaculate eyebrows that rival Kim Kardashian. I will be the envy of every other mother that I know and they will look up to me with awe and the green eyed monster will be in their midst.
What a load of sh*t. So here’s the reality.
When I was a teen, I played Camogie. For anyone outside of Ireland, Camogie is the female equivalent of Hurling. Hurling is like hockey and rugby mixed together. Rugby is like American Football without the padding and helmets. Ok, I probably have any non-Irish followers completely confused! Just Google “Irish Hurling Videos” and you will get an idea. Sorry Irish folk, I have some readers from all around the world.
As a dedicated Camogie (CAM-O-GEE) player, I trained 3 times a week and we trained hard. I was honestly one of the fittest members of the team. I wasn’t a very good player but nonetheless, I went to every session and I trained hard. I used to run with my friends as well and while they got out of breath after a few miles, I was pushing to do more and more. I never felt out of energy whatsoever. Most of the time I stopped exercising from boredom.
In school, at P.E., we did fitness tests including the “Bleep Test” which basically means that you run the length of the PE hall before the next bleep plays. The bleeps get closer and closer together. I actually stopped because I was bored. There were 3 of us left. We also did laps of the field and along with 2 others, we managed 12 laps. I could have done more. I used to feel amazing and so healthy as well.
So what changed?
I believe it was college initially. I stopped playing for my local team and concentrated on college, working, eating and drinking. I went out a lot more and I didn’t do anything fitness wise. Before, it was fun and my hobby but now I had a job, college work and new friends so they were all my hobbies now. As an 18/19 year old, fitness wasn’t really a priority and I certainly didn’t think about my health at that age! Sure I’m young and free for God’s sake! I’m going drinking!!!
I met my now husband at the age of 18. This was also part of my problem. I also didn’t own a weighing scales so I did not even notice the weight creeping on. I just bought new clothes as I needed them and didn’t really pay attention to the weight gain. We also ate out a lot and had a lot of takeaways as a lot of new couples do I imagine.
Fast Forward Life
So, the spiral continued. I tried different things like swimming, joining a gym etc but I love exercising outdoors, probably from the memories of being on the Camogie team. I love the smell of freshly cut grass in the Summer and running through it! There is also nothing as nice as the smell of the changing rooms after a match. Ha! So, nothing stuck really. When we got engaged, I was determined to lose the weight and I signed up to Weight Watchers and I lost 1 stone! I was delighted with myself but none of that was down to fitness, just watching what I was eating.
I was going to a maternity hospital at this point as I was not menstruating. I knew that this was down to my weight. I was told by the consultant that I would not have children in the natural way so to speak, I would need help with either drugs such as clomid or otherwise. This hit me like a tonne of bricks but, 6 months before my wedding, we found out that we were expecting!! It was all down to my weight loss. I got complacent about that fact that we wouldn’t conceive naturally and then low and behold, it just happened.
The weight loss then obviously took a back seat while I planned the wedding and planned our first baby. I was the heaviest I’ve ever been walking up the aisle, but we did it anyway. After my second baby, I lost 2 stone through Slimming World and never felt better. But it was all food based. I need fitness.
3 Babies Later…
After each of my babies, I tried different forms of fitness again. I love running but it’s been so frustrating to go out there and not even be able to run down the road like I used to without feeling like my chest was going to cave in. But, I am overweight, not as much as I was but all of my weight is around my chest, back and belly. I need to do something about this now. Honestly, I worry that some day I will just collapse on the floor from a heart attack or stroke and my babies will just be crying because I won’t wake up. I know that sounds morbid but it’s reality. I get the odd pain in my chest sometimes and I do get this thought in my head that I could die, right now. I drink a bottle of water to try to “keep a heart attack at bay”, seriously. There is high cholesterol in my family and I eat like crap. The problem is, I love my food and I hate cooking. I can eat healthily enough but I don’t want to go on a diet and feel restricted. Let’s face it, no matter what diet you do, you are restricting yourself and controlling what you eat to within an inch of your life and it’s bloody hard too. I want to be fit and eat everything in moderation.
SO why now?
The impending heart attack scares me so much that I have nightmares about it. The fact that I am almost 33 years of age makes me want to ensure that I am not still complaining about my health and fitness when I am 40, and again at 50. I don’t want to be that person who hits retirement and still wants to be fit or lose weight. I realise that some people are never happy with their bodies but I will look back over this post and realise how unhappy and scared I was and hopefully I can achieve fulfilment.
My sister in law has signed me up to a 5K run in June. This is the first time I have signed up to any kind of run and I have to do it. Another friend of mine was looking for people to do a run the week before that one and I’ve said yes. She’s had a hard time lately and she needs someone to do this with her. I have to do it.
The pressure of doing 2 proper 5K’s in June has to keep me motivated, it has to keep me going. I have a 5K running app that is really good but I had been getting frustrated before because I know what it feels like to be fit and it’s so tough to take when you can’t get to the end goal in a few days. I have learned now to take things slowly, I do not need to jump to week 3 of the program in an effort to get ahead. I have 11 weeks until the first run and the program is 8 weeks long. I do not need to push myself over the edge. It’s just about finishing, it’s not about getting a good time at this stage. I need to keep signing up to more and more runs and getting to 10K as well. I need a hobby for my mental health, my physical health and so that I am alive for my children.
You may think that I am exaggerating but I honestly feel that being healthy and fit is the best thing that you can show your children. Not only will it give them the same kind of goals but they will be so proud of you for doing it. You need to be there for your children as long as possible and I personally want to live forever. I can’t imagine leaving this world at a young age and leaving my kids behind. If I died from a heart attack or stroke, it would be my fault. It would be my fault that I left my kids behind from something that I could have prevented. I need to prevent it from happening. I need to be healthy for them. I need to get to 5K and beyond for them.
Watch this space, I will run 5K.
Reality Mammy xxx