Cross I’m Not Fit.

Disclaimers: Not sponsored, contains some naughty language, and might get slightly ranty.

OMG am I writing a health/fitness/wellness post? Someone slap me in the face with a packet of Tim Tams.

workout gum fitspo

Don’t worry, it’s not that kind of post. I’m not trying to offer any wellness wisdom. I actually get sort of pissed off reading about other people’s health habits, usually because they make me feel all lazy and/or inadequate, but sometimes just because the sight of wanky words like ‘macrobiotic’ and ‘wholefoods’ and ‘fitspiration’ make me stabby. They’re so fucking smug. I know what they’re really saying.

I crave things like quinoa and steamed chicken salad. Don’t hate me just because I’m perfect.

Don’t judge me for bingeing on two hand crafted Paleo chia balls just because I’m judging you for finishing that entire family size block of Cadbury’s.

I’m up so early to prepare organic cold pressed activated super healthful Paleo fruitarian Bircher muesli and run 20km I don’t even go to bed.

…OH YEAH??!!

1-diet brag

I don’t go for fad diets – I believe in moderation. That is, when I can moderate myself. People who are fanatical about what they eat annoy the shit out of me. Don’t tell me sugar is poison or that carbs are the enemy. Even the I Quit Sugar woman still eats sugar, she just calls it different names – ‘rice malt syrup’ and ‘molasses’? Um, otherwise known as SUGAR? Yes, that’s right. I love it and will never!! give up chocolate, but I am eating a lot less lately. I’m also a newly minted fan of ‘raw’ desserts; not as wanky as I first thought! I never thought I’d consider something with avocado, maple syrup, almond milk and cocoa to be an acceptable substitute for some Whitman’s, but there you go.

fridge magnets
On my fridge – the kind of inspirational quote I can live by.

The incomparable Jackie Chan’s philosophy is 5 days eating well and training, and the weekend off without going overboard. Who am I to argue with The Young Master? If it’s good enough for him it’s good enough for me. If I could get even half as fit at 41 as what he is at 61, I’d be stoked. Turning 40 wasn’t a big deal, but I look back to how I’ve been (energy levels, discipline, general attitude) and I want to feel closer to 30 than 50. I’ve gotten softer since having the boys, and I don’t just mean in the tummy.funny-muffin-tops

When you’re preggers you have to force yourself to take things easier. Don’t get up with a situp or your abs will like, split in half. Kind of roll over like a beached walrus and grunt repeatedly while lurching up from your knees instead. Don’t run, waddle. Don’t make any sudden moves or stretch too far or jump. If I forgot, my body would remind me with pains/ strains/ dizzy spells/ hernias. So I went easier, and got softer, and I accepted this as part of motherhood rather than pointlessly beating myself up for being a wuss. Need to upsize jeans? Fine. Shirt doesn’t fit? SweetI can buy a new one!

Except the pre-kids, more active mindset didn’t just turn itself back on. I got very unfit, my muscles atrophied, I got even more aches and pains and the kilos snuck on. For some reason I found it a very long process saying to myself again no it’s not okay that you can’t jog the length of the driveway without getting puffed, or do a handful of pushups without wanting to puke, or even jog 10 metres to collect the cricket ball without straining a calf muscle.

pug stairs
The kids whenever we were out doing something. Come on Mum!!

It didn’t help that after Finn was born my body belatedly went WHAT the fuck just happened and started unleashing all manner of mischief at me. My knees went, followed by my hips and back. I learned what ITBs are and that I hated them. My pelvic floor was shot to hell… I found that out the first time I tried jumping on a trampoline and instantly had to bolt for the toilet. (Annnd didn’t quite make it. Motherhood is such a blessing, isn’t it? Getting older is also the best.)

Physiotherapy, swimming, pilates and the best invention since the dawn of time – the foam roller – helped a bit, but it seemed like every time I tried to run or walk even a middle distance I’d hurt myself and get derailed again. Motivation was also a major problem. It was harder to make time for exercise … pre-kids if I felt like going for a bike ride or a swim I’d just go. And I didn’t drive until I was 35 – I’d always gotten so much incidental exercise riding my bike, sprinting for buses and trains, and walking everywhere I’d never had to worry about my fitness before. It was great!

Jackie stressed

But with kids, when I had to plan specifically for exercising and do it at certain times when I didn’t feel like it (oh dark hundred in the morning – ugh) it was work and I resented the hell out of it. I still went to the gym but not often enough, and fell into a vicious cycle of boredom-and-stress eating. I wasn’t getting anywhere on my own.

So this year, once the boys were both at school, I signed up for an 8 week challenge with Urban Energy Fitness in Currumbin. J got me onto them – he’d been with them for a few months and well, *phwoar*. I gave it a go because I wanted to push myself harder, the trainers really know their stuff, and I’ve liked the variety of circuit style training ever since Army. The gym practised CrossFit, or “CrossShit” as a friend refers to it; I knew enough about it to know it’d be hard. But as the saying goes, if it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you.

Next post, because this one is quite long already: I attend my first CrossFit class and manage to not die.

– Michelle

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. I TRIED soooooo many times to like the gym and go there regularly, only to end up hating getting bored on a treadmill and it became just another “thing” I did not want to fit in my schedule. Even had a trainer for a few months and when that was over, motivation went out the window too! and to “re-book” the trainer costs so bloody much… I take the Great Dane for long walks whenever I feel like (read: maybe five times a month). Controlling what you eat and how much will help a lot more than endless hours spent at a gym, sweating your ass crack off, only to come home and eat because you lost so many calories and if you don’t put something in your mouth you will most likely collapse of starvation! lol

    from a distant chocolate buddy! ( and dairy addict )

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    1. Michelle says:

      I got so bored at the gym as well. A great variety of equipment and all, but I kind of just faffed about on it and either didn’t get much of a workout or would push a bit harder and then run out of time for stretching afterwards because I had to pick up the kids from the creche. And OMG the crappy music with sexist misogynist sleazy music videos screening one after the other! It wasn’t good for my blood pressure…
      And yeah, I hear you about the eating – took me a while to realise I can’t keep eating like a super active 30 year old when I’m 40 and quite sedentary. Discipline is getting a workout too. As they say ‘you can’t out-train a bad diet’. At least I think that’s what they say.

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  2. Challenges are great. They take you from that dreary “ugh, I GUESS I should work out, maybe” state to the much more energizing “I will kick ass at this if it kills me, LET ME AT IT”. And of course you don’t kick ass at it, not right away, but that just makes you all the more determined to get back in there again and really show that challenge who’s boss.

    Also Paleo is bullshit. There, I said it.

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    1. Michelle says:

      I got so bored at the gym as well. A great variety of equipment and all, but I kind of just faffed about on it and either didn’t get much of a workout or would push a bit harder and then run out of time for stretching afterwards because I had to pick up the kids from the creche. And OMG the crappy music with sexist misogynist sleazy music videos screening one after the other! It wasn’t good for my blood pressure…

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    2. Michelle says:

      Yeah – the ‘you don’t kick ass at it’ bit was very true for me, as I’ll fill in later! But it definitely did help me switch out of my old mindset and be able to see why making a stand was important and necessary. Which you’d think was common sense but I just must be a very slow learner cos it took me ages! I blame it on the ‘take it easy’ mindset I was forced to adopt during pregnancy – more the second one than the first. My body remembered being preggers and instantly switched back onto ‘beached walrus’ mode!

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  3. Robyna says:

    Hmmm.. I think N and I need to sign up. I think we are both getting a little more pudgy than *phwoar*. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michelle says:

      It’s the curse of parents everywhere… having to sit and watch while the kids have their soccer training/playdates etc! But now the boys are old enough to not run off they are fine with amusing themselves while I train :)I have talked a couple of mums from school into doing one session a week with me – they’re finding it as hard as I did when I started but I think they’re finding that encouraging… like, you do actually get stronger, it gets easier, you WILL get there! Our kids get to hang out and entertain each other too, during the holidays.

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  4. Christopher says:

    I’m still amazed at myself for making time to swim laps at least once a week, although it helps that swimming is the one form of exercise I really enjoy. There’s just no way to do it at home and I’ve found that having a financial incentive is a great motivator. Yeah, I’m paying for a gym membership and if I don’t go there and swim regularly I feel like I’m wasting that money.
    Oddly enough it never occurs to me that I could save that money by cancelling the membership, but especially on a hot day swimming really doesn’t even feel like exercise.

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    1. Michelle says:

      Swimming is one of the best exercises, especially as we get older. I used to hate laps but since I had my stroke corrected I’m much faster and more efficient and am not so buggered at the end of one lap, and now I enjoy it. It’s my meditation too, and I like the peace and quiet underwater. I used the pool at our gym a fair bit but it’s only 25m and hard to get a head of steam up. Plus they do kids swimming lessons down there now and while before I’d often be the only one there now it’s too busy and noisy.
      One thing I’ve started doing, in summer after training and I’m saturated in sweat I drive 5 mins up the road to Currumbin Beach, take my shoes off and jump in. Better to be salty and clean than salty and stinky!

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