Monday, February 25, 2013

My Wellness Journey

I've posted before about food and my personal journey with finding foods that nourish my body, and I feel like our family is in a good place with this. I am now completely refined sugar free - in fact, the only sugars I eat are a piece of fruit a day, and the occasional splash of Rice Malt Syrup in something as a treat. I am also gluten free, and eat very few grains. Our family eats free of additives and processed foods, and we include lots of nuts, seeds, fruit, vegetables, ethical meats, good quality animal fats and dairy, backyard eggs and legumes into our diets. The children are not completely sugar free - they have small amounts of local unprocessed honey in their diets.

What I haven't written about before are the ways I try to live a well life, in all areas, not just in regards to food. My pregnancy with Brannen left me nearly 30 kilos overweight, and suffering with acute lower back pain, due largely to weakened muscles in my core and pelvic areas. For the first few months of Brannen's life, I didn't have a single day completely pain free, and on my worst days I could hardly move. The extra weight, and poor posture from the back pain, led to ongoing flare-ups in my knees, also. Exercising seemed nearly impossible, and my motivation and confidence were rock-bottom.

During this time, two friends of mine had embarked on a fitness journey and for a while I struggled with feelings of being 'left behind' and inadequate. I felt lazy, slobby and my weight was becoming an issue in other areas. I was struggling to sleep properly, as I prefer to lay on my side, and the excess fat was blocking my airflow, so I couldn't breathe. I was also beginning to fall quite a bit, because of my weakened core, but being so overweight meant that when I fell, I fell very heavily, which was both embarrassing and painful. Watching my beautiful friends achieve such wonderful things in their journey finally gave me the 'kick' I needed to get started, when Brannen was about ten months old.

I started, like many people by walking, and after a bit of time I joined a local exercise group. I huffed and puffed and apologised my way through those early sessions, but, gradually, as my fitness increased, so did my confidence. I downloaded an app called "Couch to 5K" which took me from running not at all, to running 5km at a time in a period of a couple of months. From there, I increased my running distance to about 7km. I loved running, but developed painful shin splints that put an end to my running days (for now). In the meantime, I had begun karate and had developed a pretty good weekly exercise routine consisting of karate training, boxing/circuit training, weights/core training and I have recently added in cycling to this mix.

I paid extra attention to my injuries, and learned how to exercise while looking after them. (Physiotherapy helped with this). I strapped, stretched, massaged and iced where necessary. To this day, I still don't do conventional abdominal exercises, as my core still needs strengthening before it will be ready for that. My knees are now much stronger and generally pain free, and my core is getting stronger all the time. I have very few days of back pain. The support given to me by my friends, especially the ones who are on a similar journey, and the knowledge and advice they share with me, has been an enormous motivator for me. I am very grateful.

Since I started, about five months ago, I have lost 14.3 kilograms, two dress sizes and many centimetres. I'm not where I need to be, but I am over halfway there. I am also fitter, faster, stronger, more flexible and more agile. I love training, and I love the health benefits, both mental and physical, that it reaps. I love being a great role model to my children, and teaching them how to love themselves. The difference, I believe, between my previous weightloss journey and where I am at at the moment, is found here. I no longer hate myself. I love my body, I love watching it get stronger and leaner, but I am okay with it now, too. It has produced three beautiful children, and it will never look the same as it did before, but it works! I feel blessed that I am able to move and be active.

2013 has started well for me. We eat wonderful food, I am able to get out and train six days a week, and I am following a bit of a dream in getting The Play Patch up and running. It's not all roses, all of the time, but things are pretty good.

1 comment:

  1. Your story is very inspiring! It's never easy to shed weight and I know that it almost drained your confidence. That's why it was a good idea to surround yourself with positive people. Continue your journey towards wellness and live a healthy and more positive life. Best wishes!


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