Opublikowano Dodaj komentarz

Make Yourself a Priority Mama

As women, we are so ingrained to do everything ourselves. We believe that we must be the perfect mother, the perfect wife, the perfect daughter, the perfect friend, the perfect employee or the perfect business owner who can do it all. And on top of that we must be in a perfect shape, off course. Somewhere along the way, we forget about ourselves. We give it to everyone else and end up an emotional burn-outs instead of the woman we’re meant to be.

Especially us mums… When you just had a baby, the reality of your days may be far from what you have expected. It is unpredictable; often the day is not going to go by exactly how you planned it. You may want to lose that baby weight and start exercising, but you have no idea how to do that. When and where to train and what’s even more important how to find energy and TIME to do so…

I get it, I know how BUSY, TIRING and OVERWHELMING being a MUM is, especially when you’ve just had your first baby. I’m the one myself. It’s a giant roller coaster; one moment you’re feeling you’re on top of the world and the next moment you’re crying your eyes out feeling completely powerless! You look after your little baby but you have no time and energy to look after yourself…

Let me ask you:

  • How many times have you been putting yourself last, looking after everyone around you but yourself?
  • How many times you wanted to look after yourself and your body but never really had time to do so?
  • How many times have you said: “I’ll start tomorrow” only to find out that tomorrow never comes?

You know what…they say, “you cannot pour from an empty cup”, so if you don’t look after yourself, sooner or later you won’t be able to serve the loved ones around you. There is a reason why all airlines ask you to put your oxygen mask first before you put one on your child.

Let me tell you this: If something is important to you, you will make time for it. And your health and well-being must be in your top 5 priorities. You need to make healthy eating habits and physical activity part of your life; it’s not either or, it’s not a hobby, it’s your responsibility Mama.

Active lifestyle doesn’t need to end when you have a baby. Eating healthy and exercising is not only important but crucial for your physical, mental and emotional sanity. When you look after yourself, you will not only look better, you will feel better, you will find your confidence back, and you will be ready to rock the world. You will be the best role model for your child and the strong foundation for your entire family.

Happy Mama = Happy Child

When is now, better time to finally do something for yourself?

You are worth living the life you want, you are worth having the body you want, you are worth being the best version of yourself and the best role model for the ones around you.

Make Yourself a Priority Mama to be:
* FIT mummy who loves her body and is able to fit in that favourite jeans
* HAPPY mummy who enjoys doing something for herself without feeling remorse
* CONFIDENT mummy, who knows how to combine healthy lifestyle with motherhood without turning your life upside down
* HEALTHY mummy who is a role model to you little one/ones and the entire family

No excuses Mama, YOU need to start living the life you want and deserve NOW instead of waiting for the “Perfect” moment.

If you liked this post please share it with other mums, they may need it and like it as much as you do. You can find Active Happy Mama on Facebook or follow me on Instagram.

Opublikowano Dodaj komentarz

5 Ways To Stay Motivated To Exercise

You know you need to exercise, you know it’s good for you, you even know that once you go out and do your workout you would feel so much better. However, there’re days when your motivation goes out of the window, days when you don’t really feel like exercising at all, days when the only thing you want to do is to sit on the sofa and do nothing. You may wonder where did all your motivation go? And what to do to get yourself together and be back on track again?

There’s a saying that discipline is to do something that has to be done whether you like it or not. So let me share with you 5 tricks that will keep you motivated to regular exercises starting right now:

1. Find Your WHY

And I really mean Your Why and the reason Why it’s important to You. Your Why may be different from your friend’s why, the reasons that will keep you going may be different from the reasons that may keep her going. You need to do this for yourself, not for your partner, not for your mum, not for your friend. Your friend’s motivation may be to look awesome in bikini walking on the beach but you really are not that bothered about it. Your motivation may be to be able to play with your kids without losing your breath or there’s a big day coming up with friends reunion, people you haven’t seen for years and you want to show up with that wow factor hearing comments like “…wow, look at her, she looks amazing…” Or maybe you got a warning from your doctor that if you don’t lose weight and start improving your health, you may be in serious troubles. You need to find Your Why. Deep inside you know the answer. Do you know that the bigger the why the easier the how. So, what’s important to you? What is that Big Why that will keep you motivated when you don’t feel like it?

2. Get your skin in the game

Invest in yourself and I mean money. Pay for gym membership, for personal trainer, for diet plan from nutritionist, work with a health coach, buy new training clothes, new shoes, some accessories, invest in yourself, in your health, in improving your life. Investment in yourself is the best investment you can ever do, it’ll pay off massively. Once you spend money, you have skin in the game, you don’t want to waste it, so you’ll stick to the plan. It may be challenging to start with but really, it’ll keep you going. Once a new habit is created you’ll be hooked.

3. Have a deadline in mind

When you’re just starting out or you’re back to exercising after a break, have deadline in mind, a date that you need to lose weight by, train for, get ready for. Let’s say you want to look great in that bikini, when is your holiday booked for? If you want to do that 5k or 10k, sign up for a race, pick up a date and sign up, once you do, you’ll need to stick to your running plan to get ready. And share with others that you’ve signed up, they’ll keep you accountable, they want to see your progress and pictures from the race day or from that amazing holidays. Having a date, a deadline will really help you move forward.

4. Find a training buddy

Have a friend, neighbour or your partner to train with. Once you commit to training together it’ll be more difficult to quit. So if you wake up one morning really not feeling like exercising at all, knowing that your friend is waiting for you will help you get out of bed. If you agreed that you’ll go to fitness classes together, you’ll feel ashamed to cancel the last minute. If you scheduled a run in the evening, you’ll put your snickers on and go. It’s so much fun to train with a buddy. You’ll keep each other accountable, motivate each other and pushing each other. And celebrating together. I can tell you, together you’ll smash your goals much faster enjoying the process much more.

5. Score yourself each evening

Come up with a system to score yourself each evening on a scale 1-10. Give yourself points for exercising, healthy eating, drinking water, having ME time. You can have a chart for each day or writing the numbers in your calendar. Stick it on your fridge or somewhere, where you can see it several times a day. Do that each evening. Once you know you need to score yourself at the end of the day, you’ll be reluctant to quit training or eat rubbish. You want your score to look good, don’t you? When you score yourself, you can track your progress. Oftentimes you’re not aware of bad choices you’re making daily and putting the numbers on what you’re actually doing, will give you a great overview of that. What gets measured, gets improved and that’s the way to succeed. 

So, start thinking of yourself as “I can do it”. Find Your Why, get your skin in the game, have a deadline in mind, find a training buddy and score yourself each evening. And have some fun in the process. You’ll be setting yourself up for a lifetime of better health, more energy for everything else in your life and more happiness and fulfilment too.

And tell me how you’re doing, I want to know.

If you liked this post please share it with others, they may need it and like it as much as you do. 

You can find Active Happy Mama on Facebook follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel. 

To find out how I can help you reach your health and life goals click HERE

Opublikowano Dodaj komentarz

Mum, Baby and a Six Pack

You’re a mother. 9 months pregnancy, followed by a childbirth and now, you’re holding your little angel in your arms. Completely new situation to you, new reality, new responsibilities and so many insecurities whether you can handle it or not. You’re a first-time mother with no experience with babies whatsoever. But you go with the flow, you manage to survive and your little one seems like she/he is surviving too. After few weeks you feel something is missing. You feel lonely, you feel bored, you feel like you’re doing same thing over and over again wondering whether your life would always look this way?

But you keep quiet. You don’t want to say it out loud worrying that people may judge you for being a bad mother. After all, you love your child to bits. Right?

But still, something is missing, and something is not feeling right…What’s missing is having some time for yourself, some ME time on your own. What’s not feeling right is you not feeling good in your own body, as come on, you’re not pregnant anymore but you still look like you’re. You want to start exercising and getting your body back. You want to be back doing the things you loved doing before having a baby and getting your life back. So, you start looking for ways on how to make it possible.

And then you start, slowly but surely and you begin feeling amazing again. You do your workout, you go to the gym, you take on running, you buy a jogging stroller and start training for a race. Your training schedule is quite demanding, you’re breastfeeding, not sleeping through the night and oftentimes you feel really tired. But you still enjoy it though. Physical activity makes you feel happy, that is you being in your zone, that is you doing what you love doing and that is your time when you can get rid of all the frustrations and challenges of motherhood. So, you stay disciplined, you stay committed, regardless how difficult it may be, how much you need to push yourself to be able to accomplish your goal.

And then results start showing up. You’re losing that baby weight. You start seeing that six pack again. You’ve completed that half-marathon or a marathon and your little one is with you on your picture with a medal. Only you know how challenging that was but also how needed that was for your physical, mental and emotional well-being. You feel on top of the world.

There’re people who look at you with respect, they support you and they cheer on you.  

But also, there’re people who don’t. People who think that you’re selfish, that you’re a bad mother, that you lost your mind and that you need to be having a serious conversation with someone “sensible” who’s going to tell you how you SHOULD behave. And sadly, these people are often mothers themselves…

Because, let’s be honest…

This is not NORMAL to be completing a marathon months after having a baby.

This is not NORMAL to be running with a buggy.

This is not NORMAL to have a six pack quickly after giving birth.

This in not NORMAL to look great and feel amazing as opposed to be totally exhausted and drained.

What is NORMAL… is that as a mother you SHOULD/MUST behave in a certain way. Should and must made by society, culture, religion or someone’s opinion… as a mother you have all those obligations and you’re not allowed to think differently. You should look after the baby, you should look after the husband, you should look after the house, you should look after everyone around you but yourself. It’s a badge of honour to do everything on your own, not asking for help, pretending that you even enjoy it.

How dare you want to have time on your own when your baby needs you 24/7?

How dare you go out doing something that you want, that gives you pleasure when there’s that little human being relying on you?

How dare you fancy exercising and losing that baby weight when it’s normal and even expected to be overweight after having a child?

SERIOUSLY?

I’ve said this before and will repeat it over and over again – if you don’t look after yourself first, sooner or later you won’t be able to look after the ones around you. Why all airlines ask you to put your oxygen mask on first? That’s obvious, that is normal, and everyone is ok with that.

So why it’s not normal when mother wants to have some ME time?

Why it’s not normal when mother wants to go out for a run?

Why it’s not normal when mother wants to exercise, look good and feel great in her body?

Why it’s not normal when mother wants to follow her passion and go for her dreams?

Is she still not the same woman she was before she had a baby?

Has she changed as a person and has no life, no ambitions, no passions, no interests outside of being a mother anymore?

That’s absurd.

Is anyone asking daddy what happens to a baby when he’s working, when he’s playing football, training at the gym or when he’s going out with his peers? No, no one even questions it.

So, why people are having a go at a mother who has her passion, her dreams, her business, and who is organizing her life to make it work.

They don’t know how challenging that may be.

They don’t know how hard she’s been working to make her goal a reality.

They don’t know how much happier as a mother, as a woman and as a person she feels thanks to doing so.

This is insane that in XXI century we have a culture focusing so much on mother’s belly. First, when she gets pregnant, there’re comments whether she’s not too big or not too small, whether she would be able to lose that weight after or not. I love the way Anna from My Baby Care talks about it in her post: My Pregnancy Body Shaming Story. She stresses how one random comment can change the whole perception of a body for a new mum to be. And what consequences that may have. When that mother finally has her adorable baby, there’re comments whether she can train or not, whether she’s lost her baby weight too fast or not at all, whether she’s allowed to have a six pack or not, not yet. This is crazy. Why mother’s belly is such a hot topic? Can we not leave that mother alone, stop gossiping, stop making her feel guilty regardless of what she’s doing. It seems it’s never good enough. When she’s big – that’s wrong, when she’s small – that’s wrong, when she trains – that’s wrong, when she doesn’t – that’s wrong. Whatever she does – that’s wrong…really?

Although I’m far from idealising skinny model bodies pushed by the media, I’m also far from the opinion that it’s ok to be overweight when you just had your baby. That this is ok to have dirty hair, wearing maternity clothes long after giving birth, stop looking after yourself all together and feeling miserable. And then complaining with other mothers how hard motherhood is, gossiping about the one who is passing you by with a jogging stroller. No, I’m not ok with this at all. 

I know how challenging motherhood can be, I know it’s a constant roller coaster when one minute you feel like a super hero, and the other crying your eyes out with powerlessness. I know it’s challenging to find time and energy.

I’m not saying that you HAVE TO be skinny, having six pack few weeks after giving birth or completing a marathon. However, you can if you want to, that it is possible. There’re mothers out there who make it possible. If you want to be one of them, take action. And if you don’t shut up and stop commenting on mothers who do take that action every single day. Maybe when she is exercising and sweating to burn that fat off, you’re sitting on the sofa with a box of ice creams, watching Netflix?

Respecting people is giving them a space to live how they want to live, to do what they want to do. There’s no one way of thinking, no one “right” way of motherhood. Mothers have the right to have big belly after having baby and mothers have the right to have muscular body and six pack as well. And they have the right to show it off, to wear those shorts, to post pictures about their races, to be proud of themselves, not guilty because someone may feel not good enough. They’ve been working hard to look the way they look or to accomplish their goals. 

I really dream about the world where everyone gives mothers permission to look after themselves, after their needs, to make themselves a priority. Where it’s normal for mothers to look after their bodies because body is a temple. If you don’t look after your body, you’ll have nowhere to live. I really dream about the world where healthy, active and happy mothers are not being judged but respected for being role models for their children and motivation and inspirations to the ones around.  

Are you with me?

 

If you liked this post please share it with others, they may need it and like it as much as you do. 

You can find Active Happy Mama on Facebook follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel. 

To find out how I can help you reach your health and life goals click HERE

Opublikowano Dodaj komentarz

5 Reasons to Train in the Morning

Life is busy, especially mummy’s life. It’s a constant rollercoaster, oftentimes your day doesn’t go as planned, well…most of the times there’s something crazy happening and you just need to go with the flow. Sounds familiar? Even if you have the best intentions to fit your workout into your busy schedule… the day goes by and it’s over. You just couldn’t do it.

There’s a hope for this. I would like to invite you to join a morning club (5am, 6am club, whatever works for you), when you wake up earlier and do your workout first thing in the morning.

Why?

1. Your family is sleeping

Yes, they’re all sleeping, your kids, your partner, so the house is quiet, you can do your workout without any interruptions, without any drama, without any “Mummy I need you”. This is the time on your own, your ME time, when you can clearly focus on yourself. You don’t need to train for hours, you can do 30 min intense and effective workout and that’s all you need. For real.

2. You remove toxins out of your body

During the night toxins cumulate in your body, so the first thing you need to do when you wake up (well maybe second after you go to the bathroom ;)) is to drink a glass of water with a slice of lemon It helps detoxifying your body. When you add up morning workout to it and you’ll be sweating, you’ll get rid of those toxins much faster and much better. Your body will be cleaned, and you’ll feel more energised.

3. You lose weight

When you train in the morning before breakfast, your body will be taking the energy from fat, not from food you’ve just eaten. You’ll be losing weight and that will be fat loss not muscle loss. And that’s exactly what you want, right?

4. You’re done with it

When you train first thing in the morning, you’re done with it for the day. You don’t need to stress out when you’ll squeeze your workout, whether you’re too tired in the evening to do so or whether your family allows you to do this. It’s done, it’s ticked, and you can be so proud of yourself.

5. You feel energised and ready to rock the world

The worst part is to get up but once you do this and start exercising, you feel so much better. The blood is pumping, there’s release of serotonin – these happy hormones. You’re more energised, you’re much stronger, you have the power for the day to rock the world. Exercises also impacts your brain, you’re more productive, more creative, you’ll have more done in a day. It affects all areas of your life. Have you ever heard the expression of „being in a zone”? That’s exactly it.

Check it out yourself Mama and tell me how you’re doing. I believe in you. Good luck !!!

If you liked this post please share it with other mums, they may need it and like it as much as you do. You can find Active Happy Mama on Facebook or follow me on Instagram.

Opublikowano Dodaj komentarz

6 Reasons Why You Don’t Reach Your Fitness Goals

I’ll start training tomorrow, after holidays, on Monday, on the 1st day of the month, or even better on 1st January… the list goes on and on. Sounds familiar? How many times have you said that to yourself, how many times have you made that promise and then done nothing about it? Regardless of what that was in relation to – losing weight, toning your body, going for a run, the list goes on and on…

Well, you are not alone; most people keep procrastinating regardless of how much they really want to do something.

If you want to move forward with your healthy lifestyle you need to understand why you are stuck in the first place. Awareness is the key to success, as once you know why, you can do something about it.

I believe there are 6 big reasons why you keep procrastinating with your fitness goals and what you can do about it:

Reason 1: You are not clear of what you want

You don’t know what your goal is…I know what you are thinking “Come on, off course I know what I want”. Really? Goals that lack clarity and specificity are just wishes. “I want to lose weight” is not a goal, but “I want to lose 5 pounds by the end of this month” is the one I’m talking about. If you haven’t set a clear destination, it will be difficult to get there. Think about driving a car, if you set up your sat nav with the exact address, you will most likely get there, but if you are not sure of where to go, you won’t. So, are you clear on what you want, is it specific, is it measurable, is it time framed, how would you know you have achieved that? If you haven’t set a clear destination, don’t be surprised if you can’t seem to get any momentum.

Reason 2: You haven’t identified your WHY

Motivation matters. This is the most important part of the process. You need to answer the question: “WHY do you want to do this, accomplish this”. Let’s take weight loss as an example: “WHY do you want to lose weight”? It needs to be YOUR reason, not your partner, family or ‘because I should.’ Dig deep, what’s in your core, why you want that? No one is lifting metal in the gym or running miles on treadmill sweating, just because they like it. Everyone has its own reason, emotional reason – some want to show off their beach body during holidays, others want to prepare for a big day with people or relatives they haven’t seen for a while (and see their reaction “OMG look at her…WOW”), some want to be attractive to the opposite sex, others want to prepare for a marathon or triathlon, some want to be healthy for their family and others just got the warning from their doctor that if they don’t change their lifestyle, they will end up in serious troubles.

So, take a deep breath, have some thinking time, and find YOUR WHY. The more emotional, the better.

THE BIGGER THE WHY THE EASIER THE HOW

Your WHY will keep you disciplined and help you stay on track when you don’t feel like it. Reconnecting with your WHY will always help.

Reason 3: You don’t focus on what you want

Oftentimes you focus on what you don’t want to. Ask anyone what they want, and 9 times out of 10 they will tell you what they don’t want to.

Where focus goes energy flows…You become what you think about most of the time, so it’s extremely important what you concentrate your thoughts on.

THINK OF WHAT YOU WANT RATHER THAN WHAT YOU DON’T WANT

When you find your Why – focus on positives – like in our weight loss example: think about your dream body, perfect health, how you will look like, and you will feel when you accomplish what you want. Do not think ‘I have to lose weight or I have to quit smoking’ as then your focus goes to ‘have to,’ ‘lose weight’ and ‘smoking.’ It’s not exciting, and it won’t keep you going.

Reason 4: You haven’t chunked the goal down to bite-size pieces

Goals are big things and people often get stuck focusing on the enormity of it. Often, just thinking about your massive goal makes you feel overwhelmed, and you don’t know where to start. Instead, focus on the few smaller steps that you’ll need to get there.

If you want to lose 10 pounds, you first need to lose 1 pound, right? If you want to run a marathon and you’ve never run before – 15 min jog will be an achievement for you.

Goals need to challenge you but the steps towards getting to your goals should not. The next step should always be inside your comfort zone or require little or no courage to do so. Otherwise you won’t start.

Reason 5: You haven’t scheduled the time to do so

We are all busy, often life gets in a way and things that you have planned are not done. Distractions are the big ones here. Setting up the time for doing what’s important for you is important. Mark it in your calendar as you mark your other things – check up with your doctor, business presentation, Spanish lesson, etc.

WHAT GETS SCHEDULED GETS DONE

Be realistic, don’t plan to do 10 big tasks in a day. It won’t be done and it will make you stressed. Focus on max 3 main tasks per day and eliminate, automate, delegate everything else.

Reason 6: You haven’t set up any accountability

Accountability, after your Why, is the second primary ingredient for goal success. You need someone who will hold you accountable and keep you on track. Someone who would not support your excuses, who would not let you give up. Someone who is going to remind you why you have started this journey in the first place and why getting through the finish line will be worth it. It can be your partner, your friend, even a stranger you pair up with via certain community. Making a public declaration to your friends or writing a post in a specific group is also a good way to start the ball rolling for you.

So, what have you been procrastinating on recently?

What are you still procrastinating on?

Maybe it’s time to change it once and for all.

Go through the steps above and get what you want.

You only have one life. Go and reach your goals. Good luck !

 

If you liked this post please share it with others, they may need it and like it as much as you do. You can find Active Happy Mama on Facebook or follow me on Instagram.

Opublikowano Dodaj komentarz

How This Mummy Completed Her 1st Triathlon When Her Baby Was 8 Months Young?

I often hear that once you have a baby, your world turns completely upside down. There is no time for the things that you loved doing, there is no time for passions that existed before, and for sure there is not time for exercises, training and sport in any shape and form. Well, I agree that with a new baby life is changing A LOT but I don’t believe that baby needs to restrict our whole life. I often hear words of admiration about my sports achievement as a new mummy, then followed by disbelief that other mums can’t do it…

Well, I want you to meet Tina. She is a mummy too and last year, in August 2016, she has completed her first triathlon before her son turned 1 year (he was 8 months, to be precise). Yes, triathlon (sprint) – 750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run. And…she’s done it this year again, for the second time…training alongside full time work, her mummy and family life. She is a super hero and a role model to her son, to her family and to other mums – showing what’s possible. She says: “WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY”. I love that.

When I was doing this interview with her, every single world resonated with me so much…her goals, her mindset, her beliefs, her attitude, her determination and her commitment…I felt that we were speaking the same language. I want you to listen to her story and get inspired by it. Read on about her journey and find out what message she has for you at the end 🙂

Alex: Hi Tina, I’m so grateful for you being here, I love your story, you are a super mum 🙂

Tina: Hi Alex, thank you for having me here, I didn’t expect that at all…

Alex: Have you been active before and during pregnancy?

Tina: Not really. As a kid I was dancing, however in later years it was rather on and off. 2 years before pregnancy I gained a lot of weight but didn’t really do much about it. When I got pregnant, I was going for long walks (min 1 hour) and I was doing pregnancy yoga. I was lucky, I had very smooth pregnancy and I must say, I loved being pregnant, all the hormones in my body had such amazing impact on my mood and general well-being. I can’t wait to be pregnant again 🙂

Alex: What made you sign up for a triathlon? Why?

Tina: I’m a very goal-oriented person. Before pregnancy I was saying to myself: “I should do this, I should do that, I’ve always wanted to do a triathlon…” but it was never enough time. So, after having a baby, there was a lot of time. Navin was born in November and in January, as a New Year’s resolution, I decided to sign up for a triathlon. It was happening in Excel London, very close to where I live, so no excuses. I wanted Navin to be outside as much as possible plus I wanted to be outside as much as possible as well.

After those terrible sleepless nights, constant breastfeeding, I wanted to be out of the house, in a different environment to be able to get my head cleared. I felt that because I was moving, I had much more energy and I believe that all mums can benefit from it.

Alex: When did you start preparing for a triathlon, what was your training plan like?

Tina: I started in January, straight after I signed up. I didn’t really have any professional plan in place. I couldn’t cycle, as Navin was too small, so I started with running. I got a jogging stroller, BOB, so I could take him for runs with me. It was difficult to start, my legs were hurting, but I was building up my mileage slowly. I’ve always been quite a good swimmer, so I knew that I would be able to manage that. I’m always about calculation, so I was thinking – the swimming will be fine, I can’t cycle now, so I need to focus on running and wanted to double my running. I was doing triathlon sprint distance which requires 5k run, but I wanted to train to be able to run 10k – in preparation for cycling. I was swimming in the Olimpic park, they had a creche there, we started with leaving Navin there for 30 min at first, then for an hour, so I could do my session. He liked it very much. I was also going to fitness classes in the local park and it was just great – hanging out with other mums, doing something for body and mind.

So, I was running 3 times a week, or 2 a week plus 1 fitness class, and I was swimming once a week or once every 2 weeks.  We started cycling when Navin was 7 months, he was about 9 kg, so just about to start, it was around June time (the triathlon was 6th of August)

Alex: How did you manage that with a small baby by your side, alongside breastfeeding, tiredness, no grandparents to help, etc.?

Tina: Yes, that’s true, I didn’t have grandparents in UK to help. When you are in the middle of everything, you don’t think about it that much, you just go with the flow, just dealing with it, you just don’t know any different. I was training with Navin – running with him in a jogging stroller, and later cycling with him in the bike. I started like that, I was a mum and yes, my life has changed a lot but I didn’t want the baby to restrict my whole life.

I believe that mums don’t need to change everything and give up on everything because they just had a baby.

Don’t be afraid of trying something new, take your baby for a run, if he/she cries, you will stop and feed him/her, it’s not the end of the world. Navin was a bad sleeper, it was hard but being outside and training was great for my mental health, it gave me so much energy, after each training I felt refreshed, energized, confident that I’m capable of everything. I’m quite competitive person, once I have a target, I just go for it. So, I did.

Alex: How was the actual triathlon for you? What was going through your mind before, during and after the race?

Tina: Before: I was excited, I had target to complete it under 2 hours but I had doubts as well, whether I can make it, maybe I should have trained harder, had a better training plan…blah, blah, blah…

During the race: I was thinking: come on, it’s my first triathlon, take it as a trial, just enjoy it, if you can make it under 2 hours that will be great, if not, that’s ok too.

After: I was soooo proud of myself, it was such a great sense of achievement. It was the most exciting experience for me. I was proud for another reason as well, I was raising money for charity –  my goal was to raise £500.00 for British Heart Foundation and I’ve done that.

So, overall 2 goals achieved – triathlon completed in 1:55 and £500.00 raised for BHF, whooo hooo.

Alex: What did you learn about yourself in the process?

Tina: That I’m capable of doing things that I was not sure I could ever do. I was very committed, when I put my mind into something, I’ll go for it, I pushed myself to the limits and I won.

Alex: Why did you decide to go for it for the 2nd time?

Tina: I set up a yearly tradition – Navin 1st year – my 1st triathlon, Navin 2nd year – my 2nd triathlon, and so on…So, I’ve done this again this year, just a couple of weeks ago.

Alex: How was the 2nd time for you?

Tina: This year I knew what’s coming, I knew what to expect, how to plan it, the distance, transition, etc. Last year I feel that I was quite hesitant in cycling, I didn’t push myself that much to still have energy for running. This year I knew that I could go faster in cycling and I would still be fine to complete my run. This year I was cycling to and from work every day, so compared to last year, I felt much better prepared for cycling.

I wanted to beat my last year result and I’ve done that, I finished in 1:53.

Alex: What’s ahead of you, any other races planned?

Tina: Next year – another triathlon and I also want to complete a half-marathon.

Alex: What would you say to other mums who don’t think they can ever do any of that?

Tina: Just do it, don’t overthink, don’t think that nonsense that you can’t do it. Where there is a will, there is a way. It will help you not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. You may think you are tired and you have no energy for any of this…believe me, when you go out and do your training, you will feel much better, you will have energy and you will feel less tired. You just need to decide, stick to it and you will do it.

Alex: Any tips to get started?

Tina: Set a goal and work towards it. Start small, one step at a time, build up gradually, don’t try to climb Mt Everest straight away. Don’t be afraid to take a baby with you, if he/she cries, that’s what babies do, they cry, they make noise, so what? It really doesn’t matter…as long as your baby is safe, clean, fed and loved. Don’t be afraid to try, just do it.

Alex: You are amazing Tina, you truly are. I’m so proud of you, you are such an inspiration. Thank you so much for taking the time for this interview, I’m sure that other mums will be inspired by your story, they will see what’s possible and they will be ready to step up their game too. Thank you so much <3

Tina: Thank you for having me, it’s been a pleasure. If I inspired at least one person, that would be amazing.

If you liked this post please share it with other mums, they may need it and like it as much as you do. You can find Active Happy Mama on Facebook or follow me on Instagram.

Opublikowano Dodaj komentarz

The Truth About Training & Breastfeeding

Can I train and breastfeed? Can I breastfeed and train? I don’t remember exactly how many times I’ve been asked this question, but I can assure you that it was A LOT…

Can I have both? Is it safe to have both?

If you’ve been looking for an answer, you probably noticed that there is so much contradictory information on this subject out there, no wonder most mums feel confused.

On one hand, you want to look after yourself, lose that baby weight, feel good in your body again, but on the other hand, you don’t want to “risk” losing that milk supply or be forced to stop breastfeeding altogether. Especially, when most likely, you were struggling to be able to breastfeed in the first place.

I was confused as well…From the moment I found out that I was pregnant, I knew that I would go for breastfeeding. At the same time, I wanted to get back to my training routine as soon as possible. So, I reached out for some insights, and what I found out was different point of views, mixed opinions and contradictory advice…

I was inspired by mums who’ve done amazing things while still breastfeeding, so I decided to question that “traditional” approach of not doing exercises and check it out myself.

My training was quite demanding…before my baby turned 8 months, I completed half marathon, marathon and tough mudder, and I’ve done it all alongside breastfeeding (exclusively until he was 6 months old). I’ve been breastfeeding for almost 20 months and nothing happened…

So…

Did my training affect my ability to breastfeed my baby? NO.

Did my even intense workout had any bad influence on my milk supply? NO.

Did my participation in all those crazy challenges decrease my ability to express milk? NO.

Did my baby ever refused my milk after exercises, as he didn’t like it? NO.

However…

Did my training had any positive impact on me as a mother? You bet.

Some of my friends took on similar challenges while still breastfeeding without any negative effect at all.

I want to stress out here that I’m not a doctor nor a breastfeeding specialist. I only share my personal experience with you. So, if you are here, we probably have this one thing in common – you too want to be able to train and still breastfeed.

Read on and let me share with you what I feel is important if you want to be able to combine the two:

1. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

is not only HEALTHY for your BODY but your MIND as well. It reduces the chances of getting postpartum depression, it helps you as a mother, as a woman, and as a person. There is this magical endorphin release, so you feel better, you have more energy which in turn has a positive impact on your milk supply. I remember talking to my gynaecologist once. Her grandmother used to say that a long time ago when women were working in agriculture, there was no time to recover after having a baby. They needed to get back on their feet quickly and work very hard, many times in extreme weather conditions. They had 6-7 kids, and they were fine…its worth to think about it.

2. HYDRATION

There is this misconception that working out can decrease your milk supply. I’ve never seen that, but I was obsessed with hydration. Even if you are not training, everyone will tell you that to produce milk; you need to be drinking a lot. 2l of water a day is the absolute minimum for anyone, but breastfeeding mums is closer to 3l, even more, when you are working out. I was drinking plenty of water and herbal teas, including special breastfeeding teas. If you are not used to drinking water, I highly encourage you to shift that. Water is one of the most crucial components that your body needs and cannot survive without. If you don’t like the taste of water, it’s even better to drink it with a slice of lemon – not only will you be properly hydrated, you will also clean your body out of toxins.

3. QUALITY OF MILK

There is this misconception that the quality of milk of training mums may be worse. Again, I didn’t notice any of that, Kuba was and still is a very healthy baby, off course he’s got some cold here and there, but it was never serious. There was some research that the number of antibodies might be lower after a very intense training; however, it doesn’t last long. If you are breastfeeding regularly, it won’t affect your baby.

4. TASTE OF MILK

Training will change the taste of milk, so your baby may not be willing to drink it. For me that’s another misconception…even if the taste of my milk was different, Kuba has never refused his favourite bubs. I know that lactic acid may influence the taste of milk, but it doesn’t last forever (max 60-90 min). So, if you really want to wait, you don’t need to feed your baby straight after your workout.

5. FEED BEFORE TRAINING

First, your baby will be full once you are out and about. Second, you will feel much lighter. When your bubs are full, they are heavy, they are painful, and it’s not comfortable for you to do your workout. If your baby is not hungry, express your milk and store in the fridge.

Mummy before London Marathon

6. SHOWER AFTER TRAINING

Your smell may be confusing for your baby :), so I suggest you take a shower before you feed. If you can’t, at least wipe out your breasts and chest, so it’s clean and fresh.

7. PROTECT YOUR BUBS

Invest in a GOOD SPORTS BRA. Your bubs are much bigger and much heavier than they were ever before plus they are full of this gold substance that your baby loves. You need to protect them – for yourself and your baby. A good bra will support them and give you pain-free training.

8. ASK FOR HELP

If working out is important for you, you will find a way to do it. Ask your partner, friend or family member to stay with the baby when you train. Or if you are up for a run, you can take your baby with you in a jogging stroller. Once you are there together, you can do a buggy workout too.

I hope you found this helpful. Please share with me your story about training and breastfeeding. Or maybe you just had a baby, and you don’t know whether you can train? Leave a comment below.

And remember, if you are exhausted, and you don’t feel like working out at all, you don’t need to do that. It’s not the end of the world if you feel like it from time to time. It’s natural, it’s normal, all mums feel the same way.

Just relax, have some sleep, once you rest, you will see everything in a different light 🙂

If you liked this post please share it with other mums, they may need it and like it as much as you do. You can find Active Happy Mama on Facebook or follow me on Instagram.

Opublikowano Dodaj komentarz

7 Reasons Why Women Have To Train With Weights To Get The Body They Want

You know that to stay in shape and be healthy we need to exercise. Increasing and maintaining muscle mass is the best way to keep a low percentage of body fat and to improve metabolism, particularly as we age. To build this muscle mass, weightlifting will be the most effective way.

However, most women in the gym spend their time only on the cardio equipment, staying far away from weights. Why? There are several myths why ladies shouldn’t train with weights, with one more absurd than another.

 

Let me present you the most common misconceptions:

  1. Weight training will make women bulky and masculine

This is the biggest fear for women to grab weights. Let me explain you this – men produces much more testosterone that women and they still work extremely hard for building up their muscles. Women cannot and will not produce as much testosterone as men, which means that it is impossible for them to gain huge muscle mass. Ladies are genetically not prepared for bulking up. When you are thinking about women bodybuilders – that’s extensive long-term training, strict diet, and supplementation, extremely low body fat and dehydration to look like that.

The average woman does not gain size from weight training and definitely cannot achieve the monster look. Strength training will increase lean muscle tissues, work on muscle definition and tones up your body.

 

  1. I am a woman, to stay in shape I only need to do cardio workout

I do not neglect the importance of cardio workout, we all need to keep that in our training routine, but I do not agree that it needs to be one or another, you can have both; actually, you need both.

If you only do cardio, energy is used from fat and muscles. To reduce the loss of muscle tissue and to get your muscle building machine going, you need to grab weights. Your body will only change when your muscles respond to resistance if there is no resistance or it is too light – there is no way to get the look you want. Even better, once you start working with weights, you will notice changes in your body, more significant than you see with cardio, which ok, helps you burn calories but doesn’t help you build muscles.

 

  1. I do not need weights to lose fat

Studies show that women who train with weights 2-3 times per week gain nearly 2 pounds of muscles and lose 3.5 pounds of fat. We are talking about lean muscle definition, not bulking up. Each pound of muscle burns 35-50 more calories per day. The more muscles we have in comparison to body fat – the faster the metabolism is, as, in order to maintain muscles, your body requires more energy than to maintain fat. It means that 24 hours per day (whether you sleep, work in front of the computer or driving) you burn even 30% more calories.

Also – metabolism slows down with age. When we were younger, we could eat whatever we wanted at whatever time we wanted without consequences. The older we get, the more we need to watch out what we put in our mouth. However – there is good news in here – strength training may reverse the tendency of metabolism slowing down.

 

  1. Women should not work their legs with weights as they will get too big

Again, working with weights helps you build muscle definition which results in speeding up your metabolism. The higher the metabolism, the more calories you burn on a daily basis including fat, which finally leads to fat reduction. And the biggest muscle groups in woman’s body are actually legs and butts, so do not neglect them in your training. Besides ladies have a higher percentage of body fat, and it is mainly accumulated around their legs, butts, and waist (preparation for future pregnancy and to underline typical lady’s curves), so working on the tones of these muscles is

  1. If I do weights, they should be very light, and I need to do many repetitions

This is another big misconception. Lifting light weights for a hundred repetitions is a waste of your time and energy as it won’t challenge your muscles enough to make them stronger. Results – none. Working with weights helps you gain muscle mass, strength, and reduce fat. You notice a significant difference in definition, and you can proudly present you leaner and stronger body.

  1. When you work with weights, fat will be turned into muscles

I wish… Muscle and fat are two different types of tissue, so one cannot turn into another… You need to lose fat and build your muscles, and that requires completely different things. You are losing fat through aerobic exercises/interval training and well-balanced diet and gaining muscle through weight training.

  1. When I stop training my muscles will turn into fat

Again – muscles and fat are two completely different types of tissues. One cannot turn into the other. Often when people stop doing weight training, they start losing muscles which slow down metabolism. At the same time, they neglect well-balanced diet and coming back to bad eating habits. The wrong diet combined with a slow metabolism is the easiest way to put on weight. It is not that muscles turn into fat – it is losing muscles and gaining fat. Two different processes.

So, let’s sum up – weight training is essential to stay in shape, have leaner and stronger body. Give it a try and notice how your body changes.

When you see the results from weight training, there is no way you are coming back to your cardio-only workout. Guaranteed.

 

If you liked this post, please share it with other mums, they may need it and like it as much as you do. You can find Active Happy Mama on Facebook or follow me on Instagram.