If there was one major thing I learnt from our last Guilty Mothers Club social (Warrior Women was the theme, a total sell out with plenty of wine and bar snacks – the irony was not lost) it was that exercise has to become a part of life, not a chore or something for the ‘to do’ list.
Our speakers, Claire and Robyn from Female Fitness Academy, were truly inspiring. Having set up on their own after redundancy they have built a business (both with very young children), which focuses on women and specialises in pre and post natal exercise. Claire asked the room how many of us were checked for muscle diastasis at 6 weeks post natal, I think 2 people said yes. They run an ‘ab rehab’ programme especially to help women with this (which led to a load of us lying on the floor to be checked, very randomly).
I know I personally really struggled both with knowing what I could do as well as when and how to do it after my babies. The advice was sketchy and limited. I ploughed straight into classes that I am now sure weren’t ideal for my body. So I think what they are doing is amazing – educating, inspiring and supporting women in getting back to full fitness. Not through any fad diet or quick fix, through building confidence and making exercise a part of life with children. They also talked about the 80/20 rule (eating healthily 80% of the time), which I also totally buy into. It was ace to hear a personal trainer talk about her love of a takeaway!
So that is my plan. I need to make it a habit, a part of the routine as much as getting dressed and having dinner. We discussed how to do this over the night. Nikki from Swingsling (a fitness class you do with your baby in a sling – genius) joined us too and helped get the conversation flowing over how this works in reality.
Some great suggestions came out, like finding an exercise that you actually enjoy doing (what you liked doing as a child can be a good place to start), goals can be a really good thing to keep motivated and focusing on how good you will feel (as opposed to what you ‘need’ to look like). There were also some good discussion on doing exercise with the littles (I personally find exercise a bit of a break so like to do it alone, but this did make me think about how a park trip could involve a ten minute burst of exercise as a bonus rather than relying on these moments and getting frustrated when they don’t work out right). I wonder if I will ever actually enjoy the 20 minute HiiT sessions I am currently doing downstairs at 6am but I have definitely found it helps to attach something I do like to the process. So now I am listening to a really good audiobook at the same time. It is the 20 minutes of the day I am alone listening to something other than kids music. Now that bit is worth getting out of bed for and I am gradually making this part of my daily routine. What could you attach to make it more appealing? If nothing else I find the promise of being able to eat more – haha.
There was also loads of talk about the power of supporting each other and doing something with a buddy or as a group (which has led to the potential for a bigger Guilty Mothers challenge with Female Fitness Academy – who have already done some amazing things for charity over the last few years, more awe all round and watch this space).
Finally a list of the apps, recipe books, inspirational Instagrammers that we know of was created. On the Facebook group I’ve posted about these so that we can add more and share further. We also have a Guilty Mothers Club collaboration happening with Female Fitness Academy which is VERY exciting. Again keep an eye out on the group if you weren’t there on the night for more details.
I have definitely been inspired to create change, not short term change and not to become skinnier or look different. Change to make me feel stronger, more warrior like, have more energy.
So thank you Guilty Mothers, for a great night all round.