If you’ve ever struggled to find your motivation after an extended break from the gym, you’ll relate to this suburban mum, Hannah, who put her wellbeing on the back-burner as she struggled with a newborn and post-natal depression.
“Overcoming [my mental battle] was my priority, and my physical health fell by the wayside. I was eating emotionally and I remember saying to myself ‘I’ll start tomorrow’ and then every day would turn into the next day,” recalls the mother of two.
It took a photo her husband took of her to snap her out of her ‘emotional eating’ habits and into action. “I saw those photos and thought ‘wow, I’m big’! I was still in my pregnancy clothes even though my baby was 9 months old,” Hannah recalls.
At that point, Hannah weighed herself in at 86kgs, at 155cms tall.
The first step? “I started at a women’s outdoor training group and the other girls in my class, all my age, were lapping me. That was just so depressing, but it also actually made me really determined so I got more and more into it.”
Hannah also started to eat more mindfully, eating with purpose and making nourishment her priority. “I do 16:8 intermittent fasting. As soon as I get home from the gym I put the coffee machine on, so I start the day with a double shot almond cappuccino at about 6:30am. Then at around 9am I have I have an almond piccolo. Then for lunch I’ll have a poke bowl with brown rice or noodles, a cup of tea in the afternoon and loads of water. And then for dinner we’ll usually have protein and salad. We don’t drink generally,” she explains.
About 5 months ago, Hannah discovered F45, the popular HIIT training program at a gym near her home. “We have negotiated a time, so I get up at 4:30am every day and I go to a 5am class. This is truly the only time in my day where I’m not thinking about someone else’s needs; be it my children’s needs, what’s going on in everyone’s diaries, my client’s needs – 100% I am just there, pushing through the pain.”
“Since I started training in the mornings, I’ve noticed my body fat has reduced quite a lot. When I started at F45 my body fat was at around 25% and now it’s down to 17.5% (this happened in around 5 months) so I think morning exercise is so important.”
Hannah’s tips for other busy mums lacking the motivation to start? “Find a workout buddy. If you don’t have accountability, you just won’t to do it. I think F45, or any of those class-based gyms are great because you’re accountable from the moment you book in, rather than a standard gym when you just show up.”
She recommends locking in a time in your diary and being consistent. When it comes to diet, Hannah thinks it’s about changing your mind frame. “I think we are so preoccupied with the immediate benefits – being thinner or healthier – but I think weighing up the long term benefits is equally as important. In our family we have a history of heart disease, so thinking big picture; ‘I’m going to be around for my kids’ and ‘I’m setting myself up for a longer life’.
“I know how hard it was to get motivated because I was one of them. I remember my daughter asking me ‘mummy, why are you going to the gym?’ and I said to her, ‘because I’m not only mummy, I’m Hannah’. Remembering that you’re more than just a mum or a wife. This is something for you alone.”
If you loved this, you should read about how Khloe Kardashian lost 15kgs 3 months after giving birth without dieting, and the 5 pregnancy non-negotiable rituals Lea Simmons does to keep fit and healthy.
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