Not So Fit, Fitspo Part 2

Blog Posts

When I moved to Perth the first thing I did was join a gym. It had a creche! That was a game changer. I felt so free, I didn’t have to wait for Veyda to fall asleep. I didn’t have to dread looking at my phone in case someone had messaged me telling me to come home because Veyda was awake.

 

Let me just talk about my diet quickly.

 

In all honesty my diet has never been great, I would go from starving myself because I couldn’t be bothered making something, to eating a whole pizza and cheesy garlic bread.

But because I worked out I was and am able to keep a steady weight. It was a wayward deficit I call it. Sometimes I beat myself up about what I could look like if I actually put some effort into my diet, But, then I remind myself that it is OKAY. I’ve considered bikini comps and one day I’d love to just to see what I’m capable of but right now I just don’t think I’m in the right mind set.

 

I started to get bored with just the gym, so when a friend invited me to play netball I couldn’t have been more excited! Something new! I hadn’t played since high school!

 

So now I was gyming most days and playing netball twice a week. I was having so much fun, my diet was still so-so. But still every time I went to the gym or netball it was because I wanted a break from the mum life, I wanted to think about something else other than changing baby, feeding baby, keeping baby happy. Not once did the thought of how many calories I’ve burnt run through my mind as I was going up and down a court. Then I found a pole course with my friend! We do that twice a week and it’s honestly the most fun thing I’ve ever done! I can see how the gym is paying off through my achievements in pole. So, as you can see I’m extremely active! But none of it feels like a chore! It’s productive time away from Veyda, and these days dropping her off to the creche doesn’t always feel like I’m trying to get away from her, I feel more relaxed, plus she loves hanging out with other kids. In the beginning I was desperate for time away because I was drowning in motherhood, but these days I’m not trying to escape her anymore, and I feel better for it.

 

I just want people to see that not all fitness journeys are about weight loss and having an 8 pack, 6 months after giving birth (not that there is anything wrong with that). My fitness journey is about creating a strong mind as well as a strong body. Skinny is out of fashion finally! Being strong in any way, is where it’s at! Strength comes in many forms! Someone who is skinny is not necessarily strong and someone who is bigger is not necessarily unhealthy or weak. This is the difference I want to make clear. Going to the gym every day to lose weight is not everyone’s MO anymore.

 

If you had of spoken to me when I was 15, that would have been a different story. God, I hated myself then. I had no understanding of healthy or fit. I thought running on the treadmill until I couldn’t feel my feet was what I had to do to look like a model. I wouldn’t eat at school because that wasn’t cool.

 

In year 12 there was a shift. Eating healthy became more of a trend, thanks to the wonderful world of Instagram, even going to the gym. My friends started bringing more salads in or sandwiches packed with goodness, slowly we all started to alter our lunches. I’m sure I wasn’t only one that noticed. Looking back, it was quite interesting. Then on weekends we’d all get blind drunk, but that’s another story.

 

Social media can be our best friend or it can be our worst enemy. As a new mum seeing all the celebrities bouncing back or just seeing beautiful made up women looking fabulous after babies can really bring you down if you’re not feeling confident in yourself. It’s completely normal. Our bodies have just changed completely, we look nothing like we did before falling pregnant, so of course we are going to be scared to look in the mirror. But getting to your goal weight or goal body takes so much time! It doesn’t happen overnight, I’m certainly not there. Even the “fitspos” took time to look how they do after babies, but they worked their asses off like everyone else. If you don’t believe me go check out Emily Skye, Revie Jane, Chontel Duncan and Tammy Hembrow, these women all have kids and they’re all a part of the fitness industry. Lipo or tummy tucks do not give you abs, you have to work for those regardless of who you are. I see so many people tearing them down for how they look after kids because it’s not “realistic” I’m tired of seeing it because it’s bull shit. They were working out before falling pregnant, they exercised during their pregnancies, and when they were given the all clear, they started to work out after. They are not exempt from doing everything else others do.

 

I saw a post not long ago of a mum bringing down other mums who were thin or toned after having kids saying that it’s not a real representation of postpartum motherhood. It’s bullshit because no one has the right to say what’s “real” or not for a mother’s postpartum journey.

Whether you’re tall, short, big or small there is no right way to look after babies because let’s face it no one in this world has the exact same body as anyone else. Some people can bounce back with little effort, some people can’t and some people aren’t worried about bouncing back at all because we’ve all just had babies! Don’t ever make someone feel guilty for how they look, because they are on their own journey, and so are you. I know I’m not alone in receiving these comments or looks, which is why I wrote this. No one is any better than anyone else because of how they do or don’t look.

A Good Week

Blog Posts

This week has been completely different from the last. I found myself smiling more, reaching out more, planning days out that didn’t feel like burdens. The heavy weight in my chest wasn’t constantly weighing me down. I was able to laugh things off, I didn’t give certain looks or comments from other people a second thought. Not much kept me up.

 

I found myself staring at Veyda for long periods of time, just marveling in her and her personality, the way she stacked her cups or pretended to feed her dolls.  Something I hadn’t found myself doing since she was a baby. I felt excited to be around her and I missed her when we were apart. I felt connected to her again and it’s made me so happy.

 

I’ve started setting goals again, looking into pathways into Uni, mapping out plans for the future. I feel excitement. But I also feel a lot of fear. How long will this feeling last? Will this coming week be an uphill battle again? What’s going to trigger me? Nothing really feels solid for me these days, I could turn a corner and crumble or I could fail miserably and feel joy. I’m not sure why it all has to be so complicated but I suppose it’s all part of the journey.

 

As a family we were able to connect more on the weekend. There were less arguments and things just seemed to flow. It was beautiful. When I have weeks like this it motivates me to keep up with what I am doing, but it can also add pressure, like if I was to have a meltdown because I couldn’t quite get everything I planned on doing, done then I would feel like a failure and lose my momentum. This is something I’m trying to break. I just want to keep on keepin’ on. But farrrr out it’s hard to manage sometimes. But I really need to start calling a win a win. Without adding the “but”. I need to take that win and run with it, stop finding something wrong with everything and accept the imperfection.

 

It’s been a relief to just have a break form being so miserable, I have so much more energy and patience. I feel passionate and loving. I don’t feel so alone at the moment. I’m going to write down some affirmations for the week to come, I need something to remind me to stay positive and take a step back to enjoy. It can feel silly looking at yourself in the mirror and reciting “I am beautiful, I am strong and I am not failing.” But I swear it helps. I am worthy of feeling those three things, so I’m going to continue to remind myself.

 

I am beautiful, I am strong and I am not failing.

 

 

Trying To Keep My Head Above Water

Blog Posts

I thought I could write something every week about my negative experiences and I was hoping I could always end them with something positive, like a realization. But this week I just don’t feel anything positive, I’m not happy.

 

I feel like I’ve stepped into a pool with no shallow end, my ears are under the water, everything seems distant and hard to understand. It takes too much energy to think about ways to get out. I thought after being away on the weekend it would mean having a better week, because I was able to have a break. But that is not the case.

 

I’ve been tired, overly sensitive and just low functioning. I can’t get the washing off the line, I can’t get to the gym. I don’t even want to see other people because the thought of it stops my heart. I’m feeling very isolated.

 

I’m starting to regret my constant façade of happiness because now that I’m so down people think I’m being a bitch, another thing that’s hard to handle. Who has the energy to explain to every person why you can’t give a smile or get through some simple pleasantries. I want to get out of the house but I don’t have the energy to chase Veyda all over a playground. She seems happy enough to do things at home but now there’s more guilt.

 

I had a moment of not feeling worthy, I didn’t want to live I just wanted to cease to exist. I didn’t want to be a mother or a partner. Luckily, I pulled myself from that mindset, and realized my worth. I’m not sure how, I think Veyda reminded me how lucky I am. But feeling worthy doesn’t always fix the feeling. I think I need to look at different avenues. Reevaluate my coping mechanisms. The fact that I’m realizing my struggle is good. I know something is not right within myself so I need to really shift my focus.

 

I took the week off the gym and didn’t get to a pole practice, I only played netball on Monday and I thought it would help me slow down and take a minute, but to be honest I was bored and I had more time to wallow in self-pity. So now I know that my exercise schedule does make a difference, but it’s not fixing the problem. At the time I feel calm and my thoughts are positive, but a few hours after once the serotonin wears off, I’m back to being a sad little shell.

 

My depression and anxiety was at its peak this week and I was scared of who I was. Stuart struggles to understand why I feel this way and I don’t blame him, it’s not something he’s been around. I get so angry at him, yet I don’t try and educate him. Stuart asks me if I need to talk and I always snap a no at him or don’t respond. That right there is part of the problem, how can I expect him to understand if I don’t communicate what’s going on? And trust me it doesn’t make for a happy household when no one is speaking, and the air is full of frustration.

 

So, I’ve set myself some goals this week.

  1. Tell Stuart how I’m feeling and work together to try and make a difference.
  2. Keep to my gym schedule, but don’t overdo it.
  3. Take my mac to get cleaned or something because I‘m sick of my fucking keys jamming because there’s a speck of dust in the way.
  4. Take Veyda on some adventures, despite the hassle it can be to chase her.
  5. Find things I love about myself and don’t focus on the things I hate about myself.

 

 

I just wanted to add an in-depth explanation as to how I was feeling this week, even though I posted on Instagram I just want to be as open as I can. As I saw, there are so many people out there that feel the same, but feel alone because they don’t see anyone else being open. The support I get for being so open is so rewarding and just solidifies the fact that what I’m doing is right and that there is nothing wrong with being open about your struggle. Half of this blog was written at the beginning of the week and half was written at the end. I can really see in the beginning that I saw no end, I saw no solution. Then, towards the end I find some solutions and I see some light at the end of the tunnel. This really shows how different and quickly my mindset changes. It’s interesting to see in writing. It further instils the fact that writing my feelings is an amazing thing to do.

 

 

 

 

Imposter Syndrome

Blog Posts

There’s something I really want to speak about, and that’s imposter syndrome. I’ve only just recently put a name to this feeling and I’m so glad I have more of an explanation. If you don’t know what Imposter Syndrome is, it’s known as a “psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalised fear as being exposed as a ‘fraud’” (cheers google). But it’s not just that, it’s also being put under pressure to be what everyone else is because that’s the “correct way” to be. It’s something we pick up as preteens and progressively gets worse throughout high school so then we have to go “find ourselves” before Uni starts (if you go to Uni). BUT because of the beautiful universe of social media, it goes beyond the school years, it goes beyond the work environment, because you take it home with you. There are pictures of social media influencers everywhere telling you who to be and what to wear, even what to write. I still fall victim to it, every day. “Follow the herd, or you won’t be heard”, we’re told.

It’s perfectly okay to be sucked in, it’s the world we live in. You can really use it to your advantage if you wanted to. As always, it’s also great to go against the grain and be your truest self, which is what I’m trying to be. I’ve had so many years of trying to be the perfect someone else that I’m not 100% sure who I really am (Cliché as shit, I know). But that takes time and a lot of self-exploration. I think that’s why I do a lot of the things I do, to see if I’m comfortable doing things others might not like or simply don’t do. The blog, pole dancing, opening up about mental health and motherhood. Yes, these are all things people do and speak about, but if you really look at it, it’s not something the majority do. All those things mean putting yourself out there and being vulnerable because it’s not the “norm”. I’m not trying to make a point of being different, I’m just trying to find ways to bring out the real Hayley, and stop trying to seek so much validation from this “imposter” in my head.

Self-doubt is the biggest bully around, in my opinion. Nothing can tear you down quite like you. Ignoring negativity from others is actually quite easy, it’s ignoring that imposter in your head that’s agreeing with them. It’s extremely hard to ignore that. That’s what kept me from doing things. I put off my blog for years because my imposter kept telling me that no one would read or care about what I had to say. I put off trying pole dancing for years because I was scared about what people would say, and I was scared people would think I was copying them, even putting my mental health struggles out there, I was worried that people would think what I have gone through and am still going through is nothing and not worth even a sentence. I was worried people wouldn’t care about my journey as a mother. All of the things that this imposter had told me seemed to ring true.  I used to believe everything it would say, I let it control me. I don’t know what it was that encouraged me to kick my imposters arse, honestly, I have no idea. I think one day I literally said to myself “Fuck this, I’m doing it”. It’s not as easy as that but it helped me take the first step and that’s all you need to beat anything.

Every day I still struggle with Imposter Syndrome, but every day I seem to prove it wrong or do something that invalidates its voice. I’m the one that gives it power, so I just have to keep proving it wrong. I strongly believe it’s the best thing for it. You are your biggest competitor, not someone else. You have to find the strength to tear down the imposter and build a positive and encouraging voice. I know it will take a long time, but to me I think it’s worth it, because what you do is worth it, everything you say and do is worth something. If you can create that strong positive inner voice it will help combat the negativity around you. Whether that be negative people or negative situations.

I was only able to put a name to this feeling thanks to a podcast called “ProBlogger”, even if you don’t blog I’d recommend giving it a listen as it was quite eye opening! Hearing about real people and their success just motivates me to keep going and kick that imposters arse!

I plan on writing more about how I’m building a more positive me through different actions, I’ll be sure to keep you updated. I feel like if this can help me, maybe it could help someone else drowning in negativity. I wish someone had told me a long time a go to not listen to the negative voice in my head, so I’m going to tell you not to listen. If that voice is telling you, you can’t, I’ll tell you that you can. If that voice is telling you that you’re not worthy, well you bet your arse I’m going to tell you that YOU are worthy. Put yourself out there, please. Even if it’s just starting something small, that something small could turn into something big and you’ll be so grateful that you took that first step.