Not So Fit, Fitspo Part 2

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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.

Not So Fit, Fitspo Part 1

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I feel like this has been coming for a while, I keep seeing so many posts and there are so many opinions out there and so much hate around the subject, and I’m prepared to get some interesting comments.

 

Post-partum bodies.

 

What are they meant to look like? Am I too fat? Am I too skinny? What do you and don’t you do? What do you eat? What programs do you follow? How do you get the motivation? Why don’t I look like Kendall Jenner?

 

Over the last 19 months and even when I was pregnant I’ve been called “skinny” and “lucky”.  I’ve come to hate those words.

 

I’ve been made to feel guilty by other women because I’m not bigger and even because I have the time to go to the gym.

 

I have been asked countless times how I did it, what the secret is to bouncing back. Well, I’m about to tell you.

 

Hard work.

 

As people know I keep myself busy, by being active, being in the hospital made me feel so stuck and so lonely that when I left I couldn’t wait to get my body moving. I started walking a week after Veyda was born, not for very long as I was still recovering, but long enough so that I felt free from my confines. When I returned to Para it was just cooling down from the never-ending summers we have up there. So, the mornings were bliss! Since my mum had gone back to work I was stuck in the house all day everyday with nowhere to go (as are most mothers). So, I’d get up, get dressed and walk my 6kms every day. I wasn’t walking to lose weight, I was walking to escape my solitude. I walked so that I could talk to my best friend every day, I walked so that I could breathe fresh air, and occasionally swallow a fly. I breast fed Veyda, so to be honest the walk was the longest period of time that I didn’t have to hold her. It was amazing. I was dropping weight, and I felt better every time I looked in the mirror if I’m honest. I’m not telling you to walk 6kms a day to lose weight. I’m just being honest with how I got to where I am. My soul purpose was to have a freakin’ break.

 

When my walks would end I would make a smoothie bowl or just something light and fruity, purely because I knew it would make me feel good, and I was pretty hot after so I would want something cold. I don’t know if it was because I was breastfeeding or what but I just drank a shit tonne of water. Being in hospital after having Veyda, I had to keep my catheter in for a couple extra days. Know what I did? I drank a soooooo much water because for the first time in 38 weeks I didn’t have to waddle to the toilet after half a sip! It was amaaaazing.

 

As the weather got warmer my walks would dwindle. Did you know it’s possible to get heat stroke at 7am? It is.

 

I had been thinking about getting a gym membership for a while but my confidence would get in the way. I was scared people would look and I would look like an idiot trying to operate the leg press, or get crushed. The thought of walking in by myself scared the shit out of me. So, a friend invited me to go to the gym with her. I was so excited, we had so much fun! She made me feel confident and weights didn’t scare me so much! It wasn’t until I went to the Pink Ribbon dinner that I plucked up the courage to bid on a membership at the silent auction. It was in my price range, and I felt my confidence sky rocket. One thing did put a damper on my excitement… I had two women say to me “What are you bidding for, leave the membership for the people who need it, you’re skinny.” I know they meant it as an innocent joke but of course I took it to heart I’m a sensitive person, what do you want from me? Just because I was skinny didn’t mean I didn’t want to go to the gym and that I was less deserving. I had been walking for months, I wanted to see what I was capable of, I needed more than a walk or the odd gym session that my friend would sneak me in for, I wanted a challenge, I wanted more time to myself. So, of course, I won. Because as people know, I’m competitive as shiiiiit.

 

I would have to wait until Veyda would go to sleep at night, which would be anytime from 630-9pm. I would duck into mum’s room and whisper “She’s asleep, text me if she wakes up.” And off I’d go to the gym. I knew I’d have maybe an hour and a half until Veyda would wake. But I wanted the freedom bad enough that no matter what the time was I went.

 

When I first walked in, it was empty. I felt confident already, and I put my body to work, and I haven’t looked back.

 

I went to the gym to do something for myself, not because I wanted to look a certain way. Sure, I’d see pictures of girls with nice butts and I’d say to myself “Hmm maybe a couple of squats won’t hurt…” (They do by the way, but that booty poppin’) Being able to squat 100kg even for one rep is so empowering! For so long we’ve been told that weights are for men. Well, let me tell you, some women are proving that wrong! I worked out every day, because I LOVED IT! Not once did I feel obligated or like it was a chore. If you feel like working out feels like a chore, then I honestly don’t think you’re doing it for the right reasons. Because you “want to look like Kim Kardashian” is not a good enough reason. I won’t let anyone tell me otherwise. You need to dig a little deeper to find your real source of motivation, otherwise you’re fighting an uphill battle.

A Good Week

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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.

 

 

Filling My Cup

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We are always told that when we have children we must find some time for ourselves, whether that be something as simple as sitting down with a coffee before the kids get up, watching our favourite show when they go to bed, going to the gym or hanging out with friends. There’s so many things that we can do that can fill our own cups (we need it, we spend all our time filling someone else’s),  but the trouble is finding the right thing sometimes. Another thing people say is, “Say goodbye to your free time!” so you never really know what to do! But when we do get a spare minute we never want to waste it, because then we feel reaaally shit about it. Time to yourself that doesn’t include doing the dishes or washing (unless that’s something you enjoy of course), it’s about doing something that relaxes you, and gives you time to do whatever it is YOU want.

I’ve been on the search for something that really satisfies me, and makes me feel like my time was not wasted, and to be honest it really depends on my day and how I’m feeling. If I’ve had a really stressful day, like Veyda has been in my face and just needing all of me, I feel trapped and I can feel aggressive, so I find venting my anger through netball helps so much. I play WD which means my main role is annoying the shit out of my WA, so for the first time all day I’m in someones else’s face, not the other way around. When I’m feeling insecure and I’m hating my body, I look forward to pole practice because it’s one of a few sports that are incredibly empowering, there is no one body type and everyone is good at something. When I’m feeling like a horrible parent, like I just couldn’t connect with Veyda or I couldn’t give her what she needed, I write. I vent and I try to take all the pressure off my chest, I write to figure out the exact root of my feeling of failure, and sometimes I realise I didn’t fail, I just had to learn something new.

Socialising with friends without Veyda is one thing I didn’t realise how badly I needed until this weekend. I am responsible for a human 24/7 and I am responsible for running a household, the pressure of it can sometimes feel too much. I respect any woman (or man) that gets all their washing dried, folded and put away in less than 12 hours. If no one has told you that you’re doing a great job lately, I’m about to. Taking care of children is hard, making sure your house is clean is hard, trying to get dinner on the table with someone crawling up your leg or pulling everything out of the cupboards is fucking hard! Yes, it’s just daily life as a parent, but just for today don’t down play it. Some days we get on with it, and some days we don’t.  AND THAT IS OKAY!

Taking the time to recharge reminds me to take a step back and enjoy! I felt guilty for using my free time to go drink and hang out without doing something that wasn’t deemed as time wasting. The guilt is real. When I go to the gym, pole or netball the guilt is less because I tell myself that because I’m exercising I’m not wasting time, I’m doing something productive, and I feel like it justifies spending time away from Veyda. But I’m realising it’s okay to not to anything productive with your time, there’s no right or wrong way to spend your time away from your kids. I feel like since realising that in the last 10 hours I’ve felt a pressure being lifted. Of course I’m not going to spend every  minute I have free, drunk, ain’t no body got money for that, but it just means that it’s okay to do so! Take the pressure off of yourself, go take an hour and do whatever you want, even if that’s doing the food shopping alone (I live for that shit).

I’m excited to try a few new things in the near future, my mission is to try to be bit less active, and not throw all of me into something fitness related. This week especially I want to take a bit more time to reflect, a friend of mine actually reminded me to do this and I’m so grateful.

I know not everyone can be as lucky as to spend more than and hour away from their kids every week, and I know I shouldn’t complain because I do SO much but there’s really no right or wrong way to do it. I get judged a bit for being away from Veyda, but in all honesty I don’t care, I’m doing the best that I know how, to stay a float and be a good mother and partner. But like I’ve said before I can’t be a good mother and partner if I’m not good to myself #treatyoself.

So I hope everyone had a great weekend, full of laughs and food! Here’s to a new week with new goals, new challenges, hopefully less guilt and a fuller cup.

Imposter Syndrome

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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.

Moti-What?

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MOTIVATION!

Let’s talk motivation. What motivates us to do things? To be who we are? Who motivates us? Do we motivate ourselves?

To say I’ve struggled with motivation would be an understatement. Being unmotivated is probably the thing I’m best at. It’s a super self-sabotaging quality that I have. There’s a beauty to how great I am at being unmotivated. Even writing this I’m thinking of ways to get out of it. But I made this commitment to myself. I’ve given myself deadlines and I must meet them. If I can’t motivate myself to write one bloody blog post a week then where the hell am I going to go in life?

Abso-fuckin-lutley nowhere. That’s where.

This is all part of a bigger picture. Well, that’s what I tell myself.

I feel like motivation and commitment go hand in hand. I’m not sure if anyone else does, but hey this is my blog post.

If we can’t motivate ourselves to commit to things, even as simple as a blog post, how do we expect ourselves to commit to bigger things? Like educational courses, jobs, relationships or even social events. Social events are important guys, don’t ever think they’re not.

In school I struggled with motivation, I didn’t commit to deadlines or group assignments. I was not reliable. It’s not that I wasn’t smart, I’m fairly smart when I actually apply myself, believe it or not. But it seems to take a massive kick up the arse for me to actually find the motivation to start, continue or finish something. Like not being able to graduate, it took me having to repeat a year or potentially not graduating to motivate me to fucking apply myself. I motivated the hell outta myself and graduated with a few awards as well. Plus, a Uni offer. But I look back and think “why the fuck did it take THAT to motivate me?”.

At one point I was homeless (well there were two points) I couldn’t for the life of me get up off my arse and actually plan my future. I was broke, I had no where to live, nothing. All because I wasn’t motivated enough to realise that I was in some deep shit. I couldn’t pull myself out of the hole I was in. A lot of it was to do with my mental health, I couldn’t look beyond the next day. But I look back and think to myself, all I had to do was plan a head, secure myself a job, and I would have avoided all that. I wallowed in that situation for farrr to long. That’s a story for another time.

 

When I DO commit to something I’m all in, some would say I even have an obsessive personality. I have to be the best at whatever it is that I’m doing, I think about it all day everyday. But holy shit if there’s even an inkling that I might fail or I don’t get something right away, I give up. How shit is that? That’s what I’m trying to break here. I’m trying to motivate the motivation. I’m trying to commit to life here. I don’t want to half arse my way through life anymore. I want to commit and enjoy it, I want to find my purpose. Am I destined to be a housewife for the rest of my life? Am I destined to save lives? Am I destined to write a blog about the tiny midgies that obsess over my house plants? I DON’T KNOW! All I do know is, I need to keep finding the motivation to continue otherwise I’m never going to figure out what the hell I want to do. I need to commit to the motivation.

Using excuses like, “Oh I just don’t feel like it”, or “My index finger is a bit crampy today” FUCK THAT, I’m doing it. I can still type with my middle finger. Somedays I don’t feel like being a mum but obviously I still have to do it. I need to be in that same mindset.

Yes, you run into obstacles but the point of those obstacles is to find a way around them and become stronger. The bigger the obstacle the bigger the success is when you get around it. BREAK THROUGH THE BARRIER!

I don’t think anyone understands how big of an achievement this blog piece is. I was moving into that unmotivated mind set, all week I hadn’t even looked at my blog. I felt nothing when I thought of it. Yet when I started planning it, I felt such passion and love for my safe little space. So, to me this is the first step I may need to beating my toxic cycle of giving up. I’m damn proud of this achievement, no matter how small.

Either way an achievement is an achievement, don’t let anyone steal your thunder.

I’ll just be here feeding my motivation for life.