The Truth about… exercise post-birth

Pizza not exercise

Before I had my first child back in September 2009 I was a member of a gym. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some kind of fitness fanatic, but I was aware that exercise was unavoidable if you wish to have any semblance of a figure post-30. I would run on the treadmill, spend some time on the cross trainer, the rowing machine and do a few of the weight machines for core strengh. I also combined that with going for a run, particularly in the summer months.

The hubster was, and still is, a bit of a fitness fanatic. He religiously runs and goes to the gym, does weights, enters competitive runs and takes part in our local Park Run every Saturday morning, even if he was working late the night before. (His dad reckons it’ll be the death of him ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

Since having my first child, the hubster’s fitness regime has changed to not changed at all. My fitness regime has involved me cancelling my gym membership, losing my fitness gear under a mountain of nursing bras and stretchy material more akin to elastic than lycra, walking up five flights of stairs three times a week at work and plenty of arm action tipping a Costa coffee cup towards my grateful mouth.

Which is not to say that I didn’t attempt the odd ‘Buggy Bootcamp’ in the early days. I gave it a go (running up a hill pushing a baby in a travel system is harder than it might sound). Then, after he turned two and the hubster relaxed a bit about being left alone with a sleeping child I got to attend zumba sessions once a week with a friend (which was great fun and I loved it), before, three months in, discovering that I was pregnant with No.2, at which point jumping in a box shape (?) lost it’s appeal.

I had a half hearted attempt at following Davina’s DVD workouts and once that became impossible, even, in desperation, rashly purchased a ’10 minute’ dance workout offering (which I’ve never to this day attempted!). I talked the hubster into buying a Kinect for the X-box thinking I’d have a Wii-style fitness regime set up in the living room (which, it transpires, is about half a metre too small for all your movements to be detected, and besides, who wants the TV dissing their ongoing attempts at a straight arm – if I want that kind of abuse I’ll join up for Military Fitness…).

Sooo, what is the upshot of all this abject fitness failure? Well, I’ve discovered Spanx*++! And frankly, if you own a garment that appears to be crafted from some kind of experimental armour from a secret military facility, who needs an exercise regime? …

Seriously though, I would actually quite enjoy the opportunity to don some lycra and escape into the world of the fit and active (if only for the feelgood endorphins โ€“ legal highs, people, legal highs). However this is, unfortunately, not an option for me as the hubster is a shift worker. Maybe when the children hit the minimum requirements to slip under the guidelines for legal abandonment Iโ€™ll actually get myself back into a fitness routine. In the meantime Iโ€™ll just keep polishing my halo for running up those five flights of stairs to the office (and hope my colleagues never have to dial 999)โ€ฆ

*In the interests of absolute honesty Iโ€™ll admit Spanx is not the brand I picked (Iโ€™m not made of money, just wobbly bits), so if you notice a sneaky bulge popping out when you see me at BlogFest, that could be the reason. Having said that, Iโ€™ve decided that Spanx, as a word, fits the โ€˜Hooverโ€™ criteria โ€“ i.e. it lends itself to describe any garment that sucks away the bits youโ€™d rather not have on display for the world to see ๐Ÿ˜‰

++Disclaimer: it is not advisable to shun exercise in favour of miracle undergarments โ€“ they will not prevent a heart attack, and are quite likely to contribute to a severe case of heartburn if nothing else. Sob.


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30 thoughts on “The Truth about… exercise post-birth

  1. Oh so true. I used to dance in my pre-baby days – thought I would keep tapping right up until days before giving birth until SPD started at 16 weeks and that was it for dancing. I have a ballet DVD which I’ve used once and otherwise Spanx-style underwear is great. My only exercise nowadays is going for very slow walks (toddler pace) and just generally running around after two small children. Hoping to get back into dancing again one day but won’t be for a while yet. Great post ๐Ÿ™‚
    Louise recently posted…Review โ€“ Ninky Nonk Musical Activity TrainMy Profile

    • Thanks Louise. Some people make it seem so easy to find the time to fit exercise into your life with small children, but I guess they must have partners who work 9-5 and are happy to be left alone with the kids during ‘witching hour’ ๐Ÿ™‚ Fingers crossed that we both find our way back to fitness (endorphins, I miss you!) eventually! X

  2. I probably now exercise a lot more than I did before having O (it’s generally the only time I get an hour to myself). It’s really hard to fit it in along with working and keeling everything ticking over and it’s only in the last 3 months I’ve managed to find a routine. My husband is also a bit of a fitness fanatic so trying to fit in us both doing a bit of exercise can be hard and as we attend the same gym we sometimes have a “discussion” about who’s turn it is to stay and look after O.
    Unfortunately if I don’t exercise the weight really creeps on and before I know it I’m a stone heavier
    Not A Frumpy Mum recently posted…Honey and Granola CupcakesMy Profile

    • I don’t think there would be any contest over who got to go out and exercise if the husband and I had a ‘discussion’ :0) Exercise is his thing, like blogging is mine. It would be torture for him, just like it would be torture for me if he hogged the computer for an hour while I was desperate to get on and write a post I had been drafting in my head all day!

    • Ah yes, that’s the other thing isn’t it? The darkness and safety issues… I don’t want to join a gym because I wouldn’t get there often enough to make it worthwhile, but on the couple of occasions I have gone for a cycle or walk locally I have found myself on paths which leave me thinking ‘this would be a good place to dump a body’! Tricky. Thanks for you support X

  3. Great post and very honest, I loved the idea of exercise post baby and keeping trim but it is so hard finding time to do so, and must be even harder when you have work to work around too. Walking pushing the buggy was about the best exercise I ever got, and we will see what happens this time around but I’m not worrying just yet. Spanx style pants are very much my friends! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Caroline (Becoming a SAHM) recently posted…Little Missโ€™s arrivalMy Profile

    • ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks love. I did a *lot* less walking with a buggy the second time around – simply because JJ was always there too and we didn’t bother with a double buggy so it was always easier to jump in the car I’m ashamed to say! I did buy a buggy board but we managed to lose that (along with the entire pushchair) when we left it behind in Cornwall! Parenting fail!! Yay for Spanx! ๐Ÿ™‚ X

  4. Hi Sam, great read there. I’m sure chasing after your two little tackers amounts to exercise. They are fast little jammy dodgers. As for myself. I didn’t start an official exercise class till last year, when my kids were 14 and 13. It’s Pilates, which is mostly done lying down. This has encouraged daughter no. 2 to join me. She is so good at it that the teacher keeps telling her she should train as an instructor! Daughter no. 1 claims Pilates is not active enough for her. This year Salsa with the Gregster. We had our fourth lesson last night and it does make me smile. It’s fun. Well thats my experience for you. I hope it doesn’t take 14 years for you to get back in to it. Love Luce xxxx

    • Thanks love! I do remember you doing that really intensive diet and exercise regime when they were smaller though – there’s no way I could ever get my head round that! Salsa sounds like so much fun I’m jealous! ๐Ÿ™‚ Xxx

    • I know what you mean Marie! As soon as you hit your forties it does get exponentially more difficult doesn’t it?! I can see myself easing into a nice gentle aqua fit class when I hit 60 ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve only just discovered Spanxโ„ข (the cheap version ๐Ÿ™‚ ) – my solution for the time being. X

    • Oh I guess I’m really lucky that I don’t have to factor in a dodgy back! I should be walking JJ to school when I get the chance but he’s so whingey about it! He doesn’t mind if he’s got his scooter though ๐Ÿ™‚ I was all set up to start up about three half hour walks a week but somehow that just didn’t work out! X

    • I’ve got the kind of dress thing which doesn’t cover your boobs. I think I will have to force it to cover my boobs though – damn things are too big! ๐Ÿ™‚ Weirdly I was back in size 12 jeans a week after giving birth the second time – even the midwife was astonished! I’m somewhat more wobbly now after going through a bit of a chocolate croissant phase…:-/ X

  5. I’m so glad I found you through the All About You link up! I don’t have kids, and I’m not 100% sure I will, or maybe I will adopt- who knows! But I’m a personal trainer and train or work with a lot of new(ish) moms– this is really helpful to me! It’s so great to get a candid look into your life as a mom. I laughed out loud at your disclaimer! Thanks for sharing! Hopefully you will get back into that lycra sooner than you think! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Allison recently posted…Handling Setbacks: In Fitness and in LifeMy Profile

    • Hey Allison, so glad I decided to link up to All About You this week! It’s always great to make new connections. Nice to know I managed to make someone laugh too! I’m currently looking at the latter part of 2016 as my window for lycra ๐Ÿ™‚ X

    • Giving thanks for Spanx! ๐Ÿ™‚ It is so difficult with two – must be even harder with three – three under five you say?? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ You’re a braver woman than me! I’ve never managed to get into Yoga before – I’m kind of an instant sweat and pain kind of exerciser – like no pain no gain – although I’m sure yoga can be painful too! I’ll probably be more interested in the lying down bit at the end… X

  6. I would be completely lost without my ‘sucky-ins’ as they’ve been nicknamed in my house ๐Ÿ™‚ I do run, but not nearly as often as I’d like. Getting the motivation to go to the gym and ‘persuade’ the wee girl to go into the crรจche for an hour is sometimes (most of the time) more that I can face!
    Sara (@mumturnedmom) recently posted…The Truth About: when naps endMy Profile

    • It hadn’t really occurred to me to use a creche but frankly I don’t think EJ would take too kindly to it either! I’m just embarking upon the world of sucky-ins myself. So far so good ๐Ÿ™‚ X

  7. Spanx!! Like you I have discovered cheaper alternatives (M and S Magic Knickers, oh yes indeed!) and they come in very useful indeed! Though the great news is that the exercise does become easier to fit in as they get bigger – now all three are in school I have managed to carve out some time and am even getting my running mojo back!
    Really pleased about this linky, it’s refreshing to know that people are willing to share – warts and all!
    I am going to blogfest too – bit scared! ๐Ÿ™‚
    LearnerMother recently posted…House Project is GO!!!!My Profile

    • He hee! Glad to know that it does get easier – that’s what I meant by them slipping under the legal requirements for abandonment (temporary!). I’m so glad at least a handful of people have embraced the idea of sharing their, ahem, more challenging moments! And even though a lot of these weren’t written specifically for the linky it’s been a chance for me to be introduced to some really good reads that I’ve missed which always nice. Let’s meet at BlogFest and be scared together!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I am totally with you, cancelled gym memberships, running shoes gathering dust. My solution was to buy a spinning bike, 0% interest for a year means it’s cheaper than a gym membership and I love it. Not too difficult to fit in the odd half an hour and a chance to get to listen to some music .

    Thanks for linking up to AlllAboutYou
    Serra, Martini Mum recently posted…All About YouMy Profile

    • You know what a spinning bike is a great idea, only I got the hubster to buy me an actual bike for my birthday in August 2013 and I’ve only used it about three times (whoops!) For which he is a bit disgruntled! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Oh this was SO me – but I had to get my fitness mojo back just to stay sane and while run/walking isn’t exactly gym-bunny-esque (is that even a word?! sorry it’s very early) it gets me out of the house and moving about. Of course the other thing about post-children exercise I’ve had to discover…. is Tena ladies. *sigh* FAB post x #AllAboutYou
    Michelle Reeves (bodfortea) recently posted…Countdown to 10 miles: 1 week to goMy Profile

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