I've been getting out and about everyday indulging in some gentle exercise. Nothing too intense. Beach walks, bush walks and generally trying to keep up with the boys on their bikes. It's my preferred mode of exercise and it's been lovely. Just keeping a bit of momentum going while my stomach muscles knit back together before I would have to up the ante on the exercise regime to get rid of the extra baby weight I've been carrying. As I mentioned in my previous post on this topic, I don't put a huge amount of pressure on myself to get back into shape quickly but at the same time, it has been 8 months and I don't think there has been any change to my waistline. I really don't like the Gym and have actually been secretly holding out on the theory that the breastfeeding would kick in and all that extra weight would miraculously evaporate into the ether without having to break into a sweat.
And with that excellent theory bedded down, it should have come as no surprise to me when I was told by my Doctor at a recent annual check-up that I needed to lose 10kg to be back within my healthy weight range and that some more strenuous exercise would assist with that. That whilst a small amount of fatigue is completely normal for someone with 5 Children, I would feel a million bucks better and have more energy once I'm back within my healthy weight range. That I'm not 18 anymore and the old metabolism isn't as fast as it used to be. That it may also be a good idea to cut down on caffein, alcohol and my evening chocolate ritual. That no, I don't have Thyroid issues, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or any of the exotic illnesses I had self-diagnosed as being the cause of my fatigue. At that point I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a moment of disappointment and confusion that preceded the gratitude I felt at being diagnosed with nothing more than a battle of the bulge and being a Mum of many energetic Children.
But I'm technically overweight.
I say technically because I'm obviously still in denial about being labelled an overweight person. I knew I had to lose a few kilos but I wasn't expecting it to be 10 or to be told I was overweight. Although the scales and measuring devices don't lie I just don't see an overweight person when I look in the mirror. I said as much to the Doctor and she was quick to interrupt me with more truths. She tells me everyone's perception of overweight has changed. People now think they are a weight class lower than they really are. Obese people think they are overweight and overweight people think they are healthy. A shocking 60% of Tasmanians are overweight and I'm there right amongst them. It's a sobering revelation but a huge wake-up call that prompted me into immediate action. So it took a day to clear the house of the last bottle of wine from the fridge and empty the pantry of chocolates but the following day I started.
The doctor suggested I could hire a treadmill for a few months if getting out of the house is difficult. Madness, I say. That's just setting myself up for fail. I can see myself clearly sitting up there on the exercise bike, a glass of wine sitting in the Gatorade drink holder as I leisurely peddle along to Enya, pausing whenever my knitting gets caught in the spokes and grabbing a TimTam as I get back on the bike.
No, best I remove myself from all distractions and bring out the big guns - the Gym Membership, where there are classes with instructors to give you the kick in the pants you need. I'm going to do a combination of Spin classes and Yoga. I did Spin Classes for a few months following the birth of the other children and it does work, even though I dislike every second of it. You feel like you're dying during the class and even worse the next morning. A spin class supposedly looks like this, smiles all around:
But a more realistic shot is this, and I'm the guy in the green.
I started this new regime on 1 August and so far so good. We've also committed to doing "Dry August" after failing "Dry July" a week into it. No alcohol this month and then just trying to cut down after that. Nothing too restrictive on a long term basis but I prefer a cold-turkey approach when starting new habits. We have gotten ourselves into some rather unhealthy habits of late - please don't judge unless you have 5 Children and a Development Application before local Council.
With all these new changes, I should be running alongside the Whippet by Christmas. Or at the very least I'll have made some weight loss progress and can embark on more of a weight maintenance rather than a weight loss program. If not, I'll be getting this book I saw on Fiona's blog a few months back. It may be a bit harsh for some, but in the same vein as my Doctor, I do like people who call a spade a spade.
So, I know I've asked you all before about exercise but that was more directly following the birth of children. Do any of you do regular exercise now? Are you exercising to maintain a healthy weight or to lose weight like me? Spin classes? Yoga? Are you all finding it harder and harder to maintain a healthy weight as you get older? Would love to hear your thoughts.