Body Fit vs Mind Fit

I’m standing in front of the mirror, my baby weight all gone. It’s what I wanted, it’s why I’ve been dragging myself and Emma to fitness classes for the past 6 months. So why am I unhappy?

Running to keep fit

Five months after the birth, I decided to do a bit of exercise. To this point, we were just surviving – Emma would wake up to 5 times a night and I was running on empty. I found it particularly hard as I had these false expectations that at 6 months the sleep would all improve and I’d be really nailing it as a mum – it makes me laugh now as 13 months on I’m still winging it! I met a personal trainer who was doing a group course to strengthen your core and improve your diet so I thought why not? As soon as the course started, I got in the zone of eating healthily and following her ‘plan’ which consisted of 6 small meals a day and eating every 2-3 hours. I really enjoyed it as I felt like I was in control when everything around me was unpredictable. The course was a 1 hour core strengthening class per week, which was fantastic. I found out here I have diastasis recti (tummy separation) with a large gap so the core work and diet was important.

After the course ended, I was transformed. I had lost a few inches off my tum, thighs and arms which spurred me on to keep going. I also started doing a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) class as well. People would often comment on how I’d shrunk post-partum and I was smaller than I was before I had Emma. I kept it up for 6 months until I realised that I had to take a break from this. Why? Because it had become the opposite of what I consider healthy.

A basket of eggs

A LOT of eggs were consumed…

I had become totally obsessed with food. Every day I would plan out my food – packing rice cakes and avocado when I was out, and stressing if I was in a cafe that only sold sandwiches. I could only keep it up if I stopped my life completely, so I could be at home to make a salad. I was always rushing. I’d have to bring Emma to the classes and while I enjoyed them, I would need to be there at 9:45 which was so much organisation for us. With the classes I do for Emma and my exercise classes, I didn’t even have one morning in the week where i could sit with a cup of tea and just ‘be’.

I made the decision to take a break. I stopped exercising and didn’t think so much about what I was eating. But then I felt guilty. Would I suddenly balloon and undo all the hard work I had done? Why couldn’t I strike the balance? I’m always all or nothing – either eating super healthy or sitting on the sofa with a huge bag of crisps and cake. I always take it too far and try to be the healthiest I possibly can, and this was the result. I wasn’t just obsessed with food, I was obsessed with monitoring my progress, taking pictures of my stomach to see if it was more toned than a couple of weeks before..I’m actually ashamed to admit that last part, but the whole thing was driving me to the brink.

Quote 'Begin Again'

So yesterday I drew a line in the sand and decided to start again. There are things about being healthy that I love – feeling incredible, my hair looking shinier and above all feeling proud of myself. This time though, I am vowing to myself to be more balanced, to be kinder to myself. I’ve made myself a promise to not “punish” myself if I decide to have a chocolate bar one day. My body is incredible, it has housed my gorgeous girl for 9 months and recovered from a c-section quicker than I could have ever imagined. My stretch marks that cover the lower part of my stomach, the ones I was so desperate to make fade, are my stripes that made me a mum. I want to accept that now my body is different, but you know what, I am different. I’ve changed in the most wonderful way and I would not change that for the world, so why am I trying to change my body back to how it was?

I’ll be posting a few updates with my progress and am very excited to get started. This time it will be different – a healthy lifestyle but with a little more balance. Let’s start over, and get it right this time.

*As a little disclaimer, just wanted to mention that this post is an account of my journey with exercise and eating healthy. I absolutely do not judge other new mums who regularly keep fit with exercise and food – I think anything that makes you happy is brilliant thing.

ABrandNewDaybig pink link


  1. May 30, 2016 / 10:13 am

    Such a generous share! You are clearly strong in ways other than just your body. Thank you. #bigpinklink

  2. May 30, 2016 / 2:05 pm

    I’ve struggled for aggges with trying to lose weight and be healthy- a few weeks ago I started eating better and lost 3lbs in first week but diddly squat since! Like you, I can’t seem to find the balance- I’ve still got a long way to go before I feel myself – a new myself mind! Xx #triballove
    Kelly Edwards recently posted…Wicked Wednesday: BalletMy Profile

  3. May 30, 2016 / 4:38 pm

    Oooh this was me with the Hiit and healthy eating last year. I just found that it became too restrictive but your post is inspiring me to try and do something again….#bigpinklink
    Emma recently posted…D-day for the BiBsMy Profile

  4. May 30, 2016 / 7:58 pm

    It’s amazing that you had the motivation to drive ahead and lose the weight, and get toned up, but equally fab that you had the foresight to see that it was taking over your life, and causing your behaviour to be obsessive. Good for you for taking a step back! It isn’t fun when there’s a panic over food (I know what that feels like,) and when all your time is spent trying to do exercise, or things for other people, and you lose the ‘me’ time. I’ll look forward to seeing how you get on from here, good luck with finding the balance!
    This Mum’s Life recently posted…I Don’t Know Who I Am AnymoreMy Profile

  5. May 31, 2016 / 6:24 pm

    Well done for losing your baby weight so quickly and for recognising what a wonderful job your body has done. I am so impressed that you were able to be so organised and exercise when you were up half the night! I struggled with that one. All the best on your new journey to get the balance.
    Laura: Adventures with J recently posted…My weight loss journey – week 1My Profile

  6. May 31, 2016 / 9:50 pm

    Sounds like you’ve done the sensible thing, although I am in awe of your commitment to the healthy eating and training! How did you know you had the tummy separation thing? I have been known to prod mine and wonder if I have it, but I think it’s just a matter of being a bit less toned after hauling around an enormous bump! #abrandnewday #tribe
    Single Mum Speaks recently posted…The Grass Is Always GreenerMy Profile

  7. June 3, 2016 / 11:38 am

    Well done on taking this step. It can be really easy to zone and obsess on something. You did a remarkable job doing all that around taking care of your little one. I’m going to look forward to seeing your progress, Mind over matter! good luck and thanks for linking with #abrandnewday
    karen recently posted…Nature aka Exploring the Garden My Profile

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