A Guest Blog by Georgie White (AKA Cotswold Create)
When Cheltenham Maman HQ asked me (ever so kindly) to be a guest blogger for July and suggested exercise as a topic I thought yeah, easy, I love exercise I can do that.
Then I thought oh crap, post maternity exercise might be the last thing that Cheltenham Mummies want to read and I might get punched in the face if I banged on about how I LOVE exercise so much and how I could barely wait for the Surgeon’s knife to leave me to be in my trainers and rid of my Post Partum Mr Blobby body !!
So forgive me. This might not be a post for people who who want to read ‘just enjoy your bigger body post birth’ or ‘ enjoy your baby and forget about the weight’ or ‘eat another cake, post baby it’s your only chance’ … Sorry girls, that’s just not me.
Instead, if like me you were / are desperate to shift the extra pounds and get active again whether for weight loss or sanity or otherwise then you will know what I am talking about. If not, stop reading NOW and have another custard cream.
I know that exercise is harder post partum. Our joints are softer and there’s the more obvious sleep deprivation and logistics to contend with BUT if Jessica Ennis can win a World Championships a year after giving birth then frankly the sky is the limit!
I spent most of my adolescence and 20’s being pretty over weight. I didn’t exercise much and loved food so it was no surprise I was a little on the ‘lardy’ side. I longed to wear the clothes that my friends wore and to look good in a photo. Even though I worked in a string of Health Clubs for many years I never really did get into exercise enough to herald any benefits.
It wasn’t until my darling Father passed away very suddenly in 2009 that I decided enough was enough. To cope with my grief I started running and I have never looked back. With that the gym became a more essential place to be. The weight dropped off and I discovered that I could wear those clothes and I could be fit, healthy and athletic.
So, for a number of reasons and mostly very selfishly when pregnancy occurred I found it all a little frustrating.
By this stage I was pretty fit, going to the gym or running several times a week and as the weeks went on and the lungs started to give up on me the weight also piled on and I was pretty miserable. Despite knowing I was growing a little marvel inside me, I longed for the chance to run properly and train hard in the gym or go to Boot camp again. I also longed for a bottle of champagne but that’s for another post.
At around 5 months I admitted defeat and gave up the running unable to get much further than the gate post and in the October, at around 6 months I finally said goodbye to the weekly PT sessions I was struggling through at The Dormy House. I was wasting my time trying to jump and squat and run and found it so frustrating being so restricted and always out of breath!
Instead I settled for swimming, something which has always bored be stupid, but I adapted and began to look forward to the nightly swims after work and to push myself as hard as possible in the pool..not quite the same thing though!
In January this year I began to think about birth plans. I was adamant that the only birth I would consider would be a natural one, not wanting to restrict my return to the gym or running any further than necessary, imagining I would be straight back on the road within a few weeks!! How wrong could I be. Young Rudy shocked us all and on the 14th January whilst overnight in hospital (long story) I was whisked in to surgery for a crash C section faster than my legs have ever carried me on any run!
It was the last thing I had planned as I knew this would immediately stop me running and significantly delay my return to the gym. But he is AMAZING and I love being a Mummy. I wouldn’t change anything about it and now that some vague routine has been established and there are SO many clothes in my wardrobe begging to be worn again I am back at the exercise with a vengeance.
If you feel / felt like me about your body / mind / sanity and wardrobe then here’s my essential Cheltenham / Cotswold Maman exercise tips to get you started;
Do you own a pair of trainers? There you go then, get them on and head outdoors for simply THE best exercise I have ever found and for FREE!! Of course there’s things like knees to consider but at this stage they seem ok and I am addicted. I run around the gorgeous country side in Broadway and the views are breathtaking. With a lack of childcare my runs are restricted to evenings which after a long day with a 6 month old baby is quite exhausting but its better to get out there for 5 minutes than not at all.
To get you motivated why not join in with one of the weekly Park Runs held all over the country every Saturday morning? I go to the one nearest me in Evesham but in Cheltenham just register and turn up at Pittville Park and run a 5k course for free. Watch yourself improve each week by checking the weekly scores online.
2) Invest in a great place to exercise;
For those based nearer me in the Broadway area then a membership at The Dormy House Spa is a welcome joy!
If you can spare the cash and yes you guessed it, its not cheap, then membership at The Dormy House Hotel is a fabulously luxurious treat! I get pummelled by the PT Instructors at least once a week as, included in the membership fee are 50 free PT sessions per year. I steam and swim and take a break while Daddy Day Care looks after Rudy (again this has to be in the evening when DDC is home from work).
There are plenty of other options around and gyms to suit any budget in the area. To find one check out Gyms Near You.
3) Join a great Boot camp
In Evesham a fantastically gruelling and fun boot camp is held at the High School on Tuesday & Thursday evenings and on Saturday morning, in my opinion it’s the very BEST Boot camp around.
Xtreme’s Boot Camps are open to anyone over 16 and are suitable for all fitness levels. Designed to give you the complete body workout, you can expect to achieve results fast, whether it is to lose weight or just be the fittest you can be. You bring the right attitude and determination and they will lead you to your desired results.
I cannot recommend Xtreme Bootcamps more highly, the weekly sessions got me super fit, slim and toned for my wedding in 2014 and at one point my wedding dress was looking a little of the large side!! I am about to start up again on Tuesday evenings and cannot wait to be beach body fit again.
4) Find a great Pool
Again, I use the glorious one at The Dormy House but there are plenty around in Cheltenham and the Cotswolds. Swimming is a great all around exercise and whilst it still doesn’t float my boat that much I do appreciate its benefits.
5) Don’t procrastinate and don’t worry about what anyone else around you is doing.
Grab the bull by the horns and get out there and feel the sweat – YOU CAN DO IT MAMANS!!
If I manage to get back to my pre baby weight anytime soon I will let you know. Hell, I’ll be sending out a press release in celebration and you’ll see the smoke signals all the way from Broadway.
Ciao for now Mamans.
Georgie is a Broadway, Cotswolds based lifestyle blogger – AKA CotswoldCreate. Currently on Maternity Leave, Georgie is also a Creative Recruitment Consultant and works with some of the biggest companies and Creative Agencies in the UK. She has a passion for Scandi Interiors, Fashion, Fitness, Photography and of course her new little monkey Rudy. Originally from Sussex and London she adores the Cotswolds and champions the area as much as she can. You can follow Georgie on Instagram or Twitter.