The Big Shrink: I did it! …nearly

When we reached the end of Blogtober I felt as though I’d had such a good time that I really wanted to keep up with blogging. Updating every day was a bit of a challenge, sure, and my husband was beginning to be a bit annoyed about the fact that I would dedicate so much time to writing in the evenings, but once a week at least seemed totally manageable. And then… I just… didn’t.

But that is because other priorities emerged! We took family photos together in November for our Christmas/New Year greetings cards and oh, dear reader, I was a potato. And not one of the cute little fresh new potatoes that go in spring salads. It was not a good feeling, not least because we would eventually like for our daughter to have a sibling and I know that being aged 35+ (I am 34 now) and significantly overweight makes having a successful pregnancy that much more doubtful. So for the next several months, exercise and food management was my main goal.

As it happens, right next to the photography studio was another store selling games and children’s toys. My husband, completely and utterly incapable of staying in one place to wait for anything ever, decided that while we waited for the studio staff member to be ready to talk to us after the photo shoot he would quickly pop in to the game shop to have a look round. Ultimately I’m glad that he did, because he found a copy of Ring Fit Adventure for the Nintendo Switch! At that time it was beginning to be back in stock here and there and I’d heard good things from friends who had played it, so when he stuck his head out of the store and said, “They’ve got Ring Fit! Do you want it?” my answer was, “Ooh, yes please!” and lo, my Christmas present was sorted.

I wish the ‘distance run’ would be in km though

I will absolutely not credit Ring Fit Adventure with singlehandedly knocking the almost 18kg/39lbs off my postpartum potato body, BUT it did undoubtedly help get me in the right kind of mindset. Exercise turned from an insurmountable obstacle, a huge chore that required so much effort to even start, into something that was (heaven forbid) actually enjoyable?! About one month in to playing a little almost every day while my daughter napped, I commented to my husband that while playing on the TV in the living room was fun, I kind of… wanted to… maybe go out jogging for real? Like actually outside? In the real world??? So from the end of January I started doing exactly that (in addition to Ring Fit): once a week I’d warm up and then go trotting off for a few kilometres around the neighbourhood. During June, other real-life things started getting in the way (more on that in another post at some point) so I haven’t been able to go for a couple of months now (alas) but for a good five months that weekly run was a regular addition to my routine.

Every fitness blog you read and every personal trainer YouTuber will say that it’s not the increased cardio that drives weight loss but our old friend, the legendary calories in vs calories out (until you get to the macro-focused corner of weight loss/muscle gain social media, at least). In a bid to see whether or not I could cut back on some pointless calories, I gave intermittent fasting a go. It worked pretty well – I felt really energised and motivated! I still tend to skip breakfast just because it hasn’t really worked for me for a long time: breakfast makes me feel sick if I have it too early on, and if I wait until later on to eat I honestly may as well just wait a little longer still until lunchtime. I’m not sure how well it would work with additional exercise in the summer months, though – I’ve seen people report decreased performance while exercising fasted, but more than that part of me worries that it might be irresponsible to try to do cardio (such as jogging) in a fasted state outside in the hot and humid weather we get here. Anybody got any experience with that?

Anyway! Another really, really important part of my ability to stay on track has been having a workout buddy – like, an actual friend, not one of those apps that nag you at 9am every day or whatnot. I get so annoyed at those apps, god, I deleted my intermittent fasting app because it kept bothering me to input the fact that I’d consumed water while I was trying to deal with a screaming 10-month-old baby. Piss off. (And yes, I know you can turn off notifications, but then you might as well not have the app at all!) No, but one of my friends whose son is only a couple of months younger than my daughter was similarly frustrated with how her body wasn’t as strong as it had been before she’d become pregnant, and together we pushed each other to stay motivated, to eat more healthily without getting obsessed, and to work out as and when we could. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to get to where I am without Tari’s support, competition and motivation. Whenever I’ve tried to do workout programmes in the past, or start a new routine with another person doing it along with me (be it my husband, or another friend), the other party always finds reasons to give up before I do and I’m not very good at continuing stuff when it’s just me by myself. I can totally understand why people get attracted to the idea of attending classes or hiring a personal trainer! It’s so good to be able to have human interaction and increased accountability. Should we ever be relatively free of the bloody virus (haha.) I would like someday to attend some kind of workout class or join a gym… Someday…! What sort of classes have you attended? I’m no good at team sports but how about other club/group workout activities? Is there anything you haven’t tried, but want to?

I’m still not where I want to be, though. Back in 2017 when I broke my leg (March), tore my ACL (July) and had two leg surgeries in one year, I unsurprisingly gained weight due to being so immobile for so long. Yet even then, when I was heavier than I am now, I was able to put on and take off my wedding ring. Almost fifteen months after giving birth, I still can’t wear it. What gives! Come on, body! Some of my friends have said that breastfeeding might be the last hurdle to clear, and that when I stop doing that my hands will cooperate. Will it?! Am I going to have to get the ring resized?! How much more do I have to shrink to reach this one final goal? Will I ever be satisfied?!

Will I ever be satisfied? That’s one of the big ones, isn’t it. How many times we have looked back at old photos when we thought we were fat and ugly, only to see with the clear eyes of experience how young, slim and beautiful we were! Writing that makes me feel ancient, time to stop typing ๐Ÿ˜…

6 Thoughts

  1. Itโ€™s so nice to read about your accomplishments!! I totally agree about the having a friend to do exercise things with, it wasnโ€™t even a big thing but I very much enjoyed having the online check-ins with you for the squat challenge when that happened! Also, reading your tweets about workouts have definitely added to my own motivation. My workouts donโ€™t exactly have a goal to them, I just want to be healthier and feel stronger, but somehow because I have no number to aim for it can be hard to keep going? So thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences, they indirectly charge my motivation ๐Ÿ˜‚

    I have noticed a change in my muscles, both in terms of strength but also the look of them, but I want to keep it up and build more? But idk how much the ring fit, yoga and body weight exercises will do for building more muscles. Do I have to go to a gym? Or buy my own weights? Seems like a pain in the butt ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜‚ actually I should probably make my own blogpost about this lol.

    โ€ฆ long comment is long but I was excited to see you writing again!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you so much for your comment! And I love it being a solid one with lots of words so please donโ€™t apologise ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ’• I know what you mean about it feeling SO GOOD when you can see your muscles in the mirror, I absolutely LOVE the โœจstrong womanโœจ aesthetic SO MUCH and one day hope to be able to get there myself ๐Ÿ˜ I know Iโ€™ve seen a ton of stuff on my social media feeds from people in the callisthenics community, and since they donโ€™t use much stuff it looks good for those of us with no space ๐Ÿ˜… How about looking at people like Hybrid Calisthenics on youtube/tiktok? โ† I am fond of him because he is very wholesome ๐Ÿ˜‚ I look forward to reading your post on this topic!

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  2. You’ve done so much ๐Ÿ˜ญ you were absolutely not a potato and I will not hear otherwise ๐Ÿ˜ค but the motivation absolutely makes sense. I’m sure the wedding ring will eventually fit too, but if your fingers decided to go up a size relative to the rest of your body, that’s fine too.

    But it’s all so impressive! Especially while taking care of N. Suddenly finding exercise(-y things) not-awful is so wild, I was just talking to a coworker how i could’ve never thought I’d be willingly waking up around 5am to take a bus to go for an all-day walk to a mountain ๐Ÿ˜‚

    My motivation is pretty different, I just want to be outside, be in not-terrible shape and not lose my breath in uphills. So ring fit wasn’t really my ideal workout game, just a substitute during lockdown (and the upcoming winter).

    I’m glad the sparring partner helped! That was so lucky ๐Ÿ’• The apps being annoying i absolutely get, with something like that, at least for me anything easily becomes just an annoying chore. Bothering you about water sounds so ugh ๐Ÿ™„

    I don’t think I could really do classes with other people, I’m too self-conscious about looking all sweaty and gross (thankfully the hiking trails are empty), the only thing I’ve seriously considered is something like Tai Chi.

    Also very relatable re: losing the blogging motivation ;; I did it for a bit and then promised to myself I’d restart when I’d be sure I’d get to stay here but that just keeps getting postponed and ugh

    Sorry for the long comment but I was so glad to see you post again ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™ and once more, I’m so glad you made your goal, its hard to be satisfied but I think you’ve done amazingly well ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Whee a Pippa-entry! This made my day (I read it on the way to work).
    I’m so happy for you! It’s great that you’ve been able to get this far.
    And that you’ve had the motivation and discipline (and support) to get to where you are now.
    Reading about your struggles and your work outs has been helping me to stay motivated as well
    (aside from the fact that I really have to do this or… face dire consequences – health ones that is).
    So, also thank you for unknowingly being my moral support ;3; โค

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  4. This is one of the most engaging, readable and motivating articles Iโ€™ve ever read, anywhere – thank you SO much! Iโ€™m feeling inspired. Take great care of yourself – youโ€™re important!

    Like

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