Protein shake and red wine your way to be a bad-ass mum!
For me, when I first became a mum in 2013, I seemed to have a default setting to put everyone and everything else ahead of my own needs, and not always consciously. At first, I felt compelled to give up all my time to everyone who needed me. It’s just what most mum’s by nature tend to do right? Except when it’s 6pm bath time and I need to knock off the lid off a bottle of wine, then no one gets in my way, it’s wine o’clock baby! But generally speaking, when the responsibility of parenthood takes hold, it’s understandable how mothers ( and sympathetic fathers! ) can put the concept of being fit & healthy on the back burner. For one we’re too damn tired, not to mention it’s just another thing to add to the long list of things to do that don’t get done, like have a shower! But seriously, we’ve got to give ourselves a break, managing a new baby is a seismic shift in our normality, especially for new parents. So it’s only natural, as mums, that we pour all our time and energy into our little creation. It's tricky to find and settle into our new balance.
During my second pregnancy, I had it in my mind that given we planned to have only 2 children, I had made a statement that 2017 was going to be, look out, the year of the ‘Return of Me’. Woo hoo! The past 4 years had been an incredible period of experiencing pregnancy, birth, maternity leave, returning to work, pregnant again, birth.. so for me, claiming the body back was the next goal. I didn’t do too well at keeping up my fitness between pregnancies, I was injured. When our first son Charlie was born, I suffered a lower back twinge from lifting him out of his cot. Weak core post birth is a bitch isn’t it? Yet I carried our boys on my hip, contorting my body to hold them with little thought to rebuilding my core. I expected myself to just bounce back and to get on with it. I ignored the pain and later really paid for it. A small niggle turned into real pain that became painful to sit for long periods, sleeping was useless and I couldn’t exercise or run out of fear I would do more damage. I suffered ( mostly silently ) for over 3 years like this and for someone who is usually pretty active, it was doing my head in. It had got so bad that some days I could hardly walk or get out of bed, I’d crawl to the loo on my hands and knees, and worst of all, I couldn’t pick up the boys. It was the day I heard myself snap at my poor husband for the 1000th time “ I’m so tired, and in so much pain, I’m losing my mind!.. “ that I had decided to knock this situation on the head. I couldn’t carry on like this.
I had decided to breast feed our 2nd son Cooper for 5 months, and then the body work would begin. Meanwhile, I saw a very good osteopath who helped manipulate my achy body to get me to a place where I could start exercising again. So I went from putting everyone else first, to then focusing more on my needs. And if I wanted to cope with raising our two active boys, to be pain free ( and a nicer wife! ) then it was time I stopped the excuses and got to work.
The biggest challenge was first changing my mindset. My mindset was self sabotage dialogue, “I don’t have time, I don’t have the energy, I can’t afford a gym membership, I’m worried about injuring my back again, I’ll never run again, I’ll never get my body back”… and on it went. I was the most unfit I think I’d ever been, and at 38 it was a daunting health mountain to climb. But my new motivation was to get fit & healthy for my kids and for ME. Once I had worked out the kind of exercise I needed to do and could realistically commit to, I then looked at the food I was eating.
I now understand the 80/20 rule. If we want to feel and look better, then 80% is the food we’re putting into our bodies, and exercise only makes up 20% of the equation. I had got it wrong for so many years, thinking that I could eat what I like and would just ‘work it off’! But having kids meant I didn’t have that freedom to go to the gym all the time ( if at all! ) and the body wasn’t quite the same anymore. I also knew that for me gluten, refined sugar, diary and too much booze all zapped my energy, promoted weight gain and foggy brain ( and with already permanent baby brain damage I needed every bit of the last remaining brain cell I had ). But these foods were also causing inflammation in my body which wasn’t helping my back pain! A light bulb went off. I needed to really look at my diet. I’m a big believer it balance ( aka WINE darling ), so it was important to me to adjust my eating and lifestyle habits to a realistic level but that also allowed me to enjoy some of the naughty things I loved. Life is for living right! So now I start my mornings with a nutrient dense and alkalising protein shake, and in the evening sip at 1 fat glass of full bodied red wine. I know I’m getting all the right balance of protein, carbs, fibre, minerals and vitamins in the morning, not to mention I can just throw it all in the blender and be done with it ( so convenient when I’m busy getting kids ready ) and this brekkie boost helps me keep my mummy-shit together AND burn fat. As well as a good dose of sanity at the end of the day, another day survived as a mum! A mega bonus is red wine is also anti-inflammatory. Yeeeesss!!!! Result.
I make a mean Chocolate Banana Berry Espresso Protein Shake. For the recipe go here!
Bottoms up rock stars! Here’s to you and you’re awesome mummy-ness.
Would love to hear from you! Please comment below!