2 Years On…Bigger and Better!

It’s been two years now since I started my journey of discovering the ‘old’ me. The fitter me, the healthier me and the lighter me! I’m happy to say that two years on, I feel the best I’ve ever felt, both physically and mentally. I feel fit and strong enough to cope with life’s challenges in a far better manner than the past. I’m simply just happier in myself, therefore I’m more in love with life and the beautiful people and things that fill it. It was the best thing I could have ever done – taking the plunge to put on my runners has changed my life forever!!!

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My journey started with the want to lose my ‘baby bearing’ weight. I was the heaviest I’d ever been without being pregnant and with a diagnosed heart condition, the lights were flashing to do something about it. Originally I changed my eating habits by simply ‘cutting out the crap’ and reducing my meal size. Thankfully for me, I’ve always loved eating fruit and veggies so doing those two simple things with my diet helped me immensely!! After a couple of weeks of eating well, I lost a couple of kilos really easily, but I felt I needed more and it was after a long hectic day at home, with three kids under 5, made me come to the realisation of needing some time to myself. With that I put on my runners and the rest is history.

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It took me 6 months to lose the 13 kilos of weight that I had gained since getting married and having three babies and since the very first day I started running until now, I’ve worked consistently week in and week out, building on the distance and speed of my running. Bit by bit I pushed myself to run further and faster and to date, my longest run is 10km (pb 48.52mins) and my fastest run is 4km (pb 18.47 mins). It’s been an awesome two years and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every step my foot has run on the pavement.

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It hasn’t been easy though. There have been days where I’ve had to force myself to go. Winter mornings are a killer, it’s been challenging fitting exercise in while juggling work, 3 kids, a house and a husband who works really long hours and the pain from my ‘netball’ knees has at times been unbearable! But none of this
has ever allowed me to lose focus on what I want to achieve. Running is one of those exercises where your competitor is yourself, so the only person you’re letting down by not going, is yourself! That’s what I love about running though, the challenge to better me and the feeling of a pb never ever gets old…this week’s pb was my 4km hill run 19.21mins – makes you feel so pumped!!!

As I reflect over the past two years, one of the things that’s has assisted me in not giving up, is to constantly set goals. Running especially, can be an exercise where it becomes boring very quickly and because my lifestyle and my heart condition doesn’t allow me to go to gyms or bootcamps, I’ve had to choose an exercise that is convenient and non competitive. When I do feel like I’m getting bored, I know that I’m ready for a change. In the past most of my changes were an increase to distance and then I would spend several weeks or months improving on the speed of that distance. I’ve hit a safe limit for distance for my heart now, so a change now is either in routes or routines.

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My mantra:)

In the past couple of weeks I’ve started a new routine and I’m LOVING it!!!! Now that it’s light at 5am, I have more time in the mornings to exercise. So I’ve decided, instead of my two work days being my rest days, I now exercise every day Monday-Friday and have my rest days over the weekend. Last weekend was the first weekend in two years I didn’t go for a run…it was lovely not having to fit it in over an extremely busy weekend, but by Monday I was chaffing at the bit to run lol! This routine also allows me time to catch up over the weekend if I’ve missed a day through the week for some unforeseen reason…meaning children lol!

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My new routine:
Monday – 5k run
Tuesday – 15min power walk, 10mins of planks, squats, leg raises and lunges using my tiny pink weights, finished with 5 min power walk.
Wednesday – sprint/ short distance 3 or 4k
or 1k sprints with a minute rest between for 4km.
Thursday – same as tues
Friday – 10k run hill run 3 weeks in a row and in the 4th week a flat run
Saturday & Sunday – family fun!!

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The lifestyle I lead now isn’t something I have to force myself to do. Now that I’ve been exercising and eating well for so long, it comes naturally to me each and every day. I love nothing more than to start my day with exercise. It allows me to achieve so much more in my day. I crave salads and veggies (especially if we’ve had a big weekend of get togethers) but I never deprive myself of my favourite treats…all in moderation!! The energy I have now is so fantastic and when faced with a stressful situation or a crazy busy period, I feel so much more in control rather than throwing in the towel and feeling overwhelmed by it all! I feel I’m a better mum and wife where my limits stretched now far our do my limits of the past! I encourage anyone who wants to become the best ‘you’ you can be, to start with something that makes you happy….for me that’s running:)

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When I was diagnosed with a dilated aorta of the heart 2 and half years ago, I was so scared and so overwhelmed with what was inside my body. My first thought was I can’t not be here for my babies!! Now that I’m at my perfect weight for my height and I’m as fit as I’ve ever been, I’m giving myself the best chance for my heart to not get any worse. I will spend the rest of my days continuing to work to help my heart, so I can live a long and happy life with my beautiful party of 5 and inspire my children to be the best they can be!

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