motherhoodfaithfitness

sharing the joys, triumphs and struggles of faith, family and fitness!

Mummy’s midriff musings!

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Nothing like seeing an unflattering photo of yourself to startle you into healthy eating and a consistent fitness plan!
Pole fitness requires shorts for leg grip and sometimes a crop top to get into moves that require ‘tummy grip’. It’s not that we just like exposing ourselves.
So last week while practicing a new combo, Butterfly to Flatline Scorpio in the privacy of my garage, I decided to film my progress, in crop top and shorts. On viewing the little video I was pleased with the move, but mortified at my tummy. I know we are not the sum of our body parts, and that having a flat tummy does not equal happiness, fulfillment, success or inner peace, but I really would like it to not look like I am constantly 6 months pregnant. (I have been asked more times than I care to think about, THAT question…”when’s the baby due?”)
However I also am aware of certain truths….
I am 42,
I am short waisted,
I have had 5 children over 21 years, genetically I’m never going to be a waif like build,
and best of all,
I am loved and cherished whatever my waist circumference.
But….there’s nothing wrong with improvements, steps towards health and good nutrition, exercising self control around the pantry and being the best version of myself I can be.
I don’t have a lot of kgs to lose, maybe 5-8 at most, but that tummy!!!!
So, back to eating clean and whole foods, plenty of protein and healthy veggies, eliminating the processed foods and eating sweet treats mindlessly. Realistically I believe to sustain this I will have some chocolate and wine now and again, but as a wise friend once told me, “Treat treats as treats”.
Consume them mindfully and enjoy them, then get on with the rest
of your life.
This is not a body shaming, or body loathing post, before anyone says it is, I am fearfully and wonderfully made and my body is amazing, it can, and has, done amazing feats, babies, marathons and pole fitness
are just some of them.
I just want to be able to do up my jeans!
Here are some of my favourite reads and resources about how to love, nourish and look after your body!
Body Image Movement
Prayfit

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Sports day ‘Moments that matter’

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If you are reading or have read Hands free mama , you will be familiar with the term ‘moments that matter’, or the even more fleeting and unique ‘sunset moments’. Today I was blessed to experience several!
It was Miss 10 and Master 5s Sports day, I had swapped work days, made sure Bub was in child care and with much excitement, (read ‘stress and panic over missing shoes, slow drivers, traffic and oversleeping’) we were on our way to School Sports Day!

Some of today’s beautiful moments:

-Seeing my daughter caring for her little brother, making sure he was ok when she saw him sad.
-Seeing the pure joy on my son’s face when Daddy turned up.
-Buying the kids a decorated cookie and popping it into their bag as a recess surprise
-Watching my daughter overcome her fear of hurdles and want to do it all over again
-Running in the 800m with my girl and her friend who were worried they wouldn’t finish the course, they grinned the whole way round!

These are some of the many proud mama moments, which I will ponder and cherish in my heart tonight.
My heart is full of love for my beautiful family, and I am especially blessed that Daddy was able to come down for a while and support his little team, I know it meant so much to them and me.
We’re on each other’s team!

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33 days of Splits training with Cleo the Hurricane

It’s been hard work, I’m not going to lie. There have been evenings after doing my stretches that I haven’t been able to move my legs out of their stretched splits position and there have been nights I’ve dreamt of perfect middle splits!
My stretch n flex classes at the studio have become so much easier and I can really tell my flexibility has improved vastly. So here’s the proof of the pudding…photographic evidence!

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33 days of ouch, eww, huff, puff, sweat and tears! I’m really pleased with the results and will continue on with the DVD. I am working on oversplits at the moment too, which should help my front splits become flatter.

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My leg holds have also improved, here are the final results.

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So all in all I’d say Cleo the Hurricane’s Rockin Legs n abs DVD was amazing, and has helped me get my splits to this level in just a month.
I have pre ordered her next DVD and am looking forward to taking that for a test run too!
I’d also like to thank Cleo and the wonderful girls on her Rockin Legs and abs Facebook page who have been so supportive and helpful this month. I love seeing all the other splits success stories too!

Rockin legs n abs

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Pole fails, bumps and bruises

If you’ve ever tried pole dancing, you will know that it is a dangerous sport! I have had people look at my bruised arms with concern, thinking I’m a battered wife, and this weeks class topped it off, I fell off the pole, right onto my noodle! We were recapping our cross leg release into bow and arrow, which should look like this…

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However after doing this move I tried to come out of it gracefully, thinking my head was nearer the floor, I thought ‘I’ll drop into a headstand’ (what the heck was I thinking??? Must have been upsidedown for too long!)
Anyway “SMACK” went the top of my head into the floor and the rest of me came tumbling after, rather like the nursery rhyme Jill when Jack broke his crown!

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It freaked me out a bit, and my pride was also bruised that night!
But I remember falling off a horse in my teenage years and my friend told me to get straight back on, even though I was hurt, crying and scared.
So, I took this attitude to my brass 45mm “horse” and got back on it!
It took the wind out of my sails that night, but I was determined to not let one scare put me off!

What scary pole fails have you experienced? Did it put you off?

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How I wish I looked during pole dancing!

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My Thursday night class reality!

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My Splits training vs Running lament

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Hooray! I got two 10km runs in this week….
Boo….my flexibility has suffered as a consequence.
I knew running shortens your hamstrings and makes your muscles tighter, I just didn’t realise quite how much!
As you all know by now, I love running, so I am faced with quite a dilemma!

I ran with my Running Wifey on Wednesday and we enjoyed the gorgeous views, chatted away and beat last weeks 10km by 1 minute. (I’ll never be a sprinter that’s for sure)
I got back to the car happy, sweaty….and stiff! So after a couple of minutes stretching I drove home, had a hot shower and then had a proper big stretch. Ouch, ouch, ouch is all I can say!
By the next day after a little stroll with my mums n bubs group my legs felt 100% again.
I must admit I had my pole class on Thursday and didn’t do a big stretch session and Friday I only did a little one.
Today is Saturday, I did my 2nd run of the week, it was a beautiful run, and I enjoyed the autumnal weather and colours on the bike track. However I was super stiff at the end of it. So I spent a while stretching after the run and did my Cleo Rockin Legs and Abs DVD tonight…my splits were pitiful 😱
I tried doing my oversplits to get a little lower but to no avail…I’m not sure there will be much progress to report on my final week of the Splits challenge.
Tomorrow I’ll have another big stretch session with Cleo and get some pictures.
But it does seem that splits training and running don’t quite co-exist in harmony. I asked my pole teacher if weight training hampered flexibility too, she said yes, and that netball, sprinting, squats all do the same thing, i.e. shorten and tighten the muscles that need to be stretched and lengthened in order to gain your splits.

What are your thoughts? Are you super flexy as well as a runner?
Do you have any flexibility tips or tricks I can try?

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Seeing ‘Moments that matter’ as I become a Hands free mama

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Hands free Mama is a book I’ve been reading for a few weeks and tonight’s chapter on ‘Seeing life through undistracted eyes’ was very timely.

How many times have I looked at my children and not really seen them? Found a pile of engines on my lap and have no idea when and which child put them there? Taken them to a swimming class and although I sat dutifully on the side not actually been present at all?
I know I’m not alone, lots of my mummy friends are in the same boat of ‘multi tasking, being too busy, juggling work and home, stressed out, trying to do it all, and get it all right’ stage of parenting, especially those of us with big families.

In her book Rachel Macy Stafford encourages us to write a list of ‘Moments that matter’ in our Hands free journey.
I have really tried to focus on being more present and notice the small things around me that are important and yet so temporal.
Here are a few of today’s moments that matter.
– Feeling both little chubby arms hugging me tight around my neck in the morning when I get my boy out of his cot. He gives amazing cuddles already!
– Watching Mr 5 read a book to Miss 10 after dinner time, marveling at not only his reading skills, but her tenderness and patience as she helped him with some tricky words
– Listening to my Hubby, Mr 20 and his best friend read Pilgrims Progress together, each taking a turn at reading the classic, their deep voices, laughter and earnestness.
– Not just hearing, but listening to Miss 17 tell me about her maths test, her worship band practice, her teacher’s year 12 advice, plus the all important question ‘what you wear to your formal?’, compared to ‘what you wear to someone else’s?’ (it’s an education!)
– Teaching my littlest boy how to build a train track, pretending to be the Fat Controller, making Donkey kong sit in a truck and seeing the delight on his face at the crashes, the different voices and the races the trains have together.

These are just a few of my moments today. I’m sure you can all think of a few in your household too. It’s an exercise in slowing down, breathing, observing and drinking in these moments. Blink, check your email, update your status, take a selfie, watch a funny video…..and we may miss them, and sadly they may never happen again. I know….because I have missed SOOOOO many meaningful moments that I will never get back, but tomorrow is a new day, and it will be full of treasured moments, I just have to be present and seek them out!

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Running buddy, if you don’t have one, get one!

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This week I did my first 10km run in ages, I’ve been dancing and stretching and getting a few little runs in between but nothing over 5kms. I’m ok with that, I’m busy, I’m trying to balance my home/fitness/faith journey and 5kms is still 5kms. But I do remember with much fondness my long runs, the routes, the conversations, the jelly beans, the fuel belt!
I was running regularly with a friend for months, early in the morning, weekends, after work….until I fell pregnant in 2011, we ran shorter distances while I was expecting and after I had bubby in August 2012 it was hard to schedule runs around my family commitments. So my running wifey was rather neglected. She is an amazing runner, completing ultra marathons, treks, and 24hour races before breakfast! She has always supported, encouraged and inspired me in my running.
So it was great to meet her at one of our usual running spots and chat, run, laugh, and enjoy the beautiful ocean views.
I was only planning on running for an hour (and I was very nervous about even that long) but at the 30 minute point my guru friend pointed out we had done 4.5km and how about we do another 500m to make it a 10km run? Who could argue with that logic?
The first half was definitely harder than the second, and I blame my brain for that, once we turned round I could relax into the run, and not stress about the distance. Running really is a mental challenge more than a physical one some days!
So it was with much joy, elation and happy hormones that I reached the end of the esplanade where I parked my car. 10kms done woo hoo! And a lovely 80 minutes of time spent with my running wifey. We’re making another date on Wednesday, can’t wait!

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Week 3 of Rockin Legs n abs…so close!

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So close…I can almost smell success and a flat spilt! Next week I’d better get that last couple of inches. Will use a foam roller to practise oversplits, that might help the last little bit…and if all else fails will get one of my kids to sit on me!

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Lent and becoming a Hands free mama

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As a busy mama with children, a job, family and church commitments, and my love for running and dancing, I have decided Lent is the perfect opportunity to try going a little more hands free!
What’s Lent about?
Lent is a time when Christians prepare themselves for Easter, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a time of reflection, prayer and self denial, hence why some give up chocolate or alcohol or swearing…you get the gist! (Yes Christians have been known to swear and drink!!!! 😜)
The 40 days of lent refers to the 40 days of Jesus’ temptation in the desert. Sundays are not traditionally included in the 40 days of Lent as Sunday is a day of celebration and rest. (Which means you can eat your chocolate guilt free on Sundays!)
You don’t have to be a religious person to observe Lent, it can be a family or cultural tradition or just a good time to kick a habit!

What am I “giving up” for Lent?
I’ve decided to observe a “Facebook fast”
Some may think that’s easy and a cop out compared to chocolate, and maybe for some it is. I am hoping to claw back the time that I spend updating my statuses, posting pictures, liking and tagging, poking and deleting, and use it for good.

Good for my family, I can talk to them and look at them in the eye, rather than looking at a screen and not really hearing them.

Good for my brain, I can read a book and go to sleep earlier, without that “one last check” on FB!

Good for my body, more time to stretch, run, dance!

Good for my soul, more time to pray, meditate, reflect, ponder.

Good for friendships, conversations aren’t stunted by “it’s ok I know…I saw it on Facebook!” News actually becomes news, more to talk about, share and discuss.

I must admit, it’s very tempting and quite hard at the moment (it’s only 2 days in…help!) but I know the benefits are going to outweigh the temptation.

Now if you’re reading this through FB, or see any pix from Instagram on FB, I’m not cheating, I upload these straight from the app!

Do you observe Lent? What are you giving up?

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Week 2 of Rockin legs n abs

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Progress is slow but steady, I can see a little improvement in my side splits.
I’m doing the Cleo DVD 4/5 times a week as well as pole, burlesque and running. I usually do the whole DVD, but still find chapters 6 & particularly 7 incredibly difficult, so just do what I can.

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2 more weeks of the challenge to go, will I make my splits???
Darned straight I will!

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