motherhoodfaithfitness

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

Gym success and first veggies! 

Just a quick one tonight, managed to get to the gym sans enfant! Outcome = splits training in quiet room surrounded by mirrors to check form, plus a little flex n twerk when no ones around! Ahhhh no interruptions, no dog hair, no toddler pouring milk over your hair or giving you snotty kisses, bliss! (Though I do love those adoring little smooches too!)

Came home to whip up homemade beefburgers, potato, bacon and pumpkin cheesey bake and picked spinach and lettuce from my garden! The lettuce was so sweet and crunchy, I can’t wait for my herbs and other veggies to be ready, it’s really quite exciting being a gardener. 

Spinach is a great veggie, for smoothies, salads and I like using it in lasagne too. 

And I couldn’t link the gym and veggies in a finer way than to finish with this gem! Popeye the sailor man, with his super strength biceps after eating a can of spinach! 

 

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Ouch ouch, those pole dance DOMS! 

My quads have been aching and tight for a couple of days now, I am trying to pinpoint the offending exercise! Was it that 30 minutes of Pilates on Wednesday or could it have been my first pole class of the term? We revised lots of last terms routine and moves and I learnt a couple of new ways to transition from floor to pole. At the time I remarked to the other girls “Ooh I’m going to feel this tomorrow!” Not realising that I’d be feeling the DOMS effect for almost 4 days! 

  
I’m not sure if I’m enjoying the pain, but knowing I learnt something new that pushed my body’s limit is always a great feeling of achievement. I tried walking and stretching it out but the soreness is still there. I googled a few remedies and I’m hoping some of these help for next weeks pole class!

  

Coffee, massage, stretching, pre and post workout snacks…I’ve got this! 

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Backbend progress

Today’s focus is number 14 on the list,  “stretching daily to increase flexibility”

My back flexibility started here… 

 

And last week it was here…

 
The first picture was done on the bed so wasn’t a true start point so here is the week 2 to 7 comparison shot. I’m happy! 

 

I’m sure my brief morning stretches have been helping, and even a little progress is still progress! 
Here are some of my exercises for back flexibility, (I can’t do all of them yet!)

  
I’m looking forward to be able to do a bridge like the picture above and also be able to get into tricky pole moves that require back flexibility, here is the amazingly flexible Felix Cane’s “cocoon”, yep I may never get that flexy, but wow, that girl is fabulous, and in 10 inch stilettos too! 

  In pursuit of more bendy flexy vibes I went to my first Pilates class at the gym this morning. I was full of anticipation, the instructor was great fun, the ladies were lovely, but it hadn’t even crossed my mind that my dear boy would hate the crèche and I would be called out of class half way through…grrrrr! Still I have pole tonight so I’ll get my exercise fix later! 

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Sleep, free but a mum’s luxury! 

Back in November I posted a list of 20 things that would be beneficial for me to start or continue doing. 

Here’s the picture if you missed it last time.  

 

A fine list to endeavour to follow.

Today I am focussing on number 6. “go to bed earlier” 

My 2 year old son is awake and firing on all cyclinders anytime between 5-5.30am. I have found myself longing to go back to bed mid morning, and if that works and daddy is about, I can do that, but when it’s a work day, or I have several errands, appointments or play dates organised I have to trudge on, wearily. Now I don’t know about you but my mood is severely affected by lack of sleep (or food). Sleep is a great luxury as a mummy, but often at bedtime I’m still bustling about, watching tv, checking facebook, texting friends. So again I’m challenged to get to bed early, switching off the phone and spend that time in a bedtime devotion or writing in my journal. I then wake up a little less irritable and more willing to play cars, pack lunches and stack the dishwasher at 5.30am. I am still using this time to stretch, read my Bible, eat a healthy breakfast and prepare for the day ahead, this is all so much easier when you don’t feel like death! 

  
When I have “enough sleep” (that’s an oxymoron right there) I have energy, I have enthusiasm, I’m positive, I recover from sickness of mind and body much quicker, sleep is awesome! I just wish I remembered that on an evening! Get sleep and the whole world is a better place! 

  

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The Respect Dare, Daughters of Sarah and my new Gym buddy! 

Last year I completed a book called The Respect Dare. The 40 days of “dares” are based on research that both men and women need mutual love and respect to have a happy healthy relationship (Gottman).  As a woman who’s been married a long time, (23 years) I find it pretty difficult to be respectful at times, there are habits that annoy me, tendencies that frustrate me and general niggles that all couples face. The Respect Dare helps you focus on the positive, look for ways to encourage your hubby, and work upon your own “issues”, be they childhood, learned behaviors, cultural expectations, or simple pigheadedness! Our relationship with each other and my self awareness and walk with God deepened and grew over the 40 days. So when Nina released a 14 week course to build women and grow relationships both marital and with God, I jumped at the chance to lead a small group. This course is called Daughters of Sarah.

Last week 4 women and I met together in a church office, huddled around a lap top and eagerly anticipating what we could learn and how we would develop. It is a privilege to journey with women of faith, flawed but hopeful, with dreams and visions of the future, with hearts full of love for God and looking to be transformed and become more like Christ. Our relationships with our husbands will be changed forever, our self awareness will be piqued, our faith journey will be nourished as we walk the path together. We’re on week 2, and I’m blown away by the conversations and discussion so far! Here’s looking forward to the next 12 weeks! To find out more information on The Respect Dare or the Daughters of Sarah course, have a look at the Greater Impact website or Nina Roesner’s blog. I can sincerely recommend it. John Gottman‘s research and website is really interesting and helpful too. 

 As for hubs and I, today we joined the gym together, I’m so excited! I have a gym buddy again. Going back to the gym after an almost 2 year hiatus was like coming home! So many hours spent here, friendships and fun memories have been made, as well as kgs gone and iron pumped. I’ve realised that stretching and working out at home isn’t always productive with a dog or 2 year old jumping on your back or licking your face, so back to the gym it is, and I couldn’t be more pumped! 

  

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Morning routines, a time for renewal and refreshing! 

I have a little boy, who doesn’t like to sleep! I’m writing this as I’m patting his back whilst playing piano lullaby music on spotify. Not only does he not like to go to bed, he doesn’t like to stay in bed either. With daylight savings, his new wake time is 5am. When I say wake time I mean full on, jumping around, telling me hilarious stories, and demanding “I want to eat!”. My mornings have been mostly bleary eyed, in ugg boots and my daggy dressing gown, watching episode after episode of “Paw Patrol” and counting the moments until daddy gets up so I can crawl back into bed. Not a great way to start the day! 

This is what I’m told by society I should look like…ready to face the day, fit, fantastic and fabulous! 

  
In reality, I look like this… 

 
And I bet if you’re a mum of a preschooler you do too most mornings! 

Anyway because I’m such a busy beaver, working studying loving worshipping poling cooking crazy lady, I decided if I couldn’t change my wake time, I could change what I did in it, watching Paw patrol is not on my bucket list, though it entertains my bairn for a little while. 

Then I found a blog post: http://blog.paleohacks.com/the-perfect-morning-routine/ and it is amazing, a little on the hippy dippy side for me but hey, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water and check out the ideas for starting your day right. 

So the night before, I squeezed my lemon juice, prepared my chia yoghurt, found a morning devotional, a journal and got my yoga mat out, ready for the morning, I even prepared the weetbix and sippy cup for little mister! 

 
The next day…5am start, I sipped my warm lemon water, I read my 5 minute devotion and journaled 3 things I am grateful for, (how do I stop at 3? I have SOOOOO much I am thankful for!) I stretched on my yoga mat for a few minutes and then went outside.it was still dark, and cold! I took my uggys off and walked in the cold wet grass for a minute. It was a bit chilly, but quite a pleasant experience, not sure if I “discharged all my negative energy into the Earth” but it felt ok, and certainly woke me up! Meanwhile my son was still watching Paw Patrol and was oblivious to the writing, stretching, sipping and walking in wet grass Mummy was doing. All up it was probably about 20-30 minutes. It felt really great to do something productive, meaningful and intentional with the first few minutes of my day, and it certainly set me up to have a more positive and healthful day. I had nourished my mind, body and soul and all before 5.30am.

This week I have tried to continue this routine and it has been great. As long as my son has his breakfast and tv, and knows mummy is there to answer his funny questions and cuddle him whilst I write, he is happy too. 

Multi tasking, ‘finding the time where there is no time’ is an art, and I’m not there yet, but I’m working towards it. As for being tired…yes i am exhausted, but I try to sneak a nanna nap or an early night in most days. I’ve realised that sleep is a beautiful gift I can give myself, and I should grab it whenever I can, and if not…

 
This is my prayer, Now I’m off to squeeze a lemon and get my chia seed yoghurt ready! 

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New dance studio news! 

Starting somewhere new is always daunting, will I fit in? Will I be the oldest/biggest/clumsiest girl in the class? What will I wear? Where do I park? 

Yes I’m a worry wart, sometimes known as a control freak, but I needn’t have been concerned, the new studio is welcoming, inclusive and sooooo much fun! 

We dance in heels, I have the most amazing metallic purple pole shoes, that are in my “gym bag”. As much as I love running shoes, these shoes are the ultimate in fitness wear! 

  

Try dancing in these babies, more over try going upside down!  Yes that extra weight on your feet makes every move harder, but so much prettier I think! 
Every week we learn new moves and then a routine. This term our class is dancing to The White Stripes “Seven nation army”. At the end of the class I am exhausted, sweaty and feel great! The next day I have been barely able to lift a cup of tea, or get out of bed! Nothing better than that DOMS feeling, you KNOW you’ve worked hard! 

  

That post pole grin, Can’t wait to go back next week and do it all again! 

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Progress for 2015

It’s almost May…4 months of the year gone already.
So how am I tracking?
Goal 1 – reading my bible daily, ✔️
Going well, sometimes I don’t complete all the readings but generally I am reading everyday! Nicky Gumbel’s devotions are funny, warm and challenging and I’m really enjoying his insight and wisdom as I open my Bible. 

Goal 2 – complete 7 units of my degree this year. ✔️
Again, I’m on target. I passed my positive psychology unit with a distinction and am now studying Counselling Skills and Health and Wellness. I’ve just submitted two assignments and am keeping everything crossed I get a good pass on each.

Goal 3 – Middle splits, I’m at the last few inches, so will need to get the blocks out soon and start oversplitting. I’m working on my back flexibility too, which is shocking at present.  

Goal 4 – practice pole regularly, well not as regularly as I would hope, and my only tiny excuse is that I’m so sore from my Tuesday pole class that I can’t physically move much until at least Friday! 😥

   

 

I’ve started at a new pole studio, and I am enjoying learning routines, wearing heels and dancing! But I’ll write about that next time! 

Until then I’ll keep plodding along with my goals, one chapter, one unit, one stretch, one dance at a time! 

  

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Shifting the goal posts a little!

Sometimes you just have to take stock of your goals, consider life commitments, family, study, etc and readjust your original plan!
I’m crossing out the running a half marathon goal! Not because I don’t love it or don’t enjoy the thrill of a long run but because of my time constraints, a squeaky knee, and the fact that it hinders my other goal of middle splits training. I also have some other exciting things in the pipeline which will be taking up a fair bit of my time and energy, which I will share at a later date.
As I’ve already done 3 half marathons and a full one, I’m not too fussed at changing this goal. So my alternate goal is another physical challenge, which will complement my flexibility training and will increase both my cardio capacity and strength. Pole practice!
I can practice at home and can sneak in a 20 minute session more easily than building up running kilometres and needing a babysitter to boot.
I will be practicing fundamental moves, building up my upper body and core strength, developing my balance and flexibility.
Here are the current moves I’ll be practicing.

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I’ll probably change these every few weeks and hopefully get stronger, more flexible and confident in learning new tricks!
My dream move is the “Jade” and although I don’t think I’m anywhere near ready to attempt it yet, it’s one I am looking forward to trying when the time comes! (Crash mats, lots of spotters and a very grippy pole, perhaps a helmet too!)

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Current nemesis moves that I have been trying for ages are:
Brass monkey, Pencil and Ayesha!
They will be on my practice list over the next few months too.

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The dreaded Brass Monkey

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Pencil problems!

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Tricky Aysha pole move!
Yep they’re all inverts, and require balance grip and strength..
I’m working on it, 20 minutes at a time!
But by bit, little by little, step by step, our dreams and goals may become reality!
A changed goal is not a fail, it is not a dead end. It can be a sensible and necessary step to take, and one that can lead you to new pursuits.

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Take 2, maybe 3!

Goals are mystical things, they move, they grow, they disappear sometimes. They have the power to overwhelm or motivate. The secret is to set sensible achievable goals.
My four goals for the year are:

1. Read through the Bible in a year
2. Study 7 units of my degree
3. Get middle splits
4. Run another half marathon

How am I going? I’m a month into the year 1/12 of the way through. Am I progressing?
Yes, and no!
These are all long term goals so I haven’t achieved or been able to tick anything off yet.
But…I have completed a month of my daily reading plan. the bible in one year and am up to date! Win!

My second goal of study has been going well too. I am currently doing summer school and the unit is on Positive Psychology. I am absolutely loving the subject, it is so close to my heart and I definitely want to implement these theories into my everyday life. My first assignment on Happiness received a distinction which I’m so delighted with.

My third goal is a long term one, I’m about 6 inches off the floor in middle splits and I know those last few inches are the hardest and most painful…but I’m not giving up, I watched the tennis last night while stretching, my poor hubby had to endure me rolling around on the floor while he was trying to watch the game!

My last goal of running has fallen a little behind schedule, the combination of squeaky knees, hot weather, exhaustion from a 5am riser aka my son has impacted on my training.

Rather than be discouraged I have come up with a plan that will rein in my goals and keep them under my control rather than overwhelming me,
Work on at least two a day, the Bible reading is always on the list, and then pick one or two of the others. On work days two is all I can manage, but other days I can often manage three, depending on family commitments, assignments due and physical health.

Breaking goals into bite size chunks really helps me focus and not get disheartened. If I’m working on two I’m doing well, if I get three done I’m overjoyed! But no matter how I do today or yesterday, tomorrow is a brand new day!

P.S Today I read my Bible, studied for a couple of hours and plan on stretching while the men’s tennis is on!

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Middle splits progress

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Bible reading progress

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