Lianne Williams

Health & Body

My Happiness Project: APRIL 'What can my body do?'

Health & Body, Mental HealthLianne WilliamsComment
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I'm ready to learn about myself in a whole new way. Through my body

A few years ago when I was having mental health dramas it was recommended to me by my GP that I should take up Yoga to help tackle my stress. As someone who spent their life being blessed with a very forgiving body, lifestyle and diet that naturally kept me fairly healthy & strong I obviously decided I knew better and ignored all that advice and struggled on regardless.

Puurrrlese. How the hell was a bit of exercise going to make me feel better in my head?

I looked at these weirdos running about outside in the rain ‘for fun’ and just figured they did it because it made them feel important rather then actually have a measurable scientific input on their mood. Or they were just smug because they were lithe and skinny. I don’t know. Whatever.

Fast forward to 2015 and I attend a Burlesque class and oh dearie me... I couldn’t even touch my toes let alone move gracefully. To be fair I’ve never been able to touch my toes but that wasn’t the point. Despite possessing some bizarre genetics that enabled me to slip straight back into my size 8 jeans after having a baby, I could feel my body was becoming stiffer, slower and finally... after baby 3.... heavy.  

I’m not going to bore you with my weight or my diet or my fitness regime. (Nobody likes a gym bore) But for April I decided to introduce myself to something way way way way way (further..... keep going.... bit more....) way out of my comfort zone.

Exercise.

A pregnancy dictated by strong carb cravings and a weak pelvis meant I ate a lot of incredible food but couldn’t move much at the same time. 41 weeks later and some how I’d put on weight, and worse still, had become sluggish, achy and slow. 

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So whilst designing my happiness project I decided it would be a perfect opportunity to not only recover my body from 9 months of cake, roast potatoes, cheese and pasta (I REGRET NOTHING), I also figured I could have some fun with it too and approach exercise as a new fun hobby that I could carry on for like... ever... 

This month has gone in a blink of an eye. Starting with a particularly healthy holiday to Center Parcs where I challenged myself to do moronic things like run up a hill pushing a pram and wonder why I felt like I was dying after, I also walked 10,000 steps a day, went swimming, played tennis and generally woke my body up in preparation for a harder challenge- The Fit Yummy Mummy workout programme.

Yes you heard me.

My body has supported and birthed 3 human beings and it is worn out, sore and in need of attention. Jumping into some trendy workout aimed at feisty 20 year olds who aren’t sleep deprived, doing the school run, covered in baby poo or struggling with hormones loosening every joint in your body (including my thumbs- bizarrely) I needed to find something that would work with the very real physical limitations of my mum-bod and would respect that I don’t have hours to fritter away on complicated meal plans or hour long workouts. I’ve got 15 minutes. That’s it. Holly’s Fit Yummy Mummy course manages that. 4 weeks in and I can see and feel a difference in my body. I’m stronger and yes.... calmer and feeling more energetic. I take it back. You’re not smug gits after all. There is a genuine serenity that comes from torturing my body with squats and push ups.

I’m fascinated. 

Hence why this months quote is: 

'What can my body do?'

This months tasks have been; 

Move: Dance, Jump, Stretch.

So a fitness regime is just one facet of this experience. Once my fitness is at a stable point I want to try other more interesting activities- hula hooping, tennis, dance, Pilates, Lyra. Dare I say it... netball... cricket maybe? They’ve all caught my attention in the past but I’ve always felt far too inadequate to take part. I mean there’s beginner and then there’s complete and utter physical disaster, like me. I need to prepare before I can even dream of being a beginner.

Meditate. Hypnotise. Affirm.

I strongly believe in the power of the mind and if I can hack my brain to support my new active lifestyle better then of COURSE I’m going to sign up for that. I’ve been enjoying the Aloe Bud app (only very recently released) that helps remind me to do simple basic tasks that frequently slip my mind as a new mother.

Learn the glamour tricks

Short cuts?! Oh no. There are very few short cuts to a healthy strong body. But there are PLENTY of quick fixes to save time, money... to be more glamorous, to feel more.... expensive. And why the fuck shouldn’t I? I’ve EARNED IT. Natural beauty has never liked me anyway, so let’s see what I can do with my body when I’m allowed to get creative with it. Surprisingly there isn’t much that’s grabbed my attention. I’ve already mastered a lot of the tricks I feel would be useful to me. My current focus has been trying to tidy up my poor sleep deprived face. Nothing that a bit of eye cream and white eyeliner can’t fix. I hope.

Fix what's broken. Heal myself.

I’m at that stage now where my body should be close to being normal again. But it’s not. I have ferociously powerful hormones so it’s important I do whatever I need to do to recover and re-balance myself as quickly and healthily as possible. And if there’s something not right I need to get myself fixed ASAP. Last time I was here in 2011 a cervical examination saved my life so checking in with my health and getting any niggles looked at, is time very well spent. 

Set a challenge

Which is obviously to complete the 16 weeks of Fit Yummy Mummy. Other possible goals are to touch my toes without bending my knees and to beat Mr. Williams at an arm wrestle. For now though I'll settle for managing to do 30 push ups without crying. (I DID IT BTW)

Goal:

Explore what my body is capable of. Who am I? What can I do? Prove to myself I can change and improve right before my eyes.