Journey to a better body

Those who know me well realise that I have never been one to resemble an elite athlete.  However, once upon a time in my youth, oh so very long ago, I was an energetic and sprightly wee thing and very sporty. I played netball, touch rugby, hockey. You name it, I was involved and I would even go as far to say that I was a little gem of a cross country runner at primary school always placing in the top three. Just call me Flo Jo!!

As the years passed I lost any form of motivation to exercise. I remember as a teen, my dearest BFF encouraged me to go for a wee sprint with her around the streets of Kumeu where I grew up. It would have been no more than 3kms but that was enough to send my tortured body into a complete state of shock causing me to throw up upon my return.  The utter stress my body must have been under after having to move at a quicker pace was almost too much to cope with. My heart was beating out of my chest as it was simply not used to this strenuous activity. We still giggle about that day and my body’s shock reaction to this fitness attempt.

As adulthood approached my priorities were all about having a great time. I would rather gain a kilo than decline a delicious, chilled glass of Pinot Gris and some double cream camembert and crackers to complement my wine. Exercise just wasn’t part of my vocabulary. It was the unspoken word. In saying that, there was a manic stint of regular aerobic classes’ pre wedding which whipped me into shape and into that tight fitting Audrey Hepburn inspired dress. So eleven years and two babies later exercise was still not part of my existence. I was fortunate I guess to have some fairly decent genes that meant I didn’t really have to worry too much about exercising to maintain a reasonable size. That is until now.

Then one day Yummy Mummy Fitness came into my life offering me the opportunity to be a part of their 12 week fitness challenge where I could set my own achievable goals. Seriously I thought, can I really commit to this?  I have a very, sweet tooth and a wee issue with eating in excess. Why have one biscuit when you can have five?  Why have one little unsatisfying square of Whitakers Peanut Slab chocolate when you can have three rows? This is my life motto, forget about everything in moderation, and go for everything in excess. After a long, miserable winter of eating carbs, oh glorious carbs and noticing my love handles were larger than ever and hanging very unattractively over the sides of my jeans that had become somewhat snug (clearly must have shrunk in the wash). I decided to take the plunge and commit to 01st September being my start date for my challenge.

So day one came and I was ready. I had a whole new mind-set about this opportunity I had been given and I was ready to finally do something for me and shed a few very unwanted kilos, and become fitter so I could be a super-mummy and set a great example for my babies.  My challenge involved boxing boot camp classes two days a week, as well as strength and running exercises to be completed in my own time. I arrived at class, not really knowing anyone except the lovely Simone who is the founder, director and head trainer of Yummy Mummy Fitness.  Simone is hugely passionate about her role as head trainer and motivator and knows first-hand what it is like to shed pregnancy weight after having gained 23kgs with her first pregnancy. Simone has a personal training background and has created these incredible classes for women (who don’t have to be mums) in approximately thirteen locations around Auckland. The classes are very warm and inviting filled with other eager women who are there for the same reason – to improve their health, lose weight and develop some good exercise and eating habits that are easily maintained going forward. This is what Yummy Mummy Fitness is all about and it just keeps on expanding with classes being available now in Christchurch and Tauranga. Simone is taking the country on one yummy mummy at a time. For those mums who live in rural areas the fitness challenges are also available to do online and there is a huge group of disciplined and dedicated women who participate this way.

Unfortunately the dreaded first weigh in took place on day one and honestly I could have sworn there was something seriously amiss with those scales because how could I suddenly weigh that much…. What the heck!! Did those last three rows of Whitakers peanut slab chocolate really make me gain another 3 kilos to my love handles?

OK that was it, I was motivated. I had not been this heavy in years and I was ready to overhaul my lifestyle.  Understanding the boxing moves took time as we changed from hooks, to highs to upper cuts to hammers but slowly I got the hang of the moves and began to love the classes and it was something I really looked forward to and still do each week. Simone is very inspiring and encouraging. The terms ‘more power’ and ‘smash it’ can often be heard above all of the women having their weekly gossip session in between punches. Simone really does make you want to punch the crap out of those boxing pads.

I found the weight started to come off really easily with this new exercise/eating regime and it was so satisfying each week to see my weight declining. My body seemed to avoid going into shock this time and adapted. Although in saying that, I discovered muscles I never knew existed that were sore for days on end. Simone is a big fan of the good ole squats and lunges. Feel the burn people!! And, if I don’t have a bottom like Giselle Bundchen after the completion of this challenge we will be having words!!  

Gone were those carbs, oh glorious carbs that had been replaced with leafy, green salads. I had gone cold turkey and cut all sweet treats out of my diet. The cravings were dangerous and with the first couple of evenings I had to tie myself to the couch to avoid raiding the overstocked lolly jar I keep in the pantry as a treat for my kids.  No don’t do it I told myself repeatedly as I ignored my inner voice and untied myself from the couch and sauntered past the pantry and fridge several times daring myself not to open it.

Eventually the cravings subsided. I was committed. My husband made a profound statement that this was the most exercise I had ever done since he met me. Not exactly untrue but of course I scoffed at him. How dare he make such comments about me? I am an athlete!!

So having now completed my 12 week challenge and being 7.5kgs lighter and definitely fitter, I am feeling super duper. The love handles have almost disappeared, the jeans are looser, and I wouldn’t say my bottom resembles that of a supermodel just yet but hey I can keep working at it one squat and lunge at a time. Anything can happen. Aside from a couple of cheat days when I have had a glass or two of wine or given in to baking for my kids and eaten not one but five biscuits, I have been very proud of myself. The weekly emails from Simone have been so helpful to keep that motivation high, the weigh ins each week keep you on track, the before and after photos mid challenge and at completion of the challenge are remarkable. And, the fact that Simone is always available when you feel like you need that extra little pick me up to keep you going has been amazing. The fact that someone cares that much about you achieving your goals is what helps to make this challenge so successful. Our final fitness challenge was a 5km run along Mission Bay. And I can proudly say I ran it in 28.21 without stopping and no throwing up afterwards. I felt such a big sense of achievement. Yay me!!

Look out summer, here I come. This could in fact be the very first time in a million years that I have owned a pair of togs. I feel the time has come to ditch the boardies and singlet beachside and go for that bikini. Actually no, I don’t think I am quite that brave, but a one piece I think I could master. 

Now that I am such a fitness fanatic with the body of a goddess… Ahem!! I am committed to continuing the classes and have signed up for another 12 week challenge in February 2014. As I have one more year left in my thirties I really want to look after myself and my body and do the best I can to be healthy for my babies. I definitely won’t be depriving myself of the things I love, wine, crackers and cheese, more wine, delicious baked goods, desserts, more wine but I am more aware now of what I am putting into my body and how easy it can be to undo all the hard work over the last three months weeks.

So for all those mums who are looking for some motivation for 2015 to get fit and healthy and you want to meet some other great ladies who are all friendly and there for the same reasons visit the website. Simone can provide you with classes and goals to suit your exact needs. You won’t regret it.  And you too could have a perky little bottom like Giselle’s in no time at all.  

Simone I am eternally grateful to you for providing me with the opportunity, the motivation, and inspiration to improve my overall well-being. 

Over and out fellow athletes!!

Hayley D






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