Q&A – A Mum’s Health & Fitness Journey
This week’s blog is a little different – we are going Q & A style with Tess who is the mum of two little boys and will be talking about her experience of post-partum health and wellbeing.
Full disclosure: Tess is the wife of APC’s founder Mark Sketchley and you might see their two little boys tearing it up in the gym sometime!
Tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today with your health and fitness…
How long do you have! As a kid I fairly active and loved sports at school. In high school that really dropped away and then in my early twenties I really didn’t do anything. I was unfit and would flirt with exercise or some form of ‘dieting’ from time to time, but there was no consistency and it was all in an effort to lose weight as opposed to feeling good. With a partner who was a personal trainer you would have thought it would have been a different story.
Ironically it wasn’t until I wanted to have kids that I thought about looking after my body. I started out in the gym and with lots of yoga, started moving my body, started eating a little better. And then I liked that I felt better, moved better, slept better and so I started doing more. But it took me a long time to get there and it was a step-by-step process – it certainly didn’t happen overnight.
What did you do whilst you were pregnant, health and fitness wise?
Prior to getting pregnant I was working out 6 days a week, sometimes twice a day (ah, the time you had before kids…), eating a healthy diet…then it all fell apart when the morning sickness hit. I found it really debilitating, I could barely eat, barely move and the thought of anything other than vegemite toast was nauseating. That then turned into chicken schnitzels and almond Magnums. I’m surprised my oldest son didn’t come out crumbed! I still maintained some form of exercise but physically getting pregnant took its toll on me. In between our boys I got back into the gym, but in hindsight I should have been more careful.
Following the birth of our second son I developed some instability issues that now require ongoing management and mean I can’t work out as I once did. It definitely wasn’t smooth sailing and coupled with some post-natal anxiety, I wasn’t myself. At the same time I respect and understand the process my body was going through to bring our two beautiful boys into the world.
So what do you do now?
I think from the outset it’s important to acknowledge that everyone has different experiences when it comes to exercise, birth, post-partum activities, what foods suits them, what sort of exercise they like and what works for them – the variations are endless! So what I’m doing now works for me, but might not necessarily work for someone else who is at a different point.
What has definitely worked for me and what I feel like are universal for most women are the concepts of consistency and patience when it comes to health and wellbeing. For me this meant starting out slowly, 1-2 days a week, slowly working my way back into lifting weights, slowly cleaning up my diet and not doing anything too drastic too quickly. It’s been almost 5 years since the birth of our first child and its taken that time to get back to a point where I feel like myself again – physically, but more importantly mentally.
Currently I’m on week three of the APC Train for Life program. It’s a step up in terms of the workouts I’ve been doing previously as it combines a focus every day on four different aspects of movement and breath – movement/mobility, strength, cardio conditioning and breath work.
I’m also doing Pilates once a week. This is to help with alignment and getting to know how to position my body to do other exercise properly. I’ve learned to love it, it works muscles I didn’t know I had!
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