New Mothers

Online Fitness Course Starting September 2015

Róisín’s Story

  Click here to read success stories 

I have been working hard on the online plan for the past few weeks and am delighted to share the details.

Please read the following carefully before deciding whether this plan is suitable for you. Places will be limited and will be given on a first come first serve basis. Your place can only be confirmed once payment has been received.

Start Date: Mon 21st Sept 2015.

The information that you need to prepare for the start date will be emailed to you in the week prior to the start date so that you can do your first food shop.

Duration: 12 weeks

Cost: €100

What is included?

– A weekly exercise plan will be provided. There will be two different workout routines each week and a video demonstration of all exercises including teaching and safety points will be included. Each participant will be sent an email weekly with a Dropbox link to the video. Each routine is 20-30 minutes in duration and I will be advising that you exercise 4-6 times per week. There will be layered levels of exercise intensity demonstrated for different fitness levels.

– A food plan which includes real food choices for the real world. This is not a diet but rather a healthy eating plan. A template will be provided for planning your weekly meals and your shopping list. A clear explanation of your food options will be provided to help educate you on making better food choices.

– A Facebook support group that will allow course members to interact, share tips, and encourage each other. Support and accountability are very important when undertaking a plan like this and your group, as well as myself, will help to provide these things.

– Daily contact with me through the support group. I will be logging on every day to answer any questions you might have as well as giving motivational advice throughout the course.

What do I need?

– New mothers will need to have had their post-pregnancy check-up and have received medical clearance to exercise. If you have any specific post-pregnancy concerns you can contact me to discuss before committing.

– All participants will need to read the relevant terms, conditions, statements, and screening procedures. In order to proceed with the online course all participants will have to confirm via email that they have read the relevant paperwork and have medical clearance (further details will be provided should you choose to partake).

– All routines can be completed without equipment however a mat, dynaband and a weight of approximately 5-12kg are recommended to help you achieve the best results. The routines can be performed in your own home, indoors or outdoors, but if you are already a gym member you can do them there either.

– I recommend that you take your body measurements and a video demonstration of how to do so will be provided. For accountability all measurements can be posted to the support page or privately by email to myself and photographs included if you are comfortable to do so.

In addition I encourage all participants to chose an item of clothing that is currently too tight but which they would like to be able to fit comfortably into by Christmas and share this with the group if they wish. Weighing yourself on a scales is not recommended but is a personal choice.

Who is this plan not suitable for?

– Anyone with a disability, impairment or ailment which prevents them from engaging in active or passive exercise that is detrimental to heart, safety or comfort.

– Unfortunately at this time the plan does not take into account specific dietary requirements eg. If you are vegetarian, vegan, coeliac, diabetic

– Pregnant women (however please note that should you fall pregnant during the 12 weeks an alternative routine can be provided once medical permission to exercise has been received.)

The response to this course has been unbelievable. I’m very excited about helping you all to achieve your goals. If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Please make sure that you have notified me of your intention to join this course before making payment.

You can make your payment here

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You CAN have it all…..

Oprah Quote

This is a post to explain the lack of a proper post this week. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been really busy preparing for the Fit Bride’s Breakfast which I held last Sunday. We had a lovely day but it was hard work making everything come together. I’m finished my summer course of bootcamp and Pilates classes and I’m now on what was supposed to be a break for a couple of weeks but there has been so much interest in my online courses that I have had to get stuck into them instead. I want to give them 100% and so the blog will have to come second for this week.

One of the things that people ask me most often is where do I get my energy from? The answer is usually from eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly but some weeks those things are just not enough. Sometimes I just don’t have the energy to do everything and this week is one of them. I can only stretch myself so far and I think I’ve reached my limit. On top of the work I have to do I have a teething, sleepless baby on my hands and I really want to be there to cuddle him and make him feel better when he needs me. 

Some of the posts I  do need a lot of time and research. When you’re advising pregnant and post pregnant mothers about exercising you have to have your facts right and not just throw up your own opinion. 

I’m sure I’m not the only woman who is guilty of taking on too much. To all the other brilliant women out there juggling so many things at once try and keep this quote from Oprah in mind. We all have things we want to achieve, big or small, but sometimes we need to cut ourselves some slack and remember that we can only do our best.

Bríd x

My Post Pregnancy Story

Disclaimer: This is just my story, not advice and certainly not intended to make anyone feel bad.

I gave birth to my first baby, Frankie, in July 2014. If you’ve read My Fit Pregnancy blog you’ll know that I exercised to a fairly high degree right up until the end of my pregnancy. I had a lovely pregnancy with no major problems at all and my total weight gain was 1.5 stones or 9.5kg. I had a very fast labour and other than having an episiotomy and stitches I had no complications afterwards.

Stomach

Side facing post preg

From the day after my labour to 12 weeks

When I finally tore myself away from my little man the next day to go the loo I couldn’t get over the feeling and look of my stomach. It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever felt or seen and I wasn’t a bit sorry to see it getting smaller as the days went on. I found breastfeeding really good for shrinking my stomach. I could actually feel everything contracting as I fed. Thankfully I didn’t have a diastasis which is when your abs separate and don’t knit back together straight away and so my stomach recovered pretty quickly. I have no stretch marks (go on hate me; I know I’m very bloody lucky!).  I give total credit of my return to good abs to practising Pilates during my pregnancy.

Food

Granola Tray  Bagged Granola

While breastfeeding I couldn’t go an hour without eating and regularly had to get up during the night for a munch. In the two weeks leading up to Frankie’s arrival I had made granola, flapjacks and other  snacks that I could have to hand so that I wasn’t indulging in bad stuff all of the time. Himself was off for two weeks and was very good for making healthy lunches and dinners. I had asked my friends and family not to bring crap food when they were visiting and they were really good about it. It’s not everyone you’ll feel comfortable saying this to but those who you can say it to will totally understand.  My crew already think I’m a bit mad (they can’t really fathom why anyone would want to exercise and eat like I do) and so a request like this wasn’t even questioned.  It’s hard enough dealing with your post baby body without being surrounded with Forrero Roche and Butler’s chocolates believe me. When you’ve been up half the night with a newborn and are in that new baby zombie state your willpower is NIL and you will overindulge if it’s there. Another thing that I do and have always done is give away, or if needs be, dump anything that you don’t want lying around tempting you. Yep, mad as a March hare, that’s me!

Exercise

Post Preg Ex 2  Post Preg Ex 3

Any pregnant or post pregnant woman reading this should ensure that they get their doctors permission before resuming exercise. I, of course, did not wait for this permission but I did start off very slowly. The reason I chose to exercise before the generally recommended 6 week period is because not exercising seems to have a mental, as well as physical, effect on me. I get even grouchier than I normally am without it and just generally don’t feel as good in myself.

So I started off slowly at about 1 week post labour with some short walks with the buggy. They were never going to be long walks while I was feeding on demand. There was an element of terror in every step I took away from the house as I waited for Frankie to start to scream to be fed but I built up the distance over the next couple of weeks. I also started back with some bodyweight exercises at this stage but I did not go near abdominal exercise until the 6 week mark as you really can do damage if everything has not gone back to its pre-baby state (and everything really hadn’t!).

As the months have progressed I’ve increased my workouts and have had great fun including Frankie. He really enjoys all the jumping around and running we do .

My Injury

Preg Back  Back Inj

8 months pregnant and extremely proud of my back(left) & 4 weeks post labour in a lot of pain(right)

I’ll be honest, throughout my pregnancy I was concerned about how my body would be afterwards. I don’t just mean what it would look like. I was really happy to be pregnant and the more my pregnancy progressed the more grateful I was for how well it was all going.  I’ve always been one of those lucky people who could exercise a lot and not get caught out with injuries. That’s mostly down to the fact that I work out with careful balance between cardio, resistance and flexibility but even people who also balance these things get plagued by pain and injuries. So with this in mind I wondered would the stress of carrying a baby and exercising regularly leave me off kilter afterwards.

Unfortunately I did suffer really badly with a shoulder injury from about 2 weeks post labour. It started with a sharp pain behind my right shoulder blade and by 4 weeks it had spread down my arm. Holding Frankie to feed him was almost impossible and when he was actually feeding the pain shot through to my shoulder as well. I started to notice that my shoulder blade was winging away from my rib cage too. I won’t go into too much detail in this post as I’d like to do another post soon about post pregnancy injuries but needless to say I was really upset. While the pain has eased over the past year I still have winging. I have been diagnosed with palsy of the long thoracic nerve caused by repetitive strain and the medical conclusion is that it was caused by me pulling on the bed handles during labour (the last 5 minutes of labour were not pleasant which I’m sure you had already figured out from the episiotomy part – sorry to my pregnant readers). Not being one to immediately concur with the educated doctors I have questioned my intense workouts during my pregnancy and some specific movements that I did too. I also question whether it was a good idea to paint the garden fence for the two weeks before giving birth too but sure we live and learn don’t we?

In total it took me about 12 weeks to get back to a shape that I was happy with. I lost a lot of muscle when I was pregnant but to be honest I’m ok with that. I’m happier with the post pregnancy version of me and am learning to be nicer to my body too. I’m also lucky to have a very placid baby who has made the whole process a lot easier.

Hope you enjoyed my story. I’ll do a general post-pregnancy advice blog soon too.

Bríd

DSC_7859

5 Fitness Problems of a New Mother

You’re a post-baby mother and you’ve got all the bits to prove it. You’ve put off the inevitable task of reclaiming your fitness but can do so no longer. Here are a few problems that I have either encountered myself or have come across daily while training other new mothers.

Your Boobs

1. Your Boobs

I’ll start with the boobs because, let’s face it… all 5 of the problems could be about them! Now personally I had no issue dealing with the problems that the boobs brought because post baby was the first time I had a proper pair. And they’re gone now which makes me sad but yes they do come with their fair share of problems.

Let’s start with size: Breastfeeding or not they can take on a life of their own and make exercise a physical danger to your face. They must be heavily bound to attempt even the lowest of impact exercises. Now is the time to invest in a strong exercise bra. Remember that or you shall find yourself explaining away some nasty bruising!

They hurt: I still cringe about the time when, pre-baby, I set a breastfeeding Pilates client the task of doing an exercise which began with her lying on her stomach and yes, her boobs too. God love that girl. All exercises that involve you lying in this position are best avoided or modified or a good dose of pain relief will be necessary for a while afterwards.

They leak: Supposedly they leak less when you are actually exercising but I’m not so sure about that one. Pad like your life depends on it when you’re exercising and be VERY careful about the colour top you choose should said pads not do their job correctly!

Pirates of Penzance

2. Pirates of Penzance

Ok, sorry… I’ll explain that one for anyone who’s not a Pretty Woman fan!

Pirates of Penzance = Pee’ing your pants!!

The mere mention of a jump jack can send a dagger of fear into the heart of every new mother. It’s hard enough to keep control down there when you sneeze or cough so how is something as complicated as a jump jack or, god forbid, going for a run going to be managed?!

Control, control, control. This is one you have to spend time on. You need to exercise your pelvic floor to take back ownership of the choice to pee. How does one do that? Well the pelvic floor is like a sling that sits under your bladder and other such organs. It was under there holding on for dear life for the duration that your little person was being housed. It is now most commonly known as the thing you use to stop yourself from pee’ing all day long when there are 50 more important things to get done first (bottles, water, nappies, washing and on and on). Still not got it? Ok you know when you take the riskiest of risky risks during the night and actually get up to go to the loo? The danger of creaking a floorboard or door on your way and waking your sleeping angel has been weighed up and you just can’t put it off any longer. You sit down to go about your business and suddenly the cry can be heard. Damn! You’re going to have to wait; baby will have to be attended to. Right, that action you just did to stop yourself is your pelvic floor. Along with holding that up get into the habit of pulling your bellybutton in towards your back on a regular basis too and a strong core you shall have in no time.

You’ve Got Company

3. You’ve Got Company

My beautiful boy is now proper crawling. Not dragging himself half heatedly as was stage 1 of crawling but up on his knees, from kitchen to mid stairs in 30 seconds flat kind of crawling. Which means he can be beside me/under my actual foot before I even notice sometimes. When exercising in the house with him at present I can now only wear the plainest of black Nikes or else he is fascinated by my footwear and likes to play with them.

Exercising at home can be the only way some new mammies get their fitness fix. Ideally you get to work out while they sleep and it’s a bonus if they actually stay asleep for the duration. Although personally I prefer to exercise while he’s awake and then shower while he’s asleep. I find this is the best solution to not ending up still smelling to the high heavens at 6pm. Bit embarrassing really. It’s far easier to entertain them with some squat jumps than roaring out ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ to them from inside the shower door.

*Tip: Make sure if you go walking or running with your baby you do so at a time when they’re not due to sleep. No point in wasting ‘me-time’ (aka that time when you might actually get to go to the loo, brush your teeth, possibly brush AND tie up your hair or even have a shower!).

When you’re baby gets to that stage where they just don’t sleep as much and want to participate then let them. Use them as a weight or as a reason to jump higher or faster for longer. With a bit of luck you have one who thinks that the sight of you throwing yourself around to music is the funniest thing since a snorting Peppa Pig (who co-incidentally will make a great exercise babysitter should your routine fail to enamour). If all else fails get them into the buggy and hit the road for everyone’s sanity. Pair up with another new mammy in the same boat and you won’t feel as hard done by. Just don’t forget the rain cover. This is Ireland after all.

Check out this little video clip I made one miserable teething morning:

You have ZERO energy

4. You have ZERO energy

I’m afraid you gotta suck it up for this one. Fake it till you make it ladies.

You’re unlikely to have that pre-baby boundless energy again for a LOOOONG time. Too long to risk losing your fitness altogether. You know only too well that once you do it you’ll feel a lot better about yourself and may in fact have even more energy. If you don’t well you’ve still done the exercise, worked off that thing you knew you shouldn’t have eaten at lunch time and now you can go and sit on the couch for a snuggle (commonly known as a period of time where you let your beautiful baby pull your hair and try to take your eyeballs out of their sockets). Bliss!

Nothing Fits

5. Nothing Fits

Well it isn’t going to either unless you get out there and get moving is it? No seriously though if you have nothing that fits or only have gear that was stretched so much during pregnancy it will end up around your ankles by the time you get to the bottom of the road then go and get yourself something new. Even one fitness outfit that you won’t feel like crap in. Pennys, Tesco and H&M do really good value gear.
You’ll hear enough people telling you to go easy on yourself; don’t rush back, yada yada yada so I’m going to be the other kind of person. Yes you must be very careful to make sure that your body is ready to resume exercising and you absolutely need your doctor’s clearance first. BUT once you have that and taking into account any physical issues you may have had or have GO FOR IT! Yes it’s tough, yes you will face these and probably a whole heap of other problems but you WILL feel the benefits of exercising and it IS worth it. Start slow, join a group that’s post pregnancy specific or look for an instructor who has experience working with post pregnancy clients. YOU are worth it!

One last tip – when you do manage to get into those leggings in the changing rooms (after exposing yourself to half the shop trying to keep an eye on your baby and change your clothes) bend over and make sure you have the right size so that the whole world won’t be able to see your bits! 🙂

Bríd

5 Fitness Problems of a New Mother

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