My health and fitness journey...a story with pictures

I've never really posted all that much about my personal journey of the last couple of years.  I've been meaning for a while now to actually *lay it down*, so to speak.  So, here goes.

Where to start?  I guess, I'll start with the arrival of my fourth child, baby J, in July 2009.  I didn't gain much more weight than I had with Miss Lily, three years earlier, but I discovered that the weight wasn't just 'falling off' this time around.  Could be that I was a bit older, or just a lack of exercise, or eating crappy food....probably all three.
October 2009, Baby J in the wrap
December 2009
So anyway, I wasn't terribly concerned, being in the newborn daze that I'm sure all parents remember well ;)  As time went on, I noticed that my weight was creeping up, and I was always feeling exhausted, sluggish and just....meh.    I believe I reached my heaviest point in my life, even *including* pregnancy, in August 2010. I refused to weigh myself (lol), but I suspect the number would have been in the high 60s, so probably the very top end of my healthy weight range - I was just *squeezing* into a size 14.  
August 2010

As it turned out, it was around this time that something changed for me, and I started my journey towards feeling fit and healthy again.  The catalyst was a bellydance demonstration at the playgroup that I was attending.  I thought that it looked like great fun, so my eldest daughter and I decided to go and check it out.  We tried out the bellydance classes a few times, but the thing that really grabbed *both*  of us, was the Zumba classes that they also did there.  We both felt *so* energised after a Zumba class - I knew right then that I had really missed group fitness, which I used to do a great deal of before having Miss Lily.  So at the end of 2010, Mr J and I discussed it, and I got a gym membership :)

I started off slowly, just doing a couple of classes a week, and gradually increased to between 3 and 5 a week (occasionally I'd squeeze an extra one).  I didn't change my eating habits at this point, so change was quite gradual...though I was feeling *so* much better.  The first time I stepped on a scale at the gym would have been mid 2011 - 63kg.  Around this time I also started doing the C25K program, and finally managed to actually *run*.  It's a pretty great feeling, being able to run (well, slowly jog) for 5km, without stopping.  By mid-November 2011, I was down to 57kg, around size 12-14 and decided to get serious about changing my eating habits.  I did something I'd never done before - actually tracked what was going into my mouth.  Though calorie-counting isn't for everyone, or a good long term solution, it certainly worked for me.  By February 2012, I was a size 8-10 and scraping the bottom of my healthy weight range, at 48kg.  It was at this point that I just stopped counting.  I've maintained within a couple of kilos, since this time - no counting, just eating well and exercising.  

May 2012

There is a significant change that I've made in the last few months, which is to focus more on weight training and less on cardio.  This is partly due to (another!) running injury, partly because I felt that I was getting a little bony, without as much muscle as I'd like.  I want to be strong, not skinny!  So, here I am today (in yet another dodgy mirror selfie). Interestingly, no weight change at all between May 2012 and January 2013, but more muscle now ;)

January 2013
So, that's it....that's where I'm at.  My aim for this year - more weight training, for strength.  More group fitness - for fun and energy!  And last, but definitely not least - balance.  Family, Fitness, Creativity.  


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