Saturday, 26 January 2013

Jump around!

Having recently come face to face with the muffin top, I could hardly wait to get started on some sort of fat-busting exercise. First step, a “Body Attack” aerobics class at my gym. The class description on the Les Mills website promised “sports inspired cardio”. I had no idea what that meant. I had vague memories of trying this particular class about 10 years ago and vowing never to return. But I pushed that out of my mind, scooped up the kids and headed to the gym. The child minding room was full of tiny little bouncy people. And I don't mean the kids. As I took my place in the group fitness room I could see that I was one of the biggest people there – lost in a sea of “yummy mummies”. Gulp.

But guess what? It turns out that aerobics basically involves cranking some happy hardcore tunes and jumping around on the spot for an hour, throwing in the occasional kick or fist pump. This is essentially what I used to do for fun back in my student days! One track in particular was something I used to love back in the day – a happy hardcore remix of Berri's “Sunshine after the rain”. For the uninitiated – here it is:

Now, part of me finds it hard to believe that I used to classify this as music. But another part of me says “Wooooooooooooooo!!! Bring the noise!”. And perhaps blows some sort of whistle.

This is not to say that there weren't moments during the class when I wondered whether I would be walking out or leaving on a stretcher. I was sure I read something on the website about there being “recovery” tracks and yet here I was, 4th track in, doing this crazy scissor legs motion as I tried to jump from lunge to lunge. Then there was the jumping-four-times-to-the right-on-one-leg-while-lifting-up-the-other- knee move. What the...?! How is this possible? Seriously – give it a try. And yet here was a room full of people doing just that. I settled for a sort of kicking/knee-raising/flailing motion.

But here is what surprised me most about the experience: afterwards, I felt good! Really, really good! I expected to feel exhausted, but instead I was on a huge high. I almost wanted to go again! Almost.

Next: RPM class. Stay tuned...

Friday, 25 January 2013


Dark Giant
Image by Riana Ambarsari

In the end it was the muffin top that did it. As you've probably guessed from the title of this post, I'm not talking about the delicious, sweet, just-a-little-bit-crunchy kind (although they've certainly had a part to play in the whole affair). I'm talking about the horrifying moment when I realised that my tummy is the shape of a muffin... even while I am naked (cue gasps).

“How is this possible?!” I hear you ask. How indeed. All I know is that everything south of my caesarean scar is flat and tight, and I now have a bulge of fat that droops over the top of it. Unsightly is an understatement.

How did this happen?! I'd heard many times that having a baby changes your body, but I guess I didn't think it would happen to me. After the birth of MM I was lucky enough to return to my pre-pregnancy weight within a couple of months. My secret? A combination of depression, sleep deprivation, stress and countless hours spent pacing around my house trying desperately to get my baby to go to sleep. Do not try this at home, people!

But two years later here I am – 18 kilos heavier (18!!) and generally droopy. I'd seen it happening gradually, but there in my bathroom, faced with the muffin top, something finally snapped. It was time to jump into action.

This, I've decided, is going to be great year. A year of positive changes. A year to turn things around and start living a happier, more healthy life. And to tell the world about it. Does the world care? Maybe not. But if anyone does happen to be reading this then, please, come along for the ride...