When I was pregnant so many people told me how my life would change, and they were so right. But they would always dwell on the negatives. “Oh you won’t have a social life anymore”, “you won’t be able to keep up with your fitness – you won’t have the energy”, “you won’t have time to worry about eating healthy, you won’t care about stuff like that”.
While it is true that in the first few months of my sons life I found it so tough (mentally, physically, emotionally and psychologically), I would never let these negative thoughts enter my head. I always knew that once I had adjusted to being a parent that I would get back in to my old ways. Perhaps not in the same way – workouts have to be done at different times and not as often, food has to be eaten at different times, sometimes when it’s gone cold and I’m on the go – but I was never going to let my passions and interests in life just fall by the wayside. Having a baby should enhance your life. Although you have a new person in your life to focus on, I don’t believe that this means that you have to lose focus on yourself.
So many times I hear about stories of parents who, once their children have “flown the nest”, they then realise that they put their ambitions and their passions on hold for so many years, and they feel almost like they have to restart their life again. Now it is true that my son is my number one priority now, but I still consider my happiness and my life pretty important. As I always say, our time is limited and we all as individuals should make the most of it. I would hate to think that in 15,16,17 years time when Charlie has gained his independence and looking at embarking on his own adult life, that I would be sitting back thinking that I hadn’t been using my full potential over all those years.
I want to grow as a person alongside my family. I want Charlie to see how you can live with passion and that you need to act to achieve results. You need to always be working towards your own goals. Otherwise if you are not doing that, you are just existing and not fulfilling your full potential.
Momentum is a big factor in getting things done and staying consistent. For me, momentum comes from believing you have the potential to do something, taking actions to do it, getting results which then further solidify your belief that you can do what you want to do. It then keeps going round in a circle and you can get the momentum going. Keeping it going is the tricky part. There is always going to be something that crops up and you lose your momentum.
An example of this is my weight loss journey started the momentum I needed to progress. I believed that I had the potential to lose weight and have a better physique. I took action, I completed the Insanity workout 3 times through. This resulted in me losing 2.5 stones. I then had the belief that I could conquer other areas of my life. Before losing the weight I was really shy, I am naturally an introvert. Losing the weight gave me confidence and belief that I had the potential to do better at my job. I took action by entering the yearly promotion exam and I studied extremely hard. This resulted in me achieving way above the pass mark and being the highest scorer in my area. This then gave me the belief that I could get promoted.
Here is around the time when I fell pregnant and the nature of my job changed because the role that I was found was too risky. So I lost a lot of interest in my job, and I was just focused on looking after myself and planning the arrival of my son. And knowing that I would be going on maternity leave I really lost interest in the job. Here I had lost the momentum in my job. But I didn’t lose momentum for working out or for my healthy eating. I stuck at both throughout my entire pregnancy. I realised that although I was looking to progress in my job, I lacked passion for what I was doing.
Three months in to maternity leave, I was starting to feel a little more human again. Anybody who can sail through the first few months has my total respect! As I have written about before it totally broke me. But once my son was sleeping a little more and we had established a routine, life started to become somewhat “normal” again. I began making plans for what I wanted to achieve and how I would achieve it. I started to work out again. It would be when my son had gone to bed and would be at home instead of a gym, but I made it work.
I enrolled on a Fitness Instructors qualification course, I believed that I had the potential and the passion for fitness to become qualified. I completed the course and got my qualification within a few months. I was regaining my momentum. At the beginning of 2016 I enrolled on a Nutritonal Advisors course online. I am still currently working my way through it. If I spent hours and hours each week doing it then I could have had it completed by now, but there is no time limit and I believe that balance in life is key. I divide my time between many things but I try to make sure that I keep the momentum going for all things that I am doing.
Now that I am 11 months in to parenthood, I have known other people become pregnant during that time but never have I said anything negative. Never have I said to them “life as you know it will end” or “oh you won’t have time for “x” anymore”. Each persons experiences are different. Each persons mindset is different. The people who said those negative things to me clearly have a completely different mindset, and that’s fine, but people don’t want to be around negative people. They want to be around positive, passionate, ambitious people.
Personally I want to help new parents to have belief and positivity when faced with the initial shock of how a baby changes your life. I truly believe that with any shock or major change in life, it is the optimal time to reprogramme your mind. Reassess where you are and where you want to be. How you want to live your life and what you want to achieve.
As I said before, my son is my number one priority, but some day he will fly the nest and embark on his own life. And until then, there is plenty of room for all of us to grow as a family, and as individuals.