Expat Magazine

Getting My Body Back

By Expatmum @tonihargis
I should start by making sure no one thinks I had a body to begin with. We're not talking pre and post Kardashian births here. However, I used to be fit and healthy, and now I'm not. I have had about two years of chronic and acute back issues, back surgery, a relapse and a transAtlantic relocation to contend with recently, so the gym hasn't always been my happy place. 

Although my vastly reduced activity level hasn't resulted in much weight gain, it has done a bit of a swaperama with muscle and flab. There's definitely more flab now, and it takes up more room than the muscle did, leaving some items of clothing a bit snug to say the least. But now that things have settled down somewhat*, it's time to get motivated, take control and do all those things that irritatingly fit and enthusiastic people say they do. 

*When I say "settled down" I mean we finally have a proper bed, two months after the move. Still waiting for a desk for Man Child Mark Two, the guest room is spartan, I don't have any rugs down and I still can't work the induction hob. But we're getting there.

I have thought about going for some type of physical therapy, but with sciatica, a lot of movement is just too painful to do. If one more person tells me it's just a question of "strengthening the core", I swear......  I was doing all that already, and still got myself a herniated disc and sciatica, so no, it's not "just that". I thought I had found someone who could help a few weeks ago, but I'm still waiting for a call back so that probably won't pan out. (Yes, I could call again, but to me, that's a sign of customer service. Or lack thereof.)

Anyway, this week I decided to take matters back into my own hands. Started off with a mega-walk with the dog. She gets a lot of walking as it is, but this one was extra long and included a conscious effort to tighten ham strings, stretch the legs out and clench the bum. And I didn't do too badly either. (Ba-doom tish.) I should really have speed-walked but the stupid dog thinks I'm playing and starts either jumping up at me or dashing to the end of her extendable lead, neither of which is conducive to a good power walk.

And then the other day on Radio 2 I heard a young fitness chappie called Jo Wicks. Everyone had been raving about his "quick but amazing" workouts and he mentioned his low impact sessions he calls "Easy on the Knees-y". Even though it's my back that's hampering me, I thought "That's for me" and then had a nosey around You Tube. Sure enough, there are a few low impact 20 minute sessions. 

So yesterday I tried one.
And today I can barely brush my teeth. 

It's amazing how seemingly easy exercise can completely knacker you if it's the right kind of exercise. To be fair to myself, Wicks was also sweating bullets, complaining about a stitch and clocking his heart rate at almost 170, so it wasn't just me being unfit and flabby. 

Getting My Body Back
But yes, I'm going to do it again tomorrow if I have recovered. There's something about waking up with sore limbs that makes one feel improvements have begun. And let's face it, there's something about looking at this while you're working out too. 

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