As spring stretches into summer, and the longer days and warmer air beckon runners and outdoor enthusiasts alike, I have just wrapped up my second round of fitness camp at Third Degree Training Saint John. It feels bittersweet.
I’ll miss the accountability, the camaraderie and the excellent sweat sessions. I’ll miss having a guided workout four times a week, no two workouts the same, and I’ll miss having the chance to bring my little ones along to the Baby & Me classes — although, now that Callum is crawling it could have made for extra-challenging workouts!
Although I know I could have done better, especially during the past month, I also know I had a few first-world curveballs thrown in my direction, so it’s best to chalk it up to “life with kids” and move on.
After my stellar results last round, I think I actually gained a pound or two and an inch or two in the past month. However, my little family of five went on TWO week-long vacations during this time. (Neither of which were very relaxing with three under three in tow, but I still feel fortunate to have gotten away for a bit). And of course sandwiched between trips, we were all slammed with head colds, which meant little sleep and little volition to workout.
We actually called off our recent PEI trip early by one day, just because we were all tired and missing home, but that meant I was able to swing by Third Degree for the very last class of Week 8. This was good because I had intended on trying to make it to a class at the franchise’s Stratford, PEI location, however family life did not permit it. (And believe me, I tried!)
Overall, my nutrition was good for the first four weeks of this boot camp. I continued to follow the plan laid out for me (an active breastfeeding mother of twins), and stayed on course fairly well. During both trips away, I definitely indulged now and then, while continuing to ensure I ate plenty of protein and veggies. The rest of the time I found I would start off the day fine, then make excuses for why I could have a treat here and there… and before I knew it, I was treating myself every day! Bad, April (slaps own wrist). This has always been my Achilles heel.
I know I feel better and have better energy when I eat well, and this is especially true now that I have sub-optimal sleep. I am now back to eating clean, well a good three days of it, and hoping I can stay on the healthy train.
Following one round of fitness camp near-perfectly followed by another one that was less-than-ideal underscores a couple of important points:
- Accountability under the Actual Nutrition program works! For the first 8 weeks, I emailed Kevin, who owns the Saint John facility, my food diary every single day. Just knowing he would be seeing what I ate automatically kept me on track.
- Sometimes life does not allow you to make eating and working out a top priority. And that’s OK. What matters is that after the “event,” you can get back on track.
The high-intensity workouts at Third Degree – including movements such as burpees, squats, planks and dozens of variations interspersed with cardio – are so much fun and so effective. I love getting my heart-rate up but what I’ve really noticed is that my soreness after a workout is not as intense, and I feel stronger. Even after my slacker weeks. I’m definitely fit enough to crank out a 5K, which actually surprised me because I haven’t run much since having the twins.
In these respects, I have achieved my goal when I set out on this journey.
I wanted to become stronger, fitter and energized. Check! Losing weight, yeah that would be nice, but not a prerequisite to anything. Still I am down to my “normal” weight and fitting in my pre-baby jeans, so that’s awesome.
The best side effect of being in shape is how you feel. Feeling good, as a busy mother of three, including 9-month-old twins, is essential, not only for the sake of happiness, but for survival! Happy mom = happy kids = happy household.
I gave Catt a sweaty embrace as I left that Friday evening, endorphins rushing. I’m so grateful for this experience, I told her, and I only hope that I can inspire other mothers of young children to get out there and do something for themselves.
It doesn’t have to be the program at Third Degree, it may be as simple as doing lunges during a stroller walk, or turning walks into slow runs, or doing a few planks and push-ups beside your baby on the living room floor.
When I think back to how I felt when I embarked on this program four months ago, I can see that my mental wellness has shifted in a positive direction. Back then, I felt sluggish, overwhelmed and frumpy. Oh, and starving. I felt kind of lost in motherhood. And while it can take a few months for any mother to get her bearings after giving birth, the solution was simple: combining a wholesome diet with regular exercise. Now, thanks to the good people at Third Degree, I’ve been able to shift my habits back to a healthy lifestyle.
As I work towards my next goal of running my first postpartum 10K in August, I know I will be tackling it with a stronger body, with confidence and, because I’m so grateful to be back to the old me, with joy.