We’re half way through the year and I dug out one of my old pieces of writing to look back on my early posts on my 2018 resolutions to take stock and see how on or off the mark I am.
Now almost a year into motherhood, I can confidently endorse it as highly recommended, challenging, but the most rewarding thing I’ve done. Do I wake up every day feeling fresh, and succinctly power through my to-do list for baby, home and work? Of course, not! But I’ve made peace with the fact that some days will be great, some days will be tough and some will be good to just pass by – and I’ve become ok with that. Trying to juggle is one of the greatest challenges of being a new mum – accepting that I can’t fly around the city from meetings to photoshoots, presentations to events – and that somethings I will have to miss, others say no to, and some I’ll turn up really late to and just be glad to have made it at all. On other days, there’s plenty of time to get hair, makeup and outfit readied with a happy baby, husband and house all in order. My advice to any new mum is be kind to yourself. Routines, schedules, and your work diary are all malleable things – make them work for you. If you need some extra hands, get it (I highly recommend Malaak Baby Care – they are amazing!). If you need to grab a pouch of food instead of making it, do it. Most importantly, and as clichéd as it sounds, if you are happy – everyone around you will be too! If you have nothing else on your resolutions list, put that down – ‘Be happy!’
Being happy for me comes in different ‘boxes’. My road to being ‘old me’ fitness wise has been the biggest and most rewarding one of them all. I have to steal time from my day, and make a few sleep sacrifices here and there, but the resultant satisfaction makes it all worthwhile. Like with many things, it is all about give and take. If I start my day out of the house at 5am and perhaps miss Noah (my 5 month old) in the morning, I try to be home earlier for quality time, or on another day. Ditching the guilt is something I have battled with, but ultimately a better ‘me’ makes me a better ‘mum’, and that’s something I firmly believe.
Here’s a peak at my resolutions:
1. Yoga & Pilates
I started both yoga and pilates when I fell pregnant. Prior to that, my limited flexibility and ever racing mind lured me into a false sense of disinterest. Having eased in as pregnant and needing muscle release, I’ve now shifted my practice focus to building and stretching my muscles – I have to say I am sold. I’ve recognized the different styles and intensities, and appreciate the impact that these variations have on my body. I joined the Adidas Runners for a sunrise session at Skydive and had the most rewarding upper body workout through that session with Nicky Rinks. I felt each small muscle group working with varying intensity and we worked and stretched deeper into each pose.
The same can be said for Pilates. I do private session with Amba, (@ultimatebodypilates). The range of assisted workouts, deliberately work each muscle group with a final (and highly addictive) hanging session on the Cadillac that releases tension in the arms, back, core and shoulders amongst other groups. These strengthening stretch and balance practices impact greatly on your overall body conditioning, and your ability to build or regain the strength and tone you want to see in yourself after childbirth. I can feel both workouts chiseling away at my muscle groups, in an effort to get them back to where they once were. Perfecting these practices is high on the new year list for me!
2. The Daily Ten
Time will always be a luxury and I’ve been given a hot-list of exercises by my kick boxing coach (@rafshawe) that can be done at home, and with nothing but your own body weight required. My goal is to do them daily, and depending on how much time I have, I can repeat the series, add in weights (water bottles, boxes, items around the home) and variations. Give it a try!
10 Push ups
20 Mountain Climbers
15 Leg raises
10 Renegade Rows
10 Lunges (per leg)
15 Sit ups
20 sec Plank
10 Jump squats
3. Home cooking
Diet is not a word in my vocabulary but eating healthy is a concept I believe firmly in. Cooking more at home is something I aim to do coupled with experimenting with new foods and flavors. If you’re on the market for recipes that are both tasty and easy to follow, then look at some of these cooking masters – Donna Hay & Maggie Beer. Their recipe books are packed with varied recipes, with a great balance in dishes and meals… with the mandatory treat options on the side too.
4. Saving & Financial planning
Always one on the list! Shopping will always be one of my favorite hobbies and as a 30 year old new mum, I’ve started to think about the future a bit more. Saving is key, and knowing that one day I want to give Noah the best education, access to international sports clinics and every opportunity I can, means having the money to do so.
Putting together a financial plan for the year is my first step. As the saying goes: ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail!’
As a teenager I swam competitively for my school and district. It’s a sport that I’ve had on the list to start up again for years, and having moved into a community with a full 25m pool, I can dive back in. Just a few laps in the pool give you a rigorous full body workout, which will also help with overall fitness. There are a number of good pools around Dubai, big enough for exercise laps – My top suggestions: Fit Republik in Sports City, Fidelity Fitness in JLT & Fitness First in Arabian Ranches
Making adjustments to your path is all part of our personal journeys and whether its resolutions, goals or mental tweaks it’s always good to have something to work towards. Look on to a good year, with only positivity and determination.
Six months on and I can confidently say I’ve achieved well on most fronts, with in roads made into Number 4 – Saving & Financial. This year for me is also about traveling and with the hope that we may be able to have a second child, I am realistic about the logistics around travel with two little ones, so I plan to make as many trips as I can until then. Does that contradict the ‘saving’ goal? Perhaps. But I’m one of those people who believe there is no value that can be attached to traveling the world and I see that as an investment in itself. I have also sat and put better structure in place to business finances with some big goals for the future.
How is your resolution progress going? Throw some my way if you ever need to bounce off ideas on making them a reality.