Exercise after birth: Taking the plunge literally...

This is an advertorial post written in collaboration with Speedo.

I have written about my “love” of exercise before, exercise after birth was something that other women did, and it wasn’t something that I wanted to get back into anytime soon…I used all manner of excuses not to do it; work, health, tiredness, anything…

I have a confession to make now though – I am trying to bust my own myth.

For the last four months I have been having swimming lessons and doing 30 lengths at my local pool every week. I was most definitely one of the many women who were guilty of “fat talk” a phenomenon where we all chatter negatively about our bodies. According to Speedo and a new survey they have commissioned as part of the launch of their new Speedo Sculpture swimsuit range, 84% of women admit to negative body talk, and 28% do it daily. I was most definitely one of the 55% of women who don’t even go swimming because of their body image.

However, I have bitten the bullet, and was chuffed to see the Parade to the Pool campaign on Tuesday this week encouraging more women to sod the body image and get their butts back in the pool to “take the plunge” and start swimming again!

Even more amazing was seeing the celebratory parade of women of all shapes and sizes move through London in their swimsuits, led by Gabby Logan.

Exercise after birth: Parade to the Pool with Gabby Logan

We are all beautiful and we should be showing it, eh? Swimming is a great exercise after birth, as the water is so supportive to our post-birth bodies, and I really wish I had the confidence to do it earlier.

It has taken me five years to get the hut-spa to go back to the pool after having my kids because I was worried what other people would be thinking of me – why? That little self-conscious devil sitting on my shoulder kept on whispering in my ear:

“People are looking at me – they think I am fat.”

However, we can beat the little sod if we try really, really hard.

This is what I recommend, and worked for me. Some of these points are also advocated by Top psychologist Anjula Mutanda in the Speedo campaign. Further advice can be found on overcomin those little devils can be found on the Speedo Facebook page:

  1. No time to think; Swim when u don’t have much time, but set yourself a target of a number of lengths you WILL do, you’ll be rushing to get in the pool and get on with it. Then you won’t be thinking about your bingo wings ;-)
  2. Lady time; Go to the local pool at ladies only times at first to gradually get back into it. Then unleash your body on those men ;-)
  3. Fix that stroke; Take swimming lessons so that you are less self-conscious of your stroke. I did old woman’s breaststroke, and I was, well, embarrassed by it. Now I do a drowned rat front crawl – still not perfect, but I am no longer scared to swim in from of others because of my red-faced embarrassment
  4. No-one is looking really; Remember that no-one actually cares. In reality, we are all far too self-absorbed, so most people probably aren’t looking at you anyway
  5. Chill out; Don’t worry about it – swimming is fun, and once you get there it will be
  6. Wear something you are comfortable in; don’t think you are going to get back into that bikini immediate, it might not happen now, and it may never happen, but that doesn’t matter. You have a beautiful body, that gave your even more beautiful children. Choose a swimsuit which helps you, particularly one with tummy control like Speedo’s Sculpture range. In addition, if you are proud of your bust, perhaps enhance that, and don’t worry about your tummy? A great cleavage can distract anyone!
  7. Do as you tell your kids; Encourage good body image in your children, some of it’ll rub off onto you – promise
  8. Take the kids; Go with your children at first, you will be so focused on helping them, you won’t even notice your own body!
  9. Do it for your kids; perhaps this sounds a little odd – however, I wasn’t going to do the exersize for me, but motivatin myself so I was fit and healthy longer for my kids as they grew up worked a lot better. Perhaps it will work for you too?
  10. Hangout with positive people, and other mums; if you hangout with people who have a positive body image it’ll help. Or at least, with fellow mums who know exactly what you are going through and are supportive in your desire to change the way you feel about yourself and your body.

I really do know how hard it is, but I am sure YOU can do it, I did, and we do need to stay fit and healthy for our kids right? Good luck everyone – and let those women pottering through London inspire you to greatness :-D

Have you got back into exercise after birth – do you have any other tips for us to help get our butts back into the pool!

Exercise after birth parade photos

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About the author

I'm a mum, a part-time analyst at NelsonHall, and the owner of KiddyCharts, not necessarily in that order, and typically all at once... I have two fantabulus children, Stuntboy and Little Miss Chatterbox, who are the inspiration for my business. They continue to be the driving force of much of what we do in our lives, often when we aren't actually expecting them to be. My long-suffering husband, Brad (ahem), puts up with my rather untidy nature, and haphazard house-keeping (even more ahem) skills. This blog covers my diet coke-induced musings on being a working mum, covering stuff like parenting, reward charts, social media, mummy guilt, which I have a lot of it seems, and anything else that seems relevant or interesting after a shed load of caffeine. I am not trying to be an expert on anything on here, its all about sharing some experiences with a few other people. Hopefully you will find them helpful, interesting, and occasionally they'll bring a knowing smile to your face. So stay for a while, and get to know me, my family and KiddyCharts. Hope you like us all.

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