Mental Health: Finding Motivation To Get Fit

July 5, 2019

Remember way back at the beginning of the year when we wrote our New Year Goals? It seems like forever ago now, but I distinctly remember putting something about ‘fixing my body and losing weight’ on there. In January I really tried to shed some of my baby weight, probably along with 90% of the country. Unfortunately, the comparison thief turned up at the end of the month and I felt absolutely heartbroken that, despite my best efforts, I’d only lost 7lb when other people I knew had lost up to 11lb. My mental health took a huge hit and I felt utterly useless. 

Retrospectively, how freaking crazy is that

I lost half a stone in my first month…that is good going! But because someone else shared that their secret was working out 24/7 and eating next to nothing, I felt like a failure. I got really depressed and completely threw in the towel on the whole lose weight, get fit saga. I didn’t think there was any point carrying on as I was obviously failing and I would never be as good as anyone else. I’d never lose the weight and if I did, it would take years and years. It was pretty clear at this point that my mental health was going downhill rapidly and it was mostly due to comparing myself to someone else. Isn’t it strange we’d always tell our friends that they’re doing amazing and not to compare themselves to other people and yet we never treat ourselves with that much kindness?

A pathway leading through lush green woodland

Unfortunately, this little slump also hit around the same time as Oscar’s major teething phase. 

The teething hell lasted months and I found myself in a pretty dark place. Having had PND quite badly with Luke, I knew what was happening and I knew that I needed to change something. I’m not going to lie, the idea of antidepressants really did appeal to me. I knew that they’d give them to me as I have a history of mental health and they’d basically already said they would. My Health Visitor is also amazing and supportive so I knew I’d be able to talk to her and cut out the middle mad should I need to. But one little part of me decided that there were a few things I could try before I walked myself into the Tuesday weigh in clinic and asked for help.

I suppose one thing about mental health is that you get to know your triggers and sometimes you can be proactive and avoid falling down the rabbit hole. 

This is what I decided to do. I had a really long chat with my other half. I cried a lot, I told him how I hate every day, dread every morning, can’t stand the constant upset from Oscar and how I wish everything was different. I suppose at one point I was a bit melodramatic when I told him I hated my life…but I was rather caught up in the moment. I didn’t really hate my life, I know it’s wonderful! But I was so overcome with emotion and sadness and feeling like a failure that I didn’t know how else to phrase it. It was a pivotal point of the year though, and after talking things through with my very patient fiance, things started to get better again.

a silt lake surrounded by trees, gravel paths and woodland

Teamwork is the way forward!

After explaining to him how utterly overwhelmed I was and how I felt that I was constantly drowning, we came up with a few things that we could both do that would help me out. We came up with a good lists and we’ve put a lot of them into action, which in turn, has lead to me regaining some of my identity again. Having time where I am ‘Rachael’ and not just ‘mummy’ again has been utterly game changing. The thing I struggle with most is not being on my own. I’m such a huge introvert; I really need time on my own to recover from life’s obstacles. Being a mum to a sad, teething baby wasn’t giving me that time and everything kept building up until it all started spilling over and I couldn’t cope with it anymore. 

Finding my motivation again.

It wasn’t too long after making a few changes to the way things run at home that I started to feel like myself once more. I liked my life again, I felt happier, more motivated and I was enjoying time with the kids a lot more knowing that I could have half an hour of peace and quiet if I needed it. 

I started to really look forward to our first ever family holiday which is at the end of the month. Although I’m not happy with the way I look and the shape that my body is, I also don’t give a crap about what strangers on a beach in Cornwall think of me. I’ve noticed that body positivity these days means loving the skin you’re in as it is – which is fine – but I’m sure you should be able to love yourself as well as want to change yourself? Our holiday had given me a benchmark timeframe in which I could attempt to make a difference to my size. When I started, I had about a month and a half to work with. Now I only have a month! I wanted to lose a stone and I can tell you right now, that is not going to happen! I’ve not even lost half a stone (I’m silently cursing my past self for feeling rubbish about that -7lb in January)! But I have lost some fat, I do look slimmer, my clothes fit a bit better and I’m feeling way more energetic and much happier. 

A boy smiling at the camera as he pushes a baby along in the buggy in the rain
I don’t always get to run on my own, sometimes I take the kids with me!

I don’t have a bikini body and, after two kids, I never will again. But that’s okay.

I am feeling so motivated these days and I am finding it a lot easier to regulate my emotions. I have found that in times of stress and even anger, going for a nice hour long walk has been the perfect way to destress and let it all go.  Basically, it has tremendously helped my mental health and enabled me to overcome all sorts of hurdles that otherwise would have knocked me for six. What started as a way to lose weight in time for a holiday has become something a bit more. I want to be strong, I want to be more grounded, I want to be fit and I want to be healthy. The weight loss that comes with all of that is a very welcome bonus! But right now I’m so happy just to be feeling more mentally stable, more grounded and happier.

Other Posts You Might Like

3 Ways You Can Help An Overwhelmed Mum

Why It’s Important For Mums To Go ‘Out Out’

Why Is It So Hard To Make Mum Friends? 

Title  Mental Health: Finding Motivation To Get Fit and two landscape photos, one of woodland, one of a silt lake

17 Comments

  • Shareen HD

    July 5, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    I totally get this. I haven’t even looked at my January goals because I know how far away I am from even being close to meeting them! 7lbs is amazing and guess what – I have lost 0lbs so you’ve done better than I have! Time, love and patience will keep you going. Enjoy your holiday lovely xo
    Shareen HD recently posted…13 Mental Health or Wellness Blogs & Podcasts You Should Know AboutMy Profile

  • Lyndsey O’Halloran

    July 5, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Only last week I spoke to my husband about only ever feeling like Mum and no one else. It’s such a hard thing to feel and deal with.
    Lyndsey O’Halloran recently posted…End Of Term Gift Ideas For TeachersMy Profile

  • Rhian Westbury

    July 5, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    I think its so important to remember that you need to be in the right headspace to be motivated. I’ve not been in the right headspace for a while but I need to give myself a bit of a kick x

  • vicky hallnewman

    July 5, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    It is really hard to get motivated sometimes and you look beautiful as you are. I am sure the kids will keep you fit.

  • Zoe

    July 5, 2019 at 10:34 pm

    You sound so confident by the end of the post. Life has it’s ups and downs but I completely agree that getting outside and having a rush of endorphins, does the world of good.
    Zoe recently posted…June Round UpMy Profile

  • Kirsty

    July 6, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    I’ve been exactly where you are struggling with motherhood and being overwhelmed but trying to work on fitness and staying active. You do get days where you struggle but having for you and not just as mummy does make all the difference walking is a perfect way of staying active and helping with MH

  • Wendy

    July 7, 2019 at 7:49 am

    So glad you are starting to feel happier and healthier. It Is really hard to find motivation to do things when you are not in the best mental state. You are so right, why do speak so nastily to ourselves when we’d never speak to a friend that way. I hope you continue to feel more and more positive and you have a lovely holiday xxx

  • Sarah | Boo Roo and Tigger Too

    July 7, 2019 at 10:01 am

    I’m great at finding excuses and reasons as to why I can’t go to the gym or get outdoors more often. Although I know it would do me the world of good. Maybe now is the time to put them to one side and just get out there.

  • Kacie

    July 7, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    I am terrible for comparing myself to others too. I know I shouldn’t, but it’s just easier said than done avoiding it. Sounds like you are doing great, keep up the good work!

  • nichola – Globalmouse

    July 7, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    I can really relate to this, I have worked out that I need to do something, which is usually a walk for an hour or so. It just makes me feel better to get out and clear my mind and if I walk with a friend then even better.

  • Eva Katona

    July 7, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    It is such a hard thing to do – but the only person you need to make happy is yourself – glad you’re feeling more positive now.
    Eva Katona recently posted…Going Green With Kids: Families Trying To Live More Environmentally Friendly (Interview Series)My Profile

  • Stephanie

    July 7, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    I find it really hard to be motivated when I’m not in the right head space – it’s something I really need to change before the end of the year! X

    1. Alexandra Cook

      July 8, 2019 at 12:48 am

      Being in the right head space could help us find whats motivates us. It is really important that sometimes we need to take a pause to find it.

  • Jenni

    July 7, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    I’ve been trying to get fitter too since having my kids but I never seem to be in the right head space to get motivated. My youngest is 4.5 now and about to start school, so I’m hoping moving everyone in to a new routine after the summer will motivate me to get on board with a new fitness routine too.
    Jenni recently posted…#KidsBooksBingo Summer Reading ChallengeMy Profile

  • Charli Bruce

    July 8, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    I lost all my motivation for a very long time, things definitely get on top of me. Luckily we moved home around 6 weeks ago and all my motivation has returned. Mental health is so hard to deal with on so many different levels, I hope your motivation sticks now you’re in a better headspace x

  • Stephanie

    July 8, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    I find stress really kicks my anxiety in and then I struggle with motivation as well. I am trying to keep more organised so I feel I can tick more things off and not get so stressed and then I can focus on myself.

  • Kelly

    July 8, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    I have to say that I have a lack of motivation when it comes to exercise. I’m just in this funk and can’t seem to shake it! I’m controlling my weight food wise but need to exercise.

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