I wrote this post on groupfitness.org but I thought I’d also include it here.
Some of you may know that over a year ago I fell pregnant with my now 7 month old son. At that point I was at the peak of my fitness. I struggled for 4 years to get my weight down to 72kg, which is awesome for my height and build. I was for the first time since I was 18 finally happy with my body. You can read about my story
for what it took me to get there…..and my recovery from back injury and a broken leg etc.
Before I got pregnant I was teaching attack, pump, balance and combat………doing 13 classes or so per week, even teaching a BP/BA/BB triple on Saturday mornings which I continued to do until around 16 weeks pregnant. I taught combat until 33 weeks, and balance and pump till 39 weeks. I did my last class 1 week before I gave birth (I had to stop the last week, cuz I had 6 days of pre-labour contractions!).
Following the birth I was given permission to resume the level of exercise I had been doing while pregnant, so I quietly continued balance and pump and started combat at a very low level. Everything was going fine and then 7 weeks after the birth I moved back to the Netherlands with my husband Alexander. Since then it’s been a series of struggles and disappointments.
First disappointment was that the Les Mills agent here wouldn’t let me go to the workshops, despite having my international certificates. Apparently I must be working for a gym before I can be permitted to go to the workshops. I think this is a ridiculously decision because I’m fully qualified and it means that I’m not able to keep my skills updated while I am not teaching classes. I have written to the LM agent and also written to Phillip Mills (as well as about other issues with the LM system here), but apart from a reply from Phillip that he forwarded my email on, I haven’t really had a reply yet addressing these issues.
The second disappointment is that I haven’t been able to get classes at the local gym here. The gym seems to be riddled with politics, and despite my qualifications and experience it seems you need to be best friends with the managers cousin’s wife’s bestfriend……..if you get my drift. Their answer to me is that I cannot teach unless I speak Dutch, but I although I’m trying to learn the language I’m far from fluent in it. I have offered to just be a fill in instructor instead of a permenant instructor……….but I really think it’s because I’m not the manager’s cousin’s wife’s bestfriend. I have even partipated in classes where they’ve had to replace it with something else, and yet they still wouldn’t let me teach despite the other participants excited and wanting “an aussie” to take the class.
The third disappointment is due to the bad timetable with little options, I made the mistake of trying attack, even at a low impact level, too early after I got here to the Netherlands. It was about 3 months after the birth of my son, but shortly after I started trying attack I ended up with so much tightness and problems/injuries with my back/achillies/hip/shoulder that it’s reduced me to hardly doing any classes except the occasional balance or combat. I find it difficult not knowing how to source good medical support in a strange country and a foreign language.
The fourth disappointing thing is that I was left with 18 extra kilos after giving birth to Connor. I’ve managed to drop 5kg’s since then so I’m now hovering around 85-86kg, which is the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life. However I fear those 5 kg’s are probably mainly muscle tissue due to the decrease in pump and exercise. I think the extra weight doesn’t help my injuries much either. Breastfeeding is rumoured to help lose the extra weight, but this isn’t true in all cases. While breastfeeding you get more tired and absolutely ravenous most of the time. It doesn’t help the posture much either and exacerbates my back problems.
I’m starting to improve a little with the help of Alexander massaging the problem areas, but I’ve found myself losing so much motivation after being so disappointed that I’m now in a difficult place. I’m dealing with a new role as a mum, missing my friends from back home, hating the cold weather here and not able to fully continue my LM passion which is the one thing of my old life that could help keep me sane. I’m virtually a housebound mum which is foreign for me being someone that really needs people around me. I’ve even kinda drifted away from the forum a bit, which people may have noticed………although I’m still working on the site behind the scenes I promise 😉
I have spoken to some others who have been through having a baby and understand the struggles and they have been very supportive. But since I’m struggling at the moment to even drag myself to the gym i thought it might help writing about it here. It’s hard because I barely even find the classes enjoyable anymore…….particularly because the quality of some of the instructors are questionable. One of the step instructors is brilliant, but I tried step again the other day, but I had to leave the class after track 4 due to the back pain. Luckily I can still do my two fav classes, balance and combat……..but there’s only 1 combat per week on the timetable and I have to fight Alexander for it (or find a baby sitter) 🙂
So that’s where I am now. I’d be ashamed for any of my participants back in Adelaide to see me at the moment. 🙁