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My brown bag

28 Jun

The writing workshop theme over at Sleep is for the weaks blog is ‘Personality catwalk’. Here’s my attempt:

I’m not a handbag kind of girl. Give me a rucksack any day of the week, but there are just some days that call for a handbag. I’ve only really got one that I use (though during attempts to be more feminine, I’ve collected a few). It is a bag made from lots of brown leather patches. My dad bought it for a birthday one year and I loved it instantly.

It’s been through some of the hardest moments with me (though it didn’t make it to the hospital when I had Toby). It’s sat in interviews and watched me stutter. It’s been in new business pitches and watched me succeed. It’s been to yummy restaurants and it’ll definitely make an appearance at Cybermummy. I will continue to take it to important events (when I cant get away with a rucksack) and I hope we see in many more successes – and not failures – together.

The brown leather is rather worn and quite shabby in places; probably a lot like me. If I had the time to get it treated it would probably look a thousand times better; probably a lot like me with make-up. Its leather patches are all just slightly different And it’s two straps allow me to revert to my preferred bag of choice – a rucksack – when cycling through london to meetings.

What lurks inside is a great analogy for my life. It is utter chaos and (while Tom, my partner would disagree) what makes up this chaos is vitally important and represents every aspect of my being. There’s always a nappy, baby wipes and a small toy or two. That’s the mum in me. There’s my book of to-do, which is the mum, the house partner and the career girl in me. There’s usually an iPad or laptop (not to be confused as a toy as Toby often does). There’s always half a dozen pens, which shows the paranoid side of me – what if they all were to run out of ink?! There’s old sweet wrappers – I have a terrible sweet tooth and my purse (which holds a whole host of other rubbish). There’s lipgloss and mascara, which is usually used en route and shows the disorganized side to me. And of course my phone, of which I have a serious addiction and helps me navigate my way – sometimes unsuccessfully – through life.

I love this bag and everything it represents, even if its contents can become a little overwhelming at times.

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Fitness with a baby: MoMenTum

24 May

I’m joining in with the lovely MoMenTum girls in an effort to shift my baby weight. My quest isn’t so much about shifting the weight – though I’m still a disappointing 13 Ibs heavier than I once was – but more about getting back some kind of fitness. I’ve stepped into the MoMenTum gang on a hard week as there is no theme, so I thought I’d write about my struggles getting momentum and motivation back after the birth of lil’ Toby.

Throughout my pregnancy I found exercise harder and harder – which I guess is normal. By the end, I’d given up and having gone through the arduous task of pushing another human being out of you, I couldn’t be bothered to even contemplate exercise. I was once a huge endorphin junky, but that addiction had been kicked and replaced with chocolate and an overwhelming desire to sit on the sofa when Toby was running me ragged.

I was told that breastfeeding would see me fight off the extra pounds gained during pregnancy. I think that might be an exageration… the weight did not fall off. If anything, I gained as I had the excuse of sustaining another life through my produce. A few months after Toby’s birth I plodded round Blenheim Triathlon. It was an embarrassing pace and I probably should have pulled out as I had done NO training. The horrific pain I went through left me with a fear of exercise. Over the summer I can list the runs and cycles I did and avoided swimming due to my horrid shape. I consistently used Toby as my excuse to avoid the sweat and tears of exercise – things I once so loved.

This year, I decided was going to be the year I get fit again. Things are on track. I’ve been doing a handful of runs each week (though missed one this morning due to work) and have upped the activity on the bike with a couple of spinning sessions a week and a long bike each weekend. The bike is by far my favourite and I managed a 60 mile sportive (road bike race – race being used lightly here) two weekend’s ago and a hilly 53 miles during The King of the Downs sportive. It’s amazing how quickly you can get back into things. The first ride was hard. It really hurt and I was ridiculously slow, but while last weekend’s 53 miler started out slow and hard, by the end I was on fire and I suddenly remembered what it was like to push myself as hard as possible. I’m not sure how long the last 15 miles took my friend and I, but we paced it and I LOVED it.

So that’s the story of my battle so far. Exercise has never been a big problem to me and I think I’ve found my refound my mojo. It’s an amazing feeling and definitely worth remembering that there is hope after pregnancy and early motherhood. You just need give yourself a chance. Eating is a whole other story. Perhaps next time I’ll share my disgusting eating habits….

The Gallery – April

4 May

April

In April it’s my birthday. In April the sun shines more. In April a sigh of relief is had over the end of the cold winter. In April the country turns green. In April I eat lots of chocolate eggs. In April the ‘grow your own’ begins… with a little help from a mucky monster. April is much better shared with Toby.