National Women’s Health & Fitness Day – Endorphins

National Women’s Health & Fitness Day – Endorphins

National Women’s Health & Fitness Day 

 

As a busy Mama and owner of Team Twiglet, exercise can sometimes feel impossible to fit in. Despite my best efforts, there are occasions when I simply run out of time. Or, given my life motto, I am out of action due to some self inflicted injury or ailment. In the spirit of National Women’s Health & Fitness Day, I thought I would fess up!

How many times have you put your gym kit on and not made it in the actual gym?

This week: Gym 1 vs Gym kit 3 – and its only Wednesday!

My leisure garment wearing has increased to a level where it is wholly unacceptable. This is my go to outfit choice based on the fact it is stretchy. I pair it beautifully with an unkempt mum bun, zero makeup and the potential to utilise an emergency bra free day when I can’t find the grey mangey fave I am looking for. (truth be told I am a huge advocate for the #FreedomFunBags campaign anyway, I digress!)  

But not too many moons ago, I was a self proclaimed gym goer.

Back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth: Gym 5 vs Gym Kit 5 (& ¾ – no one is perfect)

More over, I loved 9 out of 10 work outs. It really does give me that ever so needed endorphin rush. A whole hashtag has been devoted to National Women’s Health & Fitness, what an accolade to have earned! Thats how awesome exercise is!

Endorphins

By definition endorphins are: any of a group of peptides occurring in the brain and other tissues of vertebrates, and resembling opiates, that react with the brain’s opiate receptors to raise the pain threshold.

In more sole remaining marble owner terms- these incredible bad boys are known to help with pretty much everything from boosting your mood to improving your productivity. Where do I sign?

Kristen Domonell writes: there is a physical change in our neurochemicals when your body comes under stress or experiences pain. Endorphins are produced in the brain’s hypothalamus and pituitary gland, explains J. Kip Matthews, Ph.D, a sport and exercise psychologist.

Endorphins, are a natural painkiller as they are able to activate the opioid  receptors in the brain allowing our awesome human bodies to minimise their own discomforts.

And, as if it couldn’t get any better, they also encourage feelings of happiness, even euphoria and an over all improvement in our well being.

Euphoria can’t get much better than areal yoga for me, the exhilaration and sheer dread I may fall out at any time, certainly get the endorphins flowing!

“Endorphins are also involved in natural reward circuits related to activities such as feeding, drinking, sexual activity and maternal behavior,”. J. Kip Matthews, Ph.D

Exercise is the gift that keeps on giving!

Not only are there real life chemical reactions going on in our bodies when we work out, there are a whole heap of benefits that adorn us (mum bun and all) with, when we work out!:

  •  It helps to give us control over our weight. When we exercise we burn calories and there is scientific correlation between the intensity of our output and the number of calories we use up. Physical activity is great for you and the more consistent activity you do throughout your day, the better! Fitness trackers are a great way of counting steps, and encouraging you to beat your previous goals. I wear a Fitbit (not an ad or affiliate link) and you can set your goals to suit you. As I am struggling to exercise much, I take comfort in knowing I have done enough steps to feel slightly less guilty over the kids leftovers I inhaled.
  • Regular exercise works wonders on combating and even controlling health ailments. Blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, depression, anxiety and even cancer. It should be prescribed, it sounds like a wonder drug.
  • By releasing those fabulous peptides into our brain we also improve our moods, and it can even help with depression. Personally, I find running is one of the best things I can ever do for my mental health. Even if its currently dino-arm style. Furthermore, as a bonafide insomniac, I was pleasantly surprised it can even help you sleep! 

National Women’s Health & Fitness Day

Overall, I feel like National Women’s Health & Fitness Day should offer us a lifetime use of the #. I for one can’t wait to be back in my lycra for an actual reason, and not just because I am having a fat day. The benefits I enjoy from regular exercise are too long to list in their entirety, but I know from a mental health as well as physical perspective, it is a top priority. It is one of the best ways I can spend time on myself. 

If you fancy getting moving more or smashing a deadlift, I hope you guys enjoy those awesome endorphins as much as I do,

Signature Parenting Fails & Pigtails
#SocialSeptember with Mummy Social

#SocialSeptember with Mummy Social

Parenting Fails and Pigtails Logo

Mummy Social and Me – #SocialSeptmeber

#SocialSeptember & Me:

Let’s go back on a little journey together, way back when on a winters day, I remember needing a pint of milk from the supermarket. With 3 month old twins in tow. My stumbling blocks were vast and many, here are just a few examples:

Do not reverse park when you have a buggy in the boot.

Having two babies in car seats does NOT make it easier to shop.

Yes, I know I have my hands full.

Yes, they are cute.

Yes, they are mine.

No they aren’t identical. Yes I am absolutely sure, one has a willy and one doesn’t.

Yes, I am married (not that it has any bearing on mine or any one elses parenting ability)

Yes, I am clearly old enough to have children. I have two.

The Supermarket & Me

During a particularly lengthy supermarket interrogation, whilst simply trying to buy said pint of milk, I came to realise this:

How bloody lonely I was.

It was pre the days of utilising social media by way of communicating, and I gave birth before the NCT classes had even begun. 

Mother Teresa  Quote - Parenting Fails & Pigtais
CS Lewis Quote - Parenting Fails & Pigtais

Mummy Friends

I initially didn’t make many new “Mummy Friends”, my lack of confidence was rife. 

Its like being surrounded by people but not feeling a soul around you. Despite having two small things to be responsible for, I felt marooned on an island of sterilisers, puke sodden muslin cloths and a tower of stinking nappies. 

Had it not been for some well timed encouragement from Mama Bear, I think my relationship with the twins would be a fraction what it is today. I am riddled with a life long inability to have confidence in myself. I had resigned to the fact that the twins were better in someone else’s care. Someone who knew what they were doing like our most wonderful Bobby, Denisa & Rhiannon, or someone who seemed to just “get” being a mummy.

The stigma surrounding mental health worries me greatly.  Would you leave a hospital without your stitches tied, or your cannula removed? No, we wouldn’t. Yet loneliness and mental health seems to be hushed over, whispered about, or in the worse case scenarios, downright ignored.

As a child, there was a huge stigma around mental health, a pull your socks up and get on with it kind of attitude. So up those socks were pulled. But post-partum blues were horrendous for me, its a shame that only hindsight showed me this.

When #BossBaby was born,  I got it. It fell into place. Whatever “it” is, for the first time in almost 3 years. From the minute she was born I had the rush. That feeling of love beyond anything else. It also made me realise, I love the twins just like I love her. I wasn’t a failure after all. I was a Mummy, a bonafide parent, not an imposter. And so The Twiglets were unified, one cuss, I mean cuddle, at a time!

#SocialSeptember

When I approached Mummy Social to share my interest in their campaign, #SocialSeptember it was in order to give hope to those who might not be ready quite yet to share EXACTLY how they feel. A safe place, without judgement or shame would have been the most incredible thing for me just shy of a decade ago.

Mummy Social screen shot by Parenting Fails  & Piigtails
Mummy Social screen shot by Parenting Fails  & Piigtails
Mummy Social screen shot by Parenting Fails  & Piigtails

Somewhere to express how I could go from coping to surviving and on to struggling in the space of a day. Heck, it could disintegrate to disaster level in less than an hour. Now I know, that it is ok. It always has been ok, I just didn’t really know it. I can whittle hours away trying to reminisce the twins early years, and as this post involves opening up and telling the truth, shame and embarrassment aside – I feel like I can barely remember a thing.

Other than Thing 1’s first word was shit.

Let that sink in.

S. H. I. T.

All because she had dropped duplo on the floor.

Mother of the Year right there.

I was mortified. Not helped by this happening in front of our brand new neighbours at the time. The very same pair had given us marriage lessons through the church not too many years before! In my defence Mother, I had inadvertently exposed her to this language at such a young age due to dropping a tape measure on my foot and the expletive slipped out of my mouth. I know it is no excuse, but I hadn’t know she was even there let alone in ear shit, I mean shot!

Mummy Social and their #SocialSeptember campaign offers you the ability to find fellow mamas in and around your area. It is easy to navigate and takes seconds to sign up. I would thoroughly recommend giving it a whirl, its free and if I can use it, anyone can!

Mummy Social Quote from Parenting Fails & Pigtails

What the app can offer is amazing. I really hope by signing up, interacting with people and making new friends, we can end loneliness. Together.

PS. please accept my apologies – this post was written and published earlier this month, but I had a technological fail (standard) and have had to repost it. My laptop has been at severe risk of injury for the last 5 hours. I can’t promise its out of the woods yet…..

Back to School, we have survived!

Back to School, we have survived!

“Twas the night before School, when all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse” C.C.Moore (ish)

 

Well I smell bullllshush, no that’s right darling, sleep tight, school tomorrow, school tomorrow.

My insides are leaping, for all the wrong reasons. Back to School. Tomorrow.

We were epically late to bed considering our usual September rituals, but with good cause so none the matter. Thanks to an army of people and a ton load of debt, we have all the clobber, bags, kit and caboodle for Team Twiglet to lurch into their next Years at school.

I am sure your squares have been lit up with many a perfect portrait of a child or two looking smart and beautiful for their first day back to school. We too have that wonderful shot, preened to perfection and even presentable to The Nana for Christmas frames, but I preferred this one.

The manoeuvre is fondly known as The Crazy Shake, and is coined from some irritatingly enthusiastic kids programme that graced The Mad House screen many moons ago. It just kinda captures my kids, being, well, them! Back to school or otherwise!

Children pulling funny faces in school uniform

That is not to say it has not been a long drawl through weeks of unstructured, potentially wet, guaranteed noisy, chaos. I have become an actual, fully accomplished, real life batty old cat lady in the space of two months.

My shrill fish wife screeching has been perfected, my gritted teeth smile about how everyones summer is going has disappeared from existence, leaving behind, a pretty knackered, unkempt soul, now known as The One Armed Bandit. 

As I am still unsure how long the one armed situ will drag on for, so for now, I will be comfortable with that title.

Although, I have to be honest, a selfish few hours this week and I am hoping by Friday I might look more like I have enjoyed the Summer rather than just survived it. 

Lady having hair done in foils

The Back to School Promise

At the start of every school year, I promise myself I am NOT going to live in lycra, I am going to shower (even if it means I have to wear two “outfits” in one day) before either drop off or pick up everyday, and I shall only wear gym kit if I am actually going to the gym. 

This is a promise I have now been making for the last 6 years of my life. It isn’t even the end of week one this year and I have already failed. I feel like shit, look dog rough, and can’t even pick up a bean can with guaranteed success using only my left arm. I went with an “edgy” hair cut that just looks naf if not “done” and the only kinda “done” I can currently manage is, done in! 

But, with a team of experts (well two pretty good mates actually) I shall be a phoenix reborn. Honest…….

Til Saturday, when The One Armed Bandit needs to start the beginnings of the house alterations by convincing The Hubs he really doesn’t need to keep his holey pants circa 2002!

Until then, I can say only this. Thank the universe it is September, and you have gone back to school!! In the words of the wonderful Toby & Roo, to my little Team Twiglet: 

“I love you, Bye!”

The exponentially long Summer Holidays of 2019 are over, just in time for the Christmas decorations to start turning up in the shops. Seriously, to the world of retails – I am maintaining the summer dresses I never got to wear until the bitter and most likely wet and cold end. Piss of December, they’ve only just gone back to school. Im not sure my nerves could take the thought of them being off again.

Given it is only a matter of weeks until half term, I should probably get used to the idea. Damn these pesky school holidays.

At least by the next one I might be able to shake off my one armed issues. Shake it off, Shake it off. Oh how I do love a bit of Taylor Swift!

Which will inevitably remain in your head for the rest of the day my wonderful Team Mad House. You may thank me anon, and for one more time, Team Twiglet – I love you, Bye!,