Sunday, 12 August 2012

Looking After Number One

A pilates pose.  One day I will look like this lady!

When you become a mother you are expected to be selfless, this is the maternal archetype. You are not the centre of the universe anymore - your child is! I agree that this is how it should be in the early days when your child is vulnerable and needs help meeting even the most basic needs. I know that for the last 4 years my children's needs have always taken precedence over my own. Hair appointments have been missed, roots have started to show, many caffinated drinks have been consumed and much chocolate eaten. When I was existing on 4 hours broken sleep a night a sugar rush was sometimes the only thing that got me through.

But now my children are a little bit older and a little bit more independent and so I've decided that when my big girl starts school and my big boy starts pre-school in September I am going to lavish some attention on ME! However I don't think that this is totally selfish. In fact I think that spending some time on my diet and exercise will benefit my family too. After all I know that as much as I love a cup of tea and a biscuit it doesn't really do much for my state of mind. When I make bad food choices and don't exercise I feel sluggish, tired and cranky. When I eat healthily and exercixe I have so much more energy, I feel relaxed and raring to go and I think this makes me a better and happier mother.

I've never been a gym bunny type as the grunting men and glossy women scare me off, but I have been looking for an exercise that helps with my posture and tone so when the Perfect Balance Clinic invited me to try out one of their pilates classes in Hatfield I thought it sounded like the perfect exercise for me. As I sat in the lovely airy reception area I waited with some trepidation for my class to begin...

I have to confess that when I looked at the equipment in the room it did look a bit scary but I needn't have worried. My instructor Slim was really friendly and welcoming and made sure I was doing all the exercises correctly. He also told me I was very tense - he was right!  The way the class works is that your instructor tells you which piece of equipment to go on, how to use it and how many repetitions to do. You then work your way around the room. It is very interactive with the instructor and in fact it was a bit like having a personal training session. There is always a maximum of 6 per class to ensure that you get a lot of one to one instruction.  The class felt very peaceful - no pumping music or over excited instructors shouting at you. With pilates you work at your own pace and as the class progressed I started to feel very relaxed and focused on my body and the way I use it.

The Perfect Balance Clinic Pilates Studio

The pilates exercise themselves are designed to offer a range of benefits including improved posture, flexibility, lower stress levels and a flatter stomach and slimmer looking waist. They offer a range of classes for all levels. There is even specialist rehabilitation pilates and pregnancy pilates too. Pilates can also help women who have given birth as it can help with toning your stomach muscles, improving core strength and strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. I really loved the session. I could feel that my muscles had been worked and stretched but I wasn't out of breath and they didn't ache or hurt afterwards. I will definitely be going back and I think it will provide me with some much needed toning up and some respite from the children!

So come September I hope to keep my diet and fitness resolutions. I want to role model health and positivity for my children and feel better about myself in the process. Sometimes, even in motherhood, there is a little place for me me me!

The Perfect Balance Clinic have kindly offered 50% off the first pilates session to anyone who likes their facebook  page. You can find out more about them and their services on their website


  1. good luck! I said the same when my youngest started school. That was nearly 2 years ago. Still not sure where the extra time I was supposed to have disappeared to. The internet, probably...

  2. I'll second that Recipe!