Choosing A Personal Trainer For Mommies

Fitness for mommies - lose weight with a personal trainer

I’m never an active person. In secondary school, I’m that kid who dreads physical education classes and detests any exercises that makes me perspire. Yes, you can call me princess in that aspect. And it doesn’t help that my mother didn’t allow me to do sports since I was a young kid. She caught me learning rollerblading from a friend and the earful I got from her is enough to stop me from trying to do anything sporty after this episode.

However, I did do ballet and tap dancing for 6 years so that’s all the exercise I had. (My mom says ballet is indoor and is girly. I believe that’s quite sexist too, isn’t it?)

My attitude towards exercising changed after I gave birth to my second born Travis. I’ve never felt this sluggish, and tired. I also had put on about 17kg. I didn’t lose the weight from my first pregnancy before having Travis. So essentially the pounds were just piling on and on.

I tried following YouTube videos but was so breathless after just the first 5 min. Because of my disastis rectis diagnosis, I wasn’t exactly comfortable with doing crunches. Dr google and physiotherapist said I should avoid it. The gap might widen. The physiotherapy helped but results were slow to show and I was anxious. After each session, I didn’t have the adrenaline rush I wanted.

So I chose to stop physiotherapy and dived into looking for a good gym personal trainer.

For a non-sporty person, I was fearful of the gym. I didn’t know what to do or how to start. Working the machines scare me.

I found a couple of PT options online but it was only until I saw Anytime Fitness Kovan at my mom’s place that I decided this might be it. Unlike some other gyms that I’ve visited, Anytime Fitness Kovan was spacious and quiet. The L-shaped layout meant that the heavy weight lifters are away from the casual gym goers. That’s me! And what’s more, the gym manager was also preggers and understood the postnatal issues I was facing. I signed a 1 year gym membership package ($98 monthly) and 24x 1 hour sessions (about $2000).

For mommies who are keen to sign up for personal trainer (PT), here are some tips to guide you along

1. Find someone who is there when you need him

Before I stuck with my current PT, I was assigned to another who had certificates dealing with post natal issues etc. In fact, that’s a huge reason why I signed up also. But he wasn’t replying to my messages to confirm my training sessions, so the gym manager offered to change my PT after my first session.

My schedule is really tight. I’ve only that 2-3 hrs a day that I get to do my own stuff so I really need a Trainer who is willing to accommodate to my timing. So new PT was flexible enough when I had to make last minute cancellations, and yet committed to my training schedule.

On a side note, for anyone who is signing up for PT sessions at Anytime Fitness, it seems that the gym would not know your training schedule. It’s a private arrangement between you and your trainer.

2. Find a trainer who understands your difficulties

So my first trainer wanted me to count my calories and eat in small portions throughout the day. This is a little difficult for me because as a mom, I don’t exactly have the luxury to eat healthy all the time and in fact, I don’t have much time to eat. Unless I choose to simply steam everything I suppose. I’m guilty of slipping quick bites of choc bars, potato chips or peanut butter sandwich when I just need a sugar fix.

I was soooo happy when my second trainer told me to eat everything I want but cut out sugar, oily, processed food as much as possible. His explanation was that my goal is to keep fit and reduce body fats. And if I make such a drastic diet change, I probably wouldn’t be able to keep up since my lifestyle won’t allow it.

The first trainer wasn’t wrong in his ways. It’s merely a different objective for me.

3. Find a trainer who designs your exercises according to your lifestyle

I made it very clear that I’m not a gym person and completely clueless. Heck. I don’t even know how to do a proper squat then. Part of a good reason why I choose PT instead of following YouTube videos is because I want to make sure my form is correct and I’m applying pressure at the right places.

My PT taught me plenty of exercises with kettle bell, dumb bells and other gears. He gave me an introduction on machines but my main exercises were doing different sets. All these I could do it at home which is fantastic! With his recommendation, I bought the foam roller, kettle bell and dumb bells of varying weight.

After every session, I would type out all the exercises I did on my memo. At the end of the 24 sessions, I’ve accumulated a huge list of exercises that I would do at home!

4. Look see the space

As I mentioned earlier, I went to a couple of gyms to check out the space, vibe and packages etc. If you’re a first timer like me, make sure the place puts you completely at ease. Look out for the amenities, lockers, washroom, and whether they offer classes with additional fee.

Ask to speak to the trainer who might be working with you. It’s especially important for those with specific conditions like me. When I was going about my search, I spoke to a trainer who gave me such an incredulous look that made me feel like I was a joke to her. She completely didn’t believe or understand me. Of course I didn’t get back to her.

Get a gym that’s located near your kids’ school or your home, so if there’s an emergency you can get back asap.

What about you? Do you have any specific criteria when you are looking for a trainer too? My PT sessions have ended but who knows, maybe years later I would get one again. Leave some comments!

 

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A note about Death

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Death always has a way to keep us grounded. Just when we are fantasizing of the impossible, of big dreams, death always creeps up to surprise us and throw us back to reality.

It is a harsh reminder. It’s cliche but really, we just can’t help wonder how short life is and how sudden things can change.

I sobbed at sad stories that are in the news. But I didn’t shed a single tear when it happened to someone around me. It’s not because I’m not sad. (I’m affected!) but it’s because I know it’s a reminder about what are the things that really mattered in life.

To me, she was always about family love, sacrificial love and making it work against all odds. And I know each time I think of her, I’ll remember all our interactions and the lessons from her life stories.

I will always remember her funny liners.
人在天堂,钱在银行
吃agar agar, 考试一百分!

Goodbye…

Insured for assurance, or not

 

pexels-photo-164474_opt (1)Buying insurance is like buying a piece of mind. At least this is the usual spiel from most insurance agents.

This month, hubby and I made a decision to ditch our planner of 8 years and opt for someone new. Our planner (not yet informed that he’s out of the door, so he’s still our planner) is in the million dollar table, has lots of clients with big bucks and  I think that’s where the problem started. We already saw cracks in communication, not proactive in his advise and etc, but we still stuck to him because we are just too lazy to move.

Recently, I’ve been reading up a lot on policies, and I realised that our investment linked plans are not as fab as it initially sounded. So, to check on things, we naturally scheduled for a review. Things seem to be looking a little more bright and clear after the meet up until…two days later, I felt a need to log into the AIA system to look at my surrender values and how’s the plan doing in general. To my absolute horror, I found out that our policy went on Premium Holiday for almost 14 months! Omg. We are losing our cash value! AIA, the insurer, insisted that they sent tons of letters to us, but my planner said he also received no notification. I was mortified. In fact, my agent’s name is not on my plan. It’s another dude. OK this is probably some underground backhand, unethical thing he’s doing. We’ve closed our eyes all the while as we assumed our polices are in order. But now….. no way.. enough is enough.

The new planner comes in. We surrendered 80% of our plans which didn’t even break even. But I figured we just want to start afresh on a clean slate, and I’ll just take the lost money as insurance paid. Look towards the future.

So the lesson from this episode is really to monitor, check and be proactive with your money. No one is going to deal and bother it as much as you.

Diastasis Recti

Getting back my pre-kids body is always top on my wish list. But I know it’s never going to happen. I mean I got to be honest, I’m never super fit before pregnancy and I was already dealing with weight gain from hormonal imbalance just before my first kid. So it will take a lot, a lot to get fit.
Travis and Keane are finally getting into the sch system, and my mom is kinda used to the kids schedule too. So I think it’s time.. It’s time for me to focus on myself!
First thing, my body.

A month after I gave birth to Travis, I found this weird angular bulge on my stomach. No matter how much I exercise and the amount of weight I’ve lost, the bulge is still there. And so, Dr Google to the rescue that said I may have Diastasis Recti which is the separation of the ab walls.

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Not my pic! Click here to find out more.
Unfortunately, I procrastinated and didn’t have time to go seek help. Also, I didn’t know who to ask! I’ve asked my obstetrician and she recommended plastic surgery. Errr.. She’s great at delivering my kids and my friends’ but I don’t think that’s the medical help I need, right now.

So fast forward 2 years later, I decided to Google this symptom again and finally, made a phone call to get it check. Again, I wasn’t sure if I was wasting money by getting it checked but I figured I could probably clear on my doubts and learn the proper exercises to do. Mommies with Diastasis Recti can’t do sit-ups as it will worsen the condition.

Made the visit to the physio at CoreConcepts and the physio informed me I don’t have a bad case of disastis rectis. I’ve a mere 1cm gap! Normally, the ab walls should be completely closed without any gaps.

My physio made an interesting comment that most Asian mommies don’t know about this condition. I wonder if it’s because we just attribute it to stubborn pregnancy fats.

My consultation at CoreConcept was pretty smooth sailing. The clinic wasn’t spectacular, state of the art with fancy furniture or lightings but it served its purpose and function. Honestly I’d rather a clinic with genuine caring staff who knows what they are doing (and saying) than one that’s all glitz and fluff. Physiotherapist started the session with a diagnosis and teaching me some simple exercises to tighten and strengthen the ab muscles. Learning to breath while doing those muscle moves were tough… I’m always inhaling at the wrong time. During the session, I was rather upset to learn that because I had sought help after such a long time from time of delivery, it would be heaps more difficult to reduce my bulge. But really, with two young kids under 3 and not much available help, it’s extremely difficult to do anything for yourself. True, I could have squeezed out some time in the weekends, but lack of awareness about the condition and my choice to have more family time were my biggest distraction.

I booked two more physiotherapy sessions. I’m going to get disciplined and stick to my routine. I can only hope everything works out in my favour! Everyone’s body is different so I wouldn’t know if the physio will work fabulously but at least I’d did something for myself and on the way to getting fit again.

Dress size

Travis turned 9 months. Keane turned 26 months. I could finally fit into a sleeveless dress without looking swollen and fat. 

I know it’s not a big deal to some mommies who can easily fit into their pre pregnant clothes but for me it’s a big deal! Such a joyous matter that it was enough to plaster a huge grin on my face for the entire day! 

A month (and for many months) after giving birth to Travis, I was upset with how many body looked. I wasn’t exactly depressed but it did make me to feel really down. Especially when people asked if I was preggers still.

For the first time ever in my life, I decided to change my diet. It’s not drastic, lah. Just a tiny tweak. I ate lesser carbs like rice and if I do, it’s about 8 spoons? But I ate a lot more protein and veg. I do still eat my junk food like chips and ice cream but in moderation, if you’ll like to know. And most importantly I guess is having oats for lunch. I was terrified of oats since young cos my mom, the food terrorist, made really awful oat drink for breakfast in lower primary. The oats didn’t melt and would just float in pieces around the milk. Argh bad memories. So anyway, now I thank overnight oats! And if I want to play cheat, I would make a sausage or stir fry some meat to go with my plain oats. 

Also, I think I’m always on the move these days taking care of the two kids. They really keep me on my toes literally. Thinking back, i probably started to put on weight when I work in an office (desk bound jobs really make one fat and that’s why gym memberships probably sell best to this group of ppl)

I even bought all sorts of exercise stuff and Shapewear. I had a gym ball, skipping rope, some other stretchy rope thingy, and an exercise bike. I still wish I have time to do all that but these months it’s a little difficult cos the kids keep waking up before I go to bed. 

Please please let me lose more weight. I feel so much more better physically and mentally when I know I look good. I was never fat since young. Always the “slender”, “skinny” one so its a real shock when my pregnancy weight shot up to 70kg even though I wasn’t pigging out! 

finally a flattering sleeveless dress!

On the other hand, after this whole post natal weight gain thing, I realised that the dress sizes are really just numbers. Last time I’ll just pick out the smallest sizes pre pregnancy, and post pregnancy, I’ll opt for the largest naturally thinking I’m still big and fat. But yesterday I went to h&m and OMG, I could fit into a size 34 and also a size 40! Ok find it depends on the cutting…. But the point is I could still fit into size 34 when I thought all hopes on gaining back my figure is lost in the deep blue ocean! Now I’m even more motivated to lose more weight healthily of course. I’m not sure if the flabby skin on my tummy will disappear but I’ll be super satisfied if my arms look slim again! Then I’ll have more clothes options!

I guess at the end of the day, I’m elated with all these weight loss because I do want to feel normal again. I was pregnant when Keane turned 8 months. So it feels like my life took a 360 degree change with the kids and it bears no resemblance to my old life. Ive just been taking care of the kids since 2014. Doing the same thing over and over again. What I’m seeking now is familiarity to things I’ve been doing before the kids. So activities like going for mani, hair cuts, shopping makes me super duper happy. I can practically feel myself glowing as I walk through the mall or run my errands. It’s the feeling that yes I’m still alive and I’m doing my own stuff. Not my kids’ stuff. 

By the way, I don’t own a weighing scale yet. I’m in a huge denial. My aim is to get back my pre wedding weight if it’s that even remotely possibly after 2 kids. 

Hey, 2017 & childcare


I’ve just gotten the boys’ school timetable for 2017 and I can finally breathe again. 

I’ve been praying soooo hard that their timing for their sch would coincide so I don’t have to make trips back and forth between the sch and home, and most importantly troubling my mom to take care of one kid. I really want to try to take care of both boys on my own for reasons I don’t really want to share. Think the universal grandparents vs parents argument 

Well, anyway now that their sch is kinda settled, I don’t have a huge urgency to look for childcare. CC is our backup plan in case the kids timing don’t match or if I go crazy from stress from taking care of the kids. I want to go back to work so I can help to pay off the kids’ sch fees. I don’t really want hubby to have an even heavier financial burden cos the kids are in childcare. Besides, I’ll be free to work and I can finally hold adult conversations! I intend to look for part time jobs so I can pick up the kids. I don’t want to trouble hubby to rush home since his work is pretty demanding. But this plan isn’t fool proof either, I mean I don’t know if I could find a job which could accommodate to my timing. As much as the government is promoting flexi work blah blah, I’m not sure of the reality and the availability of such jobs. Or I could take on more freelance jobs (though I highly doubt there would be many considering the slow economy). I do wish I can work sometimes. I just need something to do other than facing my kids. Perhaps that’s why I still have Yin Love Weddings 

But, now that the kids’ timing is kinda settled, I guess I’ll continue to stay home and take care of the kids. I do enjoy being at home with them. Although I got into emo drama nonsense on my really bad days. Sorry hubby…

Here’s hoping that 2017 would be a better year already. Sooo looking forward to it

I need a little space

I don’t look so pretty but this is me when the kids take their nap

It’s one of those super emotional days again. I have just so much on my plate that I don’t know how and what I should do first. 

I’ve been complimented that I’m very systematic and organized at work and before the kids, I’ll run the household like a perfect drill.

But once the kids come, everything gets thrown outside the window. The house is a mess. Toys are everywhere. Hankies (my mom’s obsessed about them) are everywhere. I’ve mountain of laundry. I use as little crockery and cutlery as possible and what’s used are thankfully washed asap cos I really don’t need creepy crawlies in the house. 

Actually I don’t mind doing chores. But my greatest fear is that I’ll lose myself. I know it sounds very cliche at this point. But really. Am I turning into an auntie. Old hag? Cut off from the world who just clean and run after the kids?! Omg. 
My hubby tries to comfort me by saying that the current situation won’t last forever. I know that. But sometimes when you are stuck in this loop, you just feel like everyday’s an eternity. 
I’ve lots of freedom since I was a kid. Never had a curfew and would hang out with friends till midnight in sec sch. 

So anyway about my life right now. It’s such a routine. I do the same thing day in and out. I can’t go out unless I bring one kid along. 

I love my kids a lot right now, but I really wish I have some space. 

I thought about going back to work full-time in an office so I kinda could lead a normal life when I’m out. However, there’s also logistics issue such as picking up the kids after sch etc. 

Conclusion. The kids will grow up and I’ll miss this period. Such dilemma. I just wish I have some space now.