The Flat Belly Diaries


“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”

 Thomas Jefferson

After a ridiculously busy 6 weeks on the work and home front, my workout routine has yet again gone out the window.  I still run about three times a week, but no time to get my gym work in. Tone is going, hips are widening, abs are starting to hang – time for drastic action. Whilst the ‘big 4-0’ has come with some major perks, being able to take a break from exercise, and continue to eat cake with gay abandon, is not one of them.

So I have got to a stage where I am mostly running to get some precious ‘me’ time, maintain my sanity and just about contain my backside, literally. The thing is this approach of just getting by, for me, becomes quite dull after a while. I kind of thrive on challenges; any challenge will do – getting through a school morning without my 5-year old or I going into meltdown, writing the first draft of a medical article in a day or going without cake for a week, the buzz is the same and pushes me to the achieve the next goal.

What I needed was a new fitness challenge. I hadn’t set one for the past 3 years actually and here-in lies the problem. Back then, I decided that I would run at least one road race per year. I stuck to it, and I will continue, but the novelty has kind of worn off. One of my goals this year was to get my abs back, but I never actually worked out a clear strategy of how to achieve this. I came close this spring, but one trip to the US over the summer promptly undid all my doings…sigh.

Now I find myself here with 3 months of 2013 left to go, still dreaming about this 6-pack but waking to the reality of my little buddy asking me if there is a baby in my tummy – grrrr! True to form though, my God and his Universe hear my plea and deliver unto me the tools I need to get this situation resolved. First of all, I have a conversation with an old school friend about what it takes to whip a ‘gut’ back into shape. This gets me thinking about what I need to do.

Then my ‘very some time’ running partner who started a Whatsapp chat group to motivate us in our quest to stay young and fit posts the following:

‘I would like to set a challenge. Each person set a REALISTIC fitness goal for the next 4 weeks. I would like us to state what the goal is and how we are going to achieve it.’

So of course I say I want to see more of my abs in 4 weeks. Then she hits back with:

How are you going to achieve it?

What’s your exercise plan?

How often do you plan to exercise?

What are your food goals?’

Well. It took me about a week to respond. Even though I have been exercising for well over 20 years, done most work-outs ever invented, had personal training, run a marathon, I really had no strategy. None whatsoever. Only one thing was clear, if I wanted these lean mean abs, and my approach so far hadn’t delivered, it was time to step it up.

So here I am blogging about my journey to reclaiming my abs. This is actually part of the overall strategy. I figure if I put it out there, I have to commit to getting results. As the saying goes,

“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.

Another arm of the strategy is to inspire and motivate anyone else who wants to be. From the many conversations I’ve had with family and friends, colleagues and strangers, male and female, it seems like there are lots of us in the same boat. And just as I often ask of others, others often ask me how I stay in shape, working full time and full on, with a child, and doing everything else that life asks of us – for once I would like to give a coherent answer with tangible useful practical advice!

Disclaimer: I am not in any way ‘anti’ the female form – after all, our curves not only serve to differentiate us from men, but also to drive them to distraction. I also do not support the concept of ‘size 0’. I support being comfortable in, in control of, and loving our bodies. I support being in the best possible physical and mental shape to ward off illness and keep our children free, as far as possible, of the burden of being our carers, when we should be caring for them.


One thought on “The Flat Belly Diaries

  1. Pingback: The Flat Belly Diaries – The End | The654

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