Competition … Me time

Getting up and getting out of bed early has become the norm for me in the past few months and I love it. The day is so much longer, I get much more done and I’m feeling so much better than I have done in a long time and if you are local to me (Stockport area), I’d like to give you an opportunity to try something new and feel good about yourself…

I’ve teamed up with That Squatbot who who has been doing my personal training since March and we are doing a fantastic giveaway … but first take a look at the photos below.

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Photo 1

This was mid March this year … Asher was 5 months old and I’d decided that I needed to stop hanging around and pull my finger out and lose the extra baby weight. I was very unhappy with myself in this photo; it’s not a social media thing that I was feeling crap that I was pressured into losing weight, it was a me thing.

I was overweight, tired, run down and felling very lazy. At this point, Asher was pretty much sleeping through the night and routine was getting normal, so I had no excuse.

I was lucky that around this time, Squatbot got in touch with me and convinced me to work with her and see how I felt, so I took her up on her kind offer and never did I think what it would lead to!

Enter now

I walked in on my first session thinking I’d be doing just Cardio, how wrong was I and how right it turned out for me …

Photo 2

So here I am in photo 2 last week, I am so happy with how my body is changing. I am nowhere near where I want to be but Squatbot has being working my ass off and I’m extremely happy with where I am at right now and Squatbot is continuing to work my backside off!

Enter here

My clothes are fitting much better and I have noticed that a lot more of my pre-Asher clothes are coming out of my wardrobe again, it’s like I’ve had a big shopping trip and treat myself to new clothes – which is amazing!

It’s not just about how my shape is changing but how better I feel in my head, getting up and working out has had a brilliant effect on my moods and it is totally true that exercising helps your mind.

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Since March I’ve been weight training, learning to lift properly and safely, losing weight, toning up and getting strong. Last week I Box squatted about 13 stone, I was amazed. 💕💕💕

My back pain has completely gone and I can lift my sons and even have Leo on my shoulders with absolutely no problems at all; I truly wish that I had discovered this type of training sooner and I can’t thank Squatbot enough for getting in touch with me.

So here’s what you can win …

***** 4 weeks Personal Training with Squatbot****

This breaks down into 3 sessions per week for a whole month … I promise that you will feel great about yourself … and don’t be scared, I promise that you will enjoy it.

You need to click this link to enter and remember you must be following myself and Squatbot on a social media platform to be able to win 💕

Terms and conditions available to see via the link that you enter on.

You can also get bonus entries by following the instructions on Raffle Copter! Good Luck xxx

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*** Winning sessions will be held in Heald Green Stockport***

I’m still going

So I carried on with the training that I started with That Squatbot back in March.

Take a look here for how I got started and what I originally thought and here for an update at week 4.

I’m now just about completing cycle 2 and I can honestly truly say that I am still loving it and I am so very surprised at that. Not because it’s exercise but because it’s a different type of exercise that I’d never done before.

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I like being a bit of a loner (or like my own company if it sounds better that way) 😂! So for me to agree to work with a personal trainer took some persuading to myself, but it’s honestly one of the best decisions that I’ve made. I often like to just put my headphones on and go to the gym or on the running machine and not speak to another soul in the gym and then leave, but working out with That Squatbot has been so much more different than I anticipated.

She has been giving me so much encouragement, providing me with lots of advice of what better things to eat, how to perfect different exercise techniques and has generally become a friend!

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We train at a gym in Heald Green and the other trainers and visitors are all so friendly. I was a little apprehensive in the beginning as I thought it felt like a real serious gym goers gym with all these weird and wonderful machines but after a couple of sessions, it didn’t feel like that anymore.

And oh my I missed it … true sign of an addiction… Dan had his tonsils out a couple of weeks ago but then unfortunately ended up having a further emergency operation which meant between the kids, work and looking after a poorly husband, I couldn’t get to my own gym or to see Squatbot and I began to crave it. Not just for the physical side of it but for the mental health side of it. I needed to let some steam off and the gym has become my place to this! (Ask That Squatbot about our boxing sessions 😂 #sorrynotsorry)

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Thankfully Dan is nearly back to normal now and my mum came over to help this week during half term so I managed to get there a couple of times and I’m now booked in for a full new cycle with That Squatbot and I cannot wait.

I haven’t weighed or measured myself for a couple of weeks as I lost my good earring habits whilst Dan has been ill but I’m getting back into it again. But all my maternity clothes are now away (yay!) and a lot of my clothes are starting to fit better – my aim was the 9 months on, 9 months off cycle and Asher has just recently hit 7 months old so I am totally on track and I cannot wait to hit my target if things go to plan!

The 9 month on/9 month off theory I think is a very sensible train of thought after having a baby. In those first few months, you don’t have time for yourself, you really don’t; not unless you have a lot of help around you to give you that free time and we don’t and with having two boys at home now, it was even harder this time than it was after Millie & Leo but I’m getting there.

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It’s not just about weight loss though for me, I’m not interested in the scales anymore (which is a bad habit that I have gotten rid of) it is about toning, my clothes fitting much better, my mental health and getting stronger. I feel so much stronger in what really is just a short space of time. I love not struggling to pick my children up anymore – and often both of them together because my arms weren’t strong enough and my back pain from pregnancy was still causing me issues. Weight Training has really helped me develop a stronger core, improve my posture and improved my back pain and I am genuinely so glad that I started this new challenge.

That Squatbot has also managed to convince me to aim for a further challenge and enter a competition in November with her! Eek, I agreed and I’m sure it will be fun but I’ll need to be working hard for this with her. This one isn’t about winning anything for me, this is about challenging myself to do something like this and I’ve never competed like this for anything before. Training for this alongside training for the Yorkshire Three Peaks that I am taking part in, in September this year for Millie’s Trust should hopefully see me hit my 9 month target!

As a Mum in her thirties, I often feel like I’m a bit lost. I was feeling like I was just working and being a mum and wife and I had nothing for myself, nothing to do for me, nothing to call mine. Now I do and it’s not only benefited me but it’s benefitted my family as I am a much better place mentally and even having to get up in the mornings for my early sessions (I love early mornings) has meant that my day is longer and I get more done, I’ve created those extra hours that I so badly needed.

Fancy joining me on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Walk in September – click here for details

That’s a wrap for now! But if you’re local and fancy a session with That Squatbot, give her a shout here on Facebook or catch her on Instagram.

Click here to read my blog We are Seven

Four weeks in with Squat Bot

Four weeks ago I kind of fell into something by accident. I agreed to meet with a lovely lass called Sarah (a.k.a Squatbot) for some training sessions in the gym. I said yes and presumed that we would be doing cardio workout – don’t ask me why, I just did.

Big mistake to presume.

I did a blog about the first ten days (see here) and I thought I’d give you an update now that I’ve completed a month of workouts with her.

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Well, if you’ve read the first blog, you’ll see that I’ve actually been doing weight training and hardly any cardio at all which is completely new to me as I’ve never done anything like this before.

I’m now at the end of week 4 and I’ve enjoyed it that much, that I’ve actually signed up for another 4 weeks with Squat Bot (how guilty did I feel spending money on myself and not my kids 😂) then I can perfect some techniques to ensure that when I train on my own, I don’t injure myself.

I’ve absolutely no idea how much weight I’ve lost or if I have but what I have noticed is that my clothes fit much better and bizarrely that my wrist strap size on my watch has gone down a notch! I know, how odd, losing weight on my wrist, 😀.

I’ve noticed generally in everyday life that I’m getting stronger. One of the things that I mentioned to Sarah earlier this week is that I’m finding it so much easier to pick Leo up and as a 3 year old toddler boy that never stops eating, that can only be a good thing. Leo likes to ride around on Dan’s back and that’s not something that I’ve been able to do with him up until the last few weeks and he loves it and when we go swimming, I can swim a whole length with him hanging on to my back now and pick him up and twirl him above my head – I know that these are such random things to be mentioning but to me, this is great and I love the fact that I can now do these with ease and not have to say that I can’t do it with him.

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When I first walked into the gym, walking into this felt absolutely daunting and my first thought was, what have I got myself into? But I persevered and 4 weeks later I’m realising that it’s one of the best things that I’ve ever done.

I was asked the question the other day of “do you not feel like everyone is looking at you in the gym and critiquing what you are doing?” – Now I must admit, this is one thing that always put me off working with weights but Squat Bot has completely changed my mind about this. I’ve finally realised that people are just too busy concentrating on their own workout to be bothered about what I’m doing.

I’ve realised that concentration is actually needed to get the benefit of the workout that you are doing; being at my own usual gym today I’ve noticed that the people that are looking are actually the ones that aren’t doing much themselves and are just sitting playing on their phones sitting on equipment that they aren’t actually using… something that I’ve never noticed before.

When I’m concentrating on a specific exercise or a certain type of weight lifting, I really am in a zone. I’m working out where my hands need to go to keep me stable, where the bar needs to sit on my front or back so it doesn’t hurt or how far I need to get to the floor to do a perfect squat … I really don’t notice what anyone else is doing in the gym at all.

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I have some issues with my elbows (only me, lol) not pain issues, movement issues – there are some moves where my elbows just won’t move in the direction that they need to go for some specific exercises – I’m working on this but I know that I just look so funny!

The photo below I know is blurry but look at the smile on my face! We were doing some boxing cardio and I put my guard down and Squat Bot clocked me one, totally served me right! I won’t do it again!

Seriously though, it is hard work but it’s really good fun and I’m even enjoying getting up at 6am as when the workout and showers are done, it’s not even 8.30am and I’ve got the whole day ahead of me with no lounging about needed as I’m already wide awake!

I’ve noticed some other benefits as well.

1. My head. Now if you’re reading this blog, you probably already know that I suffer from mental health problems because of losing our daughter Millie (you can read a blog about this here if you’ve got a spare few minutes to catch up)

Starting to work out properly again, getting out of bed early and having something to focus on other than my family is really helping me. It’s giving me some me time, some de-stress time and believe me battering those pads during the boxing session works bloody wonders. This can only be a good thing right? Working out all that emotion/emptiness and anxieties before 9am? It’s making me calmer, it truly is.

2. Confidence. I’ve never used the weight section in a gym on my own until today. I have always thought that it was a blokes area and been self – conscious (not now, I actually noticed that I was lifting and pushing more weight than quite a few of the men in there)! Go Me. 😀

It’s a personal challenge though for me, not a challenge against anyone else. Seeing how far I can push myself, seeing what I can change and what I can strengthen; having the ability to make changes and be a stronger person both physically and mentally.

Next week’s challenge … a handstand 😂Come back for an update soon x

Here’s That Squat Bot below – check her out on Instagram or take a look at her website to get in touch

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One Fit Mama

One Fit Mama

***Sponsored Content***

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I know that many of the mums reading this will be able to relate to not having the time or energy to exercise.  Some mums are lucky enough to get to the gym 5 times a week but in reality for a mum who has young children, a lack of sleep, no help with the housework and all the cooking to do, it’s hard, it’s really hard.

I recently came across a fitness DVD called “One Fit Mama”, I was intrigued when I read that it featured real mums and wanted to know more.

The DVD has been developed by Sophia Cooper who founded One Fit Mama in 2010 after she herself suffered from Post Natal Depression and as many of you know, there are many studies proving that exercise helps your mental health and I for one I truly believe that exercise does help when you are having a tough time emotionally. Sophia wanted to support mums on their journeys to healthier minds and bodies.

The DVD is suitable from 6 weeks postnatal and is split into sections with a fab warm up section that really gets your heart rate going before you start your main workout. For you main section, you can choose to do one of the following;

  • 6-12 weeks
  • 3-6 months
  • 6 months plus

When I started this DVD, I fell into the first section and I’m now a few weeks into the second section and I really am enjoying it. It will be a few months more before I get into the final section of the DVD but I am sure that I will enjoy it just as much.

Sophia gives a warm and friendly introduction to the DVD and explains what will happen in each section thoroughly.

The great thing about all these sections are that they are only 10 minutes long, so if you only have 10 minutes to spare, you can do the other section later on in the day. The main workout section is split into 3 different levels, which you can move on with throughout your postnatal journey, as you and your baby get stronger.

Click here to purchase the DVD

There is obviously a warm down section to ensure that you don’t have any unnecessary aches and pains and there is also an optional section that you can do to concentrate on your abs/core that is based on Pilate moves. I really enjoyed that section and I wasn’t actually sure that I was going to because in my pregnancy with Asher, I suffered from Diastasis Recti (split abdominal muscles) which affected my back too, apparently around two thirds of women suffer from this condition especially when they have had more than one child. I was very surprised to see that I didn’t seem to have any discomfort when doing these exercises. I was very pleased with this as it gave me a little more confidence that enabled me try the harder moves in the DVD.

So when did I fit this DVD in with two under threes at home? Many of you know that Leo doesn’t sleep at all during the day and hasn’t done for me for about 18 months, so I knew he was going to be awake but I didn’t know what he was going to be like when doing it, keep reading, that was interesting. Asher does take naps, no longer than about 45 minutes at a time, which gives me just enough time to complete the DVD.

With Asher sleeping, I took on the DVD! With Leo happily amusing himself, I started to enjoy it. You don’t really need any special equipment, you can use an exercise mat if you need to and Sophia does use small dumbbells in some sections, but if you haven’t got these, you can use tins of beans! Leo found this highly amusing and started to copy mummy lifting the tins of beans up and down himself.  It was so cute. As long as he was happy and laughing, this made me feel like I could carry on and not feel as guilty for taking some time to do something that I needed to do for myself.

I really enjoyed following Sophia during the DVD and what made it lovely was the way that she spoke and laughed with the girls doing the DVD with her; it made it feel like they were right there in the living room with you. The best thing about this DVD was that it really was real mums in the DVD, real mums of all different sizes that are at different stages of their post natal journeys.

Sophia is keen to remind you throughout the DVD to ensure that you are following the correct person if you have just had a baby, I think is very helpful to remind mums that they need to take it easy and not worry about aiming too high when they first start the DVD, there’s plenty of time to get to where you want to be, slowly and safely.

I couldn’t stop laughing at Sophia constantly reminding you about your pelvic floor, I think she secretly throws that in to make you laugh so you can be tested on how strong yours is! On a serious note though, it is a good idea to ensure that you are doing these specific exercises on a regular basis, especially when you have had a baby (or three)!

So if you want a real down to earth, feel good front room fitness DVD that makes you work hard and that you can have done all before the baby wakes up, this is the one for you.

The DVD has been released in conjunction with the success of One Fit Mama Fitness Classes where you can take your baby with you, there are lots of locations in the UK. Click here to find out if there is one near you.  I am especially pleased to see that they have made it to Stockport and I am very much looking forward to starting them in March, if you are local to myself and want to take a look at our local Facebook page, you can see it here.

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COMPETITION CLOSED

I have a One Fit Mama DVD to give away, courtesy os One Fit Mama Stockport. All you have to do is head back to my Facebook Page by clicking here and tell me by reading the blog what Leo used to lift up and down that made me laugh whilst I working out.

 And now for the boring stuff…

The competition will run until midday on Saturday 3rd Feb and the winner will be contacted later that day.

  1. The winner will have 72 hours from the announcement to claim the prize or a new winner will be chosen.
  2. The prize is a copy of the One Fit Mama DVD and is not exchangeable for cash.
  3. Open to UK residents aged 16 and over and excluding relatives of @millieleosmum and One Fit Mama employees and their families.
  4. Entries must be received on Facebook
  5. Winner will be notified as an announcement on the Facebook Blog Page for Same Person Different Me and a private message to their Facebook account.

By participating in this competition, entrants confirm that they have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.

This post has been sponsored by One Fit Mama.

COMPETITION CLOSED

Hi, My name is

Hello.

My name is Joanne.

And I have mental health problems.

Seems easy that doesn’t it?

It’s not. It’s hard. It’s really hard.

It’s one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to admit to myself.

That I had problems and I needed help.

That I needed help more than I could ever have imagined.

The trigger of my illness? My daughter suddenly passing so unexpectedly. Things I saw on that day. Things I didn’t want to see. Things I didn’t want to hear. Things that I had no control over. Things that I couldn’t stop. Things I couldn’t change.

Of course I was grieving for my daughter but I thought I was normal. I thought everyone grieved like I was.

Turns out that I wasn’t though.

I was one of the lucky ones. If you can call me that. I didn’t feel lucky after losing our daughter. Although I was lucky. Lucky to get quick access to an amazing NHS psychologist – because if I hadn’t have done, I know that I wouldn’t be here today.

That might sound dramatic. It’s not though, it’s the truth.

My darling husband realised that I wasn’t functioning as I should be. That I wasn’t grieving like he was. That I was different. That something was wrong.

I didn’t want to believe it. I’m glad he made me go to the doctors though. It saved me.

I was diagnosed with

Severe Anxiety

Severe Depression

Severe PTSD

Panic attacks

Complex Grief

So, as you can see. It turns out that I wasn’t just grieving.

It’s roughly 4 years down the line now since my first psychologist session, when I didn’t really say much,I just sat and cried and then got angry. It’s a little different nowadays I talk more, I pour my heart out sometimes. I was there just last week. It’s not an easy fix to deal with mental health problems.

It’s hard work.

Its emotional.

It’s heartbreaking.

It’s torturous.

But as the old saying goes, “it’s good to talk”. It truly is.

Some days I can’t function. I feel like I’m failure as a wife, as a Mum, as friend … as everything.

These illnesses nearly cost us our marriage, nearly cost us the chance of having more children. I could’ve ran away. I wanted Dan to be with someone who could make him happy. Not to be with someone who cried herself to sleep most nights, that woke up and didn’t want to speak to him, that didn’t want to socialise. I wanted to leave so he could be happy. But he loves me more than I could ever have imagined and he stood by me and he’s my rock.

Social media is full of all these fabulous photographs that are photoshopped, edited, filtered – often we only see what people want us to see. They want you to see that their life is perfect and oh so happy.

So here is an unfiltered, unedited, unattractive photograph of what I looked like after a very recent anxiety attack and this is after nearly 5 years of having them. I took this 3 weeks go, not knowing if or when I was going to show it – but today seems right to do so, on World Mental Health Day. There was a trigger for this attack, I’ll talk about it in another blog when I’m ready …

After this attack, I was burnt out for a couple of days. It’s not like this just for a few minutes, the after effects always last a few days and it takes a while to piece me back together – but Dan and Leo always do this for me and help me through it.

So now you’ve read this, I’ve said this before.

Time to text that friend who you might not have heard from in a while, that might have been distant, that might have seemed rude last time that you spoke to them.

They could need that text more than you could imagine tonight. Offer them a brew. It might take them 3 months to take you up on the offer, but they will, when they’re ready. Let them know you’ll wait.

Mental Health does scare people, that’s not a surprise at all.

But the person it scares the most, is the person who is suffering and they might not even know it.

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Read one of my recent blogs here, Unexpected Reminders

Donation can be anything between £1 and £10

Visit the Millie’s Trust Shop here

All I want is mummy & daddy cuddles 

Being a parent is so hard isn’t it? The worst part for me though is when you cannot give anything more than cuddles when your baby is ill. Even though it’s all they probably want, you cannot help but want to do more.  

Leo doesn’t get ill very often, but when he does – he is very much like myself, doesn’t do it by halves and completely shuts down.

Leo seems to have had some kind of 24 hour illness and it’s been so sad for him. He wasn’t himself yesterday morning when I went to work and I came home early when Dan told me that he’d not eaten anything and he’d slept all morning (highly unusual because Leo hasn’t slept in the daytime for a good year unless he falls asleep in the car). 

When I came home all he wanted was cuddles and to fall asleep on us, he kept swapping from mummy to daddy. He wouldn’t eat anything or drink anything; not even his favourite smoothies and then he went and hid himself in the conservatory like this (see pic) ... poor boy just didn’t have the energy to move. 


Even though he had slept most of the day, when bedtime came at 7pm, he was already asleep on me and we had to move him upstairs – thinking he would take a while to settle, we were ready to lie with him for him for a while but instead within 5 minutes he was fast asleep. He was very uncomfortable and fidgety during the night when we checked on him as he was so warm but he then pretty much slept for 14 hours! He must’ve needed his sleep. 

Luckily when he woke up, the first thing he did was ask for a drink. I was so glad of this because he had dry lips and a completely dry nappy because he’d not had much the day before. Within a few minutes, he had drank a full cup and asked for breakfast. He has been much better today, still not quite 100% himself but more like his cheeky self. 

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By 3.30pm, he was asking for a cheese sarnie, I very rarely put photos of Leo up eating but I took this video of him and I wanted to share – refusal to share his food is a pretty good sign that he is on the mend.


He’s still been quite irritable today though, he hasn’t had much patience for anything – more so his toys! He has literally played with every toy that he could find in the living room today … last night the living room floor was pretty clear as he hadn’t played much … this was tonight’s effort – that still needs to be tidied up when I get the energy. (Dan is out working, if he was home everything would already be away nice and straight) 


Leo took until after he was 2 years old to have his first throwing up episode when he was ill and as many of you know I have issues when it comes to things like because how we lost Millie and I had been completely dreading it.I was absolutely petrified when it happened and I couldn’t stop checking on him, I led with him in bed watching him, I was getting up all that night to keep checking on him in his sleep – I truly can say that, that evening was one of my worst with paranoia since Leo was born and that is saying something because I’ve had huge anxiety issues when he was a tiny baby and around the age that we lost Millie. 

Luckily though this time, we haven’t had any of that and I think he’s nearly back on track… we’ll see what tomorrow brings xxx

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Click here to read my previous blog Bump! 

Don’t forget Millie’s limited edition anniversary Giraffe is now on sale … when it’s gone, it’s gone – click here to purchase.

Well done Corrie! 

This week I am hearing lots about the storyline involving Steve & Michelle in Coronation Street and their miscarriage. 

Everything I have heard so far has been nothing but praise but due to my own recent miscarriage at the end of November and the fact that it should be my  darling daughter Millie’s 5th birthday tomorrow, I am not in the right frame of mind to watch… but I will. 

I will ensure that I watch the scenes at some point as I do like to see how the media handles and potrays sensitive issues such as these and I think that it is fabulous that they are covering this storyline. Utter respect for Kym Marsh this week as it must have brought some awful memories back for her after her own personal loss many years ago. 

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I really do hope that the media does continue to show these storylines and deal with these taboo issues, because that’s what they are , taboo.

Simon Gregson has already endured the storyline with his depression which he portrayed so well and to tackle another taboo issue so soon after that, well, what a star and he has also spoken out about his own personal pregnancy loss too which I think is amazing for a man to do too. 

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Unfortunately, I know exactly how it feels to have experience of all these issues, child loss, miscarriage and mental health problems and this is why I will carry on talking, carry on making a stand and carry on writing about it. 

Huge hugs to anyone out there who has their own personal experience of baby/child loss.

To read my recent miscarriage diary, click here.

To read one of my mental health blog, click here