No Excuse Mom: Lorna Pope

My name is Lorna, I’m 30 years old, a mum to one son and I work part time as a molecular biologist. I am one of the administrators for the No Excuse Mom Movement and I look forward to sharing my fitness journey with you – I’m sure we can inspire each other. But for now, here is a little bit about me.
On 8thNovember 2012 my life changed, I gave birth to my amazing baby boy Henry.

Although the love I felt for him was never in question, the love I felt for myself had disappeared along the way.

When I looked in the mirror I didn’t like what I saw. Who was I? I had everything I had ever dreamed of, I always though I was naturally maternal, but really I was lost. I felt as if I had lost purpose – and yet there, laying in my arms, was the biggest purpose of all.

The truth about postnatal depression is that it’s an illness. You can’t just snap out of it, you can’t just look at your baby to make the sadness go away, regardless of how cute they are or how much you love them. You need to give yourself time, need to get support and seek medical assistance.

I was patient with myself, both physically and mentally.

I came across Maria’s No Excuse picture, and investigated her further. I read her book, joined up to the group and set about to make plans.

I knew I couldn’t just sit around waiting for my life to change, I knew I had to do something about it.

I just kept going, focusing on each hour, which then turned into a day, a week and then a month. And this wasn’t just in weight loss, for some days it was just survival.

I took progress pictures every 4 weeks, and for sure I could see the difference, which would give me another boost of motivation.

My motivation to begin with was mainly weight loss. I wanted to feel better about how I looked and I wanted to give Henry the mum he deserved. I wanted to be able to run around with him and not let my weight hold him back in any way.

It wasn’t always easy…. There were days when I felt too low to go out and days where I would be crying all the time. But as time went by, it got easier, I realized that going to the gym actually gave me a boost and improved my mood. Since I was lifting weights, and the area is mainly male dominated, there was no way I could shed a tear. I was becoming stronger, both mentally and physically. I was becoming a better mother too, my energy levels were up, and I wasn’t on edge or snappy.
It would have been easier at times to reach for something quick to eat, or reach for chocolate to get an instant feel good hit, and I admit, sometimes I did this. But it’s very empowering to over come this. To pick yourself up, wipe away the tears and cook dinner. I always ask myself a these moments…. What is it you want the most? Do you really want to eat that chocolate or do you want  6 pack abs? I also leant to plan for such days. Make up big batches of soup and freeze them. Dinner can then be ready in 10 minutes – some days as a mum…. Time is not on your side!

I set myself a target of weight loss, but with knowledge I learned that it’s not the main focus. Now I have a whole new set of goals. It’s about me as a person, I want to be fit, healthy and strong. I’ve set goals for 2014 so that I stay motivated. I’m going to do a triathlon!

I started out slow at first, I made small changes to my diet, first cutting out the obvious junk and cleaning it up. Now I eat 6 small meals a day and my food is 90% clean. I don’t calorie count but it’s around 1600, on this amount I’m still consistently losing weight. I plan my meals for a week ahead, making sure I have enough time in the day to prep that meal. For exercise I started with the C25K program and swimming. Now I do strength training with free weights, some HIIT and Pilates.

I faced some criticism along the way, this often happens when someone makes a lifestyle change. But I have my core supporters who really got me through these difficult times and have celebrated every success along with me. I’ve made new friends, I’ve been able to inspire and motivate others…. I’m even in calendar!

Now I find myself as a whole new person. I see that my journey out of depression and into my new body run along in parallel with each other. I have more confidence and self respect than ever before. At 5’6, I started out at 218lb on 19th Feb 2013 and I last weighed in on 30th October and was 158lbs.

Now Henry is over a year old, he is the light of my life. He has taught me so much and been the central part of my journey. I’m so proud of every new thing he learns and discovers, I just hope I can serve him justice. I hope he looks to me as an inspiration, I hope he sees the dedication I put into my fitness and sees how I achieve my goals. I hope he one day reads this and realizes that anything is possible…. You just need to set yourself some goals, break them down, be determined, put in hard work, learn from your mistakes, and smile!

 Lorna Pope 2

Lorna Pope 3

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