Exercise is now one of my favourite things. Since becoming a mum I have been the fittest I have ever been, which was unexpected but exercise kept me sane as a single mum to focus my energy into gettings strong, but an intense illness meant I stopped training so now I am about to embark on getting fit again so I reached out to mum Mirella Ingamells for some inspiration.
Hi Mirella, welcome to No Mum Is An Island. I am a great believer that no mum (or dad) should have to do everything herself, we can’t possibly know it all, and we need all the support we can get, there is a wealth of information out there to help us upgrade our parenting experience, to make our lives easier and this website is a hub for just that! We love that you have upgraded your life by using your inner strength, drive, and determination to exercise to be the best physical version of yourself.
It is really hard as mum to make time for ourselves. You are really an inspiration as you have to keep yourself motivated to keep upgrading and training your body even though you have two small children. How many times a week do you exercise? What time of day do you usually train and how do you motivate yourself to keep at it?
I make a firm commitment to myself to train 3 times a week (1 hour each workout). I also try to fit in an extra exercise session to enjoy a yoga class but sadly it’s been hard to get to them lately. I try to get my training done as soon as the kids are out the door to nursery/school. I have just had a gym built at home which certainly helps my motivation…there are no excuses with it being so close! But sometimes I like to go out the door to a local gym as I get a buzz from training around others. It depends on my mood. But to be honest, the motivation for sticking to my training regime is knowing how good it makes me feel afterwards. I never lose sight (or feel) of this. I’m a much happier person when I workout, it makes me feel good, improves my mood, gives me sanity in the chaos that is life with 2 small children.
Plus I also eat and sleep better when I’m thinking at my best. I also love to see progress…whether that maybe changes with my body, increasing my strength or simply improving with an exercise. It’s always a challenge for me and that’s what inspires me to keep going. Plus I have built up a good amount of followers over the years that inspiring and motivating them, also lifts me up in return.
Your ultimate goal is to educate your clients so that achieving better body composition becomes a lifestyle choice for the future what can you share with us today that will help those who are ready to start their exercise journey?
People often put too much pressure on themselves when they want to achieve a fitness goal. Whether that be to get fitter, stronger, or more often to get in shape or to lose body fat. Often the pressure comes from not seeing results quick enough. What I want to show people is it doesn’t have to be like that. Progress is never linear and often comes in waves. And for some people it can take longer than others to achieve their goals. If we can include fitness as a “lifestyle choice”, it would mean we’re in it for the long haul – to incorporate fitness into our daily lives, something we enjoy, so we can keep making progress, no matter how big or small, but be confident that we are doing something for ourselves to better who we are.
Finding exercise you love is the first step. Then making it part of your routine. We’re less likely to break a (good) habit once it becomes ingrained into our way of life. Make sure that your mindset is about loving the journey from the outset, and not the outcome. It’s easy to throw in the towel when you don’t see what you want to see and sadly there are too many “quick fix” plans out there that make people believe they can get their dream body in a matter of weeks. You can’t! And you can’t keep hold of it either. What I try to teach clients on our journey together is how they can get the results they want, whilst loving themselves and the journey in the process. How to make those results last and to how to stay motivated to keep driving forwards.
Can you guide us on how we can stick to this fitness goal?
Have a goal (plus most importantly, have lots of mini goals). Have a plan…if you don’t know where to start, invest in a professional to help guide you, especially in the first stages of starting out so you know you’re doing it right. Make it part of your routine so it becomes a habit…your workouts should be important commitments in your diary that you cannot cancel on! Realise that one “bad day” isn’t the end…you can pick up where you left off the next day. Make sure you have support from your partner, family and friends…it’s easy for your plan/goals to become sabotaged either from our own self-doubt or from loved ones not supporting us. Remember that, unless you have a holiday or competition in mind as a firm goal, there is no end goal, and no deadline for achieving your fitness goal. You might find that in time you end up with new goals and what was once a fitness goal, becomes more daily/weekly push to keep bettering yourself.
Eating is half the journey with finding your fitness as a mum, what do you recommend as a good eating habit alongside exercise? Any favourite breakfast recipes you can share?
Nutrition really is one of the most important things and it’s true what they say, you cannot out train a bad diet! Good eating habits would consist of getting a good balance of macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein and fats, and eating regularly. Not going too long between meals so you are starving and then find yourself reaching for all the wrong foods. I find a lot of clients who I’ve worked with, especially women, don’t eat enough, which then leaves them tired and lacking in energy for workouts. Results come better when a person is fueling their body rather than starving it! I’m a firm believer in breakfast being the most important meal of the day…when we’ve fasted for 8-12 hours overnight, it’s important to fuel our bodies and our brains when we get up in the morning. This sets the day off with a good start too!
My fave breakfast is pancakes with nut butter, berries and a drizzle of honey.
Recipe (makes 4 small pancakes):
- 1 egg
- 2 egg whites
- 6 tbsp oats
- ½ banana
Blend all ingredients together. Heat 1tsp coconut oil in a small frying pan. Add ¼ of the mixture and fry either side until golden. I love mine with peanut butter and honey with some blueberries but you can add whatever you like – nut butter, yogurt, fruits, or eat them on their own. I often make an extra batch so I can stash some away in the fridge for snacks later.
How can we integrate our kids into a exercise routine?
I’m not afraid of taking some timeout whilst I have my kids and taking them into my gym with me or working out in the garden. My daughter who is almost 4, has seen me do this since she was a baby and now often wants to join in. She told me just the other day that when she grows up she wants to workout properly with me. I hope I can inspire both my children to be active as they grow up, find what they love and become passionate about it.
Becoming a mum, you can really feel like you lose your identity, how can exercise and a fitness journey help transform that?
Oh my gosh yes! I have just got back from a trip away to Mexico where I went on a, let’s call it, a journey of self-discovery/soul-searching expedition/personal timeout! I also joined a fitness retreat whilst I was over there which has helped me to find myself again for the first time in a long time. Having a fitness journey is a personal commitment to yourself. It enables you to tap into your strengths and weakness, learn what you are capable of, become your own motivation, and to give you something to focus on that reminds you of who you are as a strong independent woman.
You were somebody before you had children. Embarking on something as empowering as a fitness journey for yourself after having children can be a real adventure! I’ve found this a lot from the fitness retreats I run here in Ibiza with a good friend of mine…we attract a lot of women who are mothers and who have lost who they are. My last retreat and the women who came on it was the real push for me to go join a retreat myself. Hence my Mexico trip!
Is there any other advice you can share with mums who want to upgrade themselves physically?
Go. Do. It! What are you waiting for! Believe you can. Believe you will. The only person who can do it for you is YOU. We can be our own worst enemies at times, especially with the dreaded “mum guilt” so many of us experience. But being the best version of ourselves is how we show our children that they can do the same too.
If you need some recipe inspiration to go with your new fitness motivation then take a look below.