THE BIRTH OF TWO MINUTE MOVES
I'm Lizzy Williamson. I used to be a dancer and when I stopped that as a profession I would dance on tables any chance I got. If you were to meet me before I had two children, chances are I'd have a big smile on my face and something positive to say. So I arrived at motherhood thinking without a doubt that it would be an incredibly joyful time in my life. Unfortunately, it turned in to one of the darkest.
Losing my sanity, energy, confidence and joy.
Never before had I experienced such uncontrollable emotions. I was punching my brick walls with anger as I went up the stairs of our home to settle one of the kids after trying to get them to sleep. I’ll never forget seeing my oldest daughter’s face looking at me in terror as I was screaming in a fit of rage. On the top floor where my daughter’s bedroom was, I would look down out the window and think about throwing my baby out. I had suicidal thoughts. I had lost my sanity, energy, confidence and joy.
When I finally went and saw my doctor, I expected her to tell me to toughen up and get over it. However, to my complete shock, she told me what I was experiencing was postnatal depression. After giving my my treatment options she also said to me, ‘You know how when you get on the plane and they tell you to put on your oxygen mask first before assisting others? That’s what you have to do.’
Finding my oxygen mask
It hit me that I had been so focused on making sure that everyone else’s needs were taken care of that I’d forgotten to take care of myself. I had stopped making my body a priority, and as a result my mind and soul were in a terrible way. I had to do something to start reclaiming my body, my brain and my spirit. I needed to do something for me. But what could I do?
Then like letters being written up in the sky, through my tears I saw what I needed to do. MOVE. I needed to exercise.
Straight away my mind bombarded me with excuses:
I’m too tired
I don’t know how to start
I won’t be able to stick to it
I’m ashamed of my body
I don’t have time
I'm too overwhelmed.
All I needed was two minutes
But I knew that I had to try something so the next morning after I made myself the promise to move, I put a television show on for my kids, went and stood at my kitchen bench and, even though it was the last thing I felt like doing, I practised some of my old ballet barre moves: raising my leg up and down behind me, then some bending and straightening of my knees. I did ten push-ups at the bench, and the feeling of strength through my body sparked an inner strength that I thought was lost. I only lasted two minutes before my daughters called out that they needed something, but that was all I needed.
Each moment counts
The little sense of achievement and connection to myself I felt in that moment, brought me back for another few minutes the next day and the next. I kept taking that one small step after the other towards getting back my sanity, vitality and happiness. That day at my kitchen bench was the moment that Two Minute Moves was born and to this day these little workouts continue to be my oxygen mask. It was when I discovered that two minutes is so much better than no minutes. That each moment counts, no matter how small. Because the little things are achievable, sustainable and add up to making a big difference.
This is simply the story of my journey so it's important to seek professional help if you are experiencing symptoms of concern. Call your doctor or reach out to PANDA 1300 726 306, Lifeline 13 11 44, Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636. I wish I'd done that earlier.
Photos by Tanya Lake
I'm so proud to be a Community Champion of PANDA.
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I am a certified Personal Trainer, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Presenter, Speaker and contributor to MindBodyGreen, The BubHub, BellaMumma and more. My workouts have been featured in Lorna Jane's YouTube channel, news.com.au plus many other fabulous online publications, programs and blogs. My 2 Minute Workouts get sent each week for free to thousands of women who have become part of my community. I have been up on stage speaking and getting audiences off their chairs and moving at Golden Door Health Retreats, Mindd, IIN, Mama Creatives, Mum Society and more.
Find our how to move with me in person, on your screen or stage HERE.