Whilst everyone is busy doing the 10 year challenge, I’ve been looking back just one year and seeing a total difference in myself inside and out. Funnily enough there aren’t too many pictures of me with all the baby weight, as I craftily shied away from pictures and let everyone focus on snapping wee Travis.
For me, it was important to lose the baby weight from both a health perspective (I took eating for 2 to an extreme and was particularly overweight) and to feel better in myself. If you’ve never had children, it’s hard to describe just what a miraculous change your body goes through, and the affect that can have on both your physical and mental health.
The things I really struggled with were things I’d read about but still wasn’t prepared to live with – the stretch marks and the sagginess. More so than the weight element, it was the shape of my body in this new form which caused me frustration, and which I struggled to accept. However I knew if I lost weight my shape would change, maybe not back to the exact way it was before, but into something more recognisable to me, a shape I was more familiar with.
Here’s how I did it:
Start off small
Just after my 6 week post-natal check, I was declared fit for exercise (by myself). At this point I decided to go back to my old faithful Clubbercise, and really get back into getting my blood pumping. My fitness instructor had started a variety of new classes in my 5 month absence and I was keen to give them a go. So I did a Clubbercise and Deep Hau5 class back to back, and I genuinely thought I was going to die.
The secret is to start off small. As soon as I was able, I took Travis out in walks in his pram, to give us both fresh air and to get my legs moving. Walks do wonders for mental health and tired mums too, so it’s an all round win. Even if you’re just walking to the corner shop and back each day, I thoroughly recommend it to get some fresh air and your bones moving.
Get what you give
I was very aware that I was still eating cake almost every day for at least the first 3 months of Travis’ life. In fact, I still eat more cake now than I ever did before he was born. However, I’m more in tune with the balance of it these days. If you constantly exercise, but constantly eat fatty, high calorie foods, chances are you’ll struggle to lose weight. So, after a few struggling exercise sessions, I started to cut my portion sizes down, add more veg to meals, and cut back on the cake.
I wish I could say I had a miracle diet and provide you with some magic recipes, but I found that just cutting back, and fuelling my body properly before exercise really helped. I didn’t cut anything out of my diet and I didn’t starve myself. Ok, so the pounds didn’t come crashing off, but slowly and steadily I got there.
Find a routine
Life as a mum revolves around routines, so why not an exercise routine too? It was much easier to find time to exercise or get out walking when I was still on maternity leave, but after I returned to work, things became more blurry and there seemed less hours in the day and more reasons (excuses) not to exercise. I found that sticking to the 3 same exercise classes on the same 2 days of the week worked impeccably for me. When I have a set time to exercise I can look forward to it (or sometimes dread it!) each week, plan childcare etc around it and generally see and feel my progress week on week. For me, routine is the key to keeping on track with any goals, so it made sense that it worked when I was trying to lose those parental pounds!
Share, don’t compare
The first few months post-partum were difficult in themselves, but I struggled with my body more so as I compared myself to Instamoms and super mummies who managed to get actual 6 packs just 12 weeks post-partum. Whether that was real or airbrushing, whether they had babies that slept all day to allow them to exercise, or nannies that looked after baby while the PT looked after mum, it didn’t matter to me. All I saw were mums who were able to go back to being who they were, in the visual sense anyway, before they went through the miracles of pregnancy or childbirth.
But lets face it, sitting comparing yourself to others and feeling sad, doesn’t actually do anything positive, does it? Why compare when you could put yourself out there, actually try and do your best for yourself? I found that approach difficult to take at first, but once I did, boy did it change things for the better. I know have a whole fab fit fam who I see every week, and we all encourage each other and compliment each other when we see a change in the other. Positivity is infectious and so much better than comparison and negativity!
That’s how I managed to lose the baby weight, with no miracle “cures” or magic exercises (although pelvic floor exercises are magic. Highly recommend if you want to get back to exercising!) How did you do it?