I know I’m not alone here when I say that pregnancy gives you a guilt free license to eat. I spent 8 months of my pregnancy with a golden halo around my head and the minute I went on maternity leave I proceeded to eat everything in my path. Chocolate with everything, biscuits, ice cream! Nothing was safe. Two weeks before my son was born I met my family for dinner. My brother asked me “what have you been doing with your free time? Eating?”
Needless to say I was not amused.
By week 40 I was 3 stone heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight. I’m 5ft 3”.
When I think that I spent my first trimester worrying that I hadn’t PUT ON weight and was told many times by my doctor that I was fine. I should have listened to her and stopped that cream bun on its way to my mouth.
After my son was born the realisation hit me that I really was quite big. I think I had deluded myself during that last month of pregnancy that it was water retention (Ha!) that was making me look like a baby elephant and not copious amounts of lard that was now sticking to my ass and thighs. Something had to be done.
Following my doctors recommendations I took it easy for the first few weeks to let my body get back to some semblance of normality. Four weeks after Danny was born I went for a short walk with the pram, 15 minutes later I arrived back to the house red faced and out of breath and swearing never to do any exercise again! But the weight was a motivator – and the fact that I couldn’t fit into ANY of my clothes. I had made the stupid declaration to anyone that would listen that I wouldn’t buy any new clothes in a larger size; that I would lose the weight immediately and be back into my skinny jeans in no time. No such luck. I caved. Size 14’s all the way and even then they were too tight but as a staunch size 10-12 I couldn’t do it to my self-esteem to buy a size 16.
But as everyone tells you, it gets easier. I walked every day with baby pushing the buggy farther and farther each day. I made it a focus to my day “walk to the shops and buy milk and bread” or “go to the post office to post thank you cards”. Little by little my fitness levels increased. I found I had more energy, I slept better at night and – ta dah! – the weight started to come off! By the time my son was 4 months old I had lost 2 stone, only 1 more to go. 14lbs of fat – my Everest!
And then I hit the wall. My weight loss came to a standstill. I took up running to try to kickstart my metabolism but nothing happened. My diet wasn’t terrible but it probably wasn’t fantastic either. Grabbing food on the go with a baby or even forgetting to eat doesn’t make for healthy weight loss. When 8 weeks went by and I still hadn’t lost a pound I decided to join a weight loss club. I had had forays into “Fat Fighter” clubs before without much luck but I think this time, my mental attitude had changed. I didn’t just want to lose the weight I wanted to feel like myself again.
For many women their whole sense of identity is linked to clothing but because I was fat all my beautiful dresses were languishing in the wardrobe, wishing to be worn. I didn’t know who I was anymore. What a horrible feeling.
So I joined Unislim and it worked. I know it won’t work for everyone but it worked for me. By the time my son was 8 months old I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight. It has taken serious grit and determination to lose nearly 3 stone but I know that if I can do it, anyone can.
- Find something that works for you – be it an exercise class, weight loss class, running or walking – do it and do it often
- Eat but eat healthily. Make it part of your weekly routine to get a food shop or even buy online and get home delivery. You can then ensure that there will always be healthy stuff to eat at home and you won’t be tempted by rubbish
- Keep focused on your goal. Think of your favourite dress, skinny jeans or even pin a photo of your pre-pregnancy body on your fridge to remind you of how you looked before baby
- Know that by exercising and eating healthier you will have more energy for your beautiful new born baby. And you will more than likely sleep better at night
- 9 months on, 9 months off. Set yourself a time period to lose the weight in. It will keep you motivated and focused. (For me, a big focus was the return to work as all my work clothes were 10-12’s and I really didn’t want to have to buy a whole new wardrobe in bigger sizes)
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. You are a new mother and you need time to get used to that. Give yourself the recommended 6 weeks after childbirth to start exercising. Your body needs time to heal itself. When you do start to exercise start off with gentle walking then build from there. Know your limits.