It’s Important to dedicate time to you...
OK controversial maybe, you’ve just had a beautiful baby and this is meant to be the most precious time of your life... and don’t get me wrong whilst it is, don’t forget about the importance of looking after you! After all how can you properly look after another tiny human if your not functioning properly yourself. When Callum was born I had a tricky time which centred around feeding and I found myself in this fog that I never dreamt I would be in. Before he was born I used to regularly voice my opinion that I would try and feed him myself and if it didn’t work out then never mind .. well, how optimistic was I?? Looking back now I can be completely honest about my experience and I realise that when I struggled to feed him I simply wouldn’t admit defeat (that damn competitive streak in me came out) and I fell into the trap of feeling shamelessly guilty at each feed. I could literally feel myself mentally deteriorating and yet couldn’t stop myself from self destruction. The tears were endless but just one good feed and I would spiral back to the feeling of I can do this, when in reality I should have thrown in the towel weeks before - which would have benefitted myself and more importantly Callum. When I finally saw sense and gave up, I allowed myself the time to heal and exercise has played a big part of my post pregnancy journey. I had a very active pregnancy - I worked out twice a week until around 30 weeks doing Zumba which I adjusted to suit my capabilities and Barre. Then an emergency c section put stop to all forms of exercise and when Callum arrived three weeks early even walking was a chore. I couldn’t properly exercise again until after 12 weeks and in this time I realised how important my gym sessions were for my own mental state. They provided me with time to focus on myself even though I would moan like hell about going in the first place ha - there is no pleasing some people!! As the pain eased I began to build up my daily walks with Callum and our dog Max to get some strength and sanity back into each day. After getting the all clear from my dr to start some gentle exercise I started to work with Georgia, and well I’ve never looked back. 15 weeks on and I’m feeling better than ever - even in this festive season where there is chocolate everywhere and drinks a plenty!! Georgia is knowledgeable on post pregnancy exercise - she has helped me to rebuild my fitness levels and allowed me to exercise in a safe controlled manner. We meet once a week where she puts me through my paces and every time she challenges me, even now. She also provides me with a home programme which I complete at least twice a week. What we do has gradually built up over time and gradual is the key word here! It’s not a race to the finish line, these are changes I am making for life, and whilst exercise is important one of the most important changes has been tracking what I eat.
I now track everything - every bite - and this has really opened my eyes up to calorie consumption and how easy it really is to over eat. I was always aware of calories and in the back of my mind knew not to eat too much but I’m a self confessed chocoholic with absolutely no self control until now (well most of the time). However - I’m not stingy with my food - and whilst people may roll their eyes when I refuse something because I don’t have the calories “to waste” or grab my phone to scan the barcode and track my meal - the odd indulgence doesn’t go amiss. I still eat everything I want, including chocolate and take aways, I’m just careful with the amounts and make sure it fits into my daily allowance. Do I go over, some days for sure, but these are paralleled by the days were I don’t and the exercises that I do which build a calorie deficit. It’s all about balance and I couldn’t recommend it more!
The photo below highlights my journey so far.
Top left is the last photo I have whilst pregnant (just 7 days before I gave birth), bottom left is when I started exercising again and the right hand photo is my most recent snap from a few weeks back.
At my last weigh in when pregnant I was 12.2 stone. I put on about 2.5st altogether. After Callum was born I was 11.7st and now I am 10.5st. Whilst I haven’t lost all my baby weight just yet I am happier with my body more now than I was before!