Body After Babies- My Weight Loss Journey
This post is just in time for the New Year- many of you have made resolutions, some of them will be weight related, and most resolutions will require some degree of willpower and self discipline. I will also be focusing more on healthy eating and exercising after 3 very indulgent weeks off- every bite was TOTALLY worth it though and I refuse to feel guilty about all the good food I consumed.
Growing up, I always had a slender frame. I never had to diet or work out until after having babies in order to stay in shape. Back then, I did not know or appreciate how lucky I was! I'm 5'4, so not particularly tall, and when I gain weight, I feel like it shows immediately.
I gained 25kg (55 lbs) with 2 of my pregnancies- with my other pregnancy I gained around 12kg (26 lbs). After having my oldest, Maya, I started a low carb diet when she turned 1. I cut out bread, rice, pasta and most junk foods. My vice is chocolate (in particular Kinder chocolate) and I still treated myself to an odd bar here and there- I have little to no self control when it comes to chocolate! After a few days of starting this diet, the weight started falling off. To be honest, I only had the last few kgs to lose as I shifted most of the weight gradually through breastfeeding. The last few kgs are always the hardest to lose! The low carb diet not only helped me to get to my pre-pregnancy weight (54kg), I lost an additional 2kg and probably managed to get to my wedding day weight.
Since I didn't gain much during my second pregnancy, I really didn't have much to lose; post birth I dropped 8kg and within 2 months I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight without dieting as I was still breastfeeding.
I gained the most with my third pregnancy and couldn't for the life of me lose the weight that I wanted to lose. Sadly (for me), Imaani wouldn't latch on so I only managed to breastfeed her for 2 painful weeks. This meant I was free to diet but I wasn't in the right frame of mind to find any motivation to do this. The exhaustion from looking after 2 babies and a toddler pretty much on my own took its toll on me and food was a welcome comfort and companion. 5 months postpartum I did something I'd never done before- I joined the gym, hired a personal trainer and restarted the low carb diet. Finally, I started seeing results again which gave me more motivation to keep going and 3 years on I'm still loosely sticking to this plan.
I'm still a work in progress; I can no longer just eat what I want to and stay the same size however I do treat myself a lot. It's all about balance in life, I certainly wouldn't be happy if I had to give up chocolate so I make a lot of allowances. Sure, I'd probably have a completely flat stomach/six pack if I didn't indulge in dessert every other day but my sanity and happiness is more important to me than a bikini body. I try to counter my chocolate binges by doing 10, 000 steps a day or a quick workout. I used to be so hard on myself and I've learnt to appreciate that I grew and gave birth to 3 beautiful, healthy babies. Life is too short, do (and eat) what makes you happy- and if you want to eat the cake, just go for it ;-)