Losing Weight After Childbirth

 

Losing weight after childbirth is one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do. Before conception, I weighed 67kg and gained a whooping 20kg by the time the sprog was born. So we returned home from hospital, baby in arms, logging around about 15kg. To be honest, I was surprised that I was still weighing that much, my belly was still a huge watermelon, and I was hungry all the time.

I breastfed my baby for the first six months of her life, and I can tell you that it is an intense experience, especially as she was hungry all the time. Some friends expressed surprise that the weight wasn’t falling off because I breastfed, but I knew it didn’t happen because I ate as much as I breastfed, and I ate all the wrong things. I think because I was exhausted from logging around a baby who refused to be put down on her own, and I was sleep deprived, I just ate whatever was available. She was born a month before Christmas and thus the house was full of chocolate and biscuits. I indulged. Yes, I indulged very much.

The result is that almost a year on, it has been a vicious cycle, the weight is still there -5kg. My belly is still the size of a watermelon, I still see the images of Beyonce and Serena Williams who seem to have lost their weight in 2 days, and I remain the primary care giver for the sprog who leaves me exhausted and exercise averse at the end of the day.

So how can I lose the rest of the weight and shape up? I do know what to do, I just need to dig deep and find the energy, motivation, discipline, patience and the time. It may require waking up at 6am, an hour before the sprog wakes up, to work out using some YouTube videos. I will need to do healthy meal preps at the weekends so that I can have meals to eat whenever I am hungry. I will have to cut out biscuits and all the bad stuff that I reward myself with when she goes to bed. If I start to walk more, and get to 10,000 steps per day I know the kilograms will fall off.

Going forward, I have now learned that the best way to recover quickly after a pregnancy is to eat as healthily as possible while pregnant, and to stay as active as possible. Should we be blessed with another baby, I intend to carry on working out, energy and health permitting, until my due date. Additionally, after the baby arrives, I will start to eat healthy from day 1, and ask for help to avoid the burnout that comes from exhaustion. I will plan many family meals in advance and freeze them to avoid the chaos that comes when a newborn arrives. I will start to workout hopefully after 3 weeks, which is the timeline for recovery recommended after vaginal delivery.

As for my weight and health situation at the moment, I have started working out and have lost about 5kg so far, but the truth is that I have another 10kg to shake, and I have a whale of a belly to reduce and shape up. I have now set a goal for myself, I want to try to reach 70kg by February 2018. I want to do it right, no diets, no tricks, just good old fashioned exercise and eating right. Have you tried to lose weight recently? What worked for you? Any tips and ideas for shredding are very welcome.

 

How To Lose Weight In No Time

So this is the third month in the year. I woke up this morning and finally decided to check my weight on the scale in the bathroom which has taunted me since all that Christmas chocolate and pudding. I am sure that I am not alone in this. Over the holdiays, I ate a shocking amount of chocolate, none of which I bought myself. You see, people think that the best way to share their joy and holiday spirit is by gifting the office or the house share with chocolates. To be fair to them, nobody asked me to indulge, but there’s something about a pack of ferrero Rocher.

There is no such thing as self control when I see a packet of celebrations containing pure goodness, otherwise known as snickers. Anyway, I ate a whole lot of those, as well as many many Nutella pancakes and crepes at the Christmas bazaars in London and Bristol. Life was good! Then my birthday and valentine’s day arrived in January and February respectively; and I indulged some more. All thanks to the wonderful friends, house mates and classmates who insist on spreading the chocolatey love. Fast forward two weeks later, I climbed on the scale and I was sorry!

Nutella stuffed pancakes. Source: www.mirror.co.uk
Nutella stuffed pancakes. Source: http://www.mirror.co.uk

To be honest, I was not too surprised because my butt had taken on a slightly fuller appearance in the mirror and in my jeans. In addition, my midriff was also showing signs of the old muffin-ness. Thus I embarked upon my quest to lose 1kg or 2.2 pounds and to tone up as well. This morning, I got on that scale and I had lost 2kg (4.4 pounds) in one month. I am so excited, and I really did not do too much, except be regimented and disciplined, but I wasn’t starving myself. Below is what I did for anyone’s who is interested in trying:

Chocolate! Source: www.all-free-download.com
Chocolate! Source: http://www.all-free-download.com

1. I banished all the bad stuff from my kitchen. stocked up on small sized apples, small banana fingers, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, bell peppers, okro, spinach, onions, frozen peas, frozen mushrooms, fish, chicken breasts, eggs, beans, beans flour, unripe plantain, sweet potatoes, oats, unsweetened almond milk, ginger and lemon tea, peppermint tea (all caffeine free).

2. I made a weekly menu which I shall share below.

3. I found my favourite series and had them ready to play daily for my exercise sessions, 30 minutes per episode.

4. I began to jog on the spot in front of the TV every single morning or evening (depending on what was going on in my day) for 30 minutes while watching my beloved series. No exercise, no series, it was my reward for looking after my body and myself.

5. I made my meals a few days in advance and put them in the fridge inside portion control plastic containers. In addition, everyday before going out, I sliced about 3 or 4 carrots and put in a zip log bag, this constituted my snacking. I also took my  teabags with me as I cut out all that milky tea drinking and just stuck with my yummy flavoured tea.

6. I did not go out to parties or with friends as much during this time.

7. I tried to eat dinner before 7pm daily and went to bed early if I was feeling peckish.

8. I made a diary of what I ate so that I could review in the event that I ate too much on a particular day.

9. I had music in the background if I did not feel like watching the series while I exercised.

10. I stayed away from the scale for a month. I drank lots of water and caffeine free flavoured tea. I at mostly lean protein, legumes, egg whites. I cut out eba, pounded yam, potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, sweets, cookies,etc

My menu:

Fruits and Veggies. Source: www.jegygyuru.com
Fruits and Veggies. Source: http://www.jegygyuru.com
Day Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Monday Oats with some almond milk, a small banana Chicken salad drizzled with olive oil and black pepper Roasted, boiled or grilled chicken breast on a bed of tomatoes and lettuce
Tuesday 1 boiled egg with cooked mushrooms and cherry tomatoes Homemade stir fry (with only half a teaspoon of oil oil) of mostly diced chicken breast, onions, mushrooms and peas and 1 serving spoon of beans A fish fillet grilled with garlic served on a bed of rockets or any veggies you have
Wed Oats, unsweetened almond milk and banana ½  sweet potato used to make a salad. No dressing, just olive oil, vinegar and black pepper A small bowl of Okro soup made with skinless chicken and half a teaspoon of palm oil
Thursday 1 grilled sausage with tomatoes and mushrooms A small tin of moi-moi made with olive oil Pea soup
Friday ½ a grapefruit Stir fry made with a serving spoon of chickpeas and a lot of peas, tomatoes, mushrooms Tuna salad with lettuce and healthy dressing
Saturday Oats, banana and unsweetened almond Mushrooms and ham soup Grilled Chicken breast marinated in garlic with veggies
Sunday 1 grapefruit Mashed sweet potatoes and grilled fish with a side of peas and carrots ½ unripe Plantain roasted in the oven and eaten with spinach tomatoes stew or spinach curry
slim_belly_and_measure_tape_187102
Belly and tape measure. Source: http://www.all-free-download.com

I varied my menu every now and then for the four weeks. I also controlled my portions to 3/4 of my fist. I snacked twice in the day; mid morning, and mid-evening. My snacks were usually 1 apple, or 1 pear, or 1 carrot, or 10 raw almonds. I had a few treat days where I saw a movie with a small pack of popcorn, or had pancakes for breakfast. But for the most part, I stuck to what you see above. I am so psyched and plan to continue. I never felt tired or hungry because the meals are quite balanced; proteins, veggies, fruits, carbs (from potatoes, plaintain, veggies and fruits). I will carry on for another month and see how it goes. Fingers crossed I can persevere for another month, and then change a few things and make it a lifestyle. Have you had the same dilemma as me over the holidays?