Post-Baby Weight Loss – Top Five Tips to Help you Stay Motivated

Taking care of a newborn baby is often as exhausting as it is enjoyable. Because those beautiful bundles of joy need feeding at crazy hours of the day and night, you will end up eating at crazy hours of the day and night and your appearance will fall lower on your list of priorities than washing bottles and wiping bottoms! During this hectic period, even brushing your teeth in the morning can seem like a chore but after a few months of settling into a routine, you’ll probably find yourself feeling ready to shed those extra unwanted pounds that naturally creep up during pregnancy. So if you’re looking for body-after-baby motivational tips, here are 5 that could help:
 
1 – First and Foremost – Give Yourself Some Love

 

After having a baby, it’s very easy to feel down and demotivated when you realise your waistline isn’t shrinking as quickly as your sleep quota. Everyone reaches a plateau at one point and needs something to push them forward. Don’t be hard on yourself. The best thing you can do is to detach yourself from the results of working out and simply find an activity that you enjoy. In fact, ignore the weighing scales entirely for a good few months after childbirth and embark on a healthy diet full of protein and nutrition that will not only benefit your appearance but also increase your energy levels so that when you feel the time is right, you can try to increase your activity levels slowly.
 
2 – Get a Partner
 

We all have a friend, neighbour or relative who’s trying to lose weight too, so why not get in touch and join forces? Having a weight loss accomplice can be a good way to stay motivated as not only can you can support each other, your workout partner will also hold you accountable, making sure that you keep going and don’t give up on yourself.
 

The road to weight loss can be a bumpy one, but much like life’s other journeys, the going can be smoother when you have someone to share the trip. Not only will you have a common goal, but working out will be much more fun when you have someone to listen to your new baby stories of gummy smiles and sleepless nights and will also give you a good excuse to have some much needed me-time away from the house work!
 
3 – Keep Track
 

If you keep track of your diet and exercise, you’ll be able to stay motivated. Keep a journal and list down your daily, weekly, and monthly achievements. You can also keep note of how many calories you consume every day with apps such as My Fitness Pal that promises to improve weight loss goals by encouraging you to bring control back to your eating habits through a method of tracking your calorie intake.
 
4 – Work Out with Your Baby
 

Search YouTube and you’re sure to find several exercises that you can easily do with your baby. Walking is a great way to absorb Vitamin D, get fresh air, shed weight and relax your baby too. Pushing a pram not only works your legs and glutes, but also your arms and shoulders too! Some new mothers dance with their babies in their arms, simply putting on some music and moving with the rhythm together. This makes workouts fun and is a lovely bonding experience between you and your child.
 
5 – Set Goals and Reward Yourself
 

One of the best ways to stay motivated is to have a reasonable goal to work towards. Many new mothers have unreasonable expectations based on pre-pregnancy fitness levels and if they fail to reach their targets, they become discouraged. You can avoid this by setting a very attainable goal at first and work your way up to a bigger challenge. Every time you reach your target, reward yourself with a manicure at a beauty salon or trip to the shops for the pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on. In most cases, reaching the set target offers its own reward. You will get great satisfaction from your success especially when you compliments come your way!
 

You can use these methods to keep yourself motivated but remember to always be gentle on your body. Just by being persistent with an enjoyable exercise and healthy eating regime, eventually you will see some great results.
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Get Up, Work Out!

When I look back to the picture of me (above) full term with the twins, I have an overwhelming sense of pride in what my body achieved to create 2 lives at the same time. My waist went from 28 to 42 inches and I never thought I’d see the day that I could get back into skinny jeans again. In fact, for the past 2 years I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I may have to live in leggings for the rest of my life (which is a small price to pay for the beautiful babies my big belly gave us) but there has been a real determination in me these last few months, a determination to regain my pre-pregnancy body and along with it, reinstate a more positive frame of mind to benefit myself and my family.
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As all parents know, finding time to dedicate to anything you enjoy is lower in the list of priorities than emptying the bin and catching up with the soaps. My brain literally has turned to mush by the end of a day spent answering to “mum, mum, mummy!” and changing dirty nappies whilst humming Raa Raa the Noisy Lion, but 2 months ago I made a decision to dedicate just 20-30 minutes a few times a week to myself.
 

Where have I found these magical minutes I hear you ask? You might not want to hear the answer, but the truth is – it’s in the morning! I’ve been setting an alarm and getting up earlier than the rest of the family to work out before they wake up and I have actually found that I feel so much better about the day ahead when I know I’ve prioritised myself and my health!
 

And there’s another benefit to exercising first thing in the morning too – faster weightloss! Working out on an empty stomach (or ‘Fasted Training’ as it is more commonly known) is being hailed as a faster way to lose weight through training rather than during the day when we’ve had chance to eat and the food has raised our insulin levels resulting in our bodies wanting to store food as fat, rather than to burn it for fuel. That’s a good enough reason to get me up early, I can tell you!
 
My workouts:
 
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I love the workouts on the Befit channel on YouTube. You can find routines from Jillian Michaels to Jane Fonda and other industry experts, which are completely free and I simply choose a workout depending on how much time I have. Some days I only manage to do 20 minutes but it’s high intensity and I feel like I’ve really pushed myself by the end of it. Just 20 minutes, 2-3 times a week has made me feel strong again.
 

When I can get to the gym, I like to do a Body Pump class on a Sunday morning just after the kids have had their breakfast and before my husband can figure out what’s going on as I shout “BYE!” and run out of the door. We use barbells and a step for a full body conditioning workout combining squats, steps with weights and some core work (planks, mountain climbers etc). That’s 45 minutes and I usually struggle walking for a day or two after it!
 
 
 
My eating habits:
 

I’ve stopped eating the kids leftovers – seriously who likes cold fish fingers anyway? I don’t even like warm ones so why do I find myself eating discarded ends before I toss them into the bin? New motto: ‘I am not a dustbin!’
 

Left the bread out: I don’t miss the bloated feeling I get from sandwiches and toast. I’ve replaced it with wholegrain wraps, muesli and salads (some of my recipes are in my ‘let’s eat’ category) and I’m still juicing a lot (mainly spinach, kale, apple and almond milk to keep my sugar intake low. A spoon of peanut butter helps keep me full for longer too). Our Nutribullet works even harder than me!
 

I’m sweet enough – sugar is lurking in everything, from being hidden in jars of sauces to blatantly stating the obvious in most every day breakfast cereals and I’m done with it. The crash in blood sugar levels mid-morning after a sweet breakfast and resulting craving for more of the artificial high it brings about should be illegal! Obesity is on the rise and I feel really strongly about the lack of information us every day consumers have about the hidden nasties in most of our foods. Personally, I cook everything from scratch (as in some of the recipes in my ‘let’s eat’ category here) and I’m not saying that in a ‘mum of the year’ type of way, it’s just the way I’ve always done things and find it easier because I’m far too unorganised to buy in ready made anything, I never know what I’m making until the last minute and throw things together with what we have in!
 

I’ve got bags of sugar free sweets from Boots (their diabetic range) and some Atkins cereal bars to satisfy my sugar cravings during the week. I’ve really resisted the biscuit tin and left the jammy dodgers for my jammy lodgers. Having said all of that, I know it’s not always easy to resist that satisfying slow melt of chocolate on the tongue or (my personal favourite) a coconut macaroon all crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle (yum!) so if I want a sweet treat in the evening I never deprive myself after all, I think if I’m working out I can afford a reward!
 

Almond milk – I am all over this stuff at the moment and I think it’s helped beat my bloated tummy. I’m back to a coffee most mornings (after all I went through to get myself off it, I just missed it too much!) but I don’t have sugar in it and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to having it with cows milk.
 
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Little changes are making big differences. I can see it, I can feel it. I really look forward to weekends even more now because all of the above goes out of the window for 2 lovely days when we eat take out and enjoy time together with family and friends. I really feel like I’ve earned it by the time Friday night comes around and giving my leggings a break while I dust off my skinny jeans again feels so good!
 

There’s no magic pill or any instant fixes (believe me, I’ve Googled it enough times!) and I know my stomach will never be tight and properly toned again but with patience and perseverance I’ve managed to comfortably fit into some size 10 jeans by getting up and working out!
 
After all, no-one ever got a compliment for having a lie in!

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Back at It!

Today I did my first workout since my operation.  It’s been two long months and it felt so good to dust off my trainers and head to the gym as soon as the twins went down for their afternoon nap and my mum arrived to take over with the child care. 

I’ve worked out regularly for a very long time. When I was 15, I was attacked by two girls (that I considered friends at the time) whilst walking home from school. I can remember it hurt both physically and emotionally and although the bruises were superficial and healed pretty quickly, the shock really upset me and my walk home from school was never as carefree as it used to be again.
 

When my 16th birthday came along, my parents in their usual loving and loyal way, bought me a multi-gym to improve my strength and confidence at the same time! It was one of those resistance training machines that use elastic to work out the whole body. I loved it and so began my life time obsession with exercise. 
 

I’ve worked out since. Throughout my 20’s I was hooked on the changes I could make in my physique by sculpting certain body parts using different equipment. I did the whole zero carb – high protein diet to go with it too and if I could have a wish right now it would be for just a fraction of the willpower that I had back then!
 
   

The amount of time I invest in myself has seriously diminished since becoming a mummy four years ago. Not only am I less energised for obvious reasons, but I really struggle to leave the house without three little ones in tow! I lost my baby weight through a combination of at-home workouts and running before the kids woke up in the morning and I’m hoping that getting back to a gym is going to help me tone up too – slowly but surely!
 

So today I did my first spin class. It was half an hour of pure torture, but it felt so good to get a sweat on with tunes blasting in the background and not a toy or nappy in sight! Time to myself definitely felt good for my soul and I’m looking forward to getting back to some regular fitness now I’m back to full health. I’ll keep you posted, and if I’m brave enough, throw in some before and after pictures too!
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Get it right, get it tight!

Super fast blog post today, just to say that today marks the first in a new stage in my life that I’m calling ‘Project Me’. I’ve spent 3 years at home as a full time mum and I’ve decided that it’s time to dedicate a small portion of the week to improving my health and appearance.

I’ve changed my eating habits by cutting back on sugar and bad carbohydrates and started training again so I’m hoping that soon I’ll start seeing and feeling some real improvements. I’ll update this post with the meals and workouts I’ve been doing really soon.

I need some accountability and my blog will have to be it!

Love from Leyla