Friday, 23 October 2015

Post Baby | Weight Battle

Whether it has affected you or not, post baby weight is always a topic of conversation. Some women bounce back immediately after having a baby while others struggle, for years, with post baby weight. For those of us who struggle it can be very disheartening to see celebrity mothers showing images of their perfect post baby figures, literally within a week of having a baby. The post baby weight is a very different issue for each mother. What will work for one mother will not work for another.

Since having my son 16 months ago I have seen how well the marketing gurus are able to tap into the mind of a new mother and convince her that their product or service is a miracle worker and unless they make the purchase, they will be stuck with the baby weight forever. I suppose I never really noticed any of this before having my son but now it is all relevant to me and it irritates me to see ad after ad and celebrity after celebrity talking about how easy it is to lose baby weight.

For me I have always had weight issues. I’ve never been obese but I have been approx 1 stone over weight for a number of years. I was at my best when I fell pregnant. I was going to the gym 3 days per week and walking and running 2 days per week. I was fit and healthy and was in a great position health wise. While pregnant I was “all bump”, only putting on weight in the last 2 months of the pregnancy, approx 1 stone. Following my son’s birth I began breastfeeding and I immediately saw the weight drop off. Within 2 weeks I was back to where I had been prior to the pregnancy, aside from the loose skin around my stomach. I actually looked well and a number of people would tell me so.

Unfortunately I took all of this for granted because I would eat whatever I liked and it eventually took its toll. My son’s birth was very tough. It was slow, long and extremely painful but that is a story for another day. I ended up  being in severe pain for a number of weeks afterwards and it took 2 full months before I could comfortable sit on a hard surface without crying in pain. I assumed that because he was born naturally, that I would have a fast recovery period and within no time I would be back pounding the roads again. This was not to be. As a result of being in so much pain, my exercise was nonexistent. I went to my first fitness class when my son was almost 4 months old and even at that stage lying on the ground to do sit-ups was torture!

Having such a slow recovery period has taken an effect on my weight and my self confidence. I remember hearing the phrase “You are allergic to yourself at the moment” and I just thought that it was so true. I hated shopping and I hated looking at myself in the mirror. I hated that my nice clothes either didn’t fit me or I looked like I was poured into them.

When I felt up for it, I began back at running and it was like starting from scratch all over again. I began going to more fitness class and watching what I ate. Since January I have lost track of the number of 5K and 10K races that I have taken part in. I run 3 days per week and attend a fitness class one night each week. I am still trying to lose 2 stone and to tone up but it is a constant battle. I have now stopped allowing myself to get sucked in by marketing and advertising and have realised that a quick fix is not an option. The main thing that is helping me to keep my focus is to have a support. My husband encourages me all of the time and my friends will go running or go to a fitness class with me. It’s lovely to get out of the house for an hour, even though it’s for exercise. Getting out with a friend and having a chat is also great for my mind and mental state. It builds up my positivity and is encouraging to see that I am making progress.

Yes I am 16 months on from having a baby but I will always struggle with my weight. I think it must be in my genes! I know that there are plenty of other mothers who are or have been in the same position as me and its ok. Dealing with a weight issue is hard at any stage in life and having a child does not help but I think that there is a lot to be said for the advertisements and marketing campaigns surrounding the weight loss industry. To me they portray the negative side of weight loss as they sell unrealistic ideals to new mothers and indeed to anyone trying to lose weight. In my experience the best option is to watch what you eat and drink and to get out and exercise. Being fit and healthy is not about being a stick figure who only eats 1 slice of lettuce each day, it’s about being confident and happy and being able to do what is right for you!

(All images thanks to Pinterest and Google)

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