I put on 20 kilos when I was pregnant the first time... 16 kilos the second. And whoever said you lose weight breastfeeding lied.... So you are welcome to accompany on my motherhood and fitness journey, but beware - check your excuses into baggage before you enter the carriage.
Here is my most commonly asked question as a Mum/ trainer:
"How do you find time to train?"
And here is my response:
- Do you eat?
- Do you get your hair done?
- Waxing done?
- Nails done?
- Spray tanning?
- Do you watch TV?
If you answered YES to only ONE of those questions then you have time to train.
I only train FOUR times a week. Not twice, not eight.... Just four.
I trained like this up until 2 days before both Thomas and Lucy was born. Now, pregnancy is not the time to start a training regime... The simple rule is - if you weren't doing it before, don't start it during.
If not, here are my most basic tips to being a fit and healthy Mum:
- Your diet should be 80% fresh vegetables.
- Eat regularly, nutritiously and include loads of good fats so that you don't fang down on shit (and steal half chewed baby rusks) when you are REALLY hungry.
- No, calorie counting does not work. How can you compare broccoli to diet coke?
- Cut out sugar and white flour. Sugar makes you crave sugar.
- Drink only water, teas and coffee. NO SUGARY drinks or juices. And no matter how you spin it, alcohol makes you fat.
- You should sleep 7-9 hours a night, ideally between 10pm and 6am. (Ha ha! I'm laughing too).
- Train intensively two to four times a week: this means with weights and programs that test the brain and body. If you don't know how to do this, seek professional help - the same as you go to a beauty bar for gel nails.
- Walk - walk - walk - walk -walk - EVERYDAY. Unless you are under anesthetic in an operating theater... walk.
- If you want to stop weeing when you sneeze you need to train properly. Doing those stupid pelvic floor exercises at the change table that your physio showed you in hospital will not cut it.
- If you are hungry before bed eat protein - drink full fat milk, a cut of cheese, a fist of walnuts and pecans. Not diet shakes. Not chips. Not biscuits. Not lollies.
- Drink aloe gel or apple cider vinegar in filtered water on an empty stomach first thing in the morning so you don't become constipated and to help your hemorrhoids (yes, they are just nature's motherhood trophies).
- Take magnesium and zinc at night. Vitamin B during the day.
- You lose weight when you breastfeed... Crap. You're uterus contracts faster, but it is not a get out of jail free card. So don't stop breastfeeding just because you can't lose weight!!! (And DO NOT give up breastfeeding because you want to drink alcohol. It's ok to have a wine/ beer occasionally and still breast feed, but with alcohol increasing your risk of DYING OF BREAST CANCER why would you leave your child motherless just to tipple?) p.s.: alcohol makes you fat.
- You can't train and breastfeed. Bullshit. I breastfeed Thomas for 3 and half years. I'm still wearing 12 month old Lucy as a broach. Breast feeding EXCLUSIVELY for 6 months, and then for another 2-3 years will all but alleviate diabetes and obesity from your child's health risks, and their immunity is immeasurably superior to formula feed babies.
- Mum's who exercise must have a nanny and a million dollars. Can I introduce you to Brittany Spears ladies? Money does not buy motivation, common sense, or a sense of priority. (Or dress sense).
I am a Mum....
Here is proof.....
Being a parent is the hardest job of my life, and I worked in the QPS for 12 years.... Seriously, managing a murder scene is a piece of cake compared to a house full of mewling toddlers covered in fecal matter and vomit. You wear the burden of love like a weighted backpack of anxiety that you never put down. Even in my sleep I worry... And my body is never completely my own. I am so 'touched out' by the end of the day that even having an innocent shopper brush lightly past me forces me to recoil and want to yell, "Space, space, can't you see I need my space!'. Don't even get me started about bathing/ weeing/ pooing in privacy.
Your tummy will NOT go back down for 9-24 months. If it does you are a genetic freak, or alternatively have an eating disorder brought about by attempting to control some part of your chaotic environment, because your sub-conscious missed the memo that you can't control children. I have had a number of pregnancies. I was pregnant for about 4 years on and off at one stage. Our mum's were so busy warning about teenage pregnancy that they forgot to tell us about the real miracle of conception and that the pill f@^ks your pituitary gland. But just because I don't have live babies doesn't mean that my body doesn't have the same expansive tendencies every time I get pregnant... And each time it takes the corresponding amount of time to for my body to become my own again.
Give your body permission to play by nature's rules. If you are pregnant for 10 months it will take at least 10 months for your uterus to acknowledge that you want to wear a bikini. (I used to roll my eyes at Mum's that gave birth at 38 weeks... I used to think. Blah, your not pregnant until they are in there for over 40 weeks honey.... Don't worry, the Baby God hears all. I have given penance.)
|HARD. But completely worth it...|
3 hours sleep a night + breastfeeding + Caesarean fluid = Demented and not a size 6.Yes, I would have loved a natural birth so I could be a martyr about how I didn't have pain medication and I was taking a boxing class the next day, but the Baby God heard that too, and she laughed and took matters into her own surgical hands. I'm really quiet lucky I was born in this era, because I would have been dead and childless even 60 years ago.
I abide by 2 things after having a baby:
1. I take responsibility for the carb cravings I get as a result of breast feeding and sleep deprivation,
2. No matter what, I train when I plan to train going as hard as I physically can.... It gets booked in around Daddy's shift work and school drop-offs and it will prevail. I take my meager portion of self-time and wrestle it, rip it's throat out and glory in the bloody gore of post-exercise hormones as they run bloody down my chin! It is my time... all mine... and I will devour and gorge! Har ha ha harrrr!!!!!!
I am not perfect. I have my binges. I love a little pastry... who the hell doesn't? But the simple fact is... sugar makes you fat. It is not a food group. So stop eating it....
I prioritise training over movies... over TV... nails, hair.... pretty much anything that became a petty vanity for me. Training is my mental, emotional and physical outlet. It is my grace. It had been since I was 19 and I was trying to heal broken hearts, poor self esteem and short woman syndrome. And the truth was - I couldn't afford the above luxuries anymore, and I would have preferred to look good naked then to have mutli-coloured acrylic talons. That was just my priority.
I have only been to six movies in six years. And that is ok by me...
|This makes it all worth it... We'll do 'date nights' in a couple of years.|
I also walk.... walk with my screaming baby, which, consequently, is good for baby's "colic". Walk around and around the park... up and down the street. The sun is good for our vitamin D and the post-op infection that I always manage to develop. It also helps to adjust crying niblet's body clock.
Oldest child Thomas is a bloody fabulous sleeper now FYI... "In all things, this too will pass...".
Mums, heed my word: this does not persist forever...
And protein powders, meal replacement shakes and fat metabolising pills do not work. The end. No further debate. You will not get the magic bullet from me. It doesn't exist.
|This is me, post baby one and pregnant with baby Lucy. I really am trying to suck in that gut there... look at that concentration on my face. |
I was eating like a feral pig minutes before the photo was taken.
News flash: it has been clinically proven that you share the DNA of your babies in-utero and your DNA will automatically adjust you for longevity to help raise your babies - and your grandchildren. In real terms this means you should be STRONGER, with the ability to build more muscle mass then before birth. And it is true...
More importantly.... I want to teach my children the value of taking responsibility for their health. I don't want them to hear me on the phone complaining about my weight, or crying when I try on clothes. I want them to realise that hard work makes good people reach better decisions. I want them to be strong and resilient.... wishing them a happy life is not enough.
Always be honest with yourself - if training is not your priority, own it. Don't feel like you have to go to confessional every time a personal trainer walks past. If you want it to be your priority start to learn what motivates you. Good trainers can only do so much and they love to tell you how to help yourself, but you can only lead a horse to water.
So, Mums, if you want equal rights, then having an overworked uterus will generally NOT be a good enough excuse to disown responsibility for what you put in your mouth and how you use (or don't use) your body.
A happy life means a happy wife right? So how will you get happy and healthy today?