Weight now: 52.8kg (8 stones 4.4 pounds)
Target weight: 54kg (8 stones 6.6 pounds)
Postnatal weight: 65.3kg (10 stones 4 pounds)
Lost: 12.5kg (nearly 2 stones)
Time to achieve target weight: 14 weeks
Everyone is always talking about losing weight for one reason or another; for the summer months, to get a fit beach body, to fit into a wedding dress or to fit into prenatal clothes – yep, that’s me!
Towards the third trimester of my pregnancy with my second chid, Teddy, I was once again ballooning! Sitting on the sofa looking at my swollen feet, I was determined that I had to start looking into postnatal weight loss programme for myself. It was a very interesting google search. I spent a good few days reading articles on different diet programmes, exercise regimes and postnatal wear. It was all very confusing and of course, everyone always claims that their own programme is the best. There are also quite a few bogus claims of losing weight in 30 days by drinking a special ‘juice’ or ‘diet drink’ or ‘supplements’. After some further reading and researching, I formulated my own version of what I felt would work, factoring in what I felt that I could reasonably do, and how far I could push myself in terms of exercise without causing any harm or side-effects. After all, I did still want to breast feed my baby.
On the last week, just before Teddy popped out, I weighed a total of 74.6kg. Before getting pregnant I was 54kg in weight, height of 170cm, hence a BMI of 18.6 – healthy weight. So, I had put on an extra 20.6kg! Teddy's birth weight was approximately 3.75kg. A few days after Teddy was born, I got on the scales (when I was able to get up independently without too much pain after the C-section). My weight was 65.3kg – a hefty 11.3kg to lose.
I was very determined at the time to lose that 11.3kg in 3 months. Looking back perhaps 4 months would have been more realistic. Nevertheless, me being me – determined, stubborn and headstrong, I set a plan in place and got on with putting my ideas into practice.
First of all, I had decided that as part of the plan is was important to wear a postnatal garment. There are many out there, each with its own merits. I decided on MACOM after enquiring about their postnatal selection. Why MACOM? Unlike the rest I found, this is a medical grade garment. As well as making postnatal garments MACOM compression garments are used extensively for post-operative recovery for surgical procedures such as breast surgery, abdominoplasty and liposuction.
The corset has an extra insert for a C-section and it has hook and eye fastenings on the side away from the scar. The seams are all on the outside, hence nothing to rub on and irritate the skin, and I do have very sensitive skin. Whilst pregnant, looking for suitable pants that don’t rub was particularly difficult. MACOM gave me two different postnatal garments and they were both very helpful – one with shorts and other was the corset. (Disclaimer: I didn't pay for these, they were on loan from MACOM) Both of these were without the optional bra as I was breastfeeding. The garments were surprisingly easy to put on and very comfortable. The first time I had the corset on, approximately 2 weeks after Teddy was born; I was amazed by what I saw in the mirror. Relatively flat tummy, I felt a million dollars – it was va, va, voom! I was elated. With hormones flying high postnatal, that feeling was good and definitely made me feel better emotionally and psychologically. For the first 10 weeks or so – I wore the garment religiously during the day.
There are so many diet programmes out there; gluten free diet, low carb, high protein diet, no carb diet and so on ad infinitum. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Yoyo dieting is a big no-no! Starvation diet is also out. What did I do? Mainly, portion control is the key. My diet programme is low fat, low-medium carbohydrate, medium protein, high in fruit, fibre and vegetable. For the initial few weeks, I counted the calories religiously and balanced them out. As I was breastfeeding, I had to ensure that I was eating healthily and not jeopardising my milk supply for Teddy. Whilst breastfeeding, I ensured I always had the three main meals and two to three healthy snacks throughout the day.
I am a chocoholic and on quite a few occasions, I admit that I did give in to the chocolate cravings. I am only human after all! So the key here, and I can’t emphasize it enough, is portion control, plenty of water and my own personal must every morning – a glass of hot water with a squeeze of lemon to kick start my detox and the body’s metabolism. What helped me with portion control was a special bowl (capacity - 250ml in my case). Each person's calorie intake is different depending on your activities, your weight, height and your body's metabolism. I recommend speaking to your GP before starting on any diet especially if you are breastfeeding or have any medical issues.
The first few weeks, I did nothing! Looking after Teddy and breastfeeding were exhausting enough. When my C-section wound healed up, I had checked for rectus diastasis and ensured that I was okay, I commenced on a light exercise regime mainly concentrating on core strengthening. Gradually I built that up, started doing planks and bridges then added in jogging. I did it gradually as my body allowed. The main exercise that helped me most with weight loss was running. Just twice a week between 2k -3k (if you can) would suffice and can make a big difference. Exercising also helps with serotonin production – hence a happier you! As per dieting I strongly recommend that you speak to your GP before starting any exercise programme.
Do read my blog on my website to find out more about what I did on a weekly basis. There is a lot more detail there.
After losing the weight and achieving your target weight, a maintenance programme is essential to ensure you do not put the weight you have lost back on. Eating healthily, portion control and weekly exercises on a maintenance regime will help. Weekly weighing will also keep you on your toes!
I have done it now, down to 52.8kg, still maintaining it and I have proven to you it is achievable. So, it is your turn now, get off the couch and start your weight loss programme today! Good luck.