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OK, so I’ve been procrastinating about writing this post for a bit too long now. You see, I didn’t want to put it out there, because then I might have to actually become accountable or make some sort of plan…but, dammit, I am going to say it out loud (figuratively speaking) right here! I, my friends, have put on a leeetle too much weight this winter and I am going to have to do something about it.
There. I said it.
I have this (weirdly specific) scary weight of 63.8kg and I am slowly (but all too steadily) approaching it. It’s a long story but that’s the most I’ve ever weighed in my life and at the time, I was going through a lot of crap and felt so unhappy inside myself. I made a massive effort to lose a lot and got down to 56.9kg which isn’t my overall best weight (keep in mind I am five foot nothing tall so I’d love to be between 53kg and 55kg), but it was a good effort considering where I started. I knew I was always going to fall for the foods that aren’t considered ideal for weight loss (hello carbs!), but I counted every calorie I consumed and exercised extra to compensate. I then got pregnant and I was cool with not worrying too much about it. I wanted to have a healthy attitude to any weight gain while the Little Mister lived inside me.
I gave birth and I was one of those b*tches you want to kill. I lost ALL of my baby weight within about three months by doing not much at all, really. I was back to 56.9kg in no time. I was a bit more saggy and stretch-marked than before, but I think the breastfeeding and the restricted diet while I had gestational diabetes (as well as being too busy to eat in the first few weeks) really helped my cause.
Along came winter. I take back everything I said about us being friends again. Winter is my enabler. Damn you, winter with your cold weather, hot meals that are way too “hearty”, your figure hiding clothes and your rainy days! Lack of exercise + too much food = chubby Kez! I started to notice the gain creeping up on me about two weeks ago and to be honest, I haven’t done a whole lot about it. Very proactive of me, I know.
I have at least started walking briskly with the Little Mister in his pram on every non-raining day I can, but the weather is being a little unreliable for now. I am still eating crap (the portion sizes are at times embarrassing) and I am unfortunately still using food as a ‘reward’ for getting through a long day with the Little Mister, pigging out a little with comfort food when he’s all safe and sound in bed and I’m finally free to eat with both hands and eyes straight ahead on the telly, all zoned out (you other mums/dads know what I mean).
I find it hard to find proper time to exercise. I have an exercise bike which I used and abused pre-baby, but I find it hard to think of creative ways to exercise with the Little Mister in the room. When he’s having a nap, I tend to drift towards the computer and any home admin tasks…or even sleep if we’ve had a rough night. I try to use that time as quiet time (it’s so precious). Also, when he’s awake he wants to be right on top of me if I’m doing something interesting (read: exercising). I know that if I tried hard enough I’d figure it all out, but honestly, I’ve been a bit lazy and haven’t really known where to start.
I don’t want to restrict my diet to the point where I’m starving or cheating under pressure, but I know I’ve got some habits to change (smaller portion sizes and the mentality that food is my reward). I don’t want to put the Little Mister second so I can exercise – I need to make him a part of it or find a way around his schedule that works for the two of us – no matter what the weather is like.
I am not going to lie. I am not going to suddenly be awesome at this. I’m going to have to start with baby steps (how appropriate).
1. I will stick to my resolution to go walking with the Little Mister every day the weather is nice. I will keep moving as long as I can (Little Mister’s schedule and needs in mind) and will track my walking routes and estimated calories burnt using an iPhone app (I’ve been recommended Nike + Running by twitter lovelies). This will help me keep motivated and encourage me to improve my progress over time. I also have a fancy schmancy heart rate/calorie monitoring watch thingy which my husband got me – just like the ones they use on the Biggest Loser.
2. I will look into purchasing exercise DVDs – perhaps something fun like Zumba – so that the Little Mister can laugh at me and be thoroughly entertained while I bust my butt – 2 birds, 1 stone. My budget needs a bit of a hand for this to happen, but I’ll make it a goal. Maybe there’s some good bargains on eBay. Great for those days you’re stuck inside either because of rainy, cold weather or because of oppressive summer heat.
3. I will find other ways to reward myself at night time other than just food. Perhaps if I eat a healthy (well portioned) meal, I will paint my nails or do something nice for myself that will not only distract me from the fact that I will be a bit (emotionally) “hungry” for a while, but will make me feel good about myself in the long run.
4. The Little Mister is on a very nutritious and healthy diet – quite low in fat, sugar or salt. Maybe if I can kick my own butt hard enough, I should make the rule that if he wouldn’t be allowed to eat it, then I can’t either. Yikes – that one’s a big call. However, on principle, there’s not a bad thing to come from that idea. I’d get healthier and I’d be role modelling good choices. Look, I’ll get back to you on that one – I’m not entirely convinced I can make it happen all at once – might take a gradual withdrawal process. I know all the ‘good’ mummies are reading this and saying – WHAT? YOU’RE NOT DOING THE RIGHT THING ALREADY? I plead guilty. I eat good things, but I also eat a lot of other crap (that’s the problem 😛 ). But in doing so, I bet I’m not the only one. C’mon. Although, I won’t be sneakily eating stolen biscuits from the floor, like the Little Mister does every week at the library after Rhyme Time…so that’s good.
5. Perhaps, if number 4 is a struggle, I should make a rule that whenever I’m eating out, I must choose a healthy option. Let the shame of being in public actually work for me haha (I’m only half joking). It will stop me from reaching for the hot chips and the other tempting options that can be found on a cafe menu. As a stay at home mum I get to meet a lot of friends (or my mum) for lunch at yummy (but dangerously affordable) places, so this might help me to focus a bit less on eating as a part of the socialising experience. I’m there for the company after all, so if I eat a healthy meal I’ll feel twice as good 🙂
I’m not saying I can make all of those items on the list happen all at once, but if I strive towards those goals, I know I will make a difference. It gives me something to achieve. I’m not perfect. I’m time poor, I lack extra energy once I’ve done all the Little Mister or housekeeping related tasks in a day and I do end up feeling/being lazy in my free time (a tough confession to make). I make bad food choices because they feel so so good at the time and I use food to make me feel like I’m treating myself when I’m alone (my husband does regular night shift work). Maybe with the right fuel for my body and a leap back into exercise the endorphins will energise me so I can be an even better mum (you know because I’m so awesome now haha).
I’m hoping that by being realistic and not putting too much pressure on myself all at once to see the kilos instantly shedding off me, other mums/parents who struggle with this will also feel like they can work towards better health – one tiny step at a time. I know this is a cliche but it’s true. I need this to be a lifestyle change, not a diet or exercise fad or phase. I totally admire the mummies who can handle a gym class daily, play team sports at night time, go running in whatever weather or do home workouts without their little cherubs getting in the way. Unfortunately, I do not always have that ability financially or time-away-from-bub-wise. I do hope to go back to the gym over the summer when the gym creche is much less germy and diseased (I’ve heard horror stories this past winter – I tell ya), so I can leave the Little Mister to play and be looked after, but I need exercise options that won’t cost me anything too. That way the gym will just be a nice bonus 🙂
Now that the Little Mister is doing really well in swimming lessons I hope to get into the pool a lot this summer too. We can exercise together!
I must say, the fear of being asked if I’m pregnant again already is a pretty good motivator. No-one’s ever asked me, but I feel like that day is coming if I don’t get a hold on this!!
I think I just have to be more mindful each day. Writing this post is getting new thoughts into my head and I hope these thoughts will guide me closer to my weight loss goal.
If you have any (tried and true) multitasking mama daily exercise tips for me (that don’t cost too much or require reliance on someone babysitting), please let me know in the comment form below!
Wish me luck x