Before I even get started on this post, I want to say this is what worked for me and you don’t need to lose weight or get fit and healthy because other people are. In the words of every babe on Instagram “You do you, hun”. It really is a personal thing and what works well for me might not work for you and it doesn’t have to. I also want to say that doing this in a healthy way was the most important thing to me. No fad diets, not starving myself, or impossible exercise regimes to keep up. Instead, it’s been a lifestyle change.
So here’s the back story. After having Edie I lost the 3 stone I gained from her pregnancy about 3 weeks after giving birth. With 0 effort. I was active and walked a lot but I didn’t do any exercise or eat particularly healthy. I was one of those annoying people who “bounced back”. I naively assumed the same thing would happen with Norah.
The difference? Norah was a different baby. She hated being outside, she hated being inside, she hated being away from me. So I did what anyone would do to survive those baby days and we stayed in and kept ourselves “safe” at home. This meant that I didn’t really get out to walk much or even really do any form of exercise. 2 stone of the “baby weight” stuck to me and to be honest I didn’t care. My priority at the time was keeping a 2.5-year-old and a newborn alive and relatively happy each day. I needed a giant bar of chocolate each night.
Then came lockdown which of course meant staying home. It got to January this year and I decided that if I wasn’t pregnant (we are trying for a 3rd baby) by the time Norah started school, we would take a break and I would work on getting myself fit. At this point, I weighed 13stone 5lbs. Which is the heaviest I have ever been, including both pregnancies.
April came by and there was no positive test and so I thought this is my time to go for it. Norah was gone for 3 hours every day so I had no excuse to do something for me. After some encouragement from a friend, I started Couch to 5k. After my first run, I text my friend and said “WTF, giving birth was easier than that”. But with me being me, I had to stick it out. I get this sheer stubbornness and determination to do things and this wasn’t going to win. Over 10 weeks I completed the program (I would have done it in 9 if I didn’t mess my knee up and had to take a week’s break). I ran 3 times a week and started doing HIIT workouts on the other 2 days.
I also upped my step count. I would make sure I hit 10k every day (and I have almost every day since, only 2 days of when I felt super poorly). Most day’s I aim for 12k. Walking really helped and I soon realised that actually walking was better for me than the 20 minute HIIT. I enjoyed the walks more, I put on a podcast or audiobook and power walked around the neighbourhood.
When I started to up my exercise in April I also started to count calories. I gave myself an allowance of 1575 and I would work out what to eat based on that. I eat healthy most days but I also have chocolate or an evening treat every evening. Because 1, life is too short and 2, because I allow myself that in my allowance. I don’t feel like I’m restricting myself, I don’t have “cheat” days. I just have a little bit of what I fancy and make sensible choices. Every Friday night we have a takeaway as a treat and I then make sure I up my exercise those days to counteract for it. So I still come in on my goal.
It’s been a huge lifestyle overhaul for me and I love it. I am healthier and happier and it’s been brilliant for my mental health. Even my husband has now joined in with me because he has seen the difference it has made.
I have just hit 3 stone weight loss. Which blows my mind. I don’t have any saggy skin from losing weight too quickly, I haven’t eaten crappy diet food which quite frankly should be banned. I haven’t starved myself. I have listened to my body and rest days when I needed them. I’ve filled up on protein when I felt low on energy and upped my water intake.
Truthfully I don’t feel like I’m on a diet and I could happily stick to this lifestyle for good!