I can’t believe Jodie is nearly 3 weeks old! I should know from Frankie how quickly time flies (although it certainly doesn’t feel like it’s flying when I’m up feeding her at 3am!). She’s doing really well, gaining 1lb since birth. Frankie is loving her and insisting that she comes everywhere with him.
I’ve just finished Week 1 of my 6 Week Post Pregnancy Plan. If you haven’t got time to read this blog post but want to know more about the plan then you can leave your details HERE and I’ll let you know all about it very soon. You can also follow my progress over on Snapchat.
Firstly, I want to acknowledge that obviously my body is not in bad shape. As fitness is my job I was in pretty good shape prior to getting pregnant (although the madness of having a toddler had definitely taken it’s toll on me!). I also put it down to having a fit pregnancy. A lot of people commented during my pregnancy about how lucky I was to not gain much weight and how I made it look easy etc. but the truth is that I struggled with the same nausea and fatigue that a lot women get. However I chose to keep trying to eat relatively well and stayed active and that did stand to me during the pregnancy, labour and now in the post pregnancy stage.
1 Week Post Pregnancy
I really, really don’t want other new mothers to compare their post-pregnancy bodies to mine. Like I said fitness is my job and so obviously my body will return to somewhere near it’s previous form quicker than a lot of other women’s bodies would. However that’s not to say that I don’t fully encourage all women to try and get back into some form of physical activity as soon as they get the go-ahead from their Doctor. Not to lose weight (although you are entitled to want to do that) but for your mindset, your self-care and your overall health and wellbeing. Being active and eating well this week has given me so much more energy and I’ve been feeling very positive most of the time. That’s not always the case when you have a new baby and I honestly believe that it is the missing link for a lot of women who do experience lows in the months after pregnancy.
Pre Pregnancy & 1 Week Post Pregnancy
What I weigh doesn’t interest me in the slightest. Weight is not a good indicator of health and fitness or even body fat as it fluctuates for a number of reasons. Never is this more evident to me than post pregnancy. I think I was about 9st 10lb before I got pregnant with Jodie. When I brought her back to the hospital at 4 days old for her heel prick there was a scales there and out of interest I hopped up on it and wasn’t a bit surprised to see that I weighed 9st 9lb. This was despite the fact that I had obvious post pregnancy body fat and wouldn’t have had a hope of fitting into my pre-pregnancy jeans or most of my clothes for that matter. I knew myself that my body fat was up just from the feel of my body and why wouldn’t it be considering I had just given birth? The reason for this drop in weight was because I have lost muscle tissue, which makes me weigh heavier normally, during my pregnancy as is also expected. I’m not a heavy weight lifter outside of pregnancy but was using even lighter weights during it and by the end was only using either my bodyweight or a resistance band so this is why I would have lost muscle tissue. Anyway bottom line is that while you would expect that with more body fat your weight would increase on the scales but this proves that that is not always the case and shows that the scales are not a reliable indicator of where you’re at.
Just because I don’t have a lot of body fat to lose doesn’t mean my concerns about my body are not legit. For me it’s about improving my posture and strengthening up areas that have become weak. Pregnancy, labour and breastfeeding really take their toll on my body. When I’m pregnant the muscles in my bum are strong and I tend to have a fairly decent sized one too but afterwards when I’m sitting down a lot I lose the muscle tone in it, it goes really flat and I get a lot of lower back pain as a result. The same happens with my shoulders and upper back to the point where I need neuromuscular therapy to help me avoid injury. My stomach is a lot softer this time than last and I have quite a lot of loose skin when I sit down too. So these are the things I’ll be concentrating on over the coming weeks but it is genuinely the feel-good factor that I’m looking for when following a plan like this.
As I said in the last blog entry the plan starts off very gently and really does take the post pregnancy body into account in both the exercise plan and the meal plan. The meal plans are not about restricting calories. Instead they focuses on including healthy, nutritious foods that will help to give a new mother more energy and keep her feeling fuller for longer. They’re also not rigid and there’s plenty of room for real life (eg. my slight off-plan treat that I had with Frankie to celebrate him finally allowing his hair to be cut!).
The plan takes breastfeeding mothers (of which I am one) into account too. It’s very important when you’re breastfeeding that you don’t restrict calories as it can affect your milk supply. For this reason I advise all mothers to adapt the meal plans to suit their own needs, adding extra snacks or increasing portions sizes where needed and NEVER allow themselves to get too hungry as this is a sign that they’re not eating enough to meet the needs of their body. I’ve taken my own advice this week and when I’ve needed more than what the plan says I’ve eaten it. For example, I get really hungry while I’m feeding during the night so I always bring up something to eat for that time, usually some overnight oats or granola and yogurt.
While I really enjoyed the exercise this week and found it no problem to do, I did struggle at times with the meal plan. I had been in the mode of eating pretty much what I wanted during the previous weeks and it’s taking me time to get back on track. I find that when I’m eating like I was then I’m not eating out of hunger but out of habit and being tired makes this even worse. Following the plan this week has made me sit up and take notice of what I’m actually feeling but it still doesn’t take away the urge to pick at food, in the evenings in particular. I find that being organised and having a lot of my meals and snacks prepared really helps when I’m tired and more inclined to make poor choices.
I’m so grateful for all the positive feedback and lovely messages and comments I’ve been getting from everyone across all of my social media outlets over the past fortnight. I read them all and they really encourage me every day. I can’t wait to launch this plan in January and am so excited to help lots of mothers feel really good.
Thanks for reading,