Once again I’ve been AWOL for ages. I’d always suspected that it was harder to be a stay at home Mum than a working Mum but when I quit work I thought perhaps I’d at least have a bit more time for my blog. HAHA lesson learned there.
But, at the start of last year I was writing quite a few posts about my attempts to lose my baby weight (ok cake weight, kitkat weight, etc etc) and I’ve been meaning to come back for a bit of an update on that.
The big news was that by July last year I had lost 3 stone (42lbs/ 19kg). It was more than I had aimed for when I started so I was delighted to make it that far, it’s about the same weight that I was when I got married, before a solid decade of pregnancies, births, breastfeeding, thyroid disease and eating the disgusting leftovers on toddler’s plates. As of now, a few weeks after Christmas, I’m about 4lbs heavier than that but I’m not too concerned about it. I’ve lost a bit of Christmas weight already so I’m confident I can shift it all. Which means that this has been my most successful attempt ever at losing weight and keeping it off.
Weight Loss learning:
Here’s what I’ve learned about weight loss in the last year, I was going to call this “Top Tips” or something but while all this worked for me, it won’t be for everyone. If you are looking for advice, consider this a healthy version of an all you can eat buffet, take what you like, come back for seconds if you want but it’s ok, you don’t need to eat the odd looking salad at the back.
looking thinner has never been sufficient motivation for me. I’m 6 foot tall (think ageing Olympic rower not supermodel there), with a big old nose and hair like a startled sheep. I’m never going to be a great beauty and increasingly I’m actually glad of that, so while I sometimes look in a mirror and despair, I also look at pictures of “body confident” plus size women and think yeah, you go girl! It’s a world of contradiction (thanks patriarchy). What does motivate me though is my health, more specifically being healthy for my kids.
My Dad developed typed 2 diabetes a few years ago and post baby number 3 the bulk of the bulk sat fatly on my belly. Two clear warning signals that I could be at risk of diabetes too if I didn’t do something. I’ve also been plagued by painful injuries, especially since MissA was born. First, there were the agonising knees, then my back, that my feet joined in with Plantar fascitis (fun name, non fun thing). Those 19kg I’ve lost is like putting down a bulging holiday suitcase that I was carrying around all the time weighing on my joints and threatening future cake consumption ability (my kids are warned that Grandad can’t have cake anymore, he’s eaten his lifetime’s allowance already – sorry Dad).
Protein not portion control:
The idea of tiny meals and going hungry in between just makes me want to weep. I am a food person, I am planning lunch as I finish breakfast and pre-diet I was starving again by 10am. I would be a very very horrible person to be around if I tried to make it through to 12.30 on only a small bowl of special K. Actually, I wouldn’t be a horrible person, I’d be a person eating a cake at 10am.
The answer for me has been lean protein. If I have two eggs for breakfast I can make it through to lunchtime with, at most, a banana along the way. A big bowl of lentil soup or a massive chicken salad will get me to dinner and when the evening munchies kick in, and I’d normally be stuffing my face with iceream and biscuits, I have a big bowl of high protein, low-fat Skyr yoghurt with a bit of chopped up fruit and a teaspoon of honey instead.
I have mostly avoided diet alternatives to things I like, low fat cheese (blurgh!) “healthy” sweet snack bars (I’ll have 12 of those please!) Special fucking K (shudder). Instead, I’ve allowed myself to eat all the things I love, just not very often and I’ve actually found that I’m fine with that. I’ve got used to not having loads of sweet snacks and, as I’m not so very hungry, I haven’t even missed them most of the time.
Fall off the wagon occasionally:
My plan was to go slow and change my habits rather than just fling the fat off and hope for the best. So I’ve allowed myself a week off when we’re on holiday or a few evenings of Netflix and ice cream in a tough week. I don’t want to feel like I can never overindulge again, what I’ve been trying to do is make that the exception not the rule it once was.
No going back wardrobe:
I’ve gone down at least 2 dress sizes and I have thrown out or donated all the old clothes. The maternity clothes are gone, the post-maternity but still a bit fat clothes are gone and now I’m not working I can’t afford to buy more so if my jeans start getting tight I know I have to do something about me, not the jeans.
Exercise alone isn’t a great way to lose weight but it has become part of the process for me. I’m heading rapidly for 40 but am still in the very physical world of parenting small children. I need to be strong enough for all the carrying, lifting and buggy pushing. So as well as throwing off that suitcase of fat I’ve been doing pilates, trying to run a bit (I finally got my 5k park run time under 30 minutes just after Christmas) and did some PT sessions with my awesome pilates teacher. I also walk almost everywhere. Including the school run, pushing the buggy almost four miles a day up and down a big hill. I’m aiming for stong, not skinny.
So that’s what worked for me, hopefully, it will continue to do so, I’d love to hear anyone else’s tips in the comments!