How to Lose Baby Weight is a question on every new mother’s mind (once we’ve managed more than 4 hours of consecutive sleep). We really shouldn’t feel under pressure to but for some it does bring back a spark of confidence to know they’ll be back (almost) to their pre baby body one day.
After the birth of my son I went into what could only be described as body shock. Stretch marks, extra weight and sagging skin left me grieving for the body I used to have.
Before children I would always complain that my stomach wasn’t concave or my thighs were showing signs of cellulite. After children I realised that my body was actually OK. I should have appreciated what I had as I’d love to have it back. I joke with my husband that if I’d known just how much my body would change after birth I would have never given up an opportunity to wear a bikini beforehand.
With a new baby, a business to run and no father around exercising seemed like a pipe dream. I had done the unthinkable during my first pregnancy and eaten for two which left me with a weight gain of over 4 stone. My confidence was at an all-time low and as a single parent with a ruined body I did believe I’d never have a relationship again. I didn’t want one, I was happy with our lives, just raising my son.
The weight did drop off eventually and when my son was four I met someone new. When we married and had a daughter I had an extra incentive to get back in shape quickly but I couldn’t find the time.
So I devised a plan that allowed me to burn an extra 300 calories a day without changing my normal routine. Within six weeks I was back to a size ten and feeling as fit as a fiddle.
I didn’t have the time to take an hour out of my day for a run so instead I increased the pace of everything I did. Walking to the shops, I’d run with the pram. I’d run up the stairs instead of walk and I’d set off later to pick my son up from school so I had to run to get there in time.
The Extra Mile
I made an effort to park the car further away from where I needed to be. In the supermarket car park or even visiting the doctors. Just power walking the extra 200 yards a day got my heart rate racing.
Fetch and Carry
I read that if you carry a toddler upstairs you burn off sixteen calories a minute. As I dug deeper I found that if you carried a toddler anywhere you’d increase your calorie burning potential. Of course this makes sense, as runners use ankle and wrist weights, while Iron men carry cars!
So I’d leave the pram at home. I’d use a papoose and carry the baby everywhere. I’d also carry my son for short bursts so he didn’t feel left out.
Hide and Seek
My biggest concern about my figure was my stomach. I knew the stretch marks couldn’t be erased but I needed it to tone up. I did this by playing games with the children. They’d sit on my legs as I did sit ups or we’d sit opposite each other and play “row the boat” where we held hands and each took turns lying on the floor. It was always great fun and the giggles helped me forget the aches and pains.
Dance Baby Dance
As I didn’t have the time, or the childcare to go to fitness classes I decided to invent my own freestyle aerobics routine. This basically meant that anytime a song I liked came on the radio I’d dance like my life depended on it. The children loved joining in and it was a great way to burn extra calories.
I also invested in a seat for my bike that sat in front of my own. I would put my daughter in this and we’d go for bike rides to find ducks, ponds or even Peppa Pigs house. I swear the extra weight made cycling uphill harder but it was fun to have a company while exercising.
I still do all of this, along with choosing to potter on an evening. One of my major flaws is that I’m quite the TV addict so can easily spend an entire evening glued to my favourite shows. Now I try and find something to do, from preparing dinner for the next day to wrapping presents or even cleaning up. The TV is always on in the background though!