Feb 2015, a few months after having my third son I convinced myself to get back into an exercise routine. Although always being active previously, during my pregnancy I found it so hard to find the energy to do anything let alone exercise. For the first few months I had participated in my usual Pilates classes but soon even that felt too much of an effort to continue. With having two other kids to look after, school runs, maintaining a house hold, chores, dinners I was exhausted and really struggled third time round. Making my decision quite clear that this third child would be our lucky last. I hadn’t even given birth yet and It was only going to get harder.
I didn’t want to put mountains of pressure on myself like most mums do in our society these days to get back to pre-baby bodies within which feels like weeks after birth, like the Bec Judd’s of the world. Bless her and her slender twin pregnant perfect body at the moment sheesh (insert envy face). But most of us don’t feel like that is realistically achievable. I gave myself two months to get settled with my new baby and adjust to being a mother of three then I made that choice to get active again.
It was only twice a week as that’s all I could really commit to. I’d finish my day having the kids fed & bathed, then I would lock myself in my bedroom usually around 7pm and workout for a solid hour while my husband watched the children. I would start with cardio on my treadmill usually running for around 15- 20 mins, then follow on with floor exercises focusing on legs, arms and core work for around 30-40mins. I followed the Kayla Itsines programme in the beginning but as her training regime is working out everyday honestly I just found it too difficult to stick to with my restrictive new schedule. Getting the basic idea of her workouts, my own knowledge and with some help from my brother-in-law giving me a few exercises to follow (he just happens to be a personal trainer unfortunately he lives in a different state darn it!) collaborating all of that I would implement my own workouts. In addition to our weekends as a family, we go for family walks and bike rides which contribute to our healthy lifestyle.
Naturally coinciding with our healthy eating which goes without saying is most significant. Cutting down our portion sizes, replacing heavy carb based meals with more nutritious clean eating, more vegetables, lean high protein based meals and cutting out refined sugar from our diet, the weight just seemed to come off without too much effort. I truly believe if you take the focus off the weight loss and make more of the focus on lifestyle it really does work and for the long haul. Give yourself time and you will start to see a difference. It will happen and once you have a routine down it really becomes a way of life.
18 months on I lost 14 kilos, even more than I’d gained through pregnancy and keeping it off. I’ve maintained my weight and an active life and have found my latest passion in Xtend Barre classes which is a combination of Pilates and ballet barre exercises. As an ex dancer it is right up my alley. I still have personal goals I wish to achieve and with a positive mind and attitude will not be not far from reach. My advice is set realistic goals small to start and find something you enjoy whatever it may be, a sport, gym, Pilates, Zumba or even going for a run as long as you make it part of your regular life you are already winning.
There is really no secret, eat well, be active you will feel better for it and have a treat on occasion as that is how we can make it last and not a hindrance to our lives.