As I write this, Harper is three and a half and Paxton has just turned two. It’s taken me a long time to start feeling good in my own skin again. I was at my fittest and leanest before having Harper. Since then, I have really struggled with how I feel and how I look. As much as people try to tell us to look at those little miracles we created with our bodies, we still want to feel good about ourselves! I feel your pain. So, I thought I would share with you some little tips that really worked for me. Please remember, that I am not a nutritionist or fitness expert. If you are having real issues, please seek help from a professional. This is just what worked for me and hopefully, I can help you a little too.
First off, I’m going to say that I never weigh myself, my mum always told me it’s not about what’s on the scales but rather how you look and feel. I was brought up in a family where we could treat ourselves. Nothing was restricted. My mum, who is a health and wellness coach and the owner of the healthy snack food brand, Slim Secrets, taught us to eat in moderation. If you love something, eat it and enjoy it. Don’t waste your energy feeling guilty about it. But if it’s not worth it, then don’t eat it. So, I have run with that philosophy my whole life. After having babies, I found myself eating way too many baked goods and drinking a glass of wine more often than I used to, just to help me get through the days. I began to feel very unhappy in my own skin, and in order to be the best mum I could be, I needed to feel good about myself again.
So here are my top ten tips that helped me lose that post baby weight…
1.Be kind to yourself.
First off and most importantly, be kind to yourself, you’ve just had a baby. This is much easier said than done for some. Just try to enjoy this incredibly special time with your baby. Bond. Love. Be in the moment. Let your hormones level out. You might also be breastfeeding which makes you hungrier and if that’s the case, your body needs the extra nutrients.
2. Eat healthy.
As simple as this may sound, in reality as a busy mum this can be a huge challenge. This doesn’t mean no carbs or sugars. Just try as best as you can to eat fresh and healthy foods. As little packaged foods as possible. Fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, proteins, nuts. Less sauces full of sugar and more spices and fresh herbs. I could go on and on with this, but in the end of the day, we all have a pretty good idea of what’s healthy and what’s not. I actually find that the healthier I eat, the more energy I have. If you nourish your body the way you’re meant to, you’ll feel so much better. On those days where I binged on chocolate or baked goods, I always felt more sleepy and moody. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water every day!
3. Reduce your meal sizes.
In between my two kids, I didn’t have very much time to think about weight loss as I fell pregnant with Paxton when Harper was just 9 months old. After Paxton, I found shifting the weight to be quite a challenge. I needed some motivation and some help. So, I signed up to a program called, 28 by Sam Wood. Sam provides a different 28 minute work-out five days a week. Plus, he gives a meal plan for every meal of the day, and some great healthy snacking ideas too. I didn’t stick to it fully but I definitely learnt a lot from his program. It taught me that my meal sizes were almost 3 times the size that they should be. As soon as I started restricting the quantity I was eating per meal, plus doing his exercises (which I’ll get to next), the weight literally started falling off! I think from being pregnant and breastfeeding for over three years in a row (with a one month break in between), I had grown my appetite like crazy. The Sam Wood program, really taught me to shrink it back down. I’m not going to lie, it was bloody hard at first! The first 2 weeks, I was starving and I had bad headaches. But as soon as I started seeing those results, I knew it was worth it. So quickly, I was fitting back into clothes I hadn’t worn since before having Harper.
4. Exercise – do it and mix it up!
As mentioned above, it’s so important to add exercise into the mix. Find what you love. Don’t do something you don’t enjoy. A healthy diet and reducing your meal sizes will help, but getting fit, will help even more and make you feel awesome. It releases endorphins and gives you more energy! As a busy mum, my three go-to’s when it comes to exercise are;
28 by Sam Wood workouts – for only $49 a month these workouts are bloody awesome! You can do them at home whenever you have a free 28 minutes. So much cheaper than going to the gym or having a personal trainer. Plus you can do them whenever and wherever you like! When Paxton was little, I did them while he was awake, which meant that when he slept, I could still relax and have some down time. But obviously also a great thing to do at home when you put the kids to sleep. They’re also easy to do when you’re away on holidays.
Walking and an occasional Run – I love getting outdoors, plus I have my dog, Cooper, who needs to be walked once or twice a day if he’s lucky. So a good long walk is literally part of my everyday routine. The kids also love it! Plus, some weekends, when I get time off from the kids, I go for a nice jog/run on my own. It’s the best!
Pilates – I found Pilates to be SO important for my body during pregnancy and post pregnancy. It helped give me extra strength during labour too. I also noticed that it helped with my back pain after having my kids. With breastfeeding and all the heavy lifting, we’re always so hunched over. Make sure you find a good place. I go to Core Physio and Pilates, and they are all physios there, who specialise in pre and post natal Pilates. I use this time as some much needed “me-time”, which is maybe why I love it so much.
5. Don’t let yourself get too hungry.
This was another big one for me. I found when I started my journey to lose the baby weight I was never sure what to eat. Often I found myself eating nothing and then suddenly realising how hungry I was, and then just stuffing anything in my mouth. So that takes me to my next tip.
6. Healthy snacking.
Make sure to have healthy snacks between your meals to avoid binging on crap. Fresh fruit and veggies are the best. Or even a small handful of nuts. Jess Sepel has some great ones on her website. Harper and I have spent many afternoons making some of her sweet treat snacks that are all delicious, healthy and natural treats. Sam Wood also has some fantastic ones. When I don’t have time to make something (which is often as a busy mum), I always make sure to have a Slim Secrets handy. From protein bars and balls to puds, cookies and shakes. The Slim Secrets range is huge and it’s designed to help beat those sweet cravings, but because of the high protein and fibre, they actual keep you full for ages. They are not a meal replacement, but an awesome healthy snack to have in between meals. These are my favourites by far!!
7. Eat your meals with your kids, eat the same thing and stop picking at the kids food.
This was a big game changer for me. I would sit with the kids, eat half their meal and then make myself lunch when they went to bed. So really, I was eating almost double what I should have been. As soon as I started eating my meals at the same time as the kids, I stopped this “double eating”. Plus, I always found the kids ate better when I ate with them. It’s a win win! The only thing with my kids is that they always want to eat what I eat. So in doing this, I make sure we all eat the same healthy meals together. I think I’m a little lucky in that sense, my kids are good eaters and love healthy foods.
8. Don’t eat after dinner.
This is a hard one. Especially on the days that I eat dinner with the kids as I often get hungry again by 8pm. But it is SO good for you to eat an early dinner and then nothing else until breakfast. It’s great for your metabolism. A trick my mum taught me is to brush your teeth after dinner so you don’t get tempted!
9. Don’t fully restrict yourself – Don’t feel guilty.
You need to be realistic! If I restricted myself from the things I loved, I would turn into a binger. Trust me, I know this, as I did it when I was younger with chocolate. I didn’t eat it for nearly two years and after that I ate more chocolate than you could imagine. Allow yourself to have the things you love, but in moderation. Not all the time and not huge amounts, but just enough to satisfy those cravings (or even better, try a Slim Secrets Fit and Fab Bar, they’re my favourite of the range and genuinely help beat my cravings! I’m sure you will love them).
10. Be active with your kids and look after yourself.
Be present and be active with your kids. Run around with them. It will make you feel great and they will love it. If you don’t take care of yourself and take some time out, none of this will work! You need to be in the right headspace. You need to want it.
Hopefully you guys can take something out of my tips. And if you have any other tips up your sleeve, I’d love to hear from you!
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Disclaimer: Cooper and Kids will not be liable for anything that happens to you, your dog or children by following the advice and tips in this article. If you have real concerns or worries about your dog and/or safety of your children, please seek out a professional to come and assess the situation asap.