Before I met my husband 4 years ago, I was in the best shape of my life. It was so easy to focus on improving myself because I had nothing but positive support from friends and family. I had time to myself, I was disciplined, and I was confident in myself. Believe it or not, I was doing 5 Km running and biking. I was working full-time, ate clean foods and small portion sizes. I lived in a growing city and of course there was so much to do.
When we found out we were blessed with a child, sometimes you have to sacrifice certain things in life to do what’s best for you and your family. And for us, that was moving to Northern Ontario for a successful job opportunity. I found it very difficult to adapt to the new lifestyle at first. It was country living and very laid back. It took some time, but in the end, I was so busy after having two babies that I had no choice other than to learn, love and accept the big change.
With my first pregnancy, I had gained a total of 30 pounds. It was a life changing event for me and even though I was so thrilled about having a baby, I wasn’t sure if I was ready yet. I indulged a lot during the 40 weeks of bearing my child and I wish I hadn’t, only in moderation. Stress played a big role in overeating. And lack of exercise contributed to weight gain. The more I sat down, the more tired I felt.
On to baby number two – I gained 20 more pounds. Before I knew it, I had gained a total of 50 pounds from having two back-to-back pregnancies. And although I thought that once it was over, everything would go back to how it was, I was dreaming of course! Not only was I exhausted, I was even more stressed out because I had a toddler running around and a newborn baby to hold. I was down on myself and started to believe that my body would never be the same again.
Being a mother changed my life. I didn’t have time to myself anymore, to do my makeup every day, style my hair, take care of me. I was the last person I thought about. My kids are my world. They come first. Caring for little humans can be the most difficult thing for a person with no experience.
Your motherly instincts usually set in and your love and care comes naturally as you drop everything and would do anything for your little ones. This is true and this is why a lot of people wish to not have children. They would rather have one responsibility only, to themselves.
For me, I began to forget about my self. I want my kids to have everything at all times and be the best mother I could be for them because I’m scared of failing. I forget to take care of myself the way that I used to, to love myself as much as I did before. Only with time did I become truly comfortable being a mother and began to realize that I needed to take care of me again.
Whatever I was doing wasn’t working. I was tired, I was drained, and I needed to change my habits and make a permanent change. I wanted to have the energy to look after my kids and be the best mother I could possibly be.
Here’s how I did it:
My diet was the first thing I needed to change. I cut out all of the junk and started focusing on clean fruits and vegetables and lean meat. Also, I cut down the amount of carbs in my diet and limited myself to very little to no bread. Gluten-free and vegan diets are saved on my Pinterest boards, and before even starting my work-out regime I was noticing a difference – less bloating, a lighter feeling, and more energy.
For effective post workout smoothie recipes:
- Fat Burning Green Smoothie (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Paleo)
- Energy Boosting Oatmeal Berry Breakfast Smoothie
- Healthy Green Avocado Smoothie (Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-free)
Now, I squeeze in one hour straight of exercise in the morning and it usually involves working core muscles (on a yoga mat) or full body cardio (on our elliptical). I’m mixing up walking and jogging a minimum distance of 3 kilometres a day. Slowly but surely, I saw the results I wanted.
Just remember, the results will not come right away. Just like anything else in life, it takes work. You need to learn to be comfortable with your new routine because it needs to stick with you for the long run. It shouldn’t be an instant fix, a “loose 10 pounds in 1 week” fad.
The key to getting your body back is a lifestyle change, a permanent decision, something you will do daily without having to think much about. It also needs to work well with your schedule.
Of course cooking, cleaning, and looking after your children is already a heck of a job. All you have to do is make the time for healthy, vigorous exercise and encourage the rest of your family to do so by getting them involved. Set an example.
Today, I am down 20 pounds from the total baby weight that I had gained. Thanks to all of the positive changes I made, I’m slowly accomplishing my goal, accepting what I have, and feeling confident in my skin. Even though I may not look exactly like how I imagined, I am strong and I am healthy. And that is exactly what my girls need in their life as a role model.
Workout must haves:
I would love to hear your story in the comments below. Feel free to leave a question!