I gave birth to V on January 2nd, 2018 with a C-section due to an unexpected reason. The initial several weeks were so intense – physically and emotionally. So, I was exhausted, figuring out a new schedule, getting a hang of everything, breastfeeding. I was the most deconditioned then. Till 12 weeks postpartum I was really enjoying the bubble. I ate a lot of hearty home-cooked food by Bharati-the great chef (my mother). I was breastfeeding, thirsty and hungry all the time. I was weighing 76 kgs then.
I was really looking forward to getting back in shape. I knew it will be a long journey to get fit as PCOS might make things challenging. (Yes, I am managing my PCOS for a decade now). But how shall I squeeze in the workout schedule between the sleepless nights, early morning wake-up calls, the baby calling for attention, a house and a husband? Trust me you can. Just go slow and listen to your body.
With a green signal from my gynac, I started with 20 minutes of home workouts 3 days/week at 12 weeks postpartum, focusing on my core. I knew what I wanted to achieve will take time. I started Babywearing V, taking stairs (residing on the third floor gave me a count of 100 stairs daily), walking him in the stroller for 30 minutes. I didn’t focus on the scale or how I looked, rather focused on eating clean, keep moving, being healthy and happy.
Some days were really tough. I had to roll according to his schedule. Initially, I used to get upset for not being able to achieve my day’s goals. But, don’t beat yourself up is what I will advice. Take one day at a time. Be flexible and do your best! Gradually I increased the frequency of my workout to 5 days/week. I could manage the routine easily, thanks to my husband. He has been my biggest support throughout.
I was indulging in desserts when we were out and could feel the difference. So I started watching my diet more – focused on what I could eat rather than avoid. I made sure that I was eating enough to support breastfeeding. Continued with my habit of early dinner and a good breakfast. Also, kept myself hydrated enough, especially before and after sessions of nursing.I started eating smarter – eating nutrient-dense and wholesome foods that would nourish me, boost my energy, provide skin glow and better hair. I listened to my body’s hunger cues. Dark chocolate satisfied my sweet cravings. I never fell into the trap of restrictive eating, emotional eating or late-night snacking.
“Patience is the key and it is possible” is what I kept telling myself. After about months of eating better and exercising 4-5 days a week, I was around 65 kgs 10 months postpartum. There were on and offs with workouts and indulgences, but I made sure to cleanse my body and get into the groove. With V turning one, the scale went down to 60 kgs, 3 kgs lesser than my pre-pregnancy weight. Now, my goals are to continue toning my body and eating balanced, i.e. focusing on balance as opposed to aesthetics. I want to be in the best shape of my life for V.
Here are some of my key tips –
- Breastfeed as long as you can and nurse on demand.
- Eat enough and don’t crash your diet.
- Stay hydrated.
- Exercise moderately and modify as per the body’s needs.
- Watch your measurements rather than the scale.
- Avoid stress.
- Get enough sleep.
- Take a multivitamin daily.
- Go for Slow and steady weight loss.
- Avoid quick-fix diets.
- Consult a Qualified/Registered Dietitian.
- Say out loud a positive mantra about your health every morning.
Growing and delivering V left streaks of smiling scars (stretch marks) on my body, curves (a wider waist) and droopy breasts, but it imbued me with pride and confidence for doing something darn near miraculous. Therefore, I appreciate my motherhood body.
To all the new moms out there, focus on consistency and healthy mindful eating. Don’t rush the process of weight loss. Your body has just performed a miracle. It created a life! The rest will follow. Ask for help. Enjoy MOTHERHOOD – the most beautiful mess.
“Eyes in the back of the head. Ability to fully function without sleep or food. I’m not just a mom; I’m still a woman and sexy.”—Angela Ackerman