Being body positive by taking your time to change shape!
So tomorrow, my daughter Tabitha will be six weeks old and for many new Mums, this is often the time they get the all clear by their doctor to start some gradual exercise.
I’m absolutely gagging to get back to some fitness now, don’t get me wrong! But not to whip myself back into shape as quick as I can, instead to rebuild some strength, have some ME time and get some endorphins going round my body – the three main reasons I exercise generally actually!
As a fitness and lifestyle business owner, some might expect me to get back into shape quickly, but as I’ve said before I’m in no rush to get into my pre-pregnancy jeans. I have no interest in self-made pressure anymore, it’s so toxic. And I have enough on my plate being a single Mum of three now! Yes I have a holiday in August, yes I have some nice summer clothes that I would like to wear and yes I’m looking forward to getting back into shape at some point. But I see the body changing as a process and the process doesn’t need to be rushed. The definition of process is “a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end”. I don’t see the ‘as quick as you can” component there!
In this second part of my body positive blog series, I wanted to share just how amazing our bodies are at changing (and oh my goodness, how mine has changed over the last 12 months!). But also to encourage women to TAKE THEIR TIME when changing them!
Women confuse extreme with focus and balance with laziness, or in many cases guilt. Give yourself permission to create the body you want, on your terms and in your time!
Anyway, to demonstrate a point about bodies and how they can change, here’s my body history since April 2015 right up today:
April 2015 – I hadn’t had childcare for 6 months and hadn’t trained as much as I normally do and had had a busy April with lots of socials. I was about a size 12-14, still fit and still healthy by eating well, but at my top end body size.
June 2015 – I had done the Tummy ATTACK bootcamp one and a half times (six weeks) and had stripped some fat and gained lots more core strength as well as lightened my eating. I was a size 12 and much fitter than I’d been for a while.
July 2015 – I had done the Tummy ATTACK bootamp for three months and in the last four weeks topped it up with additional power walking and sprinting 5 days a week, I definitely went a bit nuts! I also cut wine back to next to nothing and was sleeping 9 hours a night. I was a size 10-12 and was the fittest, strongest and smallest I’d been in ages. For more details about my Tummy ATTACK mission and results, CLICK HERE
Then at the end of July, I found out I was pregnant! In some ways being the best shape I’d been in just before I fell pregnant was a bit of an added bonus as I had such a difficult pregnancy, ugh!
Sep 2015 – I was 14 weeks pregnant, had done no exercise all summer (as I felt so awful with morning sickness) and was only able to eat crisps, ice lollies and ham/cheese sandwiches! My bump was just starting to show 🙂
Nov 2015 – By the end of November, I was 23 weeks and my bump had properly popped. My arms had lost most definition and I was mainly wanting to eat stodgy things like jacket potatoes and apple crumble – but thankfully lots of greens too. I could not get enough carbs and sugar and for someone that ate no added sugar for about six years previously, that was so weird (but also secretly enjoyable!). I’m now back to low sugar eating effortlessly thank goodness!
Dec 2015 – I was six months pregnant at Christmas and was feeling pretty good body wise as mainly bump and my eating had got better. I was still not exercising because I put my focus on rest / relaxing around my work and twin commitments and had no childcare. If I hadn’t have been working full time, I’m sure I would have exercised more.
Feb 2016 – This picture was taken four weeks before I gave birth and I was 35 weeks pregnant. I was shattered from having pregnancy insomnia and my waist was about 47 inches!
March 2016 – The day I gave birth my exact words were ‘I’m a proper porker, let’s get this baby out!’. I know I was eating more because I was averaging four hours sleep a night. The less I slept, the more I ate and as much as I love my twins, they are exhausting and it was a real struggle towards the end to juggle it all! I was 14st 9 the day I had her and I was 10st 11 the day of my Tummy ATTACK results last July, so I gained about 4 stones. I know ‘experts’ say this is a big no-no, but it really needs to be looked at in terms of % of body weight gained. As I’m tall, was very fit before hand etc and this weight gain is far less impactful than if I had gone from 7 stones to 11 stones, was only 5ft and seriously unfit.
April 2016 – When Tabitha was 12 days old, I had gone down to 12 stones 13 and actually four weeks on from that, I weigh 12 stones 10, but I’ve changed shape and lost size. But this is because although I’m not officially training, I’m doing a lot of resistance based work each day. Tabitha now weighs 12lb. and I carry her a lot and also have her around in a sling most of the day (plus walking and running after the twins) so I know my body composition has improved even though I’ve only lost albs on the scales. (NB I am only weighing myself for the purpose of blogs, I gave up the scales years ago!). Now for many women not seeing the scales budge in 4 weeks when you know your body is changing shape can be very disheartening. But the photo below says it all about body fat composition…
My goals now like I said are to get strong again and yes of course ultimately I want to get back into shape because I like being a size 12 and being fit and strong! I have decided that because I’m back working (and my god looking after 7 year old twins and a newborn are such hard work too!), I don’t want the pressure of squeezing into my summer clothes. So I bought by myself some new clothes that are loose, comfy and body-stress free! I look nice in them, I feel good in them and I’m not embarking on my post natal fitness approach with a clock ticking and me being in a panic.
And in this bundle of clothes were also a pair of size 16 jeans. And although I’m a size 12, I don’t freak out at this! I actually still have a lot of abdominal swelling around my scar tissues (I had a second c-sec and so because they went in on the previous scar line, it can take longer to heal) and gut health is so important to me. So why the hell would I force myself to squeeze into a size 12 or 14 etc just because of a label. I know many women would freak out at this by having a mental allergic reaction to buying a pair of trousers two sizes too big. Stop this nonsense ladies. Buy clothes that fit you and are comfortable! I feel great in them 🙂
I have taken my more detailed body pics front and side on and I’m sharing these as they are now because I don’t need an after picture next to it to justify success.
And here’s some more which show in more detail the miracle of growing a baby inside you and what happens to your body as a result, not “what I have to deal with now, it’s disgusting isn’t it” as one of my post natal clients said when she emailed me her post baby pics recently.
I had a baby 42 days ago, I’m proud that I still have a jelly belly and a couple of rolls of excess fat. And I don’t like myself ANY less for it. This is the result of me growing a healthy baby AND creating my own time frame for getting back into shape. I’d say at this point at six weeks after having a baby, most of the baby part of my pregnancy weight gain has gone and this is what I have to work with moving forwards. The most disgusting thing about the pictures above is my terrible posture which is top of my list to improve ABOVE getting in my size 12 jeans, ha ha!
But as you’ve seen above, I gained four stones in eight months, so why would I try to lose two stones in two months?!
So what’s my body change plan? I am 40 next April and I’d like to be the fittest and strongest I’ve been and I do think it’s important to have a goal like this, but can you see this is a longer goal which I believe more people should have, not just new Mums. I don’t want to be stressing if I can’t train because my daughter doesn’t sleep or i feel like having a long bath over bashing out burpees!
Recently I’ve done some power walking a bit and I love it. And on Monday 9th May I’m going to up my training slightly (because I feel up to it and I want to, not because I feel the pressure!) and I’ll be joining the May online bootcampers, creating my own version, using the fabulous videos and going back to power walking most days.
The best thing about my three online fitness programs is you can do what I’m doing, which is mix and match them up, creating your own plan to suit you. But for me personally it’s working alongside a group of women and our new secret Facebook group we use with these now is quite simply awesome! In addition, I’m not doing one bootcamp, I’ll be doing all of them (May, June, July, August and September) albeit it with a part time approach! So the pressure is off to get results in a month, but I’ll be rebuilding my fitness habits, being consistent with my exercise and most of all ENJOYING THE JOURNEY!
Here are the three online bootcamp links for anyone who wants to join me!
Tummy ATTACK – CLICK HERE for more info and to book
Sugar HIIT – CLICK HERE for more info and to book
Best Body Bootcamp – CLICK HERE for more info and to book
You will never regret doing these bootcamps because they make you feel (and look!) sooooo good. And why not (like me and many of our clients), lock into a few this summer so you stay committed and you don’t have all the pressure!
Don’t cram your body into a bikini in two weeks, take your time over a few months. Don’t aim to lose two stones in two months, do it over a year. And see how much more you will enjoy yourself, whilst still getting the results you want.
I hope you found this blog post inspirational and I’ll do another Janey-body blog in six week’s time!