I never show my belly and wouldn’t dare wear a bikini but something has happened that I never thought would happen. After having four babies fairly close together I am finally back to my pre-baby weight! I was huge during each pregnancy. When pregnant with Gabrielle my second baby, my stomach touched my thighs when I sat down. Eighteen months after Phoenix I still looked a few months pregnant. I always knew that a woman’s body is amazing for being able to carry babies and give birth. That it didn’t matter if you didn’t look the same after having a baby. The post-baby body and scar from my caesarean are reminders of how amazing my body is. I’ve never been one who gets caught up in the perfect body and unrealistic Hollywood pressures. However my belly is something I’ve always been self-conscious of. I never wanted it to be perfect, I just didn’t want to always look pregnant and have people ask things like ‘when is the baby due’ and ‘how far along are you’ since I was nineteen. I wonder how any one could think I was pregnant then, I was tiny compared to more recent years. Although I did bloat sometimes,. After Phoenix I was asked a couple of times every week, mostly by people I had never met ‘when is the baby due’. When I said ‘oh I’m not pregnant it’s just left overs because I’ve had four babies close together’, they would then be a bit embarrassed and act awkward.
I was trying to exercise and eat healthy but it was hard to really get into the exercise with the four kids. I was exhausted and tended to flop on the lounge at the end of the day, watch Netflix and eat too much chocolate or biscuits. I was torn between wanting to eat better, exercise more and being exhausted and needing more energy. I did try to get into going to Zumba but I kept getting sick and when I didn’t get sick I became so foggy that I couldn’t concentrate and keep up. It’s like my brain was registering the moves much slower than the dance moves were. Hence why I went for the chocolate and biscuits, they gave me a sugar hit. I think many of us Mums have this struggle. I came to the conclusion that maybe I’ll just have to get used to being asked if I’m pregnant, well at least until I’m too old to look pregnant and then when I look too old people will think I’m just fat.
I persisted with Zumba and I gradually was able to keep up with the classes until I reached a point where I was keeping up and I think I was even dancing a bit better. Then for the first time ever in my life I started to have energy and actually wanted to exercise. I now do Zumba three times a week and also sometimes dance at home. I’m also doing an ab and core program at home, I’ll write more about the program when I’m finished it. It’s not always possible to go to the gym with four kids, there’s a crèche Monday to Saturday mornings. I am lucky my husband will watch the kids a couple of evenings a week so I can pop to the gym for an hour. When I can’t get to they gym I do Zumba or exercise at home. I’ve never wanted to exercise in my life. In high school I chose to sit and write lines over doing sport or PE. So it was a huge thing for me to suddenly break that exercise threshold. It is even a bigger thing to actually get back to my pre-baby weight. I never thought that would happen. I still have some work to do. I’m fine with not being the same as I was pre-baby but I still would like to do a bit of toning. I look pretty good in the photo here but the flab is hiding well behind the black pants.
I haven’t lost the weight with exercise along. Diet has also been a huge part, probably the biggest factor. How I changed my diet is a whole other blog which I will write soon. For now I am so happy to get back to my pre-baby weight. For those of Mum’s who are still in the boat of needing the chocolate and biscuit sugar hit or who struggle with getting into exercise. I understand your frustration. Really getting into exercise, changing your diet and losing weight is really hard work. It requires stamina, mental and physical stamina. Mind set is a huge part and I think the most important part. As busy Mum’s we are already running a marathon. We are already mentally and physically exhausted and that’s ok. Being a Mum can be the hardest job in the world. So it’s understandable if we aren’t there yet in the diet and exercise part. The reason why I’m writing this is because yes it is possible to lose weight when you have kids but it is super hard work, especially when the kids are young and it is ok if you aren’t there yet. It is most important that we aren’t too hard on ourselves and that we know we are doing our best as parents and best to look after ourselves. We can be way too hard on ourselves when all we need to do is give ourselves a break, a bit of encouragement and remember to enjoy life sometimes. That’s why I chose Zumba, because I enjoy dance and it is not like I am exercising. I am just doing something I love.