So I’m sitting here, a year after I started my weight loss and fitness journey, and I mean properly started it, reflecting on how it’s actually gone. I mean, it’s that time of year where we all make and see a lot of new year’s resolutions, we probably all re-join the gym or sign-up to a new weight loss scheme… but how long does it ever actually last? Do we ever really see the results?
Well, if you want to see the results from a real, 30-something mum, who had a chat with herself about a year ago, then keep reading…
My Weight loss and fitness journey – the before
I won’t go too far into the past, as I’d be here all day (and you can read about that elsewhere in the blog), but I will say (in case you’re new here), that I’m 33 years old and have 2 kids (aged 4 and 20 months). Since having kids, my body has changed pretty significantly, but even before having kids, I had let my fitness go and was the heaviest I’d been. It essentially stemmed from having a stressful office job, not going to the gym and enjoying wine too much! I was always slim when I was younger and went to the gym from the age of 16 with my mum, so built some natural muscle tone. Then my mid-twenties hit and bam! I couldn’t get away with eating what I wanted and my curvier shape set-in.
We got married in 2013 and about a year before that, I joined Slimming World, to give me some focus on my eating and weight loss side of things, that’s when my journey began. Luckily, I found an amazing group leader (and friend) in Anna (who was also getting married at the same time) and I found the support of the community really helped. I managed to lose some weight before the wedding and felt pretty good (I was 26). After an extended 3-week honeymoon in Italy, eating and drink to my heart’s content, the “comfortable” weight crept back on, slowly but surely and I didn’t recognise it enough to change it.
So, by the time we decided we wanted to try for a baby, I was at my heaviest and largest ever. In fact, in my first trimester, I lost 11 lbs! due to the energy/calories that making a baby takes from your body (and because I had it to lose). By the end of the pregnancy, I had only put on a couple of lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight and feelt pretty good about it, but apprehensive about my body and weight loss journey post-pregnancy.
After my first baby, I was able to breastfeed exclusively and my little girl fed A LOT! I was feeding every 2 hours (sometimes more) for the best part of 6 months and the shock/exhaustion of new motherhood, meant that I could eat pretty much whatever I wanted and didn’t put on a single lb. I steadily lost the “baby weight” and didn’t put anything on, despite not really thinking about my calorie consumption. So I didn’t really think about my weight loss and fitness journey until about a year after the birth of our first child. I wasn’t mentally or physically ready until then.
So 14 months after giving birth, my daughter had her final breastfeed and I felt like a new woman! My body was back…it was mine again! I could wear what I wanted (not worrying about access to the boobs) and was no longer a milking machine. Woohoo! This was the turning point for me.
Between babies and utter exhaustion
I don’t remember a lot about the time between pregnancies, other than I was busy with my little girl, building my own businesses and making memories. I didn’t get round to going to the gym regularly, but I was back at Slimming World, so I did focus a bit on my weight loss. But in honesty, it was the most exhausting period of mine and my hubby’s lives. And we just did (or ate) anything to get through the day. After years of interrupted sleep and both working all hours of the day, our relationship with food was pretty bad. Our energy levels were crashing and we were eating out 3-4 times per week! Both of us piled on the lbs again. Then, we had baby number 2, and it all started again.
A few “before” photos…
The final leg
During my second pregnancy, I vowed to be more active, keep moving (you have to when you’ve got a toddler anyway!) and try and be as healthy as possible. I was busy, tired and developed migraines, so I found it difficult to be motivated to do anything with regards to fitness and I didn’t want to expend any more energy on my diet. I gained a bit more weight with this pregnancy and my little boy fed entirely differently to my girl. I exclusively breastfed for 5 months, but he had severe silent reflux and it was a very difficult and exhausting time for us all. He wasn’t as satisfied with my milk and by 6 months was weaned entirely off the boob and onto goats milk formula. This massively impacted my weight loss and mental state at the time.
When the change happened
So in August 2018, 3 months after the birth of my 2nd, I joined Slimming World again, for the final time, weighing 11 stone 12. I was ready to start my weight loss journey and focussing on eating right again and I knew I needed the support of the community.
On January 1st 2019, I took some “before photos” as I knew I was ready physically, to start thinking about my fitness journey and made a note of my measurements. My mindset had shifted and I felt ready to put myself first (a bit). I wanted my health to be a priority and I wanted to be fit for my two young kids. Heck, I also wanted to look good…there, I said it! I missed my body, I missed wearing fashionable clothes. I missed that part of me.
In April 2019, I started training regularly with Vicki Mellard, a friend and Personal Trainer. We worked-out twice a week until the summer, when I continued myself at home, around childcare. Then we picked-up again in September, through til December 2019.
And now I’m here…(I’ll let the video do the talking! And the before and after photos)…
Shop some items that helped me along the way, from home!
My weight loss and fitness journey stats
So just to put all of the above into context, have a look at my stats. Yes, I could be a stone lighter, yes I could have a smaller waist BUT, I’m happy with my progress and it’s been slow and steady and I’ve not had any weight gains or yo-yo-ing. I’m keeping the weight off and I’m only getting stronger, month on month. My mindset has shifted massively and my relationship with food is much healthier and balanced (believe me, I still eat out A LOT!).
I’ve lost a total of 24 inches around my body and what’s there is more toned (slightly!). I’ve dropped 1-2 dress sizes (I was a 14 and sometimes wearing 16 on top, I’m now a solid 12 and occasionally 10 on top). I’ve gone from a 36G to 32E in bra size.
(It was very difficult for me to post this picture for the world to see! But I know that when I need inspiration, I look to real women and so I hope this might help someone else).
Watching this video back and looking at the stats, I can see the difference, but at the time, I really didn’t notice it that much. After about 3 months of training with Vicki, I realised I was losing some inches, as my clothes were feeling better and when I was buying new clothes, I was fitting into things differently. But I had no sense of how different I was looking. It’s only now that I can see that.
I’m excited for my journey to continue. I want to get stronger and more confident in the gym and I want to get into a regular class or two this year as well.
So what do you think? Can you relate to any of this?