When you have a baby, or, at least, when I had my babies, the last thing on my mind straight after was my weight. My focus was on the new little person I was now, laughingly, responsible for keeping alive; my issues were the last thing on my mind.
It wasn’t until my second was about 18 months old that I started to consider what I was looking at in the mirror. I know there are more important things in life than looking good, and I know I have a wonderful husband and two fantastic kids, but, let’s face it, no-one likes to be a bigger size than what they know they could be, and it was at that point that I started to be more conscious of the additional pounds I was carrying since having the boys.
So what can you do about it?
Having a young family means finding time can be quite tricky, so my first piece of advice is to be practical with your exercise ideas and how often you can do them. I was really unrealistic with the targets I set for myself, and when I couldn’t keep them I felt crap.
My second tip is to find things you enjoy! This seems like an obvious piece of advice, but the more you enjoy an activity, the more motivated you are to do it. I find variety works best for me; some days I just feel like I can’t be bothered jogging, so rather than do nothing, I pick something else I am in the mood for. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do something.
Types of Activities
Please don’t dismiss this idea without reading this first! I was inspired by the trampoline my dad bought the boys last Christmas. On one tipsy evening last summer Jack and I discovered the fun of bouncing in the garden, and who knew it is a really good form of exercise?
OK, so the kids don’t get thrown off the one in the garden so mummy can have her turn; I invested in a smaller one for the house. What I love about it is when the kids are in bed in the evening I can get it out of the cupboard and bounce away while I’m watching trashy TV!
This one has always been hit or miss for me; sometimes they can be repetitive and it’s so important that you find one that suits you. One massive benefit is that it doesn’t matter at all what the Great British weather is doing outside, you can just pop the DVD in and run with it.
I do find it totally annoying when it’s some 21 year old with supermodel good looks bouncing around the set in skimpy lycra telling me I can look like her. Yeah right! Davina McCall’s fitness DVDs are easily my favourite. She looks great but she has to work hard for it, and you can tell in the DVD she struggles with certain parts of it, but that makes it all the more real for me. Any of her DVDs I’d highly recommend.
Loads of people shy away from cycling, but it’s one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise. It’s also great for your arse, and that’s the part of my body that’s the bane of my life.
If you don’t fancy facing the great outdoors on two wheels, invest in an exercise bike, and may I suggest keeping an eye out in charity shops and on ebay for some bargains! One advantage of this is you can park yourself right smack in front of the TV and go for it.
If it’s a gorgeous day there’s nothing better than heading out for a cycle outdoors (obviously not on the exercise bike, so a visit to ebay for a cheap pedal-bike is a must!). If you go online the national cycle route covers the whole of the UK, so you’re never far away from designated cycle routes, which is massively important if you’re like me and have limited special awareness and an inability to deal with large trucks.
The benefits of a game of Tick!
Harry is still incredibly easy to catch (I still have to fake letting him evade capture) but he is only 3. Christopher, on the other hand, is getting more of a challenge every time we play. It sounds strange but playing active games in the park with your kids can be one of the most enjoyable forms of weight loss. Think of the calories you can burn chasing them around for even just 20 minutes!
The good thing about it is short bursts of energy raise your heart rate, which means fat is burned quicker, so even if you’re varying your pace when you’re chasing them you’re still burning calories.
What do you think?
I really hope this article’s been useful. Battling weight is an issue most women face at least once (if they’re lucky – every day if they’re not!), and can be one of the things in life that gets people down the most.
I’d love to hear from anyone on their ideas on fitness and weight loss. What works, and what totally doesn’t? If you’ve got anything to say, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Thanks for reading,