lose the baby weight [ & then some ] – my plans to get back in shape

It’s taken me a little longer than I thought it would to get round to writing about my plans to “lose the baby weight.” And that’s because it’s taking me a little longer than I thought it would to get round to actually try to lose the baby weight.

lose the baby weight & then some

 

pregnancy weight gain

You may know that I’ve just had baby number three.  He is now eight weeks old, and my pregnancy with him was my healthiest ever.  Ordinarily I put on about three stone in pregnancy, but this time around I was determined not to do that.  So I joined SlimmingWorldexercised until 38 weeks and prioritised sleep.  The result?  I gained just 7lbs.

I can’t put in to words how good it felt to be pleased rather than devastated when I weighed myself after birth.  That helped incredibly when it came to how I viewed my postpartum self and for the first time in three pregnancies I loved my postnatal body.

 

my body now

But that isn’t to say I’m happy.  I’m proud of my body, and as postnatal bodies go (at least, my previous postnatal bodies) it’s pretty awesome.  But the reality is that I’m still overweight and I’m not as healthy as I could or should be.  I’m not as slim or toned or strong as I was this time last year.  And I want to be.  It’s time to lose the baby weight…and then some.

Currently I’m sitting at 5lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight, and 27lbs over the BMI prescribed healthy weight for my height.  I want all of that gone.

Last year I had finally gained some (slight) definition in my upper arms and shape to my usually flat bum.  Those have disappeared, so I want them back.  I also want to be able to fit my calves into knee-high boots again.

I want to be able to run a 5k again, to lift a decent amount of weight again, and to make it through a dance class without wanting to quit.

 

my attempt so far

I went back to SlimmingWorld three weeks after giving birth, but in five weeks I’ve only managed to lose 2lbs.  I keep gaining and losing the same couple of pounds.  My head isn’t really in it.  I’ll have an ok week, and then a week where I just don’t try at all.

I’m too tired and busy to find the drive to lose the baby weight, let alone face the further weight loss journey.  But I need to find that drive, because without it I could easily fall in to the trap of putting more weight on.  I don’t want to undo all the body positivity I’ve felt from having a healthy pregnancy with minimal weight gain.

I’m struggling to find my approach.  As I’ve said before, there is a lot I don’t like about SlimmingWorld and so I mainly go to have someone weigh me.  I need that, to be held accountable.  If I just rely on weighing myself I’ve got even less drive to try.  As far as “dieting” goes, I’m using MyFitnessPal to track calories.  But I’m keen to do some sort of mix of the two, just to see what happens.

I also need to get active.  I’m struggling to find the time to workout at home because baby boy feeds every two hours and only sleeps for 20 minutes (if I’m lucky) at a time!  Thankfully, with the four year old starting school I have the perfect reason to walk 3.5 miles per day on the school run, so that’s something.  But I was heartbroken to hear that my beloved Clubbercise class has been cancelled.  Getting out to a class is the only way to guarantee I’ll get some exercise in, so I’m having to revert to Zumba…not as much fun but at least it gets me sweaty!

 

my goal – lose the baby weight & then some

The first step in finding the drive is to set myself some targets.  First I want to lose the baby weight – 5lbs off in the next 3 weeks (so by 7th September).

Next, I want to lose the rest.  It’s a fair amount I want to lose, and I don’t want to punish myself doing it.  So I’ll aim for 1lb off a week.  My goal is to be at my healthy weight by the end of February, which builds in a little wriggle room to account for Christmas!

I know BMI and weight aren’t always the best way to judge a body, but I find I am motivated by the change on the scales more than any other form of tracking.  However, I will also be taking measurements and photos to show my progress, as I think together these will all tell the full story of my journey.

 

my weight loss journey

I’m hoping to bring this blog back more to what I had pictured it being when I started it – a place to chart my journey to health, sharing my tips and struggles along the way.  Until I reach my first goal, I’ll update weekly on my progress.  After that, probably monthly will be enough.  But along the way I’m hoping to blog about recipes, workouts, tools and the reality of getting myself into shape.  I’d love it if you would join me!

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how to love your postnatal body

I’m now five weeks postnatal following the birth of baby number three. Getting to a healthy weight and returning to fitness are on my mind, but I’m not rushing into making big changes. Part of that is because this is the first time I’ve looked in the mirror after having a baby and not hated what I saw.  I’d even go so far as to say I’m happy with what I see.  For me that is huge, as I’ve fought with my body for my entire life. I don’t think I even liked it very much at my slimmest.

To not be repulsed when I look in the mirror is ground breaking for me.  It’s empowering to be comfortable with my postnatal body. It means that I don’t have a dark cloud of  body hatred to add to the already stressful and exhausting emotions and challenges life with a new baby can throw at you.

I’d also like to state here that I’m no supermodel.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in reading about women who had flawless bodies before they got pregnant saying they love their postnatal bodies.  I know they say they’re doing it to help others, but seeing a woman who had a six pack pre-pregnancy post a picture of a slightly bloated belly with possibly two token stretch marks a week after giving birth doesn’t help me.  It depresses the shit out of me. Lets be honest here – even pre-pregnancy I was overweight, with loose skin from a big weight loss, covered in stretch marks from boob to bits from previous pregnancies and with cellulite over practically the whole back of my body.  So if I can say I love my postnatal body, I hope you can too.

I thought I’d reflect on what I think has brought me to this point.  I hope that it helps others.  There have definitely been things from before, during and now after pregnancy which have contributed to me feeling so positive. Hopefully there’s something here that strikes a chord with you. I hope it encourages you to make friends with your changing body.

 

Before Pregnancy

The biggest thing which has helped change my relationship with my body has been exercise.  I had stopped seeing exercise as a chore and found things I enjoyed doing.  I wasn’t consistent, and actually hadn’t worked out much for a couple of months by the time we got our positive test, but I was definitely seeing the benefits of being active.

Doing exercise I loved meant that for the first time in my life I was using my body for fun.  Before that, my body wasn’t an exciting place to be.  But with activity I wanted to do, suddenly my body and I were having a great time together.

I also gained an appreciation for what my body could do.  It turned out my saggy, sad shell wasn’t a write-off.  It actually could learn to dance, it could run further than I’d ever imagined and it could lift weights.  My body was strong and capable, it could meet the goals and challenges I set it.  That was an exciting revelation.  It has left me wondering how much it could achieve if only I give it the chance.

Exercise also prepared my body for pregnancy.  Without intending to, I set myself up to have the best pregnancy of my life by getting active.

 

During Pregnancy

Looking after my body during pregnancy and learning all I could about labour really helped me.

I’ve blogged before about how I managed my weight during pregnancy and that I continued to exercise during pregnancy.  The temptation to eat for two and hibernate is strong when you’re creating a tiny human. Especially in that nasty first trimester.  But nourishing and moving your body is key to coping with the general discomforts and tiredness of pregnancy. I was able to enjoy my changing body rather than freak out about feeling “fat” or out of control.  I actually felt pretty damn beautiful.

I’ve also blogged about my hopes for a hypnobirth, and how Hubs and I did a course to prepare us.  That experience was a refresher of all the amazing things your body does during labour. The hypnobirthing mind set is that you work with your body rather than fighting against perceptions of pain or fear.  My body and I became a team. I had a new appreciation of what it had to do to bring my baby into the world.

 

After Pregnancy

No matter how you give birth, you can reflect that your body went through a lot to ensure that both you and your baby are here. I was very lucky this time to finally get exactly the sort of birth I had always hoped for. For the first time I came away from birth in a positive state of mind.  Appreciating what my body achieved showed me that what I look like is not as important as what I can do.  I just have to gaze at my gorgeous new son to be in awe of the fact that I made this.  How can you hate a body that gave you your children?

A bit of self-kindness is vital.  Particularly in the time after birth where you’re leaking blood and milk and sweat and drool (seriously, I’ve started drooling in my sleep since having a baby – someone tell me this is normal?!). I cut myself slack when I wanted to fuel myself on chocolate and cake in the first few (ok, five) weeks. And whilst I’m really keen to get back into my exercise I’m also being realistic about my body’s need to recover, the limited free time I have and my non-existent energy levels.

I don’t want to emulate women in the public eye who “bounce back” to their pre-pregnancy size by dieting and hitting the gym before their baby’s cord has even fallen off.  I’m taking the time to just “be” in my postnatal body. I still have to get my head around juggling a new baby and all my other responsibilities. My squidgy tummy is not a priority!  Physical health isn’t achievable without a good state of mind. I’m focusing on that side of things first.

 

Loving Your Postnatal Body

It’s always possible to do things which will help you look at your postnatal body in a positive light.  If you’re yet to get pregnant you can start right now by finding exercise which you love and which shows you what your body is capable of.  If you’re pregnant, putting your health first will make you feel positive and learning about just how incredible the labouring body is will help you appreciate yourself more. And if your baby is already here, reflect on what a wonderful gift your body has given you and practice some self-kindness.

So much is made about “getting your body back” after a baby, but in reality you will never get the same body as you had before.  Instead, you have something even better – your postnatal body.

Mummy Times Two  My Random Musings  Pink Pear Bear    Twin Mummy and Daddy
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my pregnancy at 40 weeks

So Tuesday was my due date, and as I’ve said all along it came and went without much sign of impending labour.  I’ll be honest, this is a scheduled post which I actually wrote on Wednesday so there is a chance I could have gone into labour by now…but I’m guessing probably not.  This little man really isn’t allowed to make an appearance until today anyway, as our four year old had his sports day on Friday and his nursery graduation yesterday so I wanted to hold on until after those!

The past few weeks have seen me doing some half-hearted nesting (though there was one day where I actually crawled under our bed to do a thorough hoover, dragging out all the storage boxes that live in there and sorting through their contents), and swinging from alternatively being ready for baby boys arrival to feeling as if I could still use a few days before he gets here!

So how have things progressed since I last updated at 37 weeks?

Body at 40 weeks

  • I am uncomfortable a lot of the time now!  I actually think I’ve been struck by some late-onset SPD, which is just fucking wonderful.  At least it didn’t rear its ugly head until now, unlike my last pregnancy where it plagued me from about 30 weeks.  Getting up from sitting, or rolling over in bed are when it’s worst, but it’s even making me avoid sitting on my birth ball as the discomfort afterwards makes my eyes water.
  • Weight wise, I’ve remained fairly stable and am still sitting about a stone heavier than I was when I being mindful about my weight at 18 weeks and probably 1.5 stone (21lbs) overall.  I’m still hopeful that at least 10lb of that is baby, fluid and placenta!
  • The trapped wind is back most days too, though not as painful as it was before.  Now I just have to put up with some crazy noises, which sound like little jets of gas going off in an empty tunnel…if I wasn’t reminded by a very wriggly baby that the opposite is true, I’d think my bump was hollow.

Mind at 40 weeks

  • I’ve still not really found that calm headspace I was hoping would come with maternity leave.  I’m constantly worried about the house not being clean enough to give birth in…and I know a lot of that is nesting, but it is driving me a little bit bonkers.
  • I do feel more ready to meet our boy now.  I know previously I wasn’t in a place where I was ready to let this last pregnancy go, but now my feelings of excitement and curiosity about meeting this wee bundle are taking over and I can’t wait to see what he looks like.  I still can’t quite imagine him being here, but I can’t wait until he is.
  • I am feeling a little isolated though.  I don’t have the energy to make plans to see anyone, and I think (hope) my friends are giving me space in my final days, so as a result I do feel a bit of a recluse.
  • On the flip side, my mum wont leave me alone and this is really stressing me out.  I’m tempted to not answer her calls, but I know she’d be up at the door if I left it too long.  And I know she’s just worried and wants to support me, but I’ve said all along that I don’t want her around when I’m in labour.  She is very full-on and smothers me, to the point where I think that’s why I made some choices in my last labour which I hadn’t planned to make.  I’ve asked her outright to give me some space, but she is choosing to ignore that…so maybe it isn’t just nesting that is stopping me from fully relaxing.

Baby at 40 weeks

  • After a few weeks of panicking that he was stubbornly lying back to back, he finally turned at 39 weeks and seems happy…maybe too happy, if the passing of his due date without event is anything to go by!
  • He is still ninja kicking like crazy.  I’m surprised he has any room in there for the antics he gets up to, but considering a woman I didn’t even know commented on how much she could see my belly moving from across a room the other day it would appear he can make room.
  • We had a clear out of the four year old’s room at the weekend, and got rid of some of the baby toys we had originally kept.  We’re aware that this wee one is going to be the hand-me-down kid, so figured we should create some space for him to at least get the odd new thing once in a while!

Fuel, Fitness & Rest

  • I have zero energy, even though I’m still sleeping most of the night.  A wander round the supermarket makes me need a lie down before I can function again, so it goes without saying that exercise has been non-existent.  I’m ok with that though, I did well to keep working out until week 38 and it would be stupid to push myself right now.
  • I’m fighting diet demons though.  I’m hungry all the time, but although my meals are generally still very nutritious I’m eating a lot of crap in between.  I don’t expect to be “dieting” right now and I think it’s fine to cut myself some slack, but I feel a bit out of control. I’m angry with myself at making such horrendous processed and sugary snack choices…I thought I knew better than that.
  • I’ve struggled to make time to work on relaxation, and I know that I could really benefit from it.  I’m planning on using hypnobirthing techniques in labour so I really should have been prioritising that.

 

So the end is in sight, and hopefully my next update will be to announce this little man’s arrival.  I can’t believe how quickly or how well this pregnancy has gone, I couldn’t have asked for a better one to end my childbearing days with.  I’m gutted I wont be doing this again!  All that remains is to trust that I will get the birth I have planned for, and to wait it out until I can hold my new baby in my arms.

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the workouts which have kept me fit in pregnancy

 

I’ve been really feeling the effects of being heavily pregnant and about to pop these past couple of weeks. I feel heavy and uncomfortable all the time, and even finding a comfortable way to sit has become a struggle. My pelvis feels tender, my lower back is sore and I’m constantly feeling crampy or dealing with the hell that is trapped wind. I’ve sailed through this pregnancy, but it feels that as soon as I hit 37 weeks it all caught up with me.

Yesterday though I did something I’ve not done in over a week – I worked out. And I felt like a new woman afterwards! Admittedly by the time evening rolled around eight hours later I’d started to feel like an injured whale again, but I do think how good I felt after doing a bit of exercise is proof of how important it is to stay active even when you’re due to give birth any day.

Before I got pregnant, my exercise levels were a bit inconsistent. I the months before we got our positive test, I’d gone from three 5.30am weight training sessions a week to cancelling my gym membership and just going along to one Clubbercise class. I’m not sure now what the reason for the drop in my commitment was, but I wasn’t the fittest I’d ever been.

It wasn’t until I got to about halfway through this pregnancy that I made a real effort to make fitness my focus.  I kept up the Clubbercise until 30 weeks, when I started to worry about impact levels and balance, and at around 18 weeks I dusted off the antenatal DVDs I bought in my last pregnancy.  Last time around I only used them halfheartedly, but this time they have been the basis for my exercise levels. I’ve used a couple of online workouts too, so I thought I’d share what’s been working for me in case anyone else is wanting to exercise during pregnancy but doesn’t know where to start.

 

Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy?

Keep in mind that I’m not a fitness professional, and this is just my experience.  The Royal College of Midwives advises that:

“The exercise pregnant women take should reflect their previous exercise regime. So for example it would not be appropriate for a woman who has done no exercise for many years to suddenly start running long distances in pregnancy. If women exercised regularly before pregnancy, they should be able to continue with no adverse effects.

“If women have not exercised routinely they should begin with no more than 15 minutes of continuous exercise, three times per week, increasing gradually to daily 30-minute sessions and if they any questions we advise them to talk to their midwife or GP”

So that doesn’t mean if you were inactive before that you shouldn’t exercise now, but that you should build up gradually.  Particularly if you’re a mum who isn’t used to exercise, pregnancy-specific programmes are the best option as the moves in them should safely take into account the changes going on in your body.  But if someone is used to a certain type of exercise (like I was with weights and dancing, and other women are with running) then pregnancy is no reason to stop outright.  It’s all about personal preference, health and ability, and keeping an open mind to the fact that what you can handle is likely to be different by the time you hit the 3rd trimester than what it was at 12 weeks.

Take the time to read up on your exercise of choice and about your body in pregnancy to make sure you’re always keeping yourself safe and doing the best for your body and baby.

 

Pregnancy Yoga

Probably the best place for anyone to start is yoga.  It’s a great way to activate your muscles, but also to quiet your mind and work on breathing and relaxation.  If you’re lucky enough to have a class in your area I’d definitely recommend heading along.

Unfortunately budget, work and location meant I couldn’t get to classes, so the yoga I do is one of my DVDs.  It’s by Desi Bartlett, but I don’t think it’s sold as a DVD any more.  Amazon have it on their streaming service though, and she has released another one since.  I like this one because it’s quite relaxing but it has a good lower-body focus.  It also doesn’t get too hippie/spiritual, which works for me (a reason why I’m a fan of another yogi called Adriene), but includes enough explanation of the names behind the moves to make you feel connected.  This is the workout I did yesterday, and I plan on trying to do it most days until this baby is ready to come join us.

 

Swimming

I wont labour (*boomboom*) this point, because I already wrote a whole post on why I think swimming in pregnancy is awesome.  But again, this is a great for everyone from beginners right up to the superfit.  You can do it alone, but again if you’re lucky enough to live in an area where aquanatal is available then definitely head along.  You’ll meet other mums and also have the support and guidance of an instructor which is always very handy to have.

 

Strength training in pregnancy

If you’re a little more advanced, or you’ve built up your fitness during the pregnancy so far, strength exercises are a great addition to your routine. Building muscle gives you the strength needed to carry around your ever-growing body and to support you to be active during labour.  This is also the type of exercise which you’ll find no end of options for, either as DVDs or online videos.

And a confession?  I’m a weights girl, so this is my thing.

The first workouts I started with this time around were some I found on Popsugar Fitness (which is a great site with lots of free videos, whether you’re pregnant or not).  They’re short, so they were a good place to start as I’d been out of the habit for a while.  I could then combine them for a longer workout.  The two I used were a total body one and an arm one, but there are others available on the site.

I then moved on to some other DVDs in my stash.  The first is Lean & Toned by Suzanne Bowen, which is a low-impact body weight programme.  It focuses on high reps of mainly leg and arm movements, with some core work in the mat section.  My only bugbears with it is that you need to figure out your own water breaks and keep your core and pelvic floor engaged (as you should be doing anyway!) without being reminded as she doesn’t really mention it.  But it’s a good total-body workout with a chilled pace.

My other DVD is Erin O’Brien’s Prenatal Fitness Fix, which I love.  I’ll start with the bad point – the music is godawful.  Thankfully during the workout it isn’t as noticeable as the title/menu music, and if I can ignore it (and I have to leave shops if they’re using those cheap cover version CDs) anyone can.  But Erin herself is motivational, explains a lot about how to exercise safely and is just really fun to workout with.  The moves in this can be quite tough, but they are mixed with easier ones to create a workout which is challenging but achievable.  It also comes with a postnatal workout, which I obviously haven’t used this time yet but I think I used it last time and enjoyed it just as much.

Once I felt my strength had built up again, I threw some of my true love into the mix – weights.  I used this great free programme on BodyBuilding.Com called Lifting for Two by Nicole Moneer.  Obviously, this is one for those who are used to working with weights and equipment.  But the video, article and the moves themselves are brilliant and I think this is a great resource.  We have a home gym with free weights and a pulley machine, so I was able to do all but the thigh moves, and the feeling of strength and confidence this workout gave me was worth it’s weight in gold.

And although not a workout, I can’t mention weight training without linking to one of my all-time favourite resources for women.  Girls Gone Strong have a bunch of great articles on exercise in pregnancy, as well as articles on general pregnancy health and postnatal stuff too.  I can’t sing the praises of this site enough, this is where my weight training interest was sparked back in 2015 and I love that the site doesn’t ignore pregnancy.

 

So what you waiting for?

A fit pregnancy is the best gift you can give yourself.  Along with managing my weight gain, being active has made this my easiest pregnancy so far.  I’ve avoided the SPD and back issues I had in my last pregnancy and the high blood pressure I experienced in my first, and there is a ton of research out there to support that exercise reduces those and other pregnancy complications as well as helping you to have a shorter and complication-free labour and birth.  What isn’t there to love about that?

 

What exercise worked best for you in pregnancy?  Let me know if you’ve tried any of the types of exercise I mention, or used any of the resources I’ve linked to.

The Amazon product links in this post are affiliated, but the opinions are my own.  I genuinely bought these products and have used them myself.

My Random Musings
My Random Musings
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my pregnancy at 37 weeks

Week 37 is done and dusted!  I finished up for maternity leave in a cloud of cake and very generous gifts last week and the midwives go on call for my homebirth from tomorrow…the end is in sight!  But actually, I hope I’ve still got a little while to go yet, as I don’t feel ready for birth or for meeting our new little man just yet.

I’m sure this boy will be like his brothers and show up late, but a lot of people are convinced I’m going to go before my due date, so I’ve always said that as long as I get at least a week of maternity leave to put my feet up first, he can come whenever he wants.  But that’s me been on leave for nearly a week now, and I’ve not done any relaxing at all!  I went shopping with my mum all day for my birthday, spent a whole day waddling around the Ideal Homes exhibition on Saturday, we were out celebrating the christening of my friends’ beautiful little girl all day Sunday and yesterday I took the boys to a local farm where I went on a tractor ride (honestly thought my waters would burst) and walked through the woods looking for fairy doors.  In amongst that I’ve been doing housework and trying to nest, and today I need to get things ready for my oldest son’s birthday tomorrow.  I don’t see me chilling out until Friday, so this boy better stay put for the foreseeable!

Plus…I’m not sure I’m ready to let go of being pregnant.  This is our last baby (though my friend and I did get Hubs to agree to baby number 4 at the christening party…though I think that may have had more to do with the cheap bar than any serious commitment), and this pregnancy has been such a wonderful experience.  So as much as I want to meet our little wriggler, I’m not ready for this pregnancy to be over.

So how have things progressed since I last updated at 35 weeks?

Body at 37 weeks

  • I don’t feel I look very different to how I did a few weeks ago.  And people tell me mixed things too (“oh, you’ve dropped” or “you’re still carrying quite high” or “you’re still so neat” to “you can really see a difference this week”) so clearly I’m not the only one unsure.  But I feel different, especially if I’ve been on my feet for too long.
  • Weight wise, I’ve put on another 1.5lbs since 35 weeks.  That makes it a stone since I started being mindful about my weight at 18 weeks and probably 1.5 stone (21lbs) overall.  Hopefully at least 10lb of that is baby, fluid and placenta!
  • I’m still getting off fairly easy on the symptom side of things too – no real heartburn, no leg cramps, only very slight restless legs last thing at night sometimes.  Even the trapped wind which was really bothering me a few weeks ago has eased off.
  • I do hit a wall in the afternoon most days were I could definitely do with a nap…but that might have more to do with how busy I’ve been more than anything.

Mind at 37 weeks

  • It’s not a quiet, chilled out mind, that’s for sure!  Like I’ve mentioned, I don’t feel ready for this baby yet, and I think that’s a big part of it.  The house is a mess and I can’t seem to find the time or energy to fix that.  So instead I lie in bed worried that I’ll go into labour in a pig sty.  I know if I pull my finger out and get it done today I’ll be much happier tomorrow, but time just seems to run away.
  • My main feeling is one of sadness.  I’m sad that this pregnancy is nearly over and I’m little sad to think that for the four year old things are going to change quite a lot.  He will no longer be the baby, and I blogged about how that upsets me.
  • On a more positive note, I’m excited for the birth and confident in my ability to cope with it.  We’re all set for our home waterbirth, and a lot of that confidence comes from the Hypnobirthing course I’m doing, which I’m hoping to blog about this week.

Baby at 37 weeks

  • We have a name!  And it was chosen by our four year old.  What’s impressive is that it is neither dinosaur nor construction site related!
  • His moses basket is all ready for him, the cloth nappies are washed and waiting, and he has more clothes than he will ever have time to wear.
  • We’re still on track for a big chunky boy…but that was never in doubt.

Fuel, Fitness & Rest

  • I’m quite sad that at the final hurdle I’m really failing on the fitness and nutrition fronts.  I’ve made bad food choices for a few weeks now, and can’t seem to get myself back on track.  I’m feeling guilty about the amount of sugar I’ve been consuming and I’m worried that I’m letting myself down by not fuelling my body better.  I need to think of my upcoming labour and birth as a marathon – no runner would prepare for that by eating cake after cake in the last weeks before the race!
  • My motivation to workout seems to have disappeared.  I think that’s a symptom of feeling like I have so much to do, so I talk myself out of a workout and instead promise I’ll do some housework…and then neither gets done!  I’m cutting myself some slack in this respect, as I’ve been out and about so I’m not exactly inactive, but I had hoped to exercise right up to the birth so it’s annoying me on a personal level.
  • Sleep is still pretty great, mainly thanks to my pregnancy pillow.  So I can’t blame not sleeping on my lack of motivation.

 

Overall, things are still going great.  I think I’m just psyching myself out.  I’m hoping that the next couple of days will be all I need to get me back on track and get my house sorted out, and that I still get that week of chill-out time before baby boy decides to join us!

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my pregnancy at 35 weeks

So that’s me crossed off the 35th week of pregnancy, and with just a week and a half left of work it’s getting really exciting to think that this little man is nearly here.

I arrived home on Saturday, after taking our 4 year old to a birthday party, to find all my lovely girlfriends standing waiting for me on the driveway.  They’d only gone and thrown me a surprise baby shower!!  And it really was a surprise – I’ve never had one before, and everyone had kept it really secret.  Even Hubs, who let me have a bit of a bratty (I blame the hormones) moan earlier in the week after the green eyed monster bit me – another friend is having a shower thrown for her in a few weeks and I was feeling left out.  Little did I know they’d been planning mine since February!

We played some games, ate a lot of food and just spent a few hours chatting.  It was lovely to have all my favourite people in one room, as some of my friends hadn’t met one another and I got to introduce them to my step-daughter, mum-in-law and my mum.  I was so touched at the effort made, and I was reminded just how lucky I am to know such a wonderful group of women.

That’s a nice head-space to be in as I drag myself through the last few weeks of pregnancy.  So how have things progressed since I last updated at 30 weeks?

Body at 35 weeks

  • I swing from thinking I’ve not grown much, to feeling bloody enormous!  My H&M maternity trousers are uncomfortable around my bump now and leave an unflattering muffin-top look halfway up, and I certainly feel heavier when trying to get comfy in bed or on the sofa!  But when I look down, or when I’m in my workout gear, I don’t see a big change.  I’m still “all bump” and can still see my waist, which is a new thing for me because I usually just swell out in all directions!
  • I’ve put on 5.5lbs since 30 weeks, and I’m hoping most of that is baby…but I have a feeling that’s wishful thinking!
  • I’m still pretty symptom-free, but I did have one episode of heartburn that I literally thought was going to kill me from the oesophagus out.  It woke me up and left me coughing and struggling to breathe because the stinging and burning was so bad.  And I have the most wickedbad trapped wind, I’ve been in agony most nights this week…who knew a lost fart could cause so much pain?!

Mind at 35 weeks

  • In general I’m feeling pretty positive, though I could feel myself starting to get a bit defeated now that discomfort and pain are getting to me.  It was amazing to have the lift of the baby shower yesterday to catch me before I sank, and put me back on a positive wave length.
  • I do have a constant nagging feeling though.  We still have a lot of things to get ready, and at times I panic that this will be my first baby to come early and we’ll be caught off-guard!  But then I rationalise with myself that my babies always come late, so I do still have time to play with.  Hopefully this week I can get the essentials dealt with, and then have time to focus on getting myself prepared!
  • Our birth plans are coming together.  I already blogged about our plans for a home birth and hopefully will be blogging this week about our water birth plans too.  I’m doing a hypnobirth course, so that will probably get it’s own blog post as well!  I know plans don’t always come off the way you want (trust me, with one induction and one car park birth under my belt, I know), but I’m planning for the best case scenario this time around.  The midwife is coming out for a home visit this week to stake out our joint – fingers crossed my house keeping meets her approval!

Baby at 35 weeks

  • With a previous 9lb 7oz baby followed by his 8lb 1oz brother (and daddy being 9lbs 11oz!), a small baby was never on the cards.  I was sent for a growth scan last week, and we’re hovering around that 90th centile again.  I’m not that bothered with any of that though, as I’ve never heard of anyone whose growth scan got it right, and whatever his size it will be the right size for him, and that will be perfect.
  • We have one or two crazy busy periods of movement a day, with other ones in between.  He’s head down, but obviously spinning around on it like a breakdancer as at times he’s all limbs to the front, jabbing away at me.
  • Still no name.  Shortened long-list, but no finalists.

Fuel, Fitness & Rest

  • After keeping a good handle on my diet and weight gain between 17 and 30 weeks, I’ve really struggled recently.  I’ve not been motivated to keep a food diary, which always signals trouble.  I had a craving for a burger this week so had a big indulgent meal, and then there were a lot of cakes (still are, my house is full of them!) at the baby shower which I just didn’t control myself around.  And that’s just been this week.  I think I’m on track for another big gain, but I’ll make peace with that and just try to be more health-conscious in the weeks I have left.
  • My energy levels are pretty good though, even with my less than perfect nutrition.  I managed to stay up to 4am at a party a few weeks ago, though I don’t think that’s something I’ll be doing again!  But I don’t feel as tired as I did at the start of the 3rd trimester, so I’m enjoying it while it lasts.
  • I think a lot of this is because my sleep is still generally as good as it was before pregnancy.  I’m usually only up once for the loo, and getting back to sleep isn’t usually an issue either.  What a difference to my last pregnancy, and I owe it all to my body pillow.
  • I went to my last Clubbercise class at 29 weeks, so I’ve been swimming instead.  I’m also keeping up with my strength workouts and yoga too.  I’m finding them a little tougher, but besides struggling to motivate myself a bit I’m still pretty regular with my sessions.

 

So, ticking along nicely. And it makes me feel all warm inside to know that next time I do a recap like this…I’ll be on maternity leave!!

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weekly menu + health update

 

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve shared a meal plan…mainly because Hubs was working away and as the kids get fed by their grandparents when I’m at work I didn’t really have any motivation to cook just for myself.  I did make a plan last week, which we stuck to for the most part, but I do still feel that I’ve been way off track.

As a rule, I have the same thing for breakfast every day (either porridge or overnight oats made with water and fromage frais, or Grapenuts and almond milk, all with a banana chopped over the top), lunch is always leftovers from dinner the night before (or a salad with couscous and either mackerel or egg), and our dinners are always healthy.  So meals are not my sticking point.

It’s the eating between meals that scuppers me, and I  have struggled to keep myself on a healthy course these past few weeks.  Its been a combination of lack of planning, lack of motivation and just plain greed.  If there’s been food available, I’ve eaten it.  I was thrown a surprise baby shower this weekend too, and the amount of cakes we’ve been left with is crazy.  Sure, I could chuck them out…but I’ve been conditioned never to waste food and basically I want to eat them.

But I’ve seen the impact on the scales, and whilst I can kid myself on that it’s all baby weight I know deep down that I’ve probably gained more than the wee fella has!  This week needs to be one of focusing on moderation and giving my baby the food he really needs, rather than the goodies that mummy wants.  So I’m having a clear out this morning to get rid of any remaining tempting-but-unhelpful treats, and giving myself a stern talking to.  Snack-wise, I’m going back to my fruit and natural yogurt, and I’m going to have these SlimmingWorld oat cookies (recipe by Kate @ WitWitWoo) as my evening snack.  I made them a few weeks ago with some added spices, but I’m going to keep trying to tweak them.  I know they’ll never be the real biscuit deal, but if I can make them interesting enough to enjoy with a cuppa that’s fine by me!

So, what’s on our dinner menu this week?…

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managing my pregnancy weight gain with slimmingworld

 

Balance is key to a healthy lifestyle…and so I feel I want to add some balance after my rant about SlimmingWorld the other week.  Because you may be forgiven for thinking I hate every last thing about SW, and that isn’t true.  After all, it has helped me have my healthiest pregnancy ever, and that is not something to be shrugged off.

I went into my first pregnancy blind.  It was unplanned, unprepared for and I didn’t have the first clue about health.  I was an overweight teenager who drank heavily, lived on junk food and the extent of my cooking skills was to fire up the deep fat fryer in my grotty little council-flat kitchen.  I have no idea what my weight gain was, as I didn’t own scales, but I went from a size 16 to a 22 so it’s safe to say it was probably near or even more than 4 stone.

My second pregnancy came ten years later, and I was a much different person as I’d been through my 6.5 stone weight loss journey.  But although I’d achieved that loss and made big changes to the way I ate and lived, that pregnancy came at a time where things were sliding.  I’d made the shift from an active job with time for fitness to a desk job which left me with little (perceived) time for exercise.  The job also made me miserable and I had turned to food, so I ate my way through my pregnancy and put on nearly 3 stone.

This time around, I’m different again.  My knowledge of health and nutrition has grown beyond diet/light/low-fat and I’ve made big advances in my fitness levels too.  That saw me get down to a size 12 less than a year after our four year old was born, and down to a size 10 for my wedding two years ago.  Unfortunately though, some things have not changed – I still struggle with using food as a coping mechanism, and my control around food is tied to my mood and emotions.  So I came into this pregnancy overweight again after a stressful year at work, culminating with both losing my job and having the stress of starting a new one after dropping the pregnancy bomb.  Oh…and then Christmas.  I put on nearly a stone in the first 18 weeks, and it looked as if I was on track to pile on the pounds yet again.

But something clicked in my head.  I’ve never enjoyed my changing body in pregnancy, and always felt self conscious about my weight gains, but as this is my last pregnancy I didn’t want to spend it hating how I looked.    And then there are the health consequences of a bad diet and big weight gain, both for myself and my baby.  I didn’t have the excuse of ignorance this time – if I wasn’t going to be healthy for me I should at least be healthy for my baby.

So that’s where SlimmingWorld came in, and where it has helped me.  I’ve been critical about some of their “free” foods and approaches, and I stand by that.  But following a plan and going to weekly weigh-ins has been key, and that is what SlimmingWorld has given me.  I’ve written before about how I’m more of a Weight Watchers girl and that too gives a plan and weekly weigh-ins, but SlimmingWorld have gone a bit further and had themselves accredited to accept pregnant members.  Having to be mindful about my food and being held accountable at the scales each week have helped me to make good choices whilst also ensuring I don’t overeat – two things I struggle with when left to my own devices.  Two things that are pretty much all you need to nail to maintain a healthy weight.

If I hadn’t been allowed to join a group, I fully believe I’d have carried on putting on weight the way I had when I started.  But thanks to SlimmingWorld (and my own efforts!), at 32 weeks I’ve only put on 3.5lbs since January.  I know I’ll probably gain weight each week from now on, and that will be something to get my head around, but most of that weight will be my little man filling out and getting ready for his arrival.

I’m hoping that after the birth, my overall weight gain will have been less than a stone.  That just blows my mind, how different this pregnancy has been to my others.  And the impact has reached further than the number on the scales.  I feel happier, I have more energy and I’ve been able to keep active.  I’m sleeping almost as well as I did before pregnancy, I’ve had minimal heartburn and no back issues.  And more importantly, I’m enjoying the pregnancy and don’t feel self conscious or bad about my changing body.  I’m hoping this is all gearing me up to the birth I want, and of course a healthy baby!

Life According to MrsShilts
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