Getting my figure back after babies

First up, this is most definately not a ‘snap back’ story!  It’s been almost 3 years since my last pregnancy and I’ve only just regained my figure.  But after struggling for years to get my figure back I finally did it and wanted to tell you how in case you’re in the middle of a similar struggle.  This is my personal story and is in no way a criticism of anyone else’s size or lifestyle.

Before babies

For most of my life I’ve been slim and mostly a size 10.  There was a time when I went up to a 12/14 whilst working in an office for a few years –  I would go out to the local greasy spoon cafe every day for a fry up lunch so no surprise I put on a bit of weight there!  When I left the job for a more active job as a tour guide the weight came back down and I was back again at ‘my size’, a size 10, the size I feel I am naturally.

The baby whirlwind

It took 3 years for me to fall pregnant for the first time.  I put on loads of weight and my baby bump was huge!  It was such a magical time.  To be honest I was a bit worried about exercising and not ‘eating for two’ – I was scared it might hurt the baby, despite all the evidence and advice to the contrary.  I ate whenever I was hungry, as much as I wanted.  I did some light pregnancy aerobics in the second trimester for a few weeks to try and maintain some sort of fitness (I realised that was a good thing) but that was about it.  I didn’t care one fig about my figure because I was living the dream, I was going to be a mum.

After Elizabeth (Bitsy Boo) was born there were no serious attempts to get fit as I knew I wanted another baby quite soon and with all the breastfeeding and other baby stuff it just wasn’t a priority.  I think I tried running at one point (I’ve tried to start running about 5 times in my life and it’s always ended badly – it’s definately not the exercise for me!) and might have done a few exercise classes but nothing stuck.

When I fell pregnant with Ethan the combination of pregnancy whilst looking after a toddler knocked me for 6 and I just physically couldn’t exercise.  I got bad morning sickeness with both my pregnancies and the second time round it lasted until the half way point.  I was completely exhausted but couldn’t rest because I had Bitsy to look after.

When the sickness finally ended I did a bit of my pregnancy exercise DVD again (thanks Davina!) but I quickly got into the massive third trimester and got too knackered and uncomfortable to carry on.  My bump was so massive that people used to stop in the street in shock and go ‘Ooooooo, you poor thing you look ready to pop!’ and this was when I still had a month to go.

After babies

I didn’t care about my figure when Ethan was tiny – my body had done an amazing job and it needed time to heal and get back to its old self in its own time.  Once Ethan was about one, I started to try different exercises, and cut down on the chocolate.  I still looked 6 months pregnant at this point – relatively slim but with a massive stomach.  I was a size 12/14 so not too big at all but my stomach was easily at least a size 16, way out of propertion to the rest of me.  But over the next year and a half, everything I tried to lose weight and get fit failed.

As anyone who has tried exercising when you have small children will know it is bloody hard to try and maintain an exercise routine when you’re completely exhausted.  Ethan has never slept well (still doesn’t) so my sleep was missing in action, I was looking after children 24/7 and it’s hard to give up junk food and sugary snacks when you’re so tired.

Even when I managed to keep up a strong yoga routine for 6 weeks I became disheartened when it had no obvious effect on my figure.  I checked several times during that year and a half to make sure I didnt have seperated stomach muscles as a result of the pregnancies, as this can stop the muscles ‘pulling back in’ afterwards.  I did not have that condition but still my big tum hung on.

Mummy and Bitsy

This summer

So fast forward to 3 months ago and even though it had been two and a half years since Ethan was born, I was still sporting a huge mum tum and my confidence was at an all time low.  I felt like I would look like this for ever.

But then I saw an ad on social media for a 90 day fitness plan by Joe Wicks AKA The Bodycoach.  In the ad was a ‘before’ and ‘after’ picture of a woman in my exact situation – two babies in, couldn’t shift the tum.  It was like the ‘before’ picture was a picture of me.  In the ‘after’ picture she had a completely flat tum!  I didn’t think I wanted to go as far as the full six pack, I’ve never liked the muscly look, but if I could get half those results or even any results I’d be happy!

Striaght away I wanna say I’m not an affiliate of these plans, I’m not earning any commission for talking about them, I’m just putting it out there that they worked for me – it was a miraculous transformation when everything else had failed.  I’m a big fan of Joe Wicks now and think I will be following his advice for a long time to come!

The plan involved doing short HIIT workouts 4-5 times a week and following a low-carb diet with portion sizes specially tailored to each person.  I did the veggie version of the plan.  It’s not a vegan plan and the vast majority of the recipes are not vegan, but I knew that when I bought it – I was confident I could amend the recipes to fit – I just wanted those results!  As it turns out the plan comes with a ‘create your own’ recipes guide explaining how to make up your own meals to fit in the with the plan so that’s what I did and I used the few vegan recipes as well.

What was crucial to me I think was that all the thinking was done for me.  I was told what workouts to do, what food to eat and when, what portion sizes to use.  I had no time to figure that stuff out on my own.  Also the workouts were only about 30 minutes long.  I don’t have time for long workouts.

I got my figure back – better than ever!

The results came quickly, so much quicker than I could ever have hoped for.  After only the first month I’d lost almost half a stone and 2 inches off my waist.  After the whole plan I’d lost about a stone and 5 inches off my waist!  The tummy is pretty much gone and I finally have a waist again (actually the best waist of my life, I finally had a hourglass shape!) I actually finished the plan two weeks early because I didn’t want to get any thinner/musclier.  I had reached my goal.  I am now back to my size 10 and actually have the best figure of my life.

Today

I have just finished the plan and now have the challenge of maintaining my progress.  I need to keep up the exercising and continue with a healthy diet (most days).  I am eating so much healthier now – so many more veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds etc, I feel like I’m finally looking after my body.  I know The Bodycoach has a new Veggie Lean in 15 book coming out soon, including 25 vegan recipies so I’m definately buying that!

If you’re struggling to lose the baby weight or weight for any other reason, I strongly recommend following The Bodycoach for recipes and exercise inspiration.  Now that I’ve done the plan I can see that you can probably do something similar for free using workouts and recipes from social media (I think The Bodycoach do these). But you will have to have the time to put together your own exercise plan and you may have to do a bit of trial and error to find the portion sizes that work for you.

If, like me, you just want someone to hold your hand through the whole thing and turn your brain off as someone does all the thinking for you, then the plans are the way to go.  It really was like having a personal trainer, and it works 🙂