an insight into my weight-loss journey

Hey there, new mums!

Hope you are enjoying the thrills of motherhood. I know, from my own recent experience, how topsy turvy life can get during the first few months. It is a never-ending cycle of madness consisting of sleepless nights, constant diaper changes, breastfeeding and painful periods of pumping milk, burping the baby, advices from elders and experiencing strange emotions.

 

My name is Anwesha and this is my story of how I was able to lose 14 kgs in 6 months amidst the pressure of handling the demanding duties of motherhood. However, before you go through it, I want to specify that I am in no way a professional and whatever I share is solely based from my own experience.

 

I was in my early 30s when I realised, I was pregnant. It was not a planned pregnancy. When I got to know I was pregnant I felt ecstatic. I never knew that I could experience such unadulterated joy.  It was the happiest phase in our life. We both couldn’t wait for the new addition to our little family.

 

I was always on the slender side and had tried to maintain an active & healthy lifestyle alongside my job. I was someone who would never eat fried food or cola or eat desserts. But all that was put into hold for the 9 months and 10 days that I was pregnant, as I found myself feasting on everything edible. I was 49kgs but by the end of nine months, I was very visibly pregnant weighing around 69 kgs. With me being 5’1’’, that definitely was a few extra pounds that I had put on during this tenure. I mean, while a baby is heavy, it couldn’t really weigh a whole 20 kg, right? According to the charts, I was intensely overweight.

For reference, here’s a few weight charts:

All throughout my pregnancy I was extremely happy. I kept eating as I found all kinds of food tasty. I had this constant urge to eat something. I was extremely fit during this phase; never a day’s illness or nausea or missing work. Also, my loving husband kept getting ice-creams and chocolates and fed me rice, potato, butter etc. By the end of nine months, I was seriously FAT. Prior to my delivery, which was set for 1st June, 2020, my doctor started gently talking about my weight, which became not so gentle after a while. “Anwesha, you are eating for just one child, not fifty,” were her exact words.

I had a c-section and finally my beautiful daughter was born 10 days before the due, which was 1st June, 2020. My daughter weighed around 3.5 kgs and was pink faced and simply lovely. Other than the excruciating pain which you experience for the first time trying to use the washroom after the surgery, I was fortunate to have no complications and no underlying health issues.

What I didn’t know was that the body did not shrink back to its earlier size once the bay was out overnight. My body was loose, flabby and my skin had lost all pregnancy glows. I had mad hair and had a serious trouble looking into the mirror.  I could not believe that I could no longer fit in to my pre-pregnancy clothes. Having grown up on a steady diet of Bollywood films I thought I would look charming and beautiful. Instead, I was looking at my favourite pair of jeans or bodycon dress wistfully.

Sometimes, you need time to process things during such huge transitions. But the fact remained that now I had another life to think of and a full-time job that I couldn’t quit. So, instead of dwelling on these insecurities I decided to pick my life back up right from the start.

FIRST MONTH POST-PARTUM

  • Under the recommendations of my doctor, I started out by walking for 30-45 minutes every day, 15 days after my delivery. I took it slow and at first, to give my body the time it requires to adjust to the new rhythms. Walking around can decrease the possible risks of clot formations by increasing your blood flow and it can also accelerate your overall healing process. Plus, I was able to enjoy a few minutes of me time which was a good distraction from the exhausting duties of being a new mother.
  • As I was breastfeeding my child, going on an elaborate diet plan was not the option. I followed a very b basic Indian 3-main meal diet plan, limiting the portion size and drank lots of water. I also had stopped caffeine during my pregnancy. I started having a cup of bullet coffee made with organic coffee and coconut oil which gave me the right amount of kick.
  • I lost 4 kgs by the end of the month. Although most of it was water weight, it was still a start.

SECOND-THIRD MONTH POST-PARTUM

  • I continued with my walking routine plus the initial diet plan. I avoided packaged food plus sweets as much as possible.
  • I gradually increased my pace and the walking period to one hour per day.
  • I did a few less-intensive household chores as well.
  • By the end of three months post-partum, I was 9 kgs down

FOURTH-SIXTH MONTH POST PARTUM

  • By the fourth month, I started running under the recommendations of my doctor. I always made sure to consult with her regarding matters that others consider to be trivial. It was a safety precaution and since this was my first pregnancy, I didn’t want to take any chances.
  • My 3-month maternity leave had ended and I had to go back to work. Despite that, I tried not to let it impact my workout and eating habits as much as possible.
  • By the fifth month, I also joined a group programme that engaged in less-intensive workouts/yoga routines. It was one of the best experiences ever. I met up with a bunch of supporting and dedicated people that gave me the motivation needed to continue this journey.
  • By the end of six months, I weighed 55 kgs, meaning I had lost 14 kgs!

A FEW EXTRA TIPS/ADVICES

  • Monitor your calorie intake. There are many apps and websites that provide you valid information about the nutritional and calorie content of your daily diets.
  • Treat yourself once a while
  • Hydrate well
  • Avoid cola and other sugar laden beverages
  • Get ample sleep
  • Seek support
  • Stop seeking for “perfection”

Yoga asanas to do post-partum

  • Anulom Vilom
  • Cobra Pose
  • Leg Raises
  • Standing poses
  • Gentle Leg Movements
  • Tadasana
  • Vrikshasana
  • Om chanting

PRECAUTIONS

  • NURSING MOMS: Exercising doesn’t affect milk composition, supply or the nutritional content. However, exercising and exhaustion without a proper balanced diet can impact the IgA content of the colostrum which is responsible for providing immunity to the child.
  • Exercising too hard can delay the healing of caesarean incisions and even cause more harm than benefit.

By sharing my story, I am in no way promoting body shaming or fat phobia. Every body type is beautiful in its own ways and must be appreciated, no matter what. In my case, pregnancy and losing a lot of weight has left my own body with quite a few stretch marks, scars and sagging skin. There are many women out there who go through the same situations and undergo serious depression because of all these changes that their once-pampered body has to face. I just wanted to get fit for myself and my family.  I want to tell all new mothers out there that you can get your confidence and body back. It might not be the same as before, but then it is beautiful and very complex machine that contain a beautiful being inside and some of the traces will be left.

Almost six months after the delivery, I am still learning how to find a balance between looking after my daughter and making myself a priority. Sometimes just looking at her I feel I have created her and all the difficulties have been worthwhile and I will just put my legs up, watch TV and eat an entire bag of chips. Then I tell myself that I should not forget Anwesha either. I finding my way back again amongst the clouds of my own insecurities. I know I may not get back in pre-pregnancy shape or may not have the time to go out with my gang of girls for quite some time.   But I have started liking the new me and when I look at the mirror, I like what I see.

As the saying goes, “You are imperfect, permanent and invisibly flawed. You are beautiful.”

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