I was one of those people who just ballooned after having my son. So many people assume it’s because you took full advantage of ‘eating for two’ when you gain weight in pregnancy but this just wasn’t the case for me. I had a horrible pregnancy and although baby was all perfect it was me that had the worst time ( I won’t go in to all that now). However long story short, I didn’t eat very much at all and for half of the pregnancy didn’t keep much down either. So my weight gain was just a cruel part of my pregnancy since it wasn’t my own doing. Obviously as they say, the baby is totally worth it and that’s all that matters.
No one really tells you just how much weight gain and a new post baby body can actually affect you. All I can say, is that I barely left the house after having my son. I became a bit of a recluse, stopped looking people in the eye and would avoid bumping in to anyone at all costs. I didn’t even realise how much I had changed. I didn’t feel like me anymore and it actually hurt or was extremely uncomfortable to wear most clothes. So I began living in leggings and high waisted jeans and super baggy long tops and jumpers. I felt like I had aged about 20 years and felt so sluggish and horrible. My skin was constantly dried out and spotty and horrible, nothing I did, makeup or otherwise made me feel any better and I would avoid mirrors at all costs. I began thinking, well this is it now, this is me and as long as my baby was happy and healthy that was all that mattered. But I had very little energy and feeling low about myself affected everything, especially since I didn’t like to go anywhere. Which meant not only was I recluse but so was my son without me even realising.
I started forcing myself to attend baby groups and did so at least twice a week, I forced myself to be social for my son and although I did that for him and loved seeing him enjoy himself, I wasn’t able to enjoy it myself. I really wanted to be fully there and not sat thinking everyone here is looking at how fat I am, people must think I look awful. I didn’t want to care about what people thought or be self conscious but I couldn’t stop it. I’m sure someone will be reading this thinking she must be really vain constantly worrying about her appearance. Maybe that’s what it looks like to people but the fact is I didn’t want to worry about it. I wanted to be one of those ’embrace your body’ people, but mentally I just couldn’t and would never accept it. I wanted so so badly to do something about it but I felt like a lost cause. I didn’t know where to start and didn’t have lots of money spare for personal trainers etc. I think this was the biggest problem for me, I just didn’t know where to even start. I was also a terrible cook and it was so much easier for me to cook frozen food.
I used to have a lot of toddler tantrums when it came to getting ready to go somewhere and it actually affected me so bad that I ended up cancelling and ruining a date night my Mr had planned. I felt horrible and selfish but I couldn’t bring myself to dress up and go out. You want to feel beautiful and look nice for your partner and no amount of ‘you look lovely’ from them will make you feel any better if you feel like crap. I would sit and sob and break my heart on my bed whilst my caring (but frustrated) Mr would try and piece together an outfit for me. I would cry and shout that he didn’t understand and that he just didn’t know what it was like..and truth be told, he didn’t understand, but he was trying. It was only when my mum booked for us all to go on holiday together (our first family holiday) that I decided enough was enough. I started dreading my holiday, saying I can’t go, I will have to wear a big baggy t-shirt the whole time whilst swimming and THIS is the moment I knew I had to snap out of it.
So many people had told me to do something about my weight if I was unhappy and to snap out of it, but the truth is, until you genuinely want to and feel that determination, you just won’t. Even if you feel super crap, if you aren’t in the right mind frame then it will never happen. I ended up deciding to do a detox and change my lifestyle in hopes that I could come up with something that would last and not just do an impossible diet that I would fail at. I ended up going for Juice + (before you start rolling your eyes, I will explain why). My current diet at the time consisted of no breakfast, little to no lunch (sometimes a bag of crisps or something super unhealthy) and then tea was frozen food. I struggled to find time to eat properly during the day as a new mummy and with me being a rubbish cook, starting some super healthy diet cooking all sorts with fresh ingredients was just not possible right away.
I decided to do Juice + as I knew that I could make the shakes with loads of fruit and it wouldn’t be time consuming or difficult, so I didn’t have an excuse not to stick to it. I also thought that having a shake filled with lots of fresh fruit for breakfast and lunch was way better than what I was currently doing. It also started getting me in a regular routine for being hungry 3 times a day and I started adding my healthy snacks in between such as wholegrain rice cakes with tomatoes and homemade soup. It certainly wasn’t starving myself and instead I always felt really full and had all of this extra energy. I started treating my ‘snacks’ as my meals as soup and salad etc. was enough to be classed as a meal and treated my shakes as my snacks in between. I started being more creative with my meal at tea time and thanks to the support of the Juice+ team I had a list of foods to eat and foods to avoid. I had recipe ideas that even the Mr could enjoy which meant we were both eating healthy. We started really enjoying our food and completely stopped buying anything frozen. Roll on a year later and we still don’t eat frozen food really at all and cook everything fresh.
Following this plan I lost 1.5 stone and dropped down to a size 10 from a 16. My skin cleared up, I felt great and I only used the shakes for 2 months. I decided that after 2 months I would stop using them and would only have them as a little detox if I have had a particularly bad few months. I managed to keep the weight off and even after going on holiday for 2 weeks I came back and had only put on 1lb!! I was drinking alcohol and eating all sorts but would some days balance it back out with eating right whilst away. I started exercising and could see my body changing and looking so so much better. I enjoyed getting dressed up and started wearing tighter clothing, stuff I couldn’t have worn before. I want to make it clear that this isn’t a post to secretly promote Juice + and I DON’T sell it, I won’t be putting links in to get people to buy it. It is about my experience with weight gain and weight loss, how it affected me and how it still affects me now. I am just sharing my honest story and hope that some new mum out there reads this and knows that how they are feeling is totally normal. It has been exactly a year now since losing the weight and apart from the very odd day where I haven’t had time for ‘proper food’ I haven’t done the Juice diet again, but I have stuck to my healthy and clean eating and changed my eating habits completely, which is what I was hoping to achieve from the plan.
I had a few bad months around Christmas time and have found myself feeling pretty crappy again recently. Although we still eat all fresh food I have been slipping up during the day when it’s just me and my son, having some left over chicken nuggets or not eating properly until tea. I indulged over Christmas and have gone back to drinking sometimes during the week (just a glass or two) but long story short I need to get back in to the right frame of mind. I am struggling to find the motivation at the moment and have gained a bit of weight again. Nowhere near as much as before but it has started to upset me on the odd occasion and I know I need to get myself back on the right track. Especially with exercise as I just stopped doing it and that is just not good at all. I have just had my Birthday recently and also my dad’s Birthday and we have lots of things coming up where it is difficult to not indulge so I have given myself a free period this month to get it all out of the way and then I WILL be starting a fresh in a couple of weeks time. No Excuses! I will try to keep posting about my progress and you will find that I post most of my results on Instagram. I always find it is best to have a goal, like when my mum booked me that holiday. My new goal is for when I go to Milan in September for Fashion week (that is the last place you want to feel awful about yourself!). Fingers crossed I can do it and I can reach my goal of feeling great again. I want to be in an even better shape than before!
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