My body after baby #2
I have been thinking a lot about the challenges I am having getting back into my favourite shorts after having my second baby. Losing baby weight!!!!!! **SIGH It can be way tougher than you think it is going to be.
Just like with my first son, I have struggled to pull it all together and be focused and determined .. Some days are better than others. Sleep deprivation being a huge motivation killer. When I am tired ALL I want to do it eat..! My body is crying out for more energy. To fix this, it's not rocket science, I need sleep. But (you mothers will understand) that's easier said than done. With a second child, you do not have the option of sleeping when the baby sleeps. And truthfully.... I didn't sleep as often as I needed to when I had my first son either. If I'd done that I would not have showered, eaten, gone outside, done the washing, cleaning or been physically active. I would have been a walking talking milking cow. The grumpiest one you have ever met!!
This time around, I have tried to focus on my long term goals of general health. I have also had a few short term goals to keep me on track and motivated. Call them helpful little bursts of progress that keep me inspired. I've focused a lot on diet.
What I have found most helpful mentally, is that I have finally accepted that the pursuit of fitness and healthy living is a life long ..never ending journey of commitment. With a few breaks and the odd Tim tam (ok, quite a few tim tams) thrown in.
Up until 4 years ago, I had never committed to my health. I had a fair amount of "puppy fat" (fat) and an addiction to sugar. I couldn't get into fitness passionately because even when I worked my butt off at the gym, I just did not see the results. IT WAS MY DIET.. How many times have I heard people say... It's 80% diet, 20% exercise.. I don't think I believed them. (As I sat there eating my cherry ripe) Because surely after running 45 minutes on the treadmill I deserve that bar of chocolate for dessert... calories in vs calories out right???!!
Um actually... no ... no Mikhaela ... NOOOO!
Previous to having babies, I looked after myself for short periods here and there and then had other periods of treating my body like ... well .... shit. Not bothering to keep up with an exercise routine and not putting much importance on what I was feeding my body. Partying was WAYYYYYYY more important. I ate a lot more processed food. Thinking that those "lite" versions and the "Low GI" and "99% fat free" labels meant that I was eating good food. These periods not only halted my fitness ability, they especially impacted my mental health. My attitude. My happiness. My confidence.
Blow outs as I like to call them (Binges), are pretty normal for most of us. The odd day (or few days) where we feel like eating stuff we know we shouldn't. Now, I'm not saying that is an issue. We all have special occasions, holidays, CHRISTMAS, those times that we live a little. It's called moderation and balance.
Unfortunately though, what I would do after a sneaky blow out (instead of snapping myself out of it and carrying on with doing everything in moderation) was beat myself up about it. Punching bag sort of stuff. I would think about how many calories I ate and how much exercise I would have to do to burn it off. I would avoid people. Avoid going out and just hate on myself.
What made it particularly hard was the sugar I consumed on those blow outs. Eating sugar made me want more sugar.. it never satisfied my hunger. I would have more and not get full. So the cycle would keep going.
Eating clean has changed my body and changed the way I feel. 100%. Mentally and physically.
I cannot say this enough.. Sugar is NOoooo gooood. It is addictive. It makes us fat.
As much as this journey of losing baby weight is frustrating me. I am getting there. And I would not be anywhere near this point, if I was not trying my best to stick to clean and colourful food. And of course staying away from the white stuff (sugar).
I get so much inspiration from other people. Be it from friends or social media (especially instagram...There are so many delicious recipes that are simple, satisfying and really quite inexpensive. I also find that when the food I make looks good, it tastes even better. Fresh herbs do a lot for a dish.
Making time to prepare for the week ahead is also non negotiable if you are going to stick to clean food. I am far more likely to make shitty food choices if I don't have good food available to me when I am super hungry. I also don't buy foods for the house if I'm going to regret eating it afterward. Too tempting when I am ravenous!!
It has taken me years to get to this point, where I feel more comfortable and happier in my body. In fact, I am still not "there".......... but WILL I EVER BE?! There is always something I will want to change or not feel good about. Maybe it's age that has made me more accepting of my many imperfections.. maybe it is children? Either way, my clean eating has done me the world of good. And I think my body is starting to forgive me for those years in the processed rubbish boxing ring.