I loved being pregnant, I love my children and I love being a mother – what I didn’t sign up for or love very much was what happened to my body in the aftermath of having two kids.
If the stretch marks weren’t bad enough, the fact that everything headed south was a major concern and I don’t even want to talk about what happened to my tummy!
But you know what, the body is a magical thing and it doesn’t matter where you are today, post pregnancy or otherwise, if you treat your body with respect it will love you back.
As you can in the first picture I was absolutely huge with when I was pregnant, I’m only 5 ft so I was almost as wide as I was tall towards the end of my pregnancy. With my second child I lived in constant fear that my body was never going to return to anything like its previous version and I know this is a common thought for many women today.
Add in the sleepless nights and the zombie like feeling I had for ages when they were babies and I can tell you I didn’t feel much like exercising for a couple of years.
But there came a point in time when I started to feel normal again (and my kids slept for more than two hours at a time) and particularly as I was getting back into the fitness industry I decided that it was time to see what was possible in terms of getting my body back in some sort of shape.
I decided to kick start things with two months of complete focus on training and nutrition and this was very helpful as I could see changes quickly which motivated me to stay focussed and keep going. After 3 months my post baby body was fast becoming a thing of the past and I was feeling great and making some real progress. It was about then that I decided to take the rather extreme step of competing in a body sculpting competition.
To this day I’m not entirely sure what possessed me to set this as a goal but I called it ‘Operation Stage fright’ and it was one of the scariest, yet satisfying things I have ever done. For me it was never about the competition itself, the whole parading around and hair tossing is a little bit much for me, but the thing that I was fascinated by was how quickly my body adapted and changed with the training and nutrition regime I was on.
Also, what changed was that I stopped wanting to eat chocolate! Now this might not sound like much but for me as a bona fide chocoholic this was a huge step! I realised what was happening later was that all the bad habits that I had got into with nutrition were getting reprogrammed as my mind caught up with what was actually going on with my body. Don’t get me wrong I still LOVE chocolate but we just aren’t as close as we used to be.
I guess the message I wanted to share today is to all the Mum’s or those thinking about becoming Mum’s – don’t worry or stress about your body post kids. Yes it will change dramatically but if you make the choice to recreate a new version of yourself through positive nutrition and exercise, then it’s entirely possible to end up in better shape than when you started. It also never too late to start – you may have had your kids 10 or 15 years ago, you can still create the body you want if you put your mind to it.