It was my sons first birthday this week.
I can’t believe a year ago I was fit to burst with baby (and anticipation), for labour and life beyond.
One year on, birth is almost a distant memory (almost) and life is good!
We’ve had the usual battles of broken sleep and not having a clue what we're doing (still very much winging it) but I guess that’s all part of the process.
There’s been some tough times, uncontrollably emotional days, but the highs have been high and all things considered it’s been a pretty epic (and very speedy) year.
In terms of my body, things are feeling pretty good, in fact way better than expected. I had planned to meticulously document full details of my post-natal ‘transformation’ but I’ll be honest, doing the workouts was hard enough without spending all my time taking photos. Instead I’ve just focused on getting my workouts done when I could and going about it in my own way, at my own pace.
I did set out some goals when I started training, but with the cancellation of our summer holiday (and the rejection of my Love Island application) I wasn’t feeling a whole lot of pressure to get back in shape.
So here’s the ‘transformation’. Two weeks after birth and one year on.
I'll be honest, I much prefer posting my client's transformation photos than my own, but here we are.
On the left was two weeks after birth, weighing 63.5kg (roughly 6kg over pre-preggo weight). Apparently only three—four kg of additional body fat is ‘normal’ during pregnancy but my usual active lifestyle was severely restricted by bump and the pandemic. I replaced cycling to work and standing up training clients for 12 hours a day, with training clients from my bedroom (sometimes actually in bed - I mean, rest is necessary if not essential). I also love food so it was natural I’d put on a bit more as I wasn't moving.
The photos on the right were taken a couple of days before my son’s first birthday, weighing 52kg (less than my last photo shoot weight but my body composition has definitely changed!). I’ve lost over 11kg in a year, although unfortunately some of this will be muscle due to inactivity, gym closures, weights available at home and the time I've actually spent training.
My body composition is different but then so is my life right now. My priorities have shifted.
I haven’t ‘dieted’, tracked my food or trained in a gym.
I’ve done short (25 minutes max) home workouts or runs, lots of steps, eaten a fairly balanced diet and breastfed a baby. My body fat has literally fuelled the growth of another human being. Insane.
It hasn’t been extreme. It hasn't been difficult. I've kept it simple. It’s just been consistent.
Consistent efforts over time will get you results.
I’m fortunate that due to my experience in the fitness industry, I know how to eat well to fuel my body and provide the nutrients it requires. I know how to balance my nutrition over the course of a day or a week if I’ve made less healthy choices. I tend to opt for foods that make me feel good and energised but I also don't think twice about having a pizza or a chocolate bar if I want it.
I know how to train efficiently so I can get the most out of a session, however short it may be. 25 minutes is all it's taken to get me feeling strong, fit and healthy again. Yes I may have lost some muscle along the way, but this was inevitable given the circumstances (globally, logistically, internally).
I was usually motivated enough to get it done, even when not hugely feeling it.
My focus this year is to make some time to get to the gym and regain some of my lost muscle. I do miss heavy leg days.
I also have the not insignificant task of the London Marathon ahead which, given the small amount of running I've done so far, could be interesting.
One thing that's taken priority over my own training this year (apart from the obvious addition to the family) is building a business helping new mums get stronger, fitter, healthier and more confident.
I am helping women to train in a way that works best for their body, to get long-lasting sustainable results with whatever time they have available. I am helping women rebuild their strength post-baby and coaching them to push themselves that little bit more every session.
I am teaching women to fuel their bodies and minds, so that they feel energised and positive. No fads, no BS, just simple, science-based, efficient strategies that will achieve long-lasting results for body, health and wellbeing.
Want to make the most of your own post-natal training and nutrition? Get in touch for details of my in-person or online training programs.