New Mummy-Staying in Shape

Till today, I still find it fascinating how a human could breathe life into any tiny being after a mere 9 months of pregnancy. The thoughts of myself expanding, and then contracting again is fascinating. But of course, I did not go back to the original size as before. How I wished!

Though there are a handful who asked what I did to slim down, I have to remind them that this is only the first pregnancy, and I have friends who have had three children, and they are qualified as bonafide hot mamas.

Keeping in shape has been a constant challenge from the day I decide to marry then-boyfriend-now-husband.  Most girls want to look good for their wedding shots, and I also dabbled in a brief modelling stint for my wedding photographer for some fun after my wedding shots. So, I have to look slim!

This was published in Her World Bridal magazine in June last year.

My History

When I was pregnant, I was 28 years old and 45kg. Morning sickness was a pain to remember, and the only memorable thing about it was, my dad was in the same state as me because of chemotherapy. One of the side effects – vomiting. I remembered we were joking about it, that we were “pregnant” together so I’m not exactly suffering alone. Well, such hilarity coming out from the mouth of a man battling with a terminal disease. I felt consoled nevertheless; my dad’s a tough cookie.

I didn’t gain much during the first half of the pregnancy, because all I could take was milo and crackers. Towards the last three months however, my appetite grew, and I find myself eating 5 heavy meals every day – The weight gain suddenly became really obvious, I find myself staring back at my double chin, my thighs are rubbing against each other as I walk, and I get frequent leg cramps. I remembered the frequent peeing trips to the toilet because my baby was pressing down on my bladder, and I didn’t dare to drink a lot of water. It was a mistake, because lack of water triggers off water retention and my foot swelled up to resemble those of an elephant’s.

In total, I gained about 19kgs in a span of 36 weeks. On top of all that, I get a surprise present – STRETCHMARKS! On my once wash board tummy. I remember lamenting to myself, “Oh Shit, No more Bikinis!”. My daily regime of applying the Clarins Stretchmark cream has gone to waste, so it’s not really about the cream, but the skin of an individual.

After I gave birth, I breastfed for 2 weeks, and the weight reduced slightly. Massage was aborted because I gave birth via C-section, and there was intense pain at the surgery area. I do have a Chinese lady who comes to my place to massage me from the third week onwards, but because my threshold for pain was so low, my sessions with her didn’t help much. The tummy wrap was excruciating, I find myself releasing the tight cloth around my tummy the moment she’s out of the gate, so I wasn’t very discipline either.

I only resumed jogging on the fourth month, after being advised by my gynae at Gleneagles. The first session was depressing. I wasn’t as fit as before, and my stamina was at all time low. I still have my ugly bulge vandalised with purplish unsightly stretch marks and I never knew they will be there for as long as they want, and will only appear fainter over time.

I remember discussing about this openly with all my mummy friends..some get it, some don’t, so guess I have only my genes to blame.

I didn’t visit the gym or do any fancy body-toning work-outs, but I embarked on a trio-weekly slimming massage at a Spa salon at Ang Mo Kio. I’m happy with the results because I feel healthier other than the effortless shedding weight part. Massage helps in blood circulation and rejuvenation. This is a well-known fact, and I am a firm believer of massages.

Now 9 months on, I am 5 kg from my pre-pregnancy weight, and I still have a belly that may resemble a 3 months pregnant tummy at times when I overeat(Well, who doesn’t?). But friends and relatives have commented that I looked better than before. Maybe I have my new-found motherhood identity and motivation (keeping in shape) in life to thank.

Eat Healthy, Be Healthy, Stay in Shape! = Happy Woman

I still jog, carry my 8kg baby around, bring her for walks or I’ll settle her in the stroller and do a push-baby-in-pram jog along the beach. Make sure that the stroller can be used for jogging. I bought mine from Stokke, at Mothercare.

Not only can you lose weight, you get to tone the muscles in your arms at the same time. This jogging regime is super tiring so be mentally prepared..Pack towel and some water for yourself and your baby, then store it in the stroller. I ended up with sore and achy arms for 2 days after the first attempt, but my baby loves this exercise so much because she feels like she’s flying probably 😉

I also practised a lot of self-control with my cravings. If I had supper the previous night, I’ll downed lemonade the entire day thereafter. Lunch is Japanese cucumber with yogurt and they are yummy!

I eat very little rice and literally no yellow noodles because these are high on carbo, and I take a lot of vegetables and fruits. No processed food(it is hard, but a little goes a long way). A coffee lover, I drink coffee without sugar, and no candies for me. I still however, crave in to my favourite ice-cream from Hagen Daz but I also remember to exercise so I can eat!

On lazy and raining days like what we often get recently, I fall back on my trusty new baby, the uKimimi (uKimono)for some “me time” indoor zapping. I strapped this on(remember to breathe in! and suck in that tummy) with my baby girl playing on the bed next to me. Sure is a funny sight, but It is definitely time-saver, and best of all, I’m in a recumbent position indulging in an effortless work-out!  Kimmi always seems so amused with this pretty lavender grooving away on her mommy’s tummy. She has learnt a few shake-a-tum-tum moves by the way, so proud of her! 😉

In conclusion, I believed that there are no ugly women, only lazy ones. It takes a whole lot of perseverance to see results. It takes discipline too, to strap on my uKimono after awhile just like how I grew weary of the uZap eventually as novelty wears off. Such devices work only if you keep using constantly, coupled with a healthy diet and moderate exercise. Not that hard seriously if you are determined to slim down.

This is the price to pay for being a mommy. Imagine when baby no.2 comes, I’ll have to start the regime all over again. This time however, I’ll probably jumpstart myself on some yoga class for preggies to maintain gradual weight increase during pregnancy. The trick I realised, is to achieve GRADUAL weight increase instead of a sudden purge towards the end. Hormonal change may be the main culprit, but most of my mommy girlfriends feedback that it is in fact, manageable. This is happy news for mums-to-be and ladies who are planning to have babies.

I am still envious of how other mums have wash board tummies after giving birth, and I totally want to be like them. I missed wearing flattering tops or dresses that shows off that neat waistline – I have a waistline but the unpredictable tummy part can be dampening. There’s still room for improvement!

I haven’t been so concerned about a body part all my life until now. Keeping in shape has been a challenge, and I’m battling this everyday with my ego. I’ll share more tips in the next few entries, and I am inviting my dear readers to share your tips as well!

How do you stay in shape without burning a hole in your pocket?

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