Do I Plait it, corset it or starve it? How to lose a whole human while gaining 2 little humans.

PART I of my own story…..

Sometimes people look at you as the fitness trainer and assume that your fitness comes easily to you, or you were born that way – it might to some but I can assure you for most it is result of a constant effort just like anyone else. A client can focus on their own training – but the trainer is always working for other people’s needs and has to squeeze in their own time outside of this.

I have worked in the fitness industry for 20 years and always had to work hard to keep my weight under control while fluctuating from size 12-14+. If I can’t exercise due to injury or if I take my eye off the ball for any reason, there is a fat lady lurking inside me who leaps out screaming “I’m BACK!!!”

The toughest one for me to bounce back from was the baby years. A baby is an absolute gift and it is the most natural thing in the world – but when I was pregnant I could not sustain my level of exercise (teaching approx. 15 fitness classes a week and spending all day running up and down stairs).
Pre –pregnancy I worked hard to be a fit, fairly strong size 12 at 12 stone.
The Bump was a very demanding one – constantly yelling “FEED ME!” I had never experienced this before ever not being a foodie, and to add to the fun, my blood pressure shot up. This meant I was off work, off my feet, not allowed to do anything as I was heading for pre-eclampsia if I didn’t behave. Unable to exercise, I was never going to be a mum with a teeny tiny bump on the front (oh how I envy those women!), I was pregnant from my earlobes down to my ankles. I was effectively a sofa with a head and 4 chins by the time I got to the maternity ward, and this was always came earlier than due date for fear of explosion.


At about 5.5 months. Not one for small bumps

I went up to 18 stone and size 18-20 in maternity clothes. There was absolutely nothing I could do about it as I had to minimise activity of any kind due to high blood pressure.
If I was horizontal and wiggling my toes in time to music, my BP went up so they took the music off me.

I had to go with it and say to myself – first priority,  Bump must be safe and stay inside for the duration so I had to behave – like all things, this too will pass, and I will do something about it then.


At about 7 months…. and still growing

Gaining 6 stone is not something I would recommend to anyone, not good for the body or the head. Some of it was baby and swimming pool, but to be honest, most of it was me. I allowed myself  2 weeks post birth to feel sorry for myself (lumpy, squishy and tired) and then decided I could stay this way and let it take root, or suck it up and get on with it. I sucked it up and got on with it because I did not wish to spend my days feeling like this. I had a gorgeous baby to be grateful for but if you don’t feel good in yourself, you are no good to anyone.

I lost 6 stone within the year of the birth.  I did not take magic berries, potions or pills, or buy into any magic gadgets that will give me a 6 pack in only 2 minutes a day.
What I did was weights and cardio first time and I was back teaching classes within  6-7 weeks as there was no long maternity leave possible for me. I literally worked my ass off.
The objective always has to be to reduce body fat through fat burning and the best way to do this and maintain a good shape is to do resistance work and cardio combined (but more on that story later in Part II)

So I was back to square one and size 12ish (thank god!) but 2 years later another bump came along, and despite the best intentions, it all went monster pear shaped in the true sense of the word. And this time my pelvis twisted out of place and I couldn’t move at all (plus high BP again) – result? I looked like a giant cranky teletubby on crutches. An absolute goddess.

This time I shrank back from sofa to human in a year with the aid of pilates and cardio. Between the 2 pregnancies, I have gained and lost the equivalent of a whole human!

Both times I was still in my massive maternity clothes for about a month after. I had so much spare bits particularly around the mid section that I could have plaited it and thrown it over my shoulder or held it out and done a dance with it! I felt like I had an a** like chewed bubble-gum and my legs were just ….ooooh boy…. Not a happy bunny.

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A long road ahead. The joys of finding clothes that would go around me

My main mission was to find ANY clothes I could wear where my “squishy” did not bulge out through the clothes, which is why I might have looked for a time like I shopped at Walmart – it was a means to an end. I felt like I looked like I “washed ma-self with a rag on a stick” which is utterly depressing and demoralising. Eventually I moved from maternity 18-20  into normal clothes 18-20 and proceeded to take it off an inch at a time and a clothes size at a time and yes I fully appreciate what it is like to have “fat” clothes. Motivation to stay going was achieved by measuring with a tape measure at key points.

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6 weeks after Baby 2 – I was finally in 18-20 clothes that looked like curtains – but out of maternity wear. Big leap! You take your victories where you can!

If you relate to this story and want to try this approach, try not to feel too put off by the first measurements you take – we all have to start somewhere and ANY step forward is a step in the right direction. Things can only get better from here.

Measure in the same place each time, make columns side by side so you can see the improvements.  I measured chest, waist, hips, bum, and upper arm and mid thigh on one side of the body and kept track of it in a small book. I also kept a food and exercise diary because we all eat without realising when we’re tired and it trains you into better choices.

With this technique and a truck load of hard work, the reduction from 18 stone back down to 12 stone equated to a loss of 54 inches which is basically 4’6” in fat! (about 9” of which came off my thigh…and you don’t want to know what came off boobs/back and bum) .
Anyone who says – ah it’s all baby fat/fluid, it’ll fall off after….No its not… and no… it doesn’t.

I know people are just trying to be kind but it is the quickest way to get sat on and smothered by a very heavy post natal female.

COMING SOON – what happened to the spare body plait – do I still have it?

That would be a “No” Ted.

You would be surprised what you can get rid of when you set your mind to it.

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That was then – this is now. Feeling fitter at 50 than I did at 35.