A Little Peek into A friend’s Diary.
…..October 7, 2010 (about 13 months after Sally’s birth).
I woke up this morning feeling a little bit bloated after yesterday’s party, brushed my teeth after rushing through a prayer and then headed for the bath. Before stepping into the bath, I checked my weight with the bath scales and it read 229 pounds. I really should do something about this. Will talk to Megan later today about my weight and what to do.
…..November 10, 2010 (after a month of ‘fruit alone’ diet)
Checked my weight again today: 228 pounds. Aaaagh!
…..January 2nd, 2011 (after a ‘one meal a day’ diet plan)
Checked my weight today: 215 pounds. Finally some progress! I will treat myself a little bit today to celebrate this success, even though small.
….. March 13th 2011.
Checked my weight today: 220 pounds. My goodness! What is going on? I really should do something about this.
The above was 4 years ago.
I am sure a lot of women can relate to this; especially those that gave birth over a year ago. Your weight may not be as high as my friend’s but it is still up there and you are wondering if it is even possible to lose weight remarkably after child birth or to lose that stomach fat, for that matter. In the bid to help ourselves, we go into all kinds of programs to lose weight, but after wards we find out that we gain the weight back in a couple of days to weeks. Some women still struggle to lose weight gained for pregnancies that occurred 5 or more years ago. Some have altogether given up on losing weight completely after having tried ‘heaven and earth’ to lose weight after childbirth. My friend, who has the above diary, asked me one day,’’Peo, is it even possible to successfully achieve this?’’ Before I answer that question, let us take a look at the cause of weight gain during pregnancy in hope that it would help us understand why it is so difficult to lose it afterwards.
During pregnancy, women develop all sorts of cravings. It could be for any kind of food at any time of the day. Also, because the baby needs a lot of food for growth and development, the mother eats way more than what she normally does. Some women actually try to watch their weight but after one or two episodes of impending hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), they decide to start eating way more so as not to lose the baby. So, women general take in a lot of food during this period, thinking that ‘’I’ll get rid of the weight as soon as I drop this baby’’. Also, during pregnancy, the hormone responsible for maintaining the pregnancy till term, progesterone, enhances water absorption which further adds to weight gain. Other hormones as well increase fat deposition during pregnancy. This is just to say a little on the physiology of pregnancy as it relates to weight gain.
After the baby is born, the very first thing on your mind wouldn’t be to lose weight; trust me on that. It would be to sleep! You would hardly have enough rest at night because you have to wake up almost every hour and a half to feed the baby (either with breast milk or formula). This could go on for about six months. At the back of our minds, however, we still have the intention to lose the weight. For those women who breast feed their babies exclusively, it is a bit worse because they have to eat and drink sufficiently if they want to give quality and good quantity of milk to their babies. ‘You can’t give what you don’t have’ and ‘garbage in, garbage out.’ Don’t get me wrong and think I am against exclusive breast feeding because I am not. I am an advocate of exclusive breast feeding in the first six months of life and I know its importance. Exclusive breast feeding in the first six months of life is the best for the baby because it reduces certain health risks to the barest minimum. However, to continuously have sufficient and quality milk to give your baby for six months, you need to eat well and drink sufficiently. This could, of course, add to your weight gain unfortunately.
A Myth or Not?
The answer to that question is yes, it is possible and it is definitely not a myth. I am sure you are happy to hear this (Yeeeeh!). So what is the key or secret? The ‘key’ consists of two words: Balance and Optimization. Let’s start with Balance. Most women, in the bid to lose weight, enter into really extreme and potentially harmful weight loss plans, such as ‘one meal a day diet (like my friend whose diary we peeked at above), ‘no carbs’ diet, ‘only fruits diet,’ excessively vigorous exercise. Eating a meal a day would mean you would be hungry for most of the day. Also, you need energy which you get from carbohydrate. So a total ‘no carbohydrate’ diet is not wise to embark upon. Excessively vigorous exercise can break down your muscle cells which then release certain substances that can shut down your kidneys acutely (this is in extreme cases). The key to this is a healthy balance of both diet and exercise. You can start like this: eat 3 healthy meals (no excess salt like in junk food, no processed foods) of small/moderate quantity a day and exercise 5 times a week (an hour and a half per session) not vigorously. You would be surprised at how much weight you would lose. If at any time of the day, you feel like eating something in between your meals, you can snack on an apple. It is low in calories and has fiber in its skin which is healthy for you and doesn’t cause weight gain. If however, you want to lose more weight (especially belly fat) and maintain your weight loss, you need to optimize your body.
Optimization means to create an environment in your body that would allow your naturally occurring fat lowering hormone which is already present in your body, to work. In other words, putting your body in the position that would allow the naturally occurring fat reducing hormone to take effect. This hormone is called leptin and the great part is that women have twice the amount of leptin that men have. Leptin is produced by your fat cells and it is the hormone that also lowers your appetite. It is the basis of optimization. Several weight loss programmers have grasped this truth and used it to put together weight loss programs that if you follow, you would not only lose weight remarkably, you would also maintain the weight loss.
CLICK HERE to find out more on how to Optimize your body for remarkable weight loss.
I would like to start this article with a little story. A few days ago, on the way to my place of work, i passed by a friend's house and noticed that there was a lot of stuff on her lawn: clothes, shoes, toys, bicycles etc. I wondered what was going on but i didn't find out until later that evening after work. You would probably be surprised at what happened. My friend had lost it! She has been a stay at home mum for about a year now after having worked as an executive assistant for 6 years and had to stop because the company folded up. She was having a hard time trying to get another job which wasn't forthcoming and because she wasn't cut out to 'sit at home' with the kids, she got angry that morning and threw stuff in the house outside! I guess she was frustrated with having to be, what she called, sedentary.
A Typical Day
I would define a Stay-at-Home Parent as a mum, dad, step mum or dad or guardian that stays at home to keep an eye on the kids and ensures their welfare. He or she also takes care of the house while the real bread winner is away at work. A lot of the time, he/she does the house chores such as cleaning, cooking, bathing the kids and preparing them for school. A typical day would probably go like this: wake up at 5:30 am, do a private devotion or meditation to pave the way for a fruitful day, have a cup of coffee for stimulation, plan the day, wake the kids up for school ( if it is a school day), and prepares them and breakfast, packs their lunch boxes and if there's no school bus he/she has to drive them to school. On getting back home, the chores would be waiting to be done which would be much because there are kids also living in that house with all the untidy habits that a person could possibly imagine and time flies by. He/she picks up the children from school, gives them lunch. If there is a soccer game scheduled for that day, he/she has to take the child because the other parent is at work. At the end of the day, he/she tucks the children into bed after giving them another bath. Afterwards, she/he prepares for the spouse's return from work and tries to look decent for him or her.
The answer to the question of whether it is sedentary or not depends on the individual involved. For my friend in the above story, it was sedentary because she was used to doing something more meaningful career wise and activity packed. Also, because of the house work which leaves her exhausted at the end of the day, she stopped exercising and put on some weight and this further pissed her off. It wasn't that she didn't love her children, it was just that she wasn't cut out for it. In my opinion, it is sedentary if you do not engage in physical activity such as exercise. However, if you are active physically, being a stay-at-home parent isn't a sedentary lifestyle.
Being a stay-at-home parent has its ups and downs. Starting with the down side, you could gain weight which brings with it, health risks as well as gradual self loathing. Looking on the bright side, you get to spend time with your kids and be really involved in their lives, monitor their friendships and generally enjoy your kids.
Word of Advice
Engage in physical activity such as exercise so that you remain fit in addition to looking good. Being sedentary has health consequences which are more pronounced in people with familial tendencies towards certain illnesses.
Being a stay-at-home parent could be a great phase of your life if you are willing to make the most of it. Work out!
CLICK HERE to learn how to Optimize your body for remarkable weight loss and lose that stomach fat.
Being overweight or obese are two very common and potentially dangerous medical conditions in human beings today. They are potentially dangerous because they predispose the affected person to diseases like hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, polycystic ovarian syndrome, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and even cirrhosis of the liver! These are just to mention a few of the medical hazards that can be caused by excessive fat in the body. Between the genders, women have to be even more careful with weight gain because they have a greater percentage of fat in the body than men. That's just the way nature made it.
If you want to know whether you are overweight or obese, you should calculate your BODY MASS INDEX; also known as BMI. It is really simple to do using this formula:
Your WEIGHT in Kilograms divided by your HEIGHT in centimetres (squared) i.e. WEIGHT (kg)/HEIGHT(cm)2.
The normal range of BMI is 18-24.9. If you are above 24.9, you are overweight and greater than 29.9 is the beginning of obesity.If you fall into these categories, you need to lose weight in order to avoid the above mentioned diseases.
Click on the button below to see how you can lose weight such that you get back into the normal BMI range and be truly healthy in your body. It is my personal recommendation because it really works!
I am Priscilla Oluwashina, also known as Peo Olu. I am a Health Professional and married with 2 wonderful children and I and love keeping fit.