Holiday Flutters, Holiday Body

So, I have booked my holiday. Finally. I wasn’t going to as I wanted to slim down to a perfect size 6 before I donned on another bikini, but my common sense prevailed and I realised that the size 6 had long ago disappeared as a distant memory.

Summer holidays

I love going away though, the excitement of planning what you are going to take with you, buying summer clothes (because you always have to buy some new ones each year, no matter how many sarongs you have). Then there is the packing of the suitcase although as desperate as you are to take it down weeks earlier, you have to wait until at least a couple of days beforehand because you haven’t got room for it in your bedroom! Then there is that lull moment when you’re all ready and waiting for the ride to the airport or the sitting around as it is too early to drive yet. And the shivers – I don’t think I can remember ever leaving the house in daylight; it is always in the middle of the night or the very early hours when the sun hasn’t yet awoken for the day. And each time it is cold. Even in the height of summer, there is always a chill in the air during those lonely hours, and you’re only dressed in something light with a summer jacket as it will be far too hot, hopefully, when you step out of the plane, so braving the chill is par of the course.

The bit I don’t like though is waiting in the airport, not because of delays but because I am a nervous flyer and suddenly being so close to those huge machines brings a heart thumping realisation that I’m going to be in one shortly, thousands of miles above the ground. Yeah…another reason why I’m aware of what time it is as a shot of vodka is having to be replaced by a couple of strong coffees!

But ignoring the endless days and weeks in the air (usually about three hours but seems like a lifetime), we land and my excitement and joy suddenly comes rushing forward and I get the giggles! I think in all honesty they are relief spasms from surviving the journey but I always get them before they turn into huge smiles as we enter arrivals, and even the rigmarole of baggage collection does not waiver my mood.

This year we are going to Majorca, a place called Puerto Pollensa. I love Spain and Greece, adore their landscape, the people and the culture. When I was younger and after my first trip to Spain, I swore to myself that I would one day live there. The hope is still there although somewhat dampened by maturity, responsibilities and fear of the unknown, but I can still envelope myself in that life when I am holidaying.

Island of Majorca

So the anticipation has now begun, the tickets have been booked, the hotel reserved and the whole experience ready to be had. Now is the time for the fake sun tan research and the exercise bike to be outed, and not forgetting cream for those unsightly stretch marks which, at the moment I’m eyeing Revitol for their stretch mark cream. And then of course all of the summer clothes have to be risen from their winter depths, tried on, allocated to their ‘yes’ and ‘no’ piles and judged as to whether I have been too harsh or the credit card won’t stretch that far to add to the ‘yes’ pile.

The excitement is most certainly set to grow and I feel a new sense of anticipation and happiness that clicking a submit button and booking a holiday brings; if only I could afford to press that button a few more times throughout the year.

Weight Loss After Pregnancy

I have had numerous challenges throughout my life, many more important than the way I look but the biggest challenge because it is forever ongoing is losing weight. I was at my heaviest after the birth of my first child and looking back I only remember the pain of trying to lose it and not the enjoyment I’d obviously had putting it on (unfortunately my daughter and accompanying water gain was only a small contribution!) I think the biggest set-back is knowing how much weight you have to lose; it seems like such a huge mountain to climb, and no matter how many times you are told to only take one pound at a time, the realisation of all those pounds needed to be gone overshadows that advice. But with determination and taking things sensibly, I did lose my pregnancy weight and here’s some tips I have found that may help you.

losing weight after having a baby

When is the best time to start losing weight after pregnancy?

Your body goes through so much hard work during pregnancy and birth that giving it some TLC is crucial. So forget about jumping onto the treadmill or starving yourself with the latest diet craze immediately you return home from the hospital. The recommendations are to wait until you have seen your GP and had your postnatal check, which is usually around six to eight weeks after you’ve had baby.

In the meantime give your body time to regulate itself again which means eating normally and healthily and replenishing yourself with the correct vitamins and minerals. Eat when you are hungry until you are comfortably full and concentrate your time and energy in enjoying your new born.

What exercises can I do?

There is one huge motivation to exercise when you have had a baby and that is getting that brand new pram out and taking it for a test ride, going for lovely walks and visiting friends and family. That is the best exercise to start off with; gentle and natural and uplifting for both you and your child.

Go with what your body says and feels but professionals recommend to aim for at least six to eight weeks after birth for doing more strenuous exercise; walking and gently pelvic floor exercises are the best in those first few weeks.

If you want to do more strenuous exercise then it is always best to discuss this with your GP as every woman is different and have experienced a range of strains on their bodies both during pregnancy and through childbirth. For instance those who have had a caesarean section will not be able to exercise the same as somebody who has given birth naturally. I had a c-section with my first and didn’t feel confident to do any strenuous exercise for a few months. I eventually invested in an exercise bike and made a channel on YouTube with all of my favourite songs. I then put my headphones on and watched the videos while I exercised. Strangely enough, I watched ballad videos first as I found them to be more motivating and as I got fitter I changed them to dance music.

Does breastfeeding aid in weight loss?

I was always told that if you breastfeed, your tummy would go back to the flatness it was before, or near enough anyhow. Mine didn’t. There is much speculation of whether breastfeeding aids in losing weight but apparently it takes 330 calories a day to breastfeed, so as long as you don’t eat those calories, you may lose weight. But there are so many variables involved; how much exercise you do, actually how many calories you take in, and also if you’re not having enough to eat which can lead to your body holding on to fat.

Motivation

Motivation is hard on any diet, whether you have just had a baby or not, and maintaining that level of attention can start to wane after a while.

Before you start on any healthy eating regime, it is best to plan it out first and especially for those days when you’re motivation is going to be at its lowest. Think about the sort of things that will help you when you’re not in the mood for eating something healthy and unappealing or going for a five mile walk.

I used to look at photos. Pictures of me when I was at my biggest, as well as those when I had lost a lot of weight and looked good. I looked at clothes that I wanted to wear and also holidays I wanted to go on. This diversion helped me pick up where I had left off and reach for that banana or trainers because I had been reminded why it was I was doing all of this. Sometimes it didn’t work and on those times I drew a line underneath it and started again, knowing that it was okay to fall down and patted myself on the back because I had got back up.

Diet Programs

There are many systems that, if followed correctly will help you to lose weight. But find one that suits you, just because your friend lost x amount of weight on one program does not mean that it is the best in the world. Your lifestyle is not the same, your tastes, motivation, desires are so much more different so you need to do your research and if that means trying out some of them then do so. Some people find that attending a weekly meeting is just what they need to keep them on track, others are fine with following on-line, and there is even a program that is specifically designed for the female make-up; the Venus Factor. I found just being weighed by somebody else helped me to keep focused, getting praise for my weekly efforts was the boost I needed.

Conclusion

The biggest advice I can give is not to aim for so much to start off with and to not get caught up in losing weight; you are living as the weight you are now, each week you will be slightly lighter and feeling better in yourself, that’s what should be your motivation. And of course don’t waste the time worrying about how much you weigh but spend it with your special one.

My World, My Experiences

Grab life when it’s great because living it makes the memories memorable

I have experienced some marvellous times in life; the birth of my daughters, finding the love of my life, luxuries like holidays, moving house and celebrations with my family and friends.

And I have also had some heartache along the way…

But one thing that has always helped me and encouraged me to look on the bright side of things or get through a particular stressful time are those around me. My family and friends have been a rock but it’s also the individuals that you never meet; a caller on the other end of the phone or a user in a forum.

And it gets me through.

Now I have decided to give a little back and share some of my experiences or words of wisdom that may help somebody someday, just like it did with me.

My name is Cat and I am a forty something rock chick with two kids, husband and a mortgage on a house that always seems to need renovating. I don’t have fancy cars or go on fancy holidays but I love those around me and am thankful for what I have been given in life.

I have always tried to feel happy, even when the world is falling down around me, or I’m drowning in a sea of bad luck…I smile. I dream of things that make me happy and try to make them as realistic as possible, right down to the last detail. For example, I love travelling so dream about finding a great holiday somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, booking it and paying upfront (happiness feeling), buying clothes, organising documents etc. and getting to the airport. It may sound silly but it really does lighten your mood and just gives you that bit of motivation to face your challenges head on.

So, I hope you like my blog of my experiences, my world…and if it helps just a little then it has done its job.