Today, those numbers sound unbelievable, but yes I did it with seer determination and taking the right route to weight loss at the most effective time, post pregnancy.
I am 5’4” and I was very slim when I got married. Though I rounded up a bit in the first few years of marriage, owing to the terrible sweet tooth that I have, I remained quite within the desired weight range of 53-54kg until the time I got pregnant. With so much advice from everyone around and my cravings skyrocketing, I ate, I must admit, literally for 2. Pregnancy is such a precious part of our life that I did not want to make even one tiny bit of compromise. I wanted to make sure that I do the best for my baby, so I drank 2 glasses of milk and some paneer for baby’s strong bones, a bowl of nuts for his brain development, many portions of fruits for providing all the necessary minerals and vitamins. I ate halwa and kheer generously, whenever I craved for it as a happy mommy passes on the happy genes to the baby in her tummy.
Towards the final stages of my pregnancy, my only embarrassment was that I may reach a weight which was higher than my husband’s. With a saving grace of 0.5kg, I escaped that but I had NO desire to stay that way. I knew it was not realistic to get back into my old clothes for atleast a year, but I knew the sooner I starter the easier it would be for me to fit back.
First 3 months post delivery
After the delivery, I felt very weak. The sleepless nights, sitting though hours of breastfeeding and postpartum blues took a complete toll on my energy levels. This is the time when ghee laden methi laddoos are typically taken in abundance by women. However, my father, who is a doctor said – since you are not frail, you have a good and strong body structure, you DONOT need to pile yourself on these laddoos. Instead
- I started eating an extra half meal in the day comprising roti-dal-sabji-salad
- I drank almost a litre of diluted chaas in the day which was made with ajwain water. The good thing about chaas is that it fills you up while adding zero calories. The jeera-ajwain-kala namak aids digestion and my hunger pangs substantially went down.
- As early as I could, in the morning, I drank a full cup of warm water boiled with a slice of ginger, half a lemon and one spoon of honey. Remember NOT to heat the lemon and honey. This drink flushed the toxins out of my body, regulated constipation and also served as a good replacement for morning tea which comes with sugar and biscuits. The honey-ginger combination also kept me feeling full for almost 30-45 mins in the morning.
So the key to my weight loss in the first 3 months was smart eating and conscious restriction of fat intake so that the accumulated fats in my body could be used up during breast feeding. I lost 8 kgs in this period. This mantra helped me all through the weight loss regime.
Between 3-6 months
Since my baby slept relatively more in the first 3 months, I could still manage to sleep while she slept. Hence I was able to recharge and handle my fatigue to a certain extent. The everyday maalish helped in a huge way.
Now, at 3 months, her sleep was reducing, her colic started and she needed more attention. But I felt tired, I felt the need to reach for a sweet or a huge portion of potato wafers. My knees hurt badly, I couldn’t walk much. Breastfeeding was eroding my calcium bank.
- The calcium tablet that I had been neglecting, was mandated. Vitamin D supplement was also added for better absorption of calcium in my body. In a few weeks I felt stronger.
- Breastfeeding used to make me go dry in my throat. So I starting drinking a big glass of chaas or plain water before sitting down for feeding. So that I was not left drained post the feeding.
- By now my baby’s milk requirements were higher, so after careful selection, I started eating roasted makhanas and makhana kheer with minimal sugar. Makhana is extremely good for aiding milk production. I also chewed a spoon of roasted methi with jiggery everyday.
- Sattu ka pani, which is roasted gram powder, mixed with jeera powder, salt and lemon was a high protein homemade drink which was also very filling and very low in calories.
- My mom made a mixture of equal quantities of roasted flaxseed, plain ajwain and jeera, ground together into dry powder. I had to take a spoon of this mixture with a full glass of warm water just before bedtime. This mixture is considered god sent for weight loss.
During these 3 months, I ate such as to avoid hunger pangs. Since my energy levels were low and I was prone to getting fatigued very easily, I totally AVOIDED dieting. I ate as much as was needed, avoiding sweets completely. I was cognizant of the fact that if I want to loose weight it’s easier to loose the pregnancy fat now, thanks to breastfeeding and body’s natural recovery mechanism, than 5 years down the lane. Every month I lost almost a kg, so I was at 65 kgs by the end of 6 months.
Post 6 months
Since I had a c-section delivery, I was now allowed to start mild exercise and yoga. It was a challenge to get out of the house, it was a challenge to walk, due to fatigue and foot cramps. It didn’t help that I had thyroid. Call it sheer co-incidence or strike of good luck, I found 2 other moms who were trying to loose weight, though their kids were just a little bit older. We used to come down for walk around the same time and finding common goals we connected. That became our support group. Now walking became easier as we were chatting while walking. We tried to push each other for one more round every day. We tried to outperform each other, our pace became faster and we started looking forward to that 1 to 1.15 hour of fun + workout everyday. We rarely missed our workout now.
By the end of 1st year I had lost 3 more kgs. The weight loss was relatively slower thereafter as I had gradually stopped breastfeeding. The walks helped, however after 6 months of walking, the results were slowing down. And I no longer could bear to be on a life-long restriction from sweets and restaurant food. So all 3 of us started logging our meals into Bon Happetee app. If I ate a heavy Friday night dinner of Dominos pizzas, the app gave a score, along with count of fats, proteins, fiber etc. It made me aware that I have had my fill and over the weekend, it was better to avoid binge eating. If I had a Starbucks hot chocolate, then I was encouraged to adjust other meal options and portions so as to achieve a day score of 8-10
Post workout, when I logged my breakfast, the app calculated actual protein and fiber count. I was often surprised to know that my protein intake was always less than desired. So even after my rigorous walks and suryanamaskars, I was likely to NOT lose the proportionate amount of weight. Bon Happetee <LINK TO THE APP> really worked for me as I got specific meal plans and help with accurate portion sizes. Eat what you love and watch your portion size has been THEIR mantra and MY guiding light ever since. Just try this app and you will understand why I say so. It’s difficult to explain all the stuff here in words. Around this time, I also invested in hiring a personal trainer for 6 months at the gym who ensured my workout was adequate and targeted towards weight loss.
These subtle changes made a huge difference over a period of 20 months. It probably took longer than a stricter diet might have, but this fit my lifestyle much better!
Now, my smaller size keeps me motivated to stay that way J
This article was first posted here
Image Courtesy: Max Pixel