Chapter 7: Postpartum Body

I put on 30kgs when I was pregnant.

Half was literally a little person. And the other half was Bacon and Egg McMuffins.

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Side note: I’m pretty sure McDonald’s breakfasts are like crack for pregnant women. The McMuffin, hashbrown and orange juice combo was my holy trinity of cravings. I can’t even tell you how good it tasted, guys.

I.

Can’t.

E V E N.

But now, ten months on, I’ve decided to be more intentional with getting back to my regular Kate shape.

Disclaimer: I’ve been listening to a lotta Jameela Jamil (warning – her language is as colourful as her pantsuits) and Wobble (a podcast about happiness and body confidence), so am currently woke as hell to @i_weigh and body positivity, and thus need to say right off the bat …

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Jameela Jamil: actress, activist, queen.

To all the mums out there

  • Your body literally made a human. Then you birthed that human (which, SHEESH, any which way you do it is a beautiful, miraculous, horror show). And now you’re raising that human – the toughest, best, worst paid job there is. Wonder Woman ain’t got nothing on you.
  • You DO NOT need to “bounce back”. If all you do in a day is keep that child alive and loved, and yourself sane – then you have done plenty!
  • You offer the world so much more than your waist line. Whether you shrink a lot or a little after you give birth, it doesn’t change who you are. You’re still smart, creative, brave, kind, funny, talented, bold, lovely … all of the things that make you, you.

This is just my story. It’s not intended to be some sort of sage guide, or God forbid, something that makes you feel like you need to lose weight. Screw that.

You do you, boo.

Let’s start at very beginning, a very good place to start

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Back when I did boot camp with Change Fitness (ft. my sister-in-law Ari, who will really love that I’ve included this photo), and could bounce on a trampoline without wetting my pants. Heady days.

I tried a lot of diets in my 20s.

Whole 30, low carb, no sugar, MyFitnessPal calorie-tracking, Paleo, Weight Watchers …

I even tried Veganism for a hot second. (Not for admirable reasons, I might add … but because I read a book called Skinny Bitch. I think the premise was that you were meant to eat mainly plant-based … but I just ate a lot of toast.)

I’m not sure why (airbrushing, the mid-drift baring 90s, or that I was a little barrel-bellied as a tween…?), but I always felt like there was a cheeky 5kgs I could do without.

And the silly thing is, when I look back at photos of myself now – I was tiny!

All I see is a skinny little fool who thought she was chubs, and I want to give her a hug and a piece of cake.

Nothing like gaining nearly half my weight, and a whole lot of perspective!

Self-love is my home girl

This reality check was a real proverbial slap to the face, and because of it I became determined to take a slower, kinder approach to getting back to my usual size.

I was also very conscious that diets made me sad and weird, so I did this instead:

Post-birth

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I gave zero craps.

I ate proper meals to set me up to survive the no-sleep nights and milkshake production line that was my chest – but also drank all the coffee and ate all the baked goods (because, “no-sleep nights”).

I had also just

Given.

Birth

A few months later

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✌🏼✌🏼

When I was physically able to, I started doing Saturday boot camp with my friend group and it. Was. LIT.

I had really sore hips in my last trimester of pregnancy (cue: all the hobbling), and then an episiotomy (don’t Google it), and was even more hobbly post-birth.

So being able to move again made me ridiculously happy.

I was off my face on endorphins by the end of each workout.

I also started doing my own weights and HIIT circuits at home (I love Blogilates on YouTube, and had a good 12 week stint with the Sweat with Kayla app), and went on lots of evening walks for self-preservation (they were to make sure little man had at least one nap in the “witching hour”).

To fuel these workouts I started making sure I was eating lots of veges and protein, and less takeaways and processed stuff.

I remember being into Pita Pit’s Chick’n’Fala Salad in a VERY big way.

All this, combined with the fact that I was minus a baby and a significant amount of water weight (my hands and feet had finally deflated), meant I was down a solid 20kgs by about 6 months postpartum.

And then winter happened

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And the weather kaiboshed boot camp.

And I got sick. And my husband got sick. And little man got sick.

And I didn’t exercise.

And I ate all the Gingernuts.

And I plateaued.

Until

Now.

Two weeks ago, I started eating differently.

I thought about how I didn’t want to go on a diet.

I thought about everything I knew about healthy eating.

And I picked up my copy of Nadia Lim’s Fresh Start Cookbook.

The literature.

The “Say goodbye to fad diets” tagline spoke to my damn soul.

Her advice is sensible, kind, and actually relatively easy to follow.

It’s about eating a range of food groups each day, keeping your portion sizes in check, having whole foods (she calls it “nude” food πŸ’πŸ‘), and eating to add nutrition to your body – not eating to minus food groups, or calories.

Which I respect.

I also found it a more helpful mindset than the diet headspace of deprivation and being “good” (at least in my experience).

Yesterday, for instance, I knew we were having a family birthday dinner and I had a double-layer carrot cake with cream cheese icing (I dieeee) in my fridge – so at lunch I chose to go to The Lab (genuinely the most Millennial eatery you’ve ever seen) for pea and broadbean smashed toast with poached egg, halloumi (food of the heavens) and a beetroot saucy bit, and (the nicest) green smoothie (I have ever had).

And it was delicious. And colourful. And full of happy-body stuff.

And then later that night, I throughly enjoyed dinner and (a slice and a half of) cake.

Because, #balance.

You should go and love yourself

One of the hallmarks of body positivity is to let each person decide for themselves what is good and healthy for them – and not to judge them for it.

People are all different shapes and sizes, and that’s how it should be.

As for me – I’d been the same relative size for about 10 years, so that’s what I’m aiming to return to. It’s my comfy Kate size.

I also have some fly ass clothes that I’m looking forward to shimming back into …

But that doesn’t mean I don’t love my body right now, just the way it is. Because I really, truly do.

And I hope you do too.

Your body that it is.

Not mine.

That would be weird.

“You should go and love yourself.” – Justin Beiber

I_Weigh

To finish this odyssey of a post, I wanted to do my own @i_weigh.

It’s Jameela Jamil’s campaign for ‘life positivity’, and how we are the beautiful sum of our parts – not a number on a scale.

I recommend it. Not even to post, if you don’t want to.

Just to think about and acknowledge all the awesomeness that is you.

Because:

Possibly the smartest thing John Meyer has ever said.

Have a lovely weekend.

Kate x

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