Chapter 27: Losing weight like a dude

I put on nearly 30kgs when I was pregnant, which I told you all about it in Chapter 7: Postpartum Body, because I’m an unstoppable oversharer.

I talked to you about my slow and steady approach to getting back to my normal Kate weight, the importance of being kind to yourself, and that McDonald’s breakfasts truly are crack for pregnant women.

But as I sit here and type this, 18-months postpartum, the time has come to go full Dwyane the Rock Johnson on the business.

It’s time to be “the hardest worker in the room“.

And it’s time to lose those last bloody kilos.

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Losing weight, and taking names

Although I’m back to my pre-baby fitness level (*cough* Chapter 20: Half-Marathon), my weight has well and truly plateaued.

I’m also conscious that I get pregnant in a big way (*cough 30 kgs*), and I want to avoid compounding baby-weight (when the time comes) if I can help it.

And I’ve had “those last 7kgs” to lose for about a year.

BUT. And this is a big butt. Before now, I was in no state to be putting dedicated effort into weight loss. My 2018 looked like:

Breastfeeding. Lack of sleep. Adjusting to having a tiny person dependent on me. Going back to work. Lack of sleep. Insane hormones. Lack of sleep. Lack of sleep … 

The motivation and mental stability needed to try and lose weight well (read: with a healthy mindset, and a healthy approach to nutrition) would have tipped me over the edge.

However, 18-months later …

joey

Get, get your head in the game

When I’ve tried to lose weight in the past, it was usually motivated by something negative (e.g. I don’t like the way I look, or I’ve been eating “bad” and need to be “good” again).

But not this time.

Weirdly, I’m actually in a very good head space about it all … a tendency, it would appear, that is generally more prevalent in the dudes amongst us.

The Gender Pay Thigh Gap

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‘Men and women experience weight loss differently.’ – Science. 

It’s true. But I’d hazard a guess you already knew that.

Very generally speaking*, here’s how it plays out:

Chicks are more likely to:

  • Try to lose weight/think they need to
  • Be health conscience and know about nutrition
  • Have unrealistic weight-loss goals
  • Eat as a response to a negative situation, and then feel guilty (read: “eating your feelings”).

Dudes are more likely to:

  • Not try to lose weight, or think that they need to
  • Introduce exercise to help manage weight
  • Overeat in positive situations (e.g. while watching the rugby or playing poker with pals)
  • Lose weight and keep it off – if they decide to try (especially if it’s in response to a health scare).

(Source: Weight Watchers)

And then there’s this:

“In my experience, I’ve noticed that many men just see the numbers on the scale creeping upward and make a decision to correct it. Plain and simple, they decide to increase their activity and decrease their food intake.

“But I’ve seen some women beat themselves up over a few extra pounds, even though this does little more than destroy their self-worth. Berating yourself will not help motivate you to control your weight and improve your health. So the next time those negative thoughts creep into your head, recognize them for what they are and replace them with positive ones.” – Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD

I don’t know about you ladies, but this speaks to my dang soul.

[*Obviously everyone has their own experiences, and the above won’t be true for everyone. I actually suspect men are leaning more towards our unhealthy ways when it comes to weight loss and self-image, but traditionally speaking, this is what the evidence tells us these are the main gender differences.]

Happy wife mind, happy life

Before I launch into what I’ve been doing (which I only share because, A) I’m nosy and I like to read about other people’s health and fitness regimes, and B) To keep myself accountable), if you do struggle with having a healthy mindset around food and self-image, can I please suggest that you have a look at some these resources before you go any further:

And yes, if you’re wondering, I really do bloody love British people.

My approach to health and fitness

Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert in exercise or nutrition. This is just what I’ve been doing recently, and it’s been working pretty well for me so far. Everyone’s different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to getting in shape.

Always do your research or see a professional before starting anything, and don’t put unrealistic expectations on yourself. Crash diets are damaging and unsustainable. 

Exercise

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  • I’ve been following Chris Hemsworth’s Centr app for a few months now, and I really rate it.
    • My fave workouts are: MMA with Jorge (because I’m low-key savage), yoga with Tahl, and functional HIIT with Da Rulk (his workouts are so hard, I can’t even. The dude literally trains Navy SEALS).
    • I’m also very excited for Monday when the new Gunnar X Centr four-week programme for women is dropping on the app. I’ve been reading Khloe Kardashian’s book, Strong Looks Better Naked, and Gunnar Peterson is her trainer. I. Am. Pumped!

kris

  • I also love walking. I have a 15-minute walk to work to and from the train station each day, and on Friday-Sunday when I’m at home with my boys I like dragging them around the block with me. If you don’t really like exercise, give walking a go. It really is one of the best things you can do for your body. 
  • Note: I haven’t run since I did my half-marathon in February. I really got the urge out of my system! But I’m sure I’ll pick it up again at some stage.

Food

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  • I started by cutting down how much sugar I was having a few weeks ago, and having a cup of tea after dinner instead of snacking in the evening.
  • Last week I got my first Fresh Start with Nadia My Food Bag, which I plan on doing fortnightly.
    • I like Nadia’s sensible, whole food approach. She focuses on nutrition, not deprivation, and is really into low-GI foods (slow burning energy).
    • The meals are packed full of veges, and are under 450 calories a serving.
    • Most meals do me for both dinner and lunch the next day, and they’re super scrummy.
    • I’ve also cut down my snacks. I now just have breakfast (normally black coffee, green smoothie and 1-2 slices of toast or porridge), and my Nadia meals for lunch and dins, and either a flat white or a couple of carrots at my desk during the day – and the odd cheese scone for sanity.
  • One of the things Nadia recommends is doing the programme alongside the My Fitness Pal app, which is essentially a digital food diary.
    • I’ve used My Fitness Pal before and I find it helps keep me accountable (read: having to log that you ate eight cookies in one sitting can really make you second-guess you life choices. Now I only do that sometimes … #becausebalance).
    • However if you have any issues around food, please steer clear of it. Calorie-tracking can be really triggering for some people.
  • It can also feel quite sad and unsocial to be particular with your eating around others, so I’ve decided that once a week, if there’s a fun event happening involving food, I’m just going to go for it. Life is for living, after all.

I hope that’s been helpful or at the very least mildly interesting, but more than anything I hope you leave knowing that you are awesome just as you are right now.

Whether you’re at your “goal weight” or not, you rock. I have a goal in mind around my weight, but I still think I look great, and it’s my hope that you love and accept yourself too – at every size.

Kate x

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