Category: Health

How to stay motivated to workout and eat healthy

We have all been there when we have had all the good intentions of keeping fit and healthy and struggled to stay on track but, is it easier said than…

We have all been there when we have had all the good intentions of keeping fit and healthy and struggled to stay on track but, is it easier said than done?

The truth is:

keeping motivated to workout

There are actual ways to help you stay on track with your fitness and healthy eating regime and I am going to tell you how.

During my first pregnancy, all aspects of healthy eating and working out went completely out of the window. I made up numerous excuses on “eating for two” so I could ridiculous size portions of whatever food I wanted or “craved“. Post baby I had to work harder than ever to get myself back on track, living a healthier lifestyle. I went from weighing my heaviest at 72kg to 56kg.  Now, during my second pregnancy, I have been able to stick to a healthier lifestyle and I have felt so much better for it.

Motivating tips to working out and eating healthy

Here are my top tips for staying motivated to working out and eating healthy.

  1. Set yourself a reachable goal. I love to set a goal that is small so I can reach it and feel good for reaching it. This can be a goal such as: “for today, I am going to not eat chocolate and only snack on fruit” or “for the next two weeks, I will do 20 minutes stair master at the gym 4 times a week.”  After completing a goal, push yourself further and make your goal more challenging. 
    post partum fitness
  2. Don’t go food shopping hungry. You are more likely to fill up your basket with all of the wrong things shopping on a hungry stomach. By the time you get back to your car you probably have already opened that packet of biscuits or crisps and undone your healthy eating efforts. Go food shopping with a plan. Stick to plenty of vegetables and fruit and if you need to, keep track of your meals in a food diary.
  3. Stop making excuses. This is my biggest one. I always get told “oh I would love to go to the gym but I don’t have time” or “I can’t workout when I have kids.” Sure, it might be difficult to get out of the house to a gym, but what is stopping you from doing a home workout? Some gyms are open 24 hours.  Could you go at another time in the day rather than watching tv? Even excuses relating to your diet. “I am having a chippy tonight as I have been good this week”. Why make an excuse to convince yourself that you can go off track and justify it because you have been healthy throughout the week. Sure treat yourself now and again. But stay conscious that it is very easy to fall off track, as a cheat meal can quickly turn into a cheat day and then the whole “i’ll start my diet on Monday…”excuse.
  4. Add variety to your workouts. Exercise doesn’t just have to be going running. There are so many different activities you can do to keep fit. Try out different classes like boxing or yoga and see which one you prefer. I love to have a workout day focusing on cardio where I will do 10 minutes on the bike, rower and then cross trainer. You may even prefer to workout once a week with a partner.
  5. Reward! Once you have reached your goal you need to reward yourself for all of your hard work. Rewards don’t always have to be naughty treats too. Why not get a new gym top after reaching a 6 week goal or get some new fancy bubble bath to have a long soak and rest your muscles.

    keeping motivated to workout

    30 Weeks Pregnant

  6. Take photos. Taking progress photos do not have to be for the rest of the world to see. They are a great way for you to keep a private track of your weight. Take them weekly, a front, side and back body shot and in a couple of weeks put your newest ones side by side with your first and you should feel so proud at the difference. Physically being able to see the results will help you stay motivated.
  7. Create a playlist. Music is so beneficial during workouts. Stick your headphones on and get your head in the zone. You may find different songs are better for different points of your workout. I love listening to a good podcast during my cardio to help the time go by and listening to an energetic upbeat track during my weight lifting sessions.
  8. Get support. Support from others is essential. Speak to other members of your household about wanting to change up your eating habits and see if they are willing to take on the challenge too. You could go on a clear out and get rid of any foods you are trying to avoid together so you are not tempted. You could always create a social network support group to encourage one another to stay on track.

So get your head completely in the zone. Start thinking of yourself as an athlete, and not a couch potato. Set a goal, enlist a friend, mark it on your calendar, and have some fun. You’ll be setting yourself up for a lifetime of better health, more happiness, and more energy for everything else in your life.

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Eating For Two Calorie Myth In Pregnancy

“You can eat for two now!” … hmmm not quite. This is a huge, common response when you announce you are pregnant. It’s like it is used as an excuse…

“You can eat for two now!”hmmm not quite.

Eating for two pregnancy

This is a huge, common response when you announce you are pregnant. It’s like it is used as an excuse to eat whatever you want and how much of that you want. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good treat, and have definitely been treating myself a lot more than I usually would when it comes to food. But, the whole “eating for two” is a myth. Any you may be shocked to find out how many calories it is that you actually need extra whilst growing a baby. The Guardian states that around 15-20% of pregnant women now are overweight or obese.

The old fashioned wayeating for two myths pregnancy

Talking to my mum or grandparents about pregnancy almost turns into a battle of different beliefs. It’s like you can’t mention that you had a work out in the gym to them without their jaw dropping to the floor and you get a lecture about how you should be taking it easy. I even find myself telling them that I only went on a light walk, when really I was squatting my near enough my own body weight on my back as a warm up.

When it comes to diet, they have a strong belief that you should be eating for two. I mean, my baby is currently the size of an avocado. Why would it need a full portion of food?

What you should be eating

According to the NHS, there is no need to eat for two during pregnancy, even if you are expecting twins or triplets. The original idea behind eating for two was to increase your energy.

There is no need to eat for two during pregnancy, even if you are expecting twins or triplets

During the first 6 months of your pregnancy you do not even need to only drink full fat milk, another common myth.  Eating for two pregnancy pink mole

Only in the last 3 months of pregnancy do you need to increase your calories by 200 a day. When you work it out, that isn’t actually a whole lot extra. Most people consume more calories a day than recommended too, without adding in the extra.

It is recommended that you should do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day. Swimming and walking are a great way to keep fit. If you already are a physically active person like me, you will have more of an idea on how to tone your workouts down. Obviously it isn’t advised that if you have never been inside a gym before to start now and complete a huge workout. You should start off with no more than three 15 minute workouts a week.

eating for two pregnancy pink mole

 

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Postpartum Fitness: Lean Muscle Diet Plan

Slipping into your pre-pregnancy jeans can become a distant memory after you have your baby. Having time for yourself seems to vanish. The thought about having to go and do…

Slipping into your pre-pregnancy jeans can become a distant memory after you have your baby. Having time for yourself seems to vanish. The thought about having to go and do a workout takes more effort than actually doing it.

post partum weightloss transfomation

I remember feeling sluggish and needing a change. Before pregnancy I lived a healthy lifestyle and loved every second of it! After my baby, I was grabbing anything I could to eat, when I could and it was not a sustainable way to live. But, at that time my priorities were not me.  The only thing that mattered to me was if my baby was fed, changed and happy. But mums need to be happy too!

I began to lose myself and become so unhappy. Still wearing my maternity clothes and torn between the “love your postpartum self” message you see online. I found it hard to accept that was me now and I didn’t want to settle for the body I didn’t feel comfortable being in.

How did I change?

After 6 month postpartum I felt ready to take on a diet plan. I am not a fan of the “skinny” diets and feel my most comfortable self when I have lean muscle for a toned physique.

My diet plan works best with a consistent gym workout routine. I like to set myself a challenge of a number of weeks to use the diet plan before I change it up or swap foods.  If I find I have to eat out, then I always choose plates with lots of vegetables and a clean meat source. 

 

The calories for this diet plan is 1503.

Aiming to lose body fat whilst maintaining lean muscle mass.

 

PINK MOLE POSTPARTUM DIET PLAN

 

 

Disclaimer: If you face any specific medical conditions consult your doctor before using the diet plan.

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Your 5 Golden Rules | Fitness after having a baby

Getting into shape after having a baby can be one of the most daunting tasks. Many of us can start off with all the right motivation and will power but…

Getting into shape after having a baby can be one of the most daunting tasks. Many of us can start off with all the right motivation and will power but then fall off track. Sadly, we find ourselves back at square one, eating a tub of ice cream whilst watching Netflix when the baby is asleep.fitness after a baby

People who have been successful with their health and fitness have these two things in common:

First, they identify what exactly is needed to form the grounds of their healthy lifestyle.

Second, they put 100% into executing their finds.

One with out the other is not setting you up for success.

But, you’re probably wondering:

“What are the simple grounds to making a healthy lifestyle that actually works?”

1. Time

One of the biggest excuses for not sticking to a fitness regime is not having the time. This have been one of my excuses too, especially after having a baby. It is so important that before you start you really commit yourself and give the time needed. Unfortunately, this may also mean sacrificing time away from other activities you are use to doing. This can be hard as you already don’t get as much me time anymore, now that you have a little one. Personally, I train 5 nights a week, giving me the weekend off and I will only train

once Mole is in bed fast asleep. That way, I also don’t feel guilty about not being with her when she is awake. Is it harder to train at night after a busy day? Yes, but, Mole is my main priority.

Making this commitment will form the grounds to your new healthier lifestyle and the rest will flow from there.

“First and foremost, prioritise the habit of exercising regularly,” says personal trainer, life coach and author Mike Campbell.

 

2. Plan

fitness after a baby

Have a plan. Do not go to the gym with no plan. Do not go into your diet with no plan. You will waste time and end up having nothing to focus on.

 

A workout plan for me helps me walk into the gym focused. I know exactly what machine I need to use and a back up plan

if it is taken. I waste no time thinking “erm I’m going to do that one now or should I train my arms instead?”

 

Having a food plan will keep you focused on what it is you have been eating. It is very easy to sneak in extra calories and forget about it. Like when you go into the kitchen and start nibbling on cheese in the fridge or a biscuit out of the cupboard whilst waiting for your dinner to cook. I like to plan my food so I have my more exciting meals towards the end of the week giving me something to look forward too.

post partum fitness

After having a baby, I find I prefer my workouts to be more fast paced so I can get home quicker even if she is asleep. So I will tailor my plan around this.

3. You do you

Be realistic in your goals. When I first started my fitness journey my goal was to compete in women figure bodybuilding. I had no muscle tone and quite a bit of body fat. (Thanks to my part time job at McDonalds) It was not going to happen. You will just set yourself up for failure as you will not reach what you want in the time frame. After having Mole, I gave myself 9 months to reach my pre-baby weight. If you want to return to the gym after giving birth, consult your doctor first and make sure your body is ready and not just your mind.

Choose a goal that truly works for you and start small. It could be as simple as, in two weeks you want to be able to run for an extra 10 minutes on the treadmill.

Now:

The sooner you can understand the patience required to achieve fat loss and muscle building, the sooner you can apply yourself to consistently getting it done. Take into consideration that you have had a baby. There will be times where you can’t make the gym or you have an off day with your diet because their needs come firsts. Do not let this put you off your goal, simply extend your time frame.

4. Where to start?

Investing time learning the correct form for exercises will really benefit you. You can research different exercises that target specific muscle groups. Knowledge is power in fitness, you will reach your goal faster by educating yourself first.

A personal trainer can help you. They will be able to show you the correct form for different exercises and what exercises will work for your body and goal. Some gyms offer this as a free service.

baby fitness

There is nothing more daunting than walking into a gym and having no clue what to do. Even if you have been to that gym plenty of times, you can still ask a trainer for help. Too nervous to ask directly? Check out the gyms bulletin board for their email.

Here’s the downside:

Feeling intimidated is a real thing.

You will feel like the only one who feels intimidated when you walk into the gym, but trust me, you are not! There looks to be 100 men and women owning the floor and you will feel like they are all watching you. They are not. They are focused on their own journey and you should be too. Try going to the gym at off peak times to practice and get your confidence up.

You could even start off by completing some home workouts. I have seen some great videos where you can get your baby involved too. The whole process should be fun for you. A happy mummy will equal a happy baby.

5. Society

Here is the strange part:

When I wanted to return to the gym after having a baby I got so many negative comments from people. Even though my doctors had cleared me to go and train, people thought that they had the right to put me off my fitness goals with comments like “you should be spending time with your baby not the gym” or “your body needs to heal don’t snap back too soon.”

The truth is:

I felt miserable not doing something about getting back to my old self.

Social media has started to become a place where women are congratulated for sharing images of their post-partum bodies. Do I think this is good? Yes. It is amazing women can have the self love they deserve. But, what I don’t like is how a woman who wants to work hard for their healthy body can also feel ashamed for getting back into shape too soon. Who’s to decide what is too soon? Doctors of course, but not opinionated others.

Do not feel like you have to conform with society. Focus on your own personal goals and do not let opinions of others stop you from reaching your full fitness potential.

Doctors recommend waiting until your postnatal check up – around six to eight weeks – before you start dieting. If you’re worried about your weight in the meantime, try switching to low-fat options and stay away from foods with a high sugar content.

 

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Does my baby need to take vitamins?

I have been weaning Mole since she was 4 1/2 months old. Now she has turned 6 months old and is depending on more solid foods. I have been wondering…

I have been weaning Mole since she was 4 1/2 months old. Now she has turned 6 months old and is depending on more solid foods. I have been wondering if my baby is getting all the vitamins she needs daily to grow healthy and strong and does my baby need to take vitamins?

Do babies need vitamin supplements?

Breast milk or formula provide all the vitamins a baby needs for the first 6 months. Except for vitamin D which the Health Visitor advised me to supplement Mole with whilst I was breastfeeding. My baby quickly moved on to formula milk. As she was getting more that 32 ounces a day she did not need to supplement vitamin D any longer.

Vitamins for babies aged 6 months and over

Usually babies who eat lot’s of different foods don’t need to supplement with extra vitamins as you will be surprised by how much vitamins they actually get from their food. Now that Mole eats a variety of food I have been more aware of what I am feeding her, making sure it is nutritious (except the odd chocolate pud pud here and there).

However, some meal times, especially if she is teething, I find that her appetite is not strong. I worry that she is not getting her daily vitamins and after dropping more of her formula feeds to depend on food. I know that I can’t keep relaying on her formula to provide this.

The Department of Health recommends that all children aged 6 months to 5 years are given vitamin supplements containing vitamins A, C and D every day. (NHS)

I have been giving Mole Wellbaby Multi-Vitamin Liquid Formula which includes vitamins A, C and D. This multivitamin supports rapid physical growth and development of bones, muscles, blood and the brain. The main nutrients are iron and vitamin D. Helping to support cognitive development and strengthen their immune systems.

The Wellbaby Multi-vitamin is so easy to use too. I put 5ml into her bottle and she doesn’t even notice it is in there. Win win!

Vitamins for 3-6 years

Those that have older children will know the struggle it is to get them to eat all their veggies. You may find yourself in the same position in wondering if they are getting their daily vitamins to help them grow and develop strong.

I was gifted a box of Bassetts multivitamins for children ages 3-6 years.   I can safely say they are like yummy orange sweets!

The Bassetts multivitamins provide your child with vitamin B6 to support the nervous system, Vitamin D for strong teeth, bones and muscles and Vitamin B6 to help reduce tiredness and fatigue.

Vitamins for Adults

I have been taking Centrum Multi-vitamins for a while now and I have noticed a difference in the way I feel and look.

My skin has been clearer than ever. I have not changed face wash or make up so I know the vitamins must be having a positive effect.

I have more energy too!

The vitamins taste so good that I use them as my sweet tooth cravings as I am trying to eat healthier. You are allowed up to two a day and they are like yummy orange flavoured bursts of goodness!

Remember to always consult your doctor or health visitor if you have any queriers before putting your baby or child on vitamins.

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The cure for my baby’s reflux

Oh boy, where do I start with this one. The dreaded word Reflux. From a newborn Mole would continuously cry, scream, all night long. People told me that is what…

Oh boy, where do I start with this one. The dreaded word Reflux.

From a newborn Mole would continuously cry, scream, all night long. People told me that is what newborns are like but I knew that couldn’t be the case with Mole. The type of cry she would do wasn’t her hungry cry or her colic cry, it would mainly happen in the evening and I would literally see every hour of the clock go by night after night. I felt like my soul was leaving my body I was that sleep deprived.

“People told me that is what newborns are like but I knew that couldn’t be the case”

I began to research her cry and came across reflux websites that would also describe other symptoms Mole had but, because I was a first time mum, with no experience what so ever with babies, I thought that is just what babies are like.

Persistent hiccups

From day one in the hospital with Mole I remember holding her and suddenly she got hiccups at only a few hours old. I asked the midwife what I should do and she replied “nothing it is completely normal, maybe just rub her back to comfort her”. So thats exactly what I did, and I never thought anything else of it, every single day when she got hiccups.

Feeding difficulties

I tried my hardest to breastfeed Mole and I lasted for around 7 weeks after that it just didn’t work out for both of us. During breastfeeding Mole would become irritable and keep breaking away from her latch. Sometimes she would start to cry again and the cry would louder and louder. It was heartbreaking to watch and I began to blame myself on being a ‘bad breastfeeder’.

Making the transition to formula milk and feeding Mole through bottles I noticed the same symptom. Struggling with feeding. Constantly turning her head and refusing the bottle or having a small amount of milk and then 10 minutes later wanting another small amount. It got to the point where Mole would start to choke on her feed and then not long after she began refusing her feeds. Her weight wasn’t increasing and I became more and more concerned.

“I began to blame myself on being a bad breastfeeder”

Laying on her back

This was a huge symptom. Every single time I would lie Mole on her back, bam, she would scream her loudest!. I originally had a carry cot on her pram and every single time I placed her in the pram she would scream, but when I would pick her up, she would stop. I use to dread taking her out of the house because I would put her in the pram and listen to her cry but at the time I had no idea it was reflux.

Night feeding her got really hard. She would struggle taking her bottle and then when I put her back in her cot she would cry again. I felt like I couldn’t do anything right. One night, I propped her up on my pillow, whilst I had my head in my hands crying and I noticed that she stopped and I was the only one crying now. Being on a slant helped her. I propped her bed up slightly and managed to get some sleep.

Spitting up milk before or after feeds

At first Mole would do small spit ups after her feeds and I didn’t think anything of it as people told me that is normal for babies. When Mole began to take on more milk it got worse. way worse. She would projectile vomit all over. An alarming amount. She would go through numerous clothes changes a day (me too) and get stuck in the viscous circle of crying because of her vomit then crying because she was hungry. I felt so trapped in the house because it would have been so unfair to take her out whilst she was sick after every feed.

My life became an ongoing roundabout of feeding her, cleaning up her sick changing her nappy and then dealing with her shrieking cry 🙁 I could not help but moan about it or become upset.

“I felt so trapped”

Grunting

Mole from birth would always do grunting noises. The grunts use to make me giggle and I would copy them too at her then pull her in for a snuggle. Little did I know this was a reflux symptom.

What is reflux?

Reflux occurs because a baby’s food pipe (oesophagus) is still developing.

As the baby gets older the reflux should stop as the ring of muscle at the bottom of their oesophagus fully develops and stops stomach contents leaking out.

Trying to fix the problem

There are many types of milk formula out there that brands have made specifically for reflux babies. The formula is thicker than normal formula stopping the milk from coming back up. I tried Mole with a popular brand of anti-reflux milk but it did not suit her stomach.

I got told that reflux can occur if your baby has a milk allergy. So I got Mole milk free formula. Bad idea. I went through a nappy a minute. Gross 🙁

The doctors prescribed her with Gaviscon. The same method as the anti-reflux milk, thickening the formula so it is harder to come back up. She was allowed up to 6 sachets of Gaviscon in her bottles a day. Mole was okay with just 4, anymore than that and she would become constipated and cry for hours with that problem. One thing after another 🙁 .

The Gaviscon worked for a few weeks and I thought I had sorted the problem. But her reflux came back, hard!

Going back to the doctor he prescribed Ranitidine. The doctor explained that this will reduce her stomach acid but she became even worse on this medicine. I’m not even giving my time to it writing about it now. Bad, bad, bad.

I didn’t even want Mole to be continuously on medicine either.

The answer

I was back at square one with searching for an answer. The doctor said the next step would be an operation on her stomach and I was determined to try another way before the operation was the answer.

I came across an article that talked about how an Osteopath can help. An Osteopath can give a baby a deep massage loosening any tight muscles and joints. Tight muscles and joints especially around the stomach area can cause reflux. An Osteopath will release all stresses in the baby. Babies with tight muscles are more likely to benefit from the treatment than those who’s ring of muscle at the bottom of their oesophagus  has not developed. If you think about it, a baby has gone through delivery and growing at a phenomenal rate, their body must be tight.

I thought well what the heck, let’s try it. Mole had a 45 minute massage with Rachel and loved every minute! From that night, I took her off all medicine, including her Gaviscon and went cold turkey. NO REFLUX 😀 . The next day I thought no way, surely just a massage can’t have cured her reflux? but day after day Mole was still reflux free. I booked in a couple more sessions with Rachel and still Mole had gone from vomiting every feed to keeping all her feed down.

It seems a lifetime ago I was dealing with Mole’s reflux. Even writing this blog post now I’m shocked remembering what we went through together.

It is beautiful to see Mole at her happiest now and most of all I can leave the house and go to different activities with her without being riddled with anxiety. As selfish as this sounds, I feel like I have my life back.

“I feel like I have my life back”

If your baby suffers from Reflux, please try an Osteopath. It may not work but it is worth a try. It certainly worked for me.

Here is Rachel’s website:

http://www.rachelnealosteopathy.co.uk/ 

I’m sure she would be happy to provide you with more expert advice 🙂

Please note that not all Osteopaths treat babies, I had to check with a few first. I’m so glad I found Rachel, I genuinely don’t know what I would have done without her!

Other Helpful Advice

Upright

Keeping your baby upright for at least half an hour after a feed can help to make your baby more comfortable.

Another change I made was her pram. I got rid of her carry cot and got her a pram that would sit her upright. Taking her out was not an issue anymore and she is so much more comfortable. If I feed her whilst out I do not need to worry about holding her upright for half an hour as she is already sat up right in the pram.

Here is the link for the pram: Stokke Xplory V6

Anti-Reflux Milk

It didn’t work for Mole but I have heard tonnes of positive reviews on anti-reflux milk helping their baby to be more comfortable and to keep their milk down. If you have not tried this, it is definitely worth a go.

Frequent and Small Feedings

Feeding your baby little and often can help. Their stomachs will have less milk to regurgitate decreasing the chance of reflux.

Adding a thickener

Speak to your doctor about what is safe to add to your baby’s milk to thicken it. This will decrease the chances of it being bought back up. I added Infant Gaviscon and it worked brilliantly for a while.

Always speak to your doctor first to make sure your baby is having the best care.

Please SHARE to help other Mummy’s out their find a solution to their baby’s reflux. 🙂

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