I don't want to make excuses for why I can't workout, or why I can't eat healthily as a mum, for me, if I do that now then I probably always will. It's much harder to change something when it's became a habit, so I may as well start as I mean to go on. I'm starting slow, and making everything I do sustainable - and if your reading this still wanting to lose that extra bit of baby weight, or just feel a little bit healthier, then these are steps you can probably take too.
1\\ HYDRATEDrink more water. It's such a simple step to take and can honestly make such a big difference to how you feel, or at least, it does for me. I'm aiming to drink about 3 litres a day - before falling pregnant I drank a lot more, but let's face it, having to pee every 5 minutes whilst on your own with a baby just doesn't work, so 3L is good enough for me. Water works wonders for your body - proper hydration curbs appetite, improves energy levels and reduces fatigue (it also helps my skin from looking like a dot-to-dot, added bonus!). On top of that, I'm planning on increasing my green tea intake: I'm not someone who advocates it's magical properties, not for a second. I don't think it increases metabolism, I doubt it flushes out my toxins, and it sure as hell doesn't burn off fat. It's tea, just tea. What it does do though, is makes me feel fuller for longer, and stops me drinking ridiculous amounts of coffee, which is bad enough for me as it is. I'm actually planning on doing one of these tea-toxes; what better way to kick off a health kick than with an over marketed gimmick? I'm sceptical, but it won't hurt.
2\\ WALK MORE
I can't make it to the gym five days a week - I have a newborn, come on. I don't have the time, much less the energy right now to have an intense workout every day, and I won't be pushing my body to do so. What I can do, is walk. Everyone can. I have a pram, a pavement, and a hat with a pom pom, I'm ready. My aim is to get out for an hour or so every day; the fresh air should do me and Harrison both a hell of a lot of good after being cooped up in the house all day every day, and even the smallest of exercise will contribute to me getting back in the fitness game. Small steps sure, but it's small maintainable steps, rather than burning myself and my body out after the first week.
3\\ TRACK ONLY ONE MEAL
Normally (by normally, I mean before pregnancy, I suppose I have a new 'normal' now...) I'd track my diet down to the last spoonful of cereal: I love my kitchen scales and everything would me measured and counted. I followed a 'diet' plan based on my carbohydrate, protein and fat breakdown, and didn't really deviate. With Harrison as young as he is though, I won't be following a macronutrient based diet, in fact, I won't be following a diet at all. I'll stop living off of chocolate - that should do the trick for one. For two, I'll be tracking one meal a day. I like knowing what I'm putting into my body, but I don't want to obsess over My Fitness Pal and every calorie that goes in. Tracking only one meal a day means that I'm still conscious in part of what I'm eating, and I'm getting back into measuring my food slowly, without the pressure of having to record every ounce that I'm eating. You'd be surprised at how much even recording one meal can increase your conscientiousness in terms of what your eating.
4\\ WORKOUT AT LEAST TWICE A WEEKI know I said taking the pressure off was the best way to go about it, and walking daily would be my exercise, but let's face it, I started my 'Bounce Back' in the first place because I miss the gym. The weight will come off regardless, I want to get back to being fit and I want to be healthy, and to regain that in 6 weeks means I'm going to have to get back in the gym. Twice a week is enough. Getting your foot in the door is the hardest part, if I can go twice a week, and train hard twice a week, I'll maintain it for the duration, rather than hitting the ground running and giving up after the third day. I'll be doing a mixture of heavy weight training, circuit training and cardio, with a lot of focus on warming up, cooling down and maintaining mobility. Since being pregnant, my back and my knee joints haven't felt right, so I'm determined to be extremely careful whilst building up strength in them again.
5\\ HAVE A CHEAT MEAL
I've said I'll only track one meal a day - that doesn't mean I'll be eating unhealthy for the other 3. I'll keep it simple, a protein, carbohydrate, and healthy fats in every meal, with a lot of volume to stop me snacking. Most likely eaten cold as I don't really get a chance to have a sit down meal these days - but the end result is the same. I like cheat meals, I always have done. I know in terms of a relationship with food it's not seen as the right way - food is not a treat, and shouldn't be a reward - but I think if used correctly it can give the metabolism a boost and myself an extra push to see me through the week. Note, cheat MEAL, not cheat day. There's no use making it through a week or so of consistent healthy eating and exercise to throw it away on one full day binge.
6\\ SMALL GOALS & NO PRESSURE
I can make as many 'rules' for myself as I want here - as can you. If you ban something, your going to want it. It's sods law. If I miss my walk for the day, if my cheat meal does turn into half of the dominos menu, if I don't lose weight that week, I won't be beating myself up about and I sure as hell won't be starting again on Monday. It took me 9 months to gain this weight and feel this unhealthy, and it's not coming back over night. Baby steps. This isn't just a 6 week quick fix, it's the start of a healthy lifestyle, I have my whole life to get healthy, it doesn't strictly have to be done and dusted by Christmas Day.
This series is all about small, maintainable lifestyle changes that are easy do with a baby. and these six steps very much reflect that. Don't forget to check back on Sunday for my first week progress update, let's hope we've made some sort of progress, whether that be mental or physical.