Since having Baby Bear, I’ve wanted to shift the baby weight I gained during pregnancy. I gained a stone and I really wasn’t keen on that extra stone. None of my pre-baby clothes fit and I just didn’t feel like me. My mum came to visit me and pointed out how much weight I’d gained. I felt rubbish. My belly bulged over the top of my trousers. I looked pregnant when I wore a dress. Trying on a pair of jeans in a shop and realising that a size 14 was too small, was a wake up call for me. I’m usually an 8-10 and I point blank refused to buy a size 16. My husband loves me exactly as I am, but I had lost my confidence and didn’t feel attractive.
My plan was to take up running again. Last time I took up running, I had gotten into the habit of running between five and eight miles, three to four times a week. Running made me lose weight and tone up. But since having Bear, I just didn’t seem to find the motivation to go running. I wanted to be somewhere fun with the children, not off out running by myself.
My back-up weight loss plan was to diet. The problem with this, was that I had no idea how to diet. Up until my twin pregnancy, I’d had trouble with maintaining weight. I’d always been slim, I’ve always eaten three big meals a day (and snacks in between) and I struggled to keep a healthy weight. Any time I exercised, I had to consume more food or protein shakes, just to stay the same weight. I have a fast metabolism and gaining weight was always near-impossible.
People who were dieting to lose weight used to constantly tell me how “lucky” I was, and I hated it. I wasn’t lucky. I hated being called “skinny”, being told I was “underweight” by doctors and having no curves. In my teenage years, I felt like I had the body of a boy. My ribs stuck out and I had no boobs until I was in my twenties. It wasn’t until I had my first child that I developed hips and a bigger bottom and felt more like a stereotypical “woman”. Being scrawny wasn’t lucky, it was a curse, because I wanted to be a healthy, normal weight. I wanted to be able to go to the gym and enjoy swimming, dance and running without becoming dangerously underweight.
Eventually, once I became a mum to twins, I became much happier with my weight, I gained a little and was my ideal weight. I then had Baby Bear and gained a stone. The diet never happened. The running never happened.
When Baby Bear was about eight months old, my appetite changed. I don’t know if this was a postnatal hormonal change or just completely random. All of a sudden, I couldn’t stand my usual tea with two sugars. I cut down to half a sugar in hot drinks. I suddenly didn’t have my daily cravings for cake. I had no interest in biscuits or chocolate. I realised I preferred zero sugar fizzy drinks to their full sugar equivalents. I stopped putting sugar on my cereal. And the less sugar I consumed, the less I wanted.
My husband started telling me that I looked like I’d lost weight. I didn’t believe him, but he asked why my jeans kept falling down and why I was suddenly wearing the jeans that hadn’t fit me before. I jumped on a friends scales and couldn’t believe it when I looked at my weight. I’d lost a stone. Just like that. Quite accidentally.
The only part of my lifestyle that had changed was my sudden disinterest in sugar. I had always ignored people when they talk about how bad sugar is for you. I figured if you weren’t overweight, sugar wasn’t a problem. But actually… sugar is addictive. The more you eat, the more you want. I couldn’t believe that just cutting down on sugar, could lead to me losing a whole stone. I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight, with absolutely no effort at all.
Not only had I lost weight but I felt healthier. More energetic. Less minor ailments. I was sleeping better too. So now, my lower sugar lifestyle has stuck and I plan to continue in these habits. I’m not saying I’ll never eat cake again. I work in a café so of course I still eat cake – just not as often as I used to. I’m not saying that I have the perfect body either, but I’m happy with my current weight and I’m confident to wear a bikini again. I have afterall, grown four humans in that tummy!