Most of us reading and writing in this forum have gone or going through the 9 months of pregnancy. It’s a unique experience to be pregnant and carrying a baby inside you. For some its nauseating, for some its fattening and for some it’s both.
But for all the moms, it’s an unforgettable experience. These are the only 9 months when we don’t really care, about our weight, about the butter and ghee laden food that we hog upon and about how we will lose that extra fat from all the nooks and corners of our body.
More than losing the weight, I think, it’s about becoming healthy again. Nobody says that ghee is bad, in fact, it has been proven in studies that it should be the part of our regular diet. However, the fact which only foodies like me can accept is, that its not ghee but its the quantity of food and the urge to eat your favorite food that keeps us away from being healthy for a long time after the delivery. We break all bounds during 9 months and getting back in those boundaries drives us insane.
I was lucky enough to have gotten the care and guidance of doctors who not only helped my baby out, but also that extra un-healthy fat out of my body. But somewhere down the line, between my busy work and home schedule I kind of lost track of my health. “I need some sleep”, “I need some me time”, “I will just eat this today, I have to put myself first once in a while” thoughts took over my sensible and practical thinking.
You will probably appreciate this article better if you knew more about me, so here I am, confessing about all the flaws in me:
- I am a night person and I love staying awake in the night, reading novels or watching movies.
- I love sweets too, one piece of that kaju katli does me no good, I need 3-4 pieces to satisfy my sweet hunger.
- I love cheese and two bread slices with an innocent slice of cheese is a must have during late night movie or novel sessions.
- Since I love to stay awake in the night, I also like to get those extra minutes of sleep, after my alarm goes off at 6:30 AM. If you are wondering that, how does she manage to sleep till 6:30 with a kid. That’s because, my kid is going to a kinder garden and has to be dropped there only by 9, so I can still manage my morning chores in those 2.5 hours, that includes, making breakfast, packing tiffin for my little one, getting ready myself, doing my morning prayer, eating a bowl of museli, dropping my kid off and then rushing to office.
- I am a fruit hater.
- I love eating fried “anything”.
- I like cooked vegetables, but salad for me is only cucumber and tomatoes and it can never replace a meal for me.
- I cannot skip any meal, I love my food too much
- My brain doesn’t work, if my stomach is empty. So people who have spent some time with me would realize that when I am hungry, every 2nd statement that I say is “I am hungry, I need something to eat”.
So I have said it all, and you are probably laughing!!!
Moving on, immediately after my delivery, I took control of the things, didn’t have much issues in recovering since I had a normal delivery. I started my morning and evening walk from 7th day onward, it really helped me to take a break from hectic post-delivery routine, get some fresh air and also move parts of my body, other than hands. So I was actually back to my pre-pregnancy weight in 4 months. I had never felt healthier and I was not starving myself to stay in shape.
Things took a U-turn when I resumed work after 7 months. I started finding it really difficult to manage time, work, home and guilt. Needless to explain what the guilt was about. So first thing I did was to overcome guilt, which is past me now. Then I took measures to efficiently manage my time and I think I am doing good in that respect too. However, while tackling with these serious problems of my life, I started feeling too overworked, with a lot of expectations from myself, and then, “I need me time” feeling came in which frustrated me to the core. I missed my novels, my movies, my cheese bread and every possible thing that I used to do before having a kid.
So I wanted to live the before-kid and after-kid life together which is (IM-) possible. I wrote “IM-“ in brackets because after a lot of trial and errors of working out the best routine for myself, I have realized that it is possible to live both lives together with some adjustments.
And here I go, with my trial and error tips that worked out best for me:
- Being a mom, makes you sleep deprived all the time, whether or not you are working. So sleep is really important, for you and for people around you, because a sleep deprived person can be extremely irritating and annoying. So I sacrificed my late nights with an exception to Fridays and Saturdays when I take liberty of staying awake because I can take a nap on the following afternoons. I still read novels and watch movies, so I don’t feel missing out on my favorite hobbies. At the same time, I am not sleep deprived so I am cheerful most the time.
- I took a drastic step of zero sweet intake because I can’t have just one. Zero sweet intake means, no sweets, no chocolates and ice-cream. I still eat my museli with one spoon of sugar and milk. So I am not bringing my blood sugar levels to all time low, but only cutting down on the extra sweetness which was beyond my control. I have the sudden urge of having sweets at times, so I just munch on some raisins during those difficult times.
- Since Friday and Saturday nights are “me time”, and my fridge never goes out of stock with cheese and bread, this was the most difficult part. I would just give it completely to my will power that I have stopped going to the kitchen during those late nights. I have definitely not cut down on my cheesy habits completely but getting cheesy on those late night rendezvous’ with movies and novels is a strict NO.
- Alarm goes off at 6:00 and since nights happen earlier, I am able to wake up without snoozing the alarm. My workout lasts only for 15 minutes. That’s the time I have set out for myself and I think that’s the smartest part of my regime. All trainers say that you lose weight only after 45 minutes of work out, but who is talking about losing weight here. I am more focused to get back on track. So I run for 15 minutes on a treadmill or sometimes in my campus if I feel like enjoying the early morning fresh air. I don’t do a minute more or less. This has really helped me because if I set longer time for workout, then I have to wake up earlier which is very difficult as I also need to work with an alert brain for the rest of the day. And also setting a longer time, means missing your workout frequently because, if you wake up at 6:15, then you can’t possibly have a 45 minutes of workout and finish other chores in time. On the contrary, with 15 minutes of work out, even if I snooze the alarm for 15 minutes, I still can manage the workout by making a less elaborate breakfast.
- I am still a fruit hater, but thanks to my good friends and my office canteen, who serve a fruit with lunch daily, I have started eating a bowl of fruits every day. Does not matter if I finish that bowl even before I look at my plate. It’s more like taking that folic acid tablet every day because it helps. I have always wondered how someone can say “Did you try out the watermelon? It is so yummy!”. Anyways, I think this might be the easiest part for most of the moms, because we all take care of that fruit bowl for our kids, don’t we? So just add an extra bowl for yourself.
- I still love eating fried, so the only way to get rid of this habit was to stop cooking fried “anything” in the kitchen. Festivals being an exception and again the will power helps during those days. I have stopped munching on chips, mixtures etc and believe me, after a few days, I don’t feel the need to.
- I don’t over burden my plate with salad but I do take peeled cucumber now. Being a cleanliness freak and doctor’s daughter, I have an annoying sense of eating cleanly cooked food. Since salads are major source of infection, I prefer eating tomato salad only at home when I am assured that its been washed properly. I even take cut cucumber to office sometimes, which helps me curb my hunger during the long gap between an early lunch and dinner.
- I still don’t skip any meal. And neither will I give this advice to anyone.
- I still keep saying “I am hungry” from time to time, because at work sometimes I just don’t get a chance to eat anything after lunch at 12 till the time I get back home. So friends who talk to me during that time are the victims of my “I am hungry” repetitions every 5 minutes. I have thought of carrying some dry fruits with me many times, but I will blame it to my absent mindedness that I have still not done it.
- This is the most important part of my “get back to healthy self” regime – drink more and more water. The only side effect of this is the need to use the washroom every hour but nobody can deny you that right, in office or at home. You just need show the urgency and say “I need to use the wash room”. That’s it. The most important meetings will be paused for you. So I drink 3 ltrs of water every day in office. I also drink almost 1 ltr in the morning from the time I wake up and leave for office. Again, don’t forget to use the washroom before getting into traffic.
Drinking more water really helps to keep you hydrated while you sit in AC whole day. I have heard many people say that if we drink more water, we need to use the washroom so frequently and it’s breaks the flow of work. If that is so, then it’s better to set "water drinking time". So drink a liter as soon as you reach office and flush it out the next hour, and then you can work without a break till lunch. Repeat the exercise after lunch.
Another glass of warm water has been added to my list after dinner. It helps my throat as I am prone to cold and throat infections.
I have jotted down everything that I follow and which has really helped me to get back on health track. I hope it helps the readers. Any suggestions or corrections are most welcome.