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Monday, 2 May 2016

My Post-natal Weight Lost Transformation (Before & After Photos)

After two pregnancies, my body has certainly gone through a tremendous and unbelievable physical change. At my 2nd pregnancy, I gained 27kg and unlike most moms who managed to lose all of their post-pregnancy weight by their baby's full month, I actually gained more kilos during my confinement period which added up to nearly a total of 30kg of weight gain. I had reached almost a horrendous weight of 80kg for my petite height.
Without warning, I had transformed into the "3 Os" ; Obese, Overweight, Oversize.
During that time I was depressed that I let myself go. With all my time and energy trying to adjust my new role being a new mom of two, I really didn't think of what I want to do with my weight. I started wearing oversize tee-shirts, my hubby's boxers, baggy pants... anything that could hide my chunky frame and bulging tummy. I couldn't make my fats disappear so I attempt to hide them...but it didn't work that well. I only turned myself into an overweight woman suffering major wardrobe malfunction.
To cut the story short, it took me slightly more than a year to transform myself back to my "original state" and finally as promised to many who are still questioning me on how I do it,  I'm here to share my very own weight lost journey in this blog entry.
Before & After Photos
During my "heaviest" time, I didn't really take many photographs because I hate the camera. I hate to face the reality that I was FAT. I hate to find my "best angle" because there wasn't any! So it took me some time to dig out those past "fat" photographs of myself for this post.
To make it more interesting, I took extra effort to wear exactly the same outfit for my "before and after" photos.
(The "before transformation" photos are taken between the year 2014-2015. The "after transformation" photos are all taken early this year 2016. )
This photo below was taken either when I was still pregnant or I've just given birth to my second one. Very sad indeed that I cant even tell the difference whether I was still pregnant or not in this photo. Anyway this was at my friend's daughter's 1st year birthday party. I remembered that day I had something on and couldn't attend the party but since I was near the birthday venue, I decided to drop by to pass her girl a birthday present. That day I was dressed rather shabbily without makeup and so was not prepared to have any photos taken. However before I can leave, the host requested for a birthday photo together and I had to be gracious to accept it. Still I was glad that this photo was taken because I managed to find this black dress again in my wardrobe! I even attempt to tie my hair the same way in the "before" photo. One advantages of losing weight is... it lifts off ages to your looks. The years melt away with the pounds! I look less haggard and much younger after my weight lost.

I'm glad that this tee-shirt is still around as it has already been used as a rag (That explains the stains on it) Here you go, another good comparison.

 My mom took this photo and saved it in her handphone because she was amused that I was so fat and refused to let me delete it.
I don't have much to say, the photo shows it all.

This photo was taken during my god-son's 2nd birthday party which was held around six months after my second birth. In my "before" photo, I was in the midst of my weight-lost journey and had already lost quite a few pounds, but was still chunky & chubby looking. It took me almost another 6 more months to reach my "after" photo here.

The Motivation
As pathetic as it sounds, one of the things that really motivates me to begin my weight lost journey was looking at my old photos when I was the slimmest and comparing myself in front of a mirror. My pre-pregnancy weight hovered around the 50kg range. I was not very skinny but at least I was pretty far from the obese range unlike then. Then next, I cry my eyes out in disbelief and asked myself "what I've done???" This includes trying to visualise people around me secretly mocking over my looks and body and displaying sympathy to my hubby, pitying him for marrying a wrinkled hippo. Basically I put myself in an extreme depressing state and finally asked myself the golden question, "Do you want to stay like this forever or do you want a change?" And finally I made the decision to become a good role model for my kids by making health and fitness a priority in our family.

The Method - How I did it
I'm sorry that's no instant magic here. I didn't lose that 30kg took me at least the whole damn year to succeed. I do not have any magical product or slimming treatment to advertise either. Everything still goes back to the two dreadful words that you hear every single time when you are in the battle of losing weight; DIET and EXCERCISE. Believe me that during my ultimate desperate state, I've already tried like 101 types of weight lost methods and the only "magic" I can offer you now is by sharing what really works for me.

DIET- Most of the diets do work...and that's unless you stick to it. Soup diet, apples diet, juice diet, carbo-less name it and I've tried it. It is not about which diet works, instead it is HOW LONG you can last with that diet if you're looking at long-term weight lost. You can go for 3 days on that particular diet and you'll definitely witness that weight lost on your scale, but by 4th day you are tortured by hunger and self-pity, and compensate your body with the appetite of a dinosaur. 5th day, you gained back everything you lost, lost all motivation and started hating yourself. You just get yourself stuck in that repeated vicious cycle. Sounds so familiar isn't it? I'm sick of trying to control what I eat and counting the calories of every meal. I can't be deprive of the food I love for long and it always takes over my desire to lose weight. Therefore instead of controlling the food that I eat....I play with the TIMING that I consume my food.

So my golden rule number 1 is, eat only from 8am to 5pm. NO FOOD INTAKE after the cut-off timing at 5pm. This gives the body a longer time to burn the calories. I continue to eat the food I love, fries, pasta, ice-cream , bubble tea, waffles...but everything in moderation of course. If I want to see better result, I would restrict or reduce my carbohydrates (rice, noodle, pasta..etc) intake during the daytime too. As long by 5pm, I fast till the next morning. It wasn't easy in the beginning, considering I was an late night owl and I've the habit of having suppers. By night falls, my tummy was already crying out in hunger. When that happens, I cheat a little by chewing on some nuts. drinking hot honey or tea , or even sucking on a candy. It doesn't totally take away my hunger but it helps to take my mind off and last through the night easier. It is a new habit that the body takes time to be accustomed to. This new diet routine is  not as difficult and complicated comparing to the daily counting of calories and restricting myself to the food I love. Most importantly, it worked very well in erasing the first 10kg off my weighing scale in a couple of months, solely by this method.

EXERCISE - Changing your eating habits is a good start to begin your weight lost journey. However soon you realize that the pound-dropping begin to slow down. This is when exercise has to come in.
With a baby and a toddler to care for, squeezing exercise into a busy schedule is a challenge for any mom. As a result, exercise is often the first thing to get scratched off from the daily routine. Furthermore, the kids need so much of my attention everyday and I do feel guilty taking time away from them just to do a structured workout myself.
The first discipline you need is the constant mental battle with all your excuses! Here are my 3 tips on how a busy mom can find time to keep fit.

1) Combine your workout with the kids' playtime.
Every children indoor playground, swimming pool, parks and beaches became my bootcamp where I do my workout. I took the boys out without stroller, play with them, chase after them, carry them, carry loads of their stuffs, scream at them, laugh with them...all these little burst of energy do add up the burning of calories! On some nights I blast my favourite Kpop music and made my boys dance together with me. The key is getting your kids involved in your workout. It is obviously a win-win, I had my "gym session" and the boys have a great time!

2) Enroll in classes
If you cannot get away from the kids, lack the perseverance or are not consistent enough to have an exercise routine, then just join workout classes that require you to attend with your child. Sometimes paying "school fees" is also a way to force yourself to do your workout. During babyK's first year, I enrolled ourselves in "mom and baby" classes, such as Zumba catered to mothers and kids. Babies are strapped on carrier, and together we enjoy the high energy and motivating music with fun dance moves that can be done together. The mommies achieved their high intensity workout and babies get to have fun together with their mom and other babies too!
(7 months old babyK in our Zumba class)
Other classes that I joined during my post-natal weight lost journey were baby swimming class and baby gym class. Dancing, swimming and gym...these were my exercise almost every week and I get to bond with my baby at the same time! Everything still comes down to whether you're willing to place exercise as your priority and making the right choices.
3) Home exercise equipment
If you spend most of the time at home, consider investing in some home exercise equipment that you can use when your kids are taking their nap or go to bed at night. While you're having your "me-time", eg. watching TV, playing the iPad or using the phone, you can continue to do so by involving some workout such as leg treading, jump rope or using the dumbbells. The Kayla Fitness is one of the workout highly recommended and many have seen very good result after completing the routine. I've tried to attempt the Kayla Fitness but wasn't very consistent with it, instead I came out with my own night exercise routine instead.
I'll spend at least 45 minutes on this home exercise equipment called the "Wonder Core". Please take note that I don't mean to advertise this and it is not a sponsored item either. I paid this with my hubby's cold hard cash ok.
What I like about this equipment is the ability to do various of exercise such as sit ups, bicycling, forearms/biceps , scissor kicks.....all these workout while chasing after my Chinese drama series on TV.  It fulfilled my three requirements for an exercise home equipment; small and takes up less space in the house, easy and convenient to use, and lastly very effective for body toning.

There are lots of moments we can squeeze in exercise. It does not have to be long hours of workout at one go. Most importantly is getting our butt off to start doing it and turned it into a habit/routine.
 All women have their pre-baby bodies that may have changed after the birth of our beautiful children. A sacrifice that we made in exchange for our honourable battle scar that we earned through pregnancy. The early goals that I set during my weight lost journey have changed gradually. I no longer focus on the numbers I lost or struggle to work towards getting my dream body. My goals became health and strength-related instead. 
Now my aim is to become a fit mom for my kids, taking pride in my transformation ,maintaining discipline to overcome excuses, and placing health and fitness as the top few priorities in my life. I have grown to learn that if you want to be a great wife and a great mom to give your love ones the best care ever, the first person you need to take care of is ....yourself.
Last but not least, I wish my postpartum journey and weight lost motivation is inspiring enough to bring hope and encouragement to other moms on the same journey as mine.  There will be moments of failure but these are also part of the journey to success. What's most important is that we don't allow the setbacks to overcome us and lose sight of our bigger goals.
Let us all strive to be a beautiful, healthy and fit mom for our love ones and ourselves.

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