Post Pregnancy Plan of Action

We’re STILL waiting! This little man is either very lazy or is just far to warm and snug to come and meet us just yet. Whilst it is getting incredibly frustrating and uncomfortable, I know that as long as we are both fit and well then there’s no better place for him until he’s ready to show face.

All being said, I am desperate to get back to some sort of physical activity, even if it’s just getting out for a proper walk! As some of you will know I have suffered with sciatica, SPD and PGP for the majority of this pregnancy meaning that I had to cut hours in clinic, control and limit my exercise and complete physio exercises to try and ease the issues as much as I could. It hasn’t been great but I know there are people that have suffered much worse so I can’t really complain.

So, I have been thinking a lot again about getting active and regaining my strength following the arrival of this little dude, whenever that might be.

First off, I have no intention of doing anything other than rest, recover and enjoy at least the first week with my new, complete family. There will more than likely be frequent take-aways, quick and easy to make meals, and plenty of snacks. I will also be looking to get in plenty of vitamins and minerals through my food intake via fruit and veg, and some good quality whole foods. I have no plan to get straight out there and start any physical activity immediately as 1) I have no idea how delivery is going to go and 2) whichever way our boy arrives the body needs time to settle and recover.

When I do feel up to it I will be getting out in the fresh air, walking with baby, Isla and Rocket (our little chihuahua) and maybe dan too if he’s not already back at work at that point. If recovery is good and the midwives are happy with me that’s when I will look at getting something more structured back in place. Maybe some pilates for the core and I will write my own gym plan – starting back at basics to see how I move and where my weaknesses really lie.

In terms of diet, once the initial week of adjustment to a new way of life has set in I will get back to the plan that I share with you all over January – caloric deficit with the 80/20 rule and getting myself back on at least 10,000 steps per day. I have every intention of breastfeeding if I can which will mean that I will need a few more hundred calories that I would usually be on but I will monitor it and see how weight loss goes over firsts few weeks and months. What’s most important is that I get adequate nutrition to look after me and baby. Water is key to this too so that water bottle will be by my side at all times!

I’ll be continuing on a daily multi-vit, just to make sure that I am getting all the daily essentials, and I am currently looking at probiotics to improve my gut health – I’ll go into these more on another post once I have chosen what I am going to try.

For ease, I’ll probably be going back to Asda for my food shops for a while as, although they are more expensive than Aldi, the click and collect locker service that they do is AWESOME. Such and easy way to shop. I can sit at home and order online – from my weekly meal plan – select a time slot and then I get a confirmation and code sent to me which is used to collect it all. The best part being, I can give the code to someone else to collect for me if I can’t make it, no need for a bank card or proof of ID etc, just take the code, pop it in at the lockers and follow the doors round as they open. IDEAL!

So, not the most exciting post my loves but it gives you an idea of where I am and what I am thinking about. This sitting on my ass, not working, not exercising malarkey is no good for anyone!

January – Day 31/31

CONGRATULATIONS – YOU DID IT!!!

You’ve followed me for a whole month reading and learning about things you may or may not already have known about, and probably had a few unexpected topics in the mix.

I’m not the strongest of writers but I am working on it and this month has seen me become more confident in what I am doing so I would like to thank you all for that.

Following on from this free series, I would like to let you know I am available for one to one support on fitness and health should it be something you would like going forward. There’ll be more posts on here in future too (maybe after a bit of a quiet spell with baby).

I think for me, from completing this journey, I have learned a lot about myself. I have learned that I can stick to something when I put my mind to it – I haven’t missed a single day of posting, even when I have felt so incredibly tired that I didn’t know what to write about. I’ve learned that showing parts of myself is not as scary as I thought – sharing they types of things I do on a daily basis like write about my gratitude and affirmations. I’m still learning the types of topics that you lot all love to read about; the insights on my webpage are really interesting and I’ve actually reached people as far as India and Canada with some of my content on here!

Most of all, I have learned that actually, I really enjoy doing this. And, even if I look back in the future and cringe at the content I have been posting, I will know that I pushed myself into starting a new path at a time when I thought I wasn’t going anywhere.

Thank you for your support. Thank you for your time. Thank you for being you.

On that note – thank you for being you – I truly hoped that this program has helped you realise what you really want; do you want the weight loss or did you just think that was what was going to make you happy? Has the mindset work helped more than the weight loss advice? Has the exercise helped soothe the mind more than you expected?

We all want to be happy but chasing happiness is generally the path to nowhere. If you can take one thing from my program and use it to be happy today then I feel like I have made a true impact on you.

Be you. Be all you. Be un-apologetically you; for you are a unique creature of beauty and life, and you are fabulous.

Lots of love, H xxx

January – Day 25/31

Go easy on yourself.

On your journey to be a fitter and healthier you focus on just that – YOU. Please don’t compare yourself to others and especially not to images you see on social media. It isn’t reality.

Thankfully even some of the instagram stars are now showing their instagram posts vs. the reality of the images they are in – posed to perfection vs. their true appearance.

Rianne Meijer is an internet Vlogger, she shares a series of side-by-side shots that reveal the truth behind those “perfect” Instagram photos.

We are also starting to see a more diverse range of bodies in fashion advertising with varying sizes used on websites and no airbrushing out of stretchmarks or imperfections.

Truth is, if we were all these airbrushed “perfect” images, we wouldn’t be us. We wouldn’t be who we have grown to be, we wouldn’t be unique or truly beautiful. For it is our so called flaws that make us who we are and the journey that we have travelled that has made us.

In whatever challenge you have given yourself you should only strive for one thing, to be better than you were yesterday.

January – Day 24/31

YOU ARE MORE THAN JUST A NUMBER ON THE SCALES!

When weight loss days get you down remember this – you are more than the number on the scales.

You are stronger, braver and more resilient than you even realise. You are a worker, a trier, a dedicated dream chaser. You are every thing to someone; you are their sun and moon, you are their rock and safe place. You are a body of emotions, feelings and passions. You are smart, funny and educated. You are kind, loving and giving. You are helpful. You are love.

A number doesn’t make you who you are – You set the rules of who you are and YOU are GREAT!

***Side note – hopefully by taking part in the January challenge you are finding that you aren’t really having down days regarding your diet or weight loss as the plan is designed to work around YOU, YOUR likes, YOUR lifestyle, YOUR way.***

January- Day 23/31

One for the morning pit stoppers or just the days you cba! Quick fix supermarket lunches and snacks…

Base your meal/snack on your protein:

  1. Cooked meat – demi is great as you can ask for a specific amount but pre-cooked package stuff like mini fillets, beef or seafood are just as good (I love a pack of king prawns).
  2. Tinned/no drain tuna – ring pull tin or plastic pot, just don’t forget to recycle.
  3. Boiled eggs – the big lads such as Asda do a pot with a couple of pre-cooked and peeled boiled eggs in. Usually located by the sandwiches.
  4. Greek yogurt – single serving rather than family tub ensure portion control on the go and limits waste.
  5. Protein bars – not the breakfast bars that claim to have protein unless you’re happy to truly read the labels and see if there is decent amount in there. I mean a Grenade bar or a warrior bar
  6. Beef jerky – lasts a while and totally satisfying.

Select your side. Aim for a quality side if you’re looking at a main meal or need a more wholesome snack:

  1. Salad box
  2. Wholegrain microwave rice pack
  3. Wholegrain cous cous
  4. Raw veg – carrots, peppers, cucumber, etc
  5. Fruit – apples, banana, berries, etc
  6. Wholegrain cereal – High bran for example, great for fibre content too
  7. Graze box snacks – supermarket own brand are just as good and cheaper.

Need a drink?

Ideally you want water or maybe a teeny bit of dilutey juice but may be you’re hankering for a fizzy drink. Aim for the sugar free options and try to avoid fruit juices.

Want a bit of something sweet?

If the fruit doesn’t cut it and the protein bar just isn’t an option have a look down the sweets aisle. Look at the snack size options, see what you fancy, make sure it fits your calories and your 80:20 rule for the day.

If you’re veggie/vegan then there are some great options available for you too. From refridgerated soups, and tinned bean salads to fresh produce – I won’t pretend to be an expert in this because I’m not but it is something I will be looking into more in future.

I hope this makes your morning or lunch time supermarket dash easier to manage and helps you hit your daily goals.

Small, consistent changes are key.

January – Day 20/31

After our reality check a few days ago, how is everyone doing? Are you feeling better? Feeling more energetic? Lost a few pounds?

If not, what are you doing about it?

If you are struggling and you need help to see where it’s not quite going right, drop me a message and I will do my best to help you out. It’s only by ASKING that we can get the answers that we need, and it’s often only by ASKING that we are able to make the changes we need for the results we want.

Don’t be shy. Just ask.

WE SHOULD NEVER STOP LEARNING – IF YOU THINK YOU KNOW IT ALL THEN YOU NEVER WILL.

January – Day 19/31

Hands up of you’re doing? Dry January?

Hands up if you started but then gave in?

Hands up if you couldn’t give a toss about dry January because you enjoy your glass of ***insert beverage of choice*** after a long week?

Fair play whatever you’re doing. It’s always good to take time out and give your body a rest from alcohol but as long as it’s not a problem then a couple of drinks a week isn’t going to do you any harm.

The thing is – do you track your alcohol intake? Like the macros, protein, carbs and fats, alcohol holds it’s own caloric value: 7 cals per gram and at zero nutritional value.

If you’re serious about your weight loss but don’t want to drop your glass of wine, cider or whatever then you need to factor it in to your daily allowance. You can still enjoy it, it just needs accounted for. As with the 80:20 rule – hit your protein goal with 80% of your diet being nutrient dense, then stick to your calories and you can have whatever else fits in with it all.

Our plan is giving you the tools to have a maintainable LIFESTYLE whilst feeling fitter, healthier and dropping weight, we’re not a restrictive crash diet.

January – Day 17/31

Short post – quick body weight workout you can do anywhere.

5 Minute Warm Up – 30 seconds each:

  1. walk on the spot
  2. jog on the spot
  3. bum kicks
  4. high knees
  5. right leg swings
  6. left leg swings
  7. jog on spot whilst circling arms forward
  8. jog on spot whilst circling arms backwards
  9. jog on the spot whilst crossing arms over chest and opening them wide
  10. walkout burpee

Main Session, Body Weight Circuit – Work through the exercises number 1-10, doing each exercise for a work to rest ratio of either 30s:30s, 40s:20s or 50s:10s depending on your starting fitness level and prior experience. Rest for 1 minute at the end of the 10 exercises – repeat for 2-4 rounds depending on time allowance and ability. One round will take 11 minutes in total (including the rest). You can download INTERVAL TIMER for FREE to your mobile phone which can then be set to your desired work:rest ratio (and how many rounds you want to do).

  1. Squat
  2. [Box/Wall] Push Up
  3. [Walkout] Burpee
  4. Alternating Lunge
  5. Tricep Dips
  6. High Knees
  7. Alternating Side Lunge
  8. Shoulder Push Up
  9. Long Jump with Jog Back
  10. Plank

All of these exercises have a beginner, intermediate and advanced version which you can search for online should you need a video guide (my apologies I haven’t made one myself but trying to move is a struggle at the minute let alone demonstrate exercises correctly). Bodybuilding.com is a great place to go to for video tutorials.

Cool Down – 5-10 minutes slowly allowing the heart rate to lessen, the body temperature to reduce and the breathing rate to come down followed by stretching:

  1. Gentle jog on the spot slowing to a walk over 3-5 minutes.
  2. 30 seconds stretching for each of the muscle groups used – hamstrings, quads, glutes, chest, back, triceps, shoulders.

Again, going back to day 1. Always check with your health professional before beginning a new health or fitness regime. If you feel light-headed, faint, or unwell at any point, discontinue the session.

January – Day 16/31

Time for a reality check!

How are you doing with the plan? Are you seeing changes? Are you making changes? Well, if you’re doing it properly, you should be and here’s the hardest fact – if you’re not then you have no one to blame but yourself.

Brutal? Maybe.

Necessary? Absolutely!

The thing is, when it comes to weight loss, I am giving you ALL of the tools here. I have given you the baby steps to put together to create your ideal lifestyle so that you can easily lose weight at the same time as living. If you are not prepared to use these tools properly then you’re not fooling anyone but yourself.

Lets recap the things that you should be doing:

  1. Are you drinking enough water?
  2. Have you worked out your daily calorie allowance?
  3. Are you tracking your daily calorie intake via My Fitness Pal?
  4. Are you tracking your daily calorie intake accurately by measuring all of your food?
  5. Are you hitting your daily step goal?
  6. Are you using the 80:20 rule to avoid binge behaviour?
  7. Are you hitting your daily protein goal?
  8. Are you hitting your daily fibre goal?
  9. Are you planning out your meals in advance?
  10. Are you planning out your exercise sessions in advance?
  11. Are you achieving 5 x 30 minute exercise sessions a week?
  12. Are you doing activities which help you relax?
  13. Are you working on your sleep habits?
  14. Are you being honest with yourself?

If you want to see a difference, like really, truly, honestly want to see a change in yourself the you will already be doing all of the above and have taken responsibility for your actions. If you haven’t made the changes then you need to either accept that you want to be unfit, unhealthy and unhappy OR decide that enough is enough and now is time to put the effort in.

No one can do this for you.

No one will do it for you.

People will question what you are doing.

But once you hit your goal – PEOPLE WILL WANT TO KNOW HOW YOU DID IT!

January – Day 15/31

Good morning, how are we all doing with the plan? If you’re following the rules that you should be starting to notice a difference!

Today I want to touch on eating out. I know, I know, it’s the middle of the longest pay month of the year and it’s not really something you’re thinking about but chances are you’ll be out for a meal somewhere in the not too distant future. Here’s a few hints and tips to see you through these occasions without ransacking all of your efforts towards eating better and losing weight:

  1. Plan Ahead – Know where you’re going? Check out their menu ahead of time and choose what you are going to order. This can help in one of two ways – first off, you can then plan the rest of that day’s meals and activities around what you have chosen for your meal out making sure that you hit your calorie and protein goals for the day. Other than this great planning technique it can also help you make a better food choice to look at the menu prior to going out for the meal and selecting what you’re going to have based on WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM THIS PROGRAM SO FAR:
  2. Choose the higher protein content meals and have them with salad or vegetables instead of chips. This is a great example of how to make the most of eating out AND eating well. It also means a sneaky starter or dessert could be included in there to work with that 80:20 rule!
  3. Be aware of what you are drinking. Choose diet soft drinks or water if you can. Going for alcohol? Check the calorie content out and make sensible choices, again go for a diet mixer for your spirits. Limit the amount of alcohol you consume.
  4. Bypass the bread basket. It’s not necessary, it’s just [white] bread.
  5. Don’t over eat just because you are eating out. Feeling satisfied? Stop eating. It takes your brain a good 15 minutes to establish that the stomach is full. Eat slowly and mindfully and stop before you feel uncomfortable.
  6. Be prepared to see a little increase on the scales the following day. You know you’ve eaten more carbs, more processed items or more sodium (salt) than you’re used to so you should also know that your body will be clinging on to more water; the scales may well show this.
  7. Prepare for your meal out (and follow up). Make sure to drink additional water through the day before you go to eat out and when you get home afterwards. More hydration means less retention. Make sure you’ve done your steps and a 30 minute exercise session.
  8. Enjoy eating out. most importantly, enjoy your meal, enjoy that someone else is cooking for you and doing the dishes. Savour your choices and DO NOT FEEL GUILTY for anything that you have. Just make sure you’re accountable.

The 80:20 rule can be your best friend in an eating out situation and, as much as I don’t really condone it, if you are looking at a big evening out (meal and drinks for example) that’s going to cost you a lot in calories, make sure to have some damage limitation – save some calories from the days running up to your night out. Say you’re on 1700 calories a day, drop it to 1500 calories a day for the 3 days prior to going out (saving 600 calories which you can then use) and then use minimal calories through the day before you go out.

There we go, a quick set of tips for eating out without ruining all your hard work!