I don’t think I have ever wrote a blog post of my journey from the beginning. I’ve done a few posts here and there about little steeps towards my goal but have never written a full story of everything I went through.
Today I got a lot of messages of very motivated ladies ready to change their lifestyle. That is why I decided to write this and I hope it helps at least one of you.
My lifestyle since before pregnancies I was terribly unhealthy. From smoking 1 box of cigarettes a day, to drinking 2-3 bottles of wine a week and not to mention all the meals out and take aways we used to have. The sad part of all this is that my husband used to eat same as me and he NEVER put on a pound (mad face).
Before pregnancies I remember never been happy with my body but I was working full time, commuting to Dublin, getting up early, going to bed too late, that it was nowhere near my mind losing weight or get healthier. I wasn’t prepared to feel limited and hungry as well as feeling stressed from work and exhausted from the 4 hour daily commute.
(Picture above on the left was before pregnancies)
But now, when I see pictures before my pregnancies I wonder how did I not did something about my weight before getting pregnant! (It would have saved me a lot of hard work after I had my fist boy)
Anyway as soon as I knew I was pregnant I quit smoking and obviously drinking any wine at all. But then my thinking was: ‘Sure this is my time to eat whatever I want, Im pregnant” And I remembered a Mexican stunning lady who won Miss Universe in 1991 saying: “Pay attention to me through my pregnancy because is the only time in your life that you will ever see me overweight as I am going to eat as I please” And I took same approach. The only difference is that I wasn’t Miss Mexico beforehand. I had already piled 2 stones! So after a pregnancy full of cravings, pizza, full dinners, desserts, ice-cream, Mexican food, packs of chocolates devoured in the one go I ended up 5 stone overweight.
Then my baby boy arrived. I had a bit of postpartum depression and in top of that I was feeling awful in my own skin. I got obsessed with breastfeeding my baby boy which it wasn’t working too well for me. He was never putting on weight properly so between feeling like a failure for not begin able to breastfeed and begin exhausted for trying to feed him all night long I piled up the pounds.
So from the point I found out I was pregnant to the point my baby was 12 weeks old I had put on 30 kilos! on top of that this was right after Christmas so my new year resolution was to lose weight I had no idea how to, I was alone, my husband was working in Dublin at the time and I have no family around to help so let me tell you this: I was an emotional roller coaster and it was very hard to get motivated. And it was even harder not having a clue what to eat! Everything seemed unhealthy to me: Potatoes? oh no carbs! Bread: carbs!, Chicken: mmm healthy but if I cook it with olive oil I probably get very fat so final point: I didn’t have a clue!
I Started by going on for a few walks. Then I decided to buy insanity (exercise DVD with a guy called Sean T) I look back at me doing that on my sitting and I laugh at myself as I could barely do a jump and jack. But hey at least I was trying. Then, after Sean T didn’t really worked for me I finally joined the gym. As soon as I started the gym I found out I was pregnant again! AGAIN? REALLY URSULA? WTF I told myself! Labour has been one of the most horrific experiences I’ve ever lived. I mean, I adore my kids to dead and they are a dream come true for me. And to be honest the only thing I have ever really cared about is about them begin healthy.
But from there to say that labour was ok HELL NO! so begin pregnant again was such a shock for me. But anyway this time I said: “not going to be feeling sorry for myself and I am going to know exactly how to eat and everything about the nutrients that I need for my baby and to not put on weight!” And that’s what I did. With the internet at our hands, there is really no excuse not to inform ourselves in anything we want to know. I realised that pregnancy is not a time to indulge yourself, all the opposite, pregnancy is the time when you have to eat the healthiest in you life.
That’s what I did. And let me tell you ladies, on my first pregnancy I put on 30 kilos, on my second only 9! My first baby was 8lb 7oz and my second baby 10 pounds!! yes TEN pounds and yes it was what they call normal delivery because to me it was nothing but normal! (hahaha)
Through out all my second pregnancy, I read, study, research everything about diets, nutrients, genes, breastfeeding, etc. So I was able to breastfeed my second baby for 6 months! Which it helped me lose some weight and made me so happy.
If you are pregnant and wonder what’s the best way to eat I wrote a blogpost about it and you can find it here: NUTRITION IN PREGNANCY
Around that time, I opened my Instagram account. I had already lost about 3 stone. I still had 2 more to go. I started to document everything I did, I ate, the diets I was trying etc. A lot of people started to identify and feel motivated losing weight with me.
Now, when I look back I started doing what most people do: NOT EATING CARBS! only protein and vegetables. Whey protein, protein bars etc ( If you go back on my posts you will find all these nonsense) Since I started to study nutrition I realised many things. One of them is that we need carbs, and we don’t need that much animal protein to be in good health and maintain a healthy weight!
I am not going to say that depriving myself from carbs didn’t work, because it did! But there is other ways to lose weight without depriving yourself as I did and as I see other girls doing which only leads them to bounce back.
But anyway, the one thing that kept me going was: HAVING MY STRICTLY WEEKLY CHEAT MEAL! That really motivated me. Every week I always had and still do have my weekly cheat meal on Saturdays! Without a cheat meal ladies it is impossible (for me anyway) to keep going. As weekends as the hardest part as many of us would agree. So i eat all my other meals healthy but Saturday is most of the time, pizza time!
When my second baby was about 4 months I started the gym. I started going just to the treadmill, getting used to the gym and getting used to get up and go. I started by walking 3k, then 5k, then jogging them and once I was able to run 5k in about 32 minutes I felt I had some physical condition to step it up. In my opinion, if you have absolutely no physical condition, it is very hard to get into the gym with a challenging routine. So baby-steps really helped me to get where I am today.
(Same friend, same month, a year apart)
Then I booked a session with one of the trainers in the gym and he gave me a full body workout that was intense enough. You know, burpees, squats, jump & jacks, etc. I remember finding those very hard but after 3 weeks I was doing them no problem.
At that point I felt It was moment to step it up again and between doing my research and talking to a Personal Trainer (Paul Coates whose Instagram page is: @coatsyp21) he gave me some of the exercises in this routine that is the one that I do up to date: MY WORKOUT ROUTINE
This routine has really gave me a lot of strength and I have seen a huge changes since and has helped me to maintain my weigh, grow some muscle and has helped me feel very toned.
Anyway, after working so hard for about 1 year. My husband sister was getting married on May 2014 and that was a huge part of my motivational factor from 2013 to 2014 as I wanted to get into this dress I bought for the occasion and no matter what I had to fit into it:
After this moment. I felt I had accomplish my weight loss, I had accomplished transforming my body. I felt that I could go and reach whatever I put myself into it.
What I regret:
- Not taking more pictures of myself of my before ( I was too embarrassed to see me on pictures) I regret them not to take pictures at my heaviest to use them to motivate myself more when comparing my week to week progress
What I learned:
- Motivation and discipline are two completely different things. You might not be motivated to exercise tonight and motivation is not what will make you get up and go. What it will make you get up and go is actually the discipline you put in yourself
- Before starting a weightless journey you have to sort out your head. Yes, your negative thoughts, your stress, your anxiety, your depression
- A great motivational end will help to make you stronger (for example a wedding, a holiday, etc)
- There is absolutely no need to stop eating carbs, just moderate them!
- Sugar is not that bad for us! what it is bad for us is the amount we intake! So don’t get so obsessed with picking absolutely everything you crave and count the grams of sugar it has! If I crave a chocolate I have it! If I crave Ice-cream I have it! I just don’t have the whole tub or the whole pack.
- What we have to learn is to eat better, not to eat less! A healthy lifestyle never equals feeling hungry! Once you distinguish real hunger from anxiety hunger you are on the other side! Eat when you are hungry, not when you are anxious! Nurture your body!
- Exercise is not only good for you too help you lose weigh, exercise increase bone mass which prevent many horrible deceases as we get older. I t also release stress and endorphins to make us feel better!
My last advice: Eat 3 good meals a day and 3 small snacks. Drink a lot of water, have your cheat meal every week, and most importantly: Learn to love your body!