Although I was never overweight, I had forever been uncomfortable with the way I looked and would often fluctuate weight quite drastically by jumping on and off fad diets. Everything from cutting out whole food groups (with keto and paleo eating plans) to going on short bursts of shake or juice only diets. It was frustrating, boring, unhealthy and at the end of it all, ineffective.
I wasn’t happy with how I looked, nor felt. I was running myself into the ground with the hours spent at the gym and on the cardio equipment, and it reached a point where nothing was changing. I had most definitely hit a plateau and I wasn’t even close to where I wanted to be health and fitness-wise. Sure, I had a decent level of fitness and strength to be proud of, but something about the gym and the standard way of weight lifting was just wearing me down – mentally and physically.
Once I found out I was pregnant I knew major changes where on the way – whether I liked them or not! A lot of these changes were out of my hands and I had to accept nature would run its course. Naturally, I was going to gain some weight. I was also more than likely going to have days, even weeks, where I didn’t want to go to the gym and as my pregnancy progressed, my training intensity was going to decline. I did, however make a conscious decision to completely overhaul the way I had viewed my training and eating habits. No more crash diets and depriving myself of whole food groups (read: carbs) I was going to eat a rounded, well balanced diet and if I felt like eating something “unhealthy” at times, I was going to do it! I was also going to completely overhaul the way I viewed training and the time I spent working out. Less is sometimes more and I was soon to discover the truth in that!
My husband, Matt, had recently stopped going to the gym and lifting weights and began to train with body weight workouts only. Partly so he could do the workouts at home and spend more time with me after being at work all day and partly because, like me, he had hit a plateau in the gym and was sick of the same boring, overcrowded gym floor! Matt wrote me up a program of workouts I could do at home, using zero gym equipment, all I needed was myself, and the occasional chair or bench.
I love the training and the fact I could do it in the privacy of my own living room when I didn’t want to face the world. I obviously went through periods where I had zero energy to train on top of feeling sick, but I continued to do this type of training during my pregnancy. Although I was gaining weight naturally through the pregnancy, I felt my strength improve as well as my fitness. Plus I was getting it done in a quarter of the time I used to spend working out. I felt more comfortable exercising and I loved having a plan that would allow me to exercise anywhere! I put on 16kg throughout the entire pregnancy. I was definitely on the smaller size in terms of showing and even though any fat gain can be quite daunting for most women, I had an acceptance of it and knew I had found something that would help me get back to shape.
After our beautiful son was born, I had a few weeks of getting to know him and getting used to motherhood before I slowly got back into body weight training at home. I would start with doing 15-20 mins in my living room while my son slept and gradually built that up to where I was back doing 45 minute sessions. Matt updated my program as I progressed and most sessions would comprise of high intensity training which would help get my cardio in at the same time as strength training. This is perfect for anyone, let alone new mums, killing two birds with one stone. Getting both resistance and cardio training in together is the reason I am feeling so confident in myself today.
Six months postpartum I had lost all 16kgs of pregnancy weight plus another 8-10kgs of pre-pregnancy weight. I had lost 26kgs in six months, all from my living room – no gym membership, no expensive equipment and no overcrowded, intimidating gym floors. I credit my husband for helping me with a plan to be able to make such a transformation and give me back my confidence. Finally, I am proud of what I see in the mirror and how I feel. No longer do I deprive myself of foods or go on crazy fad diets. I eat whatever I want within my limits. I know my macronutrients and how many calories I should eat each day to achieve the results I want and this is key. It makes it a lifestyle. I can go out for dinner or eat a bag of popcorn while watching a movie, it’s sustainable and that’s what healthy living is all about.
THE END RESULT
After dropping 26kgs in six months (all from working out and home without any equipment) as well as Matt having his own super impressive body transformation, we started an online personal training business – Body Weight Built – where we now coach people worldwide using the same body weight training methods for success! Matt and myself are passionate about body weight training and the benefits it has, we love coaching others on how they will transform their bodies and bring freedom into their lives without feeling they are tied to a gym.
A WORKOUT YOU CAN DO AT HOME
One minute of each exercise, resting two minutes at end of each round = 30 min total body workout.
No stopping in between:
- Push ups (off knees is needed)
- Star Jumps
- Bench dips
- Heel tap crunches
- REST 2 MIN
While exercise is encouraged for a healthy mum and bub, standard medical practice is to recommend waiting six weeks after a vaginal birth and eight weeks after a caesarean. Always get get your doctor’s go ahead before returning to rigorous exercise.