Whether you are a stay at home mom or a working mom, or a career mom or a work from home mom, your plate is bound to be super full. Each one of these choices come with a woad load of responsibility and joy and frustration.
I know this because I have tried all of the above mentioned mommy options. I have finally settled on work from home mom who homeschools her children. (The insanity of it… i know. But I love a challenge and I love going against the grain, so hence this crazy choice.)
ANYWAY most moms have a few things in common… firstly we have these tiny, adorable mini humans attached to our sides, they are like little broke best friends who think that your supply of money is endless, that your supply of energy is never ending and that you completely belong only to them. Then we have homes that need maintaining, meals that need cooking, dishes and laundry that need washing. Then some of us have help with these things, so of us do it ourselves. Some of us go to work to earn an income, some of us work from home, some of us do not earn a physical income, but man do we work at home.
Some of us have husbands, others have life partners, other do this amazing job all by themselves. Either way again each of these situations come with their own blessings and challenges.
We all have good days and we all have bad days and we all have tiring days… like today. Our 11 week old bundle of joy has decided that he will sleep, but only if my chest can be his pillow. No to his crib, no to his spot next to me on the bed, no to his pillow on my lap… he needs to be attached to my chest.
Am I the only one who secretly loathed my belly fat?
I very sure that I am not alone in having this secret pet hate for the belly fat that accumulated around my waste, almost like an unwanted medal, signifying that for at least some period of time I had been putting the well being of others above my own well being. I would rather have opted for a crown or a noddy badge, but it is what it is and we all end up with this little problem at some point during our mommy journey.
If you are also anything like me you have tried it all! Apple cider vinegar, lemon water, Cayenne pepper, salt water flushes, no carbs, no sugar…. this list will end up pretty long and pretty pathetic if I don’t stop there.
It was not until i recently started receiving education around healthy nutrition, that could apply my new found knowledge to my post pregnancy belly and viola… my belly fat is now LESS than before I fell pregnant with above mentioned 11 week old.
I want to share 8 of the most dreadful mistakes I made in the 9 years after my last pregnancy, so that you can avoid them and hopefully help yourself get rid of this one pet hate that you can in deed overcome.
1. I did not sleep enough.
I have this terrible habit where I have learned to cope and function super well with only 5 hours of sleep. BUT here is the problem, your body needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep. When you sleep less, your body tries t compensate for the extra energy you need by releasing hormones that increase you appetite, hence you will feel hungrier during the day. When you are tired your ability to resist all the temptations in the fridge and the cupboard is also less. When we are tired we tend to seek out sugary and processed foods. The apples need not hide from me when I make a turn in the kitchen after 10pm… but the kid’s Easter eggs sure need a body guard.
2. I tried to target just tummy muscles during my workout.
I fell for this trick for YEARS. It is the fitness industry’s best kept secret. When you target a specific muscle group, you are only strengthening those muscles. Your are NOT burning the fat that is currently covering those muscles. And very few people will explain that to you.
Just like our fingerprints differ, the sequence in which our bodies empty fat cells also differ, you body might start around your middle, while mine may start around my calves… that is part of your DNA and you can not change that, You just need to keep going until you reach the stage in your sequence where you start losing belly fat.
To burn fat most effectively you need to rather try high intensity interval training. That is activities where you elevate your heart rate for a period of time and then allow it to normalize again and then work to elevate it again. Running after the kids is a good start. Sweeping or vacuuming the house is bound to get that heart rate pumping.
3. I consumed too much sugar.
The worst is I did not even know it. I tried wheat bricks or high fiber bran breakfasts… but no one told me how high in sugar they were. I forced down sports drinks, because I believed them to be healthy… again I had no idea how high their sugar content was. I was also super proud of myself when I picked fruit juices over fizzy drinks… again completely oblivious to the tons of sugar that fruit juices contain.
I happily bought flavoured water and ice tea for my kids… until I read the label. These seem like healthy alternatives, but I felt a bit like an idiot when I actually checked for myself and saw their high sugar content.
When you reduce the amount of sugar and simple carbohydrates you take in you will force your body to go for stored up energy in your fat cells.
4. I ate way too little protein
For the longest time I believed that salad and fruit was all that I needed to eat to get rig of belly fat. How desperate can a person be? Who on earth wants to just eat salad. Well it was not a case of this is what I wanted to do, this is what I resorted to in an attempt to get rid of my little extra roll around my waist.
I recently learned that metabolism takes place in the muscles. It is the process whereby we use energy and it is not the rate at which your stomach juices work. (LOL… I know the weird ideas we have about how our bodies work.) So when you have more muscle mass, your burn more energy to maintain those muscles.
So when you want to burn more fat, you need to build up your lean muscle mass. To do this your muscles need building blocks.. they need protein. I was being completely counter productive by eating what I thought were healthy meals that just comprised of salads.
5. I was stressed and anxious
There is not a person on this planet that does not face some degree of stress or anxiety, unless you are sitting in the corner and you are not participating in life at all. Maybe then you will not experience these two things. I also believe that I am not the only person who reaches for the candy bottle when I am stressed.
The sad reality is that we often soothe our fears with comfort food, which then again creates anxiety while we again soothe with comfort food. The problem is not the food, the problem here is our ability to deal with anxiety.
I have had to learn that no one could be completely positive all the time either. I used to put a whole lot of pressure on myself to be only positive and to be positive all the time. it was only recently that I learned to acknowledge the problems and to admit that I might be worried about certain things.
You see you can not change what you do not acknowledge. You can not change what you deny exists. The key is to not be consumed by worry, because it will not be productive. It is better to pay attention to your worry and then to turn your worry into a victory.
I know this sounds like stuff that not even super woman can apply while changing nappies and wiping boogers, but it is not that difficult. let’s take an example. If you are worried about not having adequate finances, you can be paralysed by fear and do nothing about the challenge, or you can stick your hand in the sand and continue to spend without applying restraint in spite of your concern. Or you could look for an opportunity to earn an extra income without disrupting your current income stream. The latter will be the option that will create the least amount of stress.
6. I was impatient
I forgot that it took years and 2 pregnancies for me to get to have acquired my belly fat medal. How on earth could I really expect it to be gone in just a few weeks. The problem would be that I would wait just a few weeks before I wanted to wear a specific outfit that I would try and get rid of the reason why i would not fit into that outfit. We are good a this as moms. Everyone else is sorted months in advance. We plan and co-ordinate the lives of many and yet so often our own lives are a chaotic mess and only end up taking care of ourselves at the last minute.
often you just need to stick with what you are doing for a while and patiently keep going and stay consistent as you wait fr your results to become evident. You should stick it out for at least 8 weeks before you decide whether it works or not.
7. I was not tracking my progress properly
Your greatest enemy is your bathroom scale. Did you know that your weight may vary at different times of the day! Let alone different times of the month. Your total body weight is a terrible way to measure your progress.
Measuring your centimeters and you body composition is far more effective. I know you probably have no clue what body composition scanning entails. It is the use of a scanner that looks much like a scale, it sends electronic pulses through your body that shows how much water you have in your body, how much lean muscle mass, how much body fat and how much visceral fat etc.
Often our bodies start changing in the inside without us seeing them change on the outside. but the inside changes prepare us for the outside changes.
8. I was yo-yo and crash dieting.
i never knew this but I was being so mean to my already tired and suffering body. By following fad diets like the egg diet, or having zero calories, I put my body into survival mode. When your body is in survival mode, it stores everything we consume as fat. Do you see the problem here? I was achieving the opposite of what I set out to do.
I recently learned that 6 smaller and well balanced meals will get me further than starving myself and having one meal. By eating more often I stimulated my metabolism and this again added my body in burning fat rather than storing it.
The hardest part of this fight against stubborn belly fat is when you feel demotivated. It is those days when you are overwhelmed and tired that you go back to making poor decisions and repeating some of the mistakes we spoke about earlier. it is for this reason that we are starting a belly buster group. Click to join us!
Alternatively let us know which of these mistakes you have been making and then we can help you to correct them with a plan that will suit your schedule.