Monday 28 March 2011

Downsized From Plus Size

I gained a grand total of 23kg (50.6 lbs) during my pregnancy and lost only 4kg (8.8 lbs), which included the weight of my baby (she weighed 3.4kg (7.5 lbs) at birth) plus placenta and etc, just after giving birth (read my baby girl's birth story). I lost another 12-13kg after that, bringing my total weight loss to date to 17kg (37.4 lbs)!
Before and After
They say it's because I'm young (thank God for that) and it's only my first child so that's why I'm able to lose the weight so fast. But I also believe it's due to my post-natal 'workouts'. Want to know my secret?

1) Breastfeeding
My baby was greedy when she was in my tummy (why did you think I gained an astonishing 23kg!?) and she was greedy when she came out. After giving birth to her just one hour before, my doctor asked me if I wanted to try breastfeeding her and I said ok. She started nursing immediately, which amazed my OBGYN who said babies usually don't do that so early.

She used to nurse every 1-2 hours for approximately 12 times a day at about 120ml (4oz) of milk each time. That's 1440ml of milk a day, 43200ml of milk a month. You can imagine how many calories my body is using to manufacture my baby's milk. Plus breastfeeding shrinks your uterus so your tummy will feel flatter.

I'm still breastfeeding her, which probably explains why I'm still losing weight even though I hardly ever exercise. Worked out just great for me :))

2) Post-natal Massage
Recommended by a friend of the hubby, I engaged a masseus from Origins Jamu Massage, which was founded by Rebecca Chan, a mompreneur and blogger. After giving birth to her 2 girls, she experienced typical post-natal pains and engorgement from breastfeeding and decided to give post-natal massage a try. The benefits she experienced convinced her to promote it so that other mothers could enjoy the same benefits.

We decided to go for the 7-sessions package as we didn't know how good it was so didn't want to commit to the 10-sessions package. Honestly, I should have gone for the 10-sessions package as I liked it so much.

My masseus was a Malay lady by the name of Zue and she was very patient and understanding (she has 4 kids herself so she knows how I feel). Her skills were fantastic too. You can't believe the kind of pressure she exerts by just looking at her small frame. She literally kneaded all my cellulite away! But be warned, the massage can be very painful as its purpose is to get rid of all the toxin that is built up in your body and not so much for your comfort.

After the session she will rub your tummy with a special concoction of ginger and other herbs and wrap your tummy with an indonesian cloth binder to tighten your tummy. You have to wear it for at least 6 hours straight or it wouldn't work.

I enjoyed every session and lost about 5-6 kg (11-13.2 lbs), which were mostly from water retention and shrinking of the uterus. I'll definitely recommend it for all new mothers :))

3) Workout Footwear
I'm wearing the classic Walkstar sandal in Fuchsia
Fitflop is the brainchild of Marcia Kilgore. Finding it hard to find time to exercise as a new mother, she wanted to create a product that helped her to exercise while she went about doing her daily activities. And since she walks everyday, it dawned on her, "why not make shoes that can help you to exercise at the same time?"

And so Fitflop was born. It is now the footwear rage that has overtaken Crocs and Birkenstocks in my opinion (I see everyone wearing them). They are comfortable and really work your leg muscles. They're my go-to pair of footwear. I wear my Walkstar everyday. So do my sister, my cousins and my friends. My feet doesn't hurt anymore even from walking long distance. It therefore encourages you to keep walking because your feet doesn't hurt, which also contributes to your workout. I can honestly say I have a toner butt because of it *grinz*

There are only two disadvantages to this product: 1) It's relatively expensive! The cheapest pair costs S$89.90, which may be a lot to pay for a pair of sandals that isn't even Gucci if you know what I mean; 2) Once you own a pair of Fitflops, you won't buy another pair of lousy footwear ever again cos they will all feel really uncomfortable to you. And really good footwear is expensive! Shoe shopping for you will never be the same again (for your feet as well as your pocket).

Good things don't come cheap. As the Chinese saying goes 一分钱一分货 which means that you will get what you pay for. Certainly worth every penny I paid :))

4) Swimming
Let me be clear that I hate jogging. It makes me all sweaty and breathless. But put me in the water and off I go like a mermaid. Ok maybe not exactly like one..
Photo taken by my underwater-friendly Olympus
I can swim laps and not feel tired (not until I reach home that is). Plus you get a great workout without feeling the sticky-ness and sweat you'd normally feel after an hour at the gym. Perfect for me!
Only problem is we live too far away from a swimming pool and I am not motivated to travel all the way for a swim unless I have company. But most people around me prefer jogging (which remember I hate) to swimming. Now I can only pray for my swimming buddy to get back from Shanghai to kick-start our swimming routine again!

5) Lifting Weights
And by weights, I mean my 10.5kg (23 lbs) baby girl.
Baby J was 10.5kg the last time we weighed her
As the only way she can sleep is by me rocking her up and down in my arms, I get a workout on my tummy, thigh and arm muscles. Sometimes I add a little leg lifts to work my inner thighs, some side steps, etc.

Occasionally I lift actual gym weights to tone my arms and do actual sit-ups and crunches to tone my stomach. You gotta work those muscles if you wanna survive taking care of my girl.

And there you have it! I've still got 6kg (13.2 lbs) more to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy body (I can just see it!) and hopefully I will be able to reach my goal in time for my good friends' wedding in October as I will be one of the bridesmaids and their wedding coordinator. Wish me luck!
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