Have I made a New Year resolution? I’ve had ideas about them but in all honesty none have come to fruition thus far!
There are plenty of challenges to face this year – returning to work, continuing to learn how to parent, etc. As Amelia grows each day and reaches new milestones we are faced with new problems – the most current being how much do we need to baby proof the place and how many stair gates do we need!
Many New Year resolutions revolve around quitting something or dieting or getting fit. The last one is something that I real ought to incorporate into 2016. Just before becoming pregnant I was doing really well and exercising four to five times per week. I hadn’t made significant changes to my diet but liked to think I was eating healthily and making efforts to cut out as much processed food as possible. Things started off well in the early weeks as I was still maintaining the exercise and eating well. Then the morning sickness and tiredness arrived and my efforts waned. I probably lost some weigh in the first trimester due to a lack of appetite. During the pregnancy I gained around 12kg in weight. I started out with a BMI in the ‘normal weight’ range and so this was around the right amount of weight gain for me. Each woman is different and the expected weight gain during pregnancy is influenced by your pre-pregnancy weight. The rumour that we need to eat for two is simply that – a rumour! Up until the third trimester we do not need to take in any extra calories, and during the third trimester we only need an extra 200 calories. This is equivalent to approximately two slices of wholemeal bread or a small bowl of cereal. It is safe to exercise in pregnancy, but you should bear in mind your fitness level and not go from zero exercise to all out high intensity exercise suddenly. Build it up gradually. There’s some good information on the NHS website athttp://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-exercise.aspx#close
During the pregnancy I became very slack with exercise in all honesty. I tried to keep active but rarely participated in specific exercise sessions. From around 22 weeks I started a Pilates class specifically for pregnancy and also pregnancy yoga sessions. I found both of these really great for helping build strength and avoid aches and pains. The yoga also helped prepare me for labour with some breathing techniques and ways to manage the pain of contractions. I changed from standard yoga to aqua-natal yoga at around 33 weeks. The aqua-natal yoga was great as it gave a greater relief from the weight of the bump during the last few weeks. I continued this and the Pilates right up until the week of labour. I then restarted the Pilates after my six-week postnatal check. I continued this regularly until December but have been very slack over the Christmas period!
I have just recently reached my pre-pregnancy weight and fit back into all of my clothes (minus the odd top which still doesn’t accommodate my new chest size). As they rightly say – It takes nine months to make a baby, and your body goes through some significant changes, so expect it to take a similar time period to return to your pre-pregnancy state. At around 10-12 weeks after the birth I went through a period of feeling pretty good as well has having plenty of people about to watch Amelia whilst I exercised, but this didn’t last long and I have been mostly lazy. I can’t say it worried me massively, but in the back of my mind was the feeling that I needed to resume some exercise. When I am in a good routine I feel better in myself, I have more energy (weirdly enough) and I sleep better. There is also the thought that if I were to become pregnant again in future I would like to start off from a good level of fitness and tone.
So in preparation for the New Year I looked at lots of options, including gym memberships. I was close to taking one out with a big chain, since they have crèche facilities. However, when I called them the rate on the website was less than the current rate available. Taking into account that I am now into my 10th month of maternity leave I felt it was a big expense, and considering my track record with gym subscriptions seemed like a possible money pit! So I will continue with my Pilates class and I have got the latest Davina McCall DVD. I have used her DVDs in the past and found them fun and easy to follow. Her latest one also has a five-week plan to follow. So I will give it a go. The aims – get fit and develop strength. I have no desire to lose weight. To support this I am making greater effort to eat well and healthy. I have so far cooked every day bar one this year which, considering the period around Christmas involved numerous takeaway meals, is good going for me! I have got myself a supermarket delivery pass because I find that if I shop online I tend to stick to the list and not end up with lots of snacks and wasted food. I will give you an honest update of how I am doing in February!
In addition to this obvious resolution, I would like to read more fiction, and not just limit it to holidays. I aim to continue to have fun with and give Amelia plenty of my time when I return to work. For her – I’d like to keep her trying a variety of food, and make sure we are really good about reading to her each bedtime. I’m also going to try and use the baby signing more at home so she picks it up and finds it helpful to communicate whilst her speech is developing.
If I can achieve the above this year then I will be more than satisfied. Everything else will be a bonus! Do you have any new years resolutions, or suggestions for how I can maintain mine?