Leonie Pitts had at all times identified she needed to be a mom. However after years of fertility struggles, she and her husband as a substitute determined to undertake, welcoming their daughter Beatrix into their household in Might 2016.
Then, simply over two years later, the seemingly not possible occurred. Leonie conceived naturally: a complete shock. A miracle child.
However the stress of being pregnant after years of traumatic fertility remedies and issues got here with a worth. “I felt that my physician was very blunt with me concerning my weight acquire throughout being pregnant,” says Leonie, a British expat residing in Dubai. “Having didn’t conceive for seven years, I appreciated her treating my miracle child simply as preciously as she felt to me. However infertility points had scarred me mentally and I used to be consistently nervous about miscarrying. Worrying about my weight on prime of all that was an excessive amount of to bear, so I ignored her as a lot as I might.”
Whereas her physician saved giving Leonie additional checks to examine the reason for the additional weight acquire, “in reality it was in all probability largely comfort-eating carrot cake, ice cream and digestives that helped me acquire so many kilos! However I used to be so nervous in regards to the child that I didn’t really feel self-conscious about being larger at first.”
A difficult being pregnant
A month earlier than getting pregnant, Leonie weighed 70kg and was in one of the best form she’d ever been, having gone on a wholesome consuming regime on the run-up to her sister’s wedding ceremony. However as soon as she conceived, the being pregnant undid loads of her good work. “For the primary 19 weeks I felt nauseous all day daily and cried loads. I used to be upset and a little bit ashamed that I wasn’t having fun with the being pregnant I had so longed for. I believed the nausea would magically cease at 12 weeks, however when it continued, it felt prefer it may final endlessly. Fixed carbs had been principally the one factor that will preserve it at bay – loads of bread and biscuits and fruit juice.”
When she went for the anomaly scan at 20 weeks, Leonie was lastly feeling higher. “I had began to really feel kicks and was not feeling in poor health. I had extra power and I used to be feeling excited finally.”
However the scan revealed that she had placenta previa – a situation that put Leonie’s being pregnant within the high-risk class. “As a result of valuable nature of my being pregnant I used to be suggested by my physician to not train and to not journey.”
Journeys house again to the UK had been cancelled, and all makes an attempt at train had been placed on maintain. “I didn’t wish to do something to jeopardize my child’s well being and was frightened of inflicting a bleed and freaking myself out additional, so I principally wrapped myself in cotton wool… and ate cake and ice cream,” says Leonie. “I used to be in survival mode. Sure, I might have eaten much less, however I had a lot else on my thoughts. As long as my child secure, all was OK.”
The newborn bubble
Leonie gave start to her child, Dottie, in July 2019, at a time when most of her mates had been away from Dubai for the summer season. “So I felt little or no stress to get into form, I simply loved being within the new child bubble. Days and nights blurred into one, and I wasn’t actively making an attempt to reduce weight for some time.”
Though Leonie was a second-time mum, her older daughter was past the new child stage when she got here to stay with the household, so Leonie was experiencing the thrill and challenges of this intense part for the primary time. “Breastfeeding and sleep deprivation left me ravenous, so I ate much more than after I was pregnant! I gained much more weight in these first couple of months.”
At her heaviest, Leonie says she weighed 100.6kg. “I wasn’t proud of my form, however I used to be so pleased with my physique for having grown a child, a feat I by no means believed I might obtain. The additional rolls and folds undoubtedly helped with all of the rocking and feeding too!”
Then COVID hit – and any ideas of weight reduction fell by the wayside. “I felt completely uncontrolled of the state of affairs,” says Leonie. “Candy and sugary meals are my largest weak point and had been additionally my largest consolation throughout lockdown.”
“Then one thing snapped”
As lockdown eased and Dubai began opening up into a brand new regular, the additional weight she’d collected began to take its toll. “The relentless failure to suit into any of my garments, endlessly disliking all of the wobbles that stared again at me within the mirror, and being unable to even match into my wedding ceremony rings for over 18 months, simply ended up carrying me down and placing me in a fairly low place, mentally,” says Leonie.
Then sooner or later, when her youngest daughter Dottie was 13 months outdated, “I simply snapped,” says Leonie.
“We had been out for dinner with mates. Certainly one of them was doing a macro weight-reduction plan, wanting fabulous and reducing weight, however seemingly consuming precisely what she fancied that night time. I felt flabby, and sluggish, and depressed in my very own physique. I had hassle sleeping attributable to my excessive sugar weight-reduction plan, and it was beginning to have an effect on the whole lot.”
Leonie determined she’d had sufficient of struggling to seek out one thing that match her in her personal wardrobe. One thing wanted to alter. And now.
“So for as soon as in my life I didn’t watch for a brand new week, I made a decision there after which, Friday 21 August, to dedicate a while to creating a change, for myself. I haven’t stopped since.”
For as soon as in my life I didn’t watch for a brand new week. I made a decision there after which, to dedicate a while to creating a change, for myself. I haven’t stopped since.”
– Leonie Pitts
LEONIE’S WEIGHT LOSS TOOLS
– Each day motivation, quotes from Instagram account @farfromfat126
– Myfitnesspal app to assist monitor meals
– Specializing in a high-protein weight-reduction plan, however nonetheless consuming takeaways, treats and so on
– Progress pictures to maintain up motivation
– Postnatal and baby-friendly health courses with ReBalance ME, beginning two months after start
– Understanding 4/5 occasions per week, generally at 5.30am to slot in round childcare
Leonie determined to start out monitoring macros the very subsequent day. “I awoke, took my measurements, took pictures of myself from every angle, and determined to take management of the state of affairs as soon as and for all.”
The time period ‘macro’ is brief for macronutrient, the three classes of vitamins that offer you most of your power: protein, carbohydrates and fat. So counting macros simply means counting the grams of proteins, carbs or fats that you simply’re consuming. “Macro monitoring, which is actually only a extra detailed model of calorie counting, has merely helped me to gauge how a lot I actually wish to eat one thing, and educated me in order that I could make smarter decisions,” explains Leonie. “The myfitnesspal app, which I’ve additionally used up to now however not in such element, has been a useful instrument to assist me on my weight reduction journey.”
Leonie says the important thing for her has been that she will be able to nonetheless eat the meals she loves, however sparsely, “so it avoids that starve after which binge cycle of consuming that usually comes with weight-reduction plan for me, and by no means works. Alongside the way in which I’ve had dinners out, take aways, truffles, pasta, the whole lot. I’ve simply counted it and had smaller parts, but it surely hasn’t felt like a restrictive weight-reduction plan, as a result of I’ve been capable of eat precisely what I would like, and that’s how I’ve been capable of preserve going.”
Macro monitoring has labored higher than any weight-reduction plan or health regime Leonie has tried earlier than. “I had no thought I’d stick at it for thus lengthy, or surpass my weight reduction purpose with ease. I’m now the slimmest and fittest I’ve ever been in my grownup life. Exercising has grow to be my meditation, a approach to clear my head, and I really get pleasure from it. Getting up earlier than the children to carve out some me time very first thing places me in a significantly better temper for the day. And consuming mindfully has now grow to be second nature too.”
Leonie’s weight reduction journey
Heaviest Put up-pregnancy weight: 100.6kg in September 2019
Weight now: 63kg in 2021
Leonie says: “I misplaced the primary 10kg fairly simply, I presume loads of it was water retention, my ankles! Then the subsequent 10kg took loads longer – over a yr. The ultimate 17kg took some dedication. In August 2020 I used to be 79kg and my purpose was to get to my pre being pregnant weight, 70kg. However I’ve been shocked that one other 6kg has come off since, purely from me main a extra energetic life-style and never having loopy cheat days or binges like I used to. The numbers aren’t a giant deal to me anymore, it’s about how I really feel.”
In flip, consuming the next protein weight-reduction plan and having 37kg much less weight to hold round has given her a lot extra power too. “I sleep higher, and I lead a way more energetic life-style lately, with out it feeling like a chore. I’ve created new wholesome habits for myself and it feels so good!”
Recommendation for others
Leonie says that taking management of her weight has given her a function and path at a time when there was a lot uncertainty. “I’ve actually loved having one thing that I can management, significantly within the loopy world that we’re residing in proper now! It has been empowering to take cost of one thing, and do it only for myself. Plus I’ve actually observed my daughters take an curiosity in my health journey too – setting a superb instance to them has been an sudden bonus I hadn’t even thought-about earlier than.”
She shares her journey on her Instagram web page @leonieash, the place she additionally provides recommendation for anybody else who is likely to be trying to reduce weight: “Hindsight is a superb factor, and it’s a lot simpler to say this now, having come out the opposite facet, than it might have been to listen to it again then, however, if I might have I’d have advised myself sooner, ‘The one one that can take management of your weight and make a distinction is you. You gained’t really feel higher about your self till you do one thing. What are you ready for? Do it now. Do it for you. I promise when you get going it’s simpler than it appears, and oh so satisfying!’”
Is there an excessive amount of stress for mums to lose child weight?
However new mums have greater than sufficient to consider. Plus our our bodies have grown a human! Everybody wants time to recuperate.
Being pregnant and start are a very transformative expertise, each bodily and mentally. However for me, I’m so pleased to have turned that right into a optimistic. Fairly than bemoaning all my physique has been via I can marvel in any respect it has achieved. Having seen simply what a miracle my physique is able to (rising a human) has made me realise simply how wonderful my physique is. And in flip, not solely has it pushed me to check my limits and see how far I can go together with power and endurance, fitness-wise. It has additionally made me admire a lot extra simply how particular it’s. My physique is worthy of being cared for and sorted correctly, with good meals and train.
I’m all for physique positivity. We’re all totally different. Everybody recovers in a different way. And everybody has a special pure form and measurement to one another too. However I additionally consider that there are too many Mums who write themselves off, resigning themselves to the truth that as a result of they’ve had children (which has stretched their physique in unimaginable methods) and since they now put themselves final (prioritising these children) they’re destined to by no means be proud of how they give the impression of being ever once more. Giving start and being a mom doesn’t need to really feel prefer it has damaged you, as a substitute it could actually empower you.
Girls’s our bodies are wonderful, we’re unbelievable. And I’ve by no means felt so pleased in my very own pores and skin, more healthy, or extra in tune with my physique and its wants. I’m so pleased with myself. And I hope that by sharing my journey, that others see that they’ve the ability to really feel the identical method. They only have to start out and preserve going, sooner or later at a time.
I like nothing greater than a message from somebody who has been impressed by my run, or weight reduction, and has began their very own journey and is seeing outcomes and feeling actually pleased with themselves. It brightens my day pondering I could make a distinction. As a result of I’ve been there, in that rut, feeling completely depressed about my physique, and it feels SO GOOD to really feel in management once more. However there’s no secret, anybody can do it with sufficient dedication. You simply have to actually wish to make a change.