After pregnancy, the discord between how a woman looks and the way she wishes she looked can lead to low self-esteem.
Most women struggle to shed the extra kilogrammes gained during pregnancy and out of frustration some turn to crash diets, which is not advisable for breastfeeding mothers.
However, Josephine Marcotte, whose son is 17 months old seems to have got it right. And she has done without a personal trainer, working out at home.
She had added 25 kilogrammes during pregnancy and now she has chiselled her abdominal muscles and toned her thighs and arms to perfection.
She says she started exercising six weeks after giving birth.
“I started exercising after my doctor advised that it’s okay. I did not have any complications during delivery and I had a natural birth,” she says.
While she makes exercising after child birth look easy, doing from squats, lifting weights, push-ups using dumbbells, Josephine says it has taken a lot of work to get to where she is at the moment.
“After my first workout, my body was so sore from muscle pain, but I when I commit to do something I do it. I also have a very supportive husband who is into fitness and he takes care of the baby so I can work out,” she says.
Josephine says she not only exercises to get her weight back, but also encourages other women through her social media workout posts.
The fashion designer has always been a fitness fanatic and she exercised even while pregnant.
“I did it until seven months into the pregnancy, then I moved to a new country and I got lazy to work out and that is how I gained 25 kilos,” she says.
After giving birth she says that she really did not like looking at herself in the mirror and every time she did she felt insecure.
Because rapid weight loss can cause a drop in milk supply and increase fatigue, especially for a new mothers, Josephine started working out for one hour, six times a week until slowly she saw her body morph back to what she now takes pride in.
“I wake up at 5am, I do my cardio exercises for 30 minutes and follow it up with another half an hour to one hour of weight training. Since I work out from home, I do this when the baby is asleep,” she says.
The workout did not affect her breast milk production and she breastfed exclusive for six months. Most women who are dissatisfied with their bodies after pregnancy deprive themselves of some foods nutrients for the nursing mother and baby. Women should take time to recover from childbirth and check with their doctors first before starting a fitness regime.
Even after going back to work, the hectic schedule did not stop her from exercising. She says that the secret lies in striking a balance between motherhood, work, and fitness. In six months, she had lost 25 kgs and by the seventh month, she had regained her pre-pregnancy body weight.
“While still breastfeeding, I ate food rich in Omega3, iron, but avoid sugar and salt. All my meals contained proteins, vegetables, and carbohydrates and I avoided unhealthy snacks,” she says, adding that she substituted unhealthy snacks with fruits.
Even after attaining a well-toned — up body, she says it is so easy to gain weight so she now pushes herself even more.
“I know how easy it is to add weight and so hard to lose it. Now I am working on gaining muscles which means I eat more proteins and up the exercises a notch higher. Weight training is the best for toning the body and shaping it the way you want,’’ she says.