Never having any weight issues throughout my youth, I was a happy 47-48kg, 5"3 19 year old, when I became pregnant with our first child- SURPRISE!
My body although altered, sprung back into shape quite quickly. After some mental effort I accepted that bigger breasts, widened hips and a small post baby bulge came with the territory. I was not big by any means, but after some weeks was convinced that starving myself was not going to get me back into my original shape and certainly was a main cause of my lack of breast milk. I was having trouble producing enough milk for our baby. I didn't consider exercise as an option.
I took up smoking as I had heard it stopped others from gaining weight.
I didn't have any scales in the house.
I was an average size 8-10.
Two years later, I was pregnant with our second child, and had quit smoking. Whilst pregnant with her I gained 16 kgs. My cravings included loads of junk food- fried dim sims, picnic bars, KFC, hot chips, cordial and so it went on. This was in great contrast to my first pregnancy, when I craved chicken and salad sandwiches and strawberry Big M, as well as copious amounts of fruit.
I successfully breast fed my second child but unlike many others, I didn't experience dramatic weight loss through breastfeeding, in fact I always retained a 'covering' whilst breastfeeding. I was a busy 22 year old wife, mum of two littlies and running a house.
When Baby # 2 was about 6 months old, a friend, 10 years my senior, also with a baby, wanted to shift some weight and found a great current deal with Fernwood Fitness Centre in Bendigo, entitling us to half price membership if we, as two friends, signed up together for a whole year. We did it!
This was my first experience attending any group fitness classes, doing weights, doing any formal or structured exercise and joining a gym.
I became addicted!
I couldn't wait to get there each day. I attended every class that I could, competed daily with myself on the circuit and asked staff any questions I had, always receiving helpful information. My husband worked nights back them and was home during the day to care for the girls while I went to the gym. Due to this we ate our main meal at lunchtime rather than dinnertime. We both felt healthier and even though my husband wasn't exercising we both lost weight as a result of not relaxing on a heavy meal.
My friend's husband worked shifts and was less reliable to care for their baby so she was not able to attend as often as I was. Neither of us were willing to put our children into care. I began looking for extra opportunities to exercise, walking my daughter to 3-y-o kinder rather than drive, walking 5kms to return dvds instead of driving. My friend became somewhat dejected that my body was responding more quickly than hers, staff at the gym explained that this was for the most part due to my youthful age, and that being over 30, she had to work that little bit harder. She stopped attending the gym.
I was 50 kgs in size 7 jeans, everything on my body was firm.
I felt amazing.
Friends and family commented frequently about how good I looked. I was so happy that after two kids, I looked fitter than I ever had. Before children I was skinny, now I was slim but strong! I knew that I was able to get my body back- so I got cocky, and wanted a third child!
I got pregnant straight away and continued at the gym throughout my pregnancy. Fernwood were great at altering my program to accommodate my changing body. I gained 20 kgs! However, my body sprang back better than either of my first two pregnancies. After 4 months, I was back in my size 7 jeans. My baby suffered from terrible reflux, my husband refused to be left with him alone. I couldn't continue at the gym.
We moved to a different town after that, and the one gym there, was not to my satisfaction. Also, I didn't want my young children in care.
My son was 18 months old when he weaned himself. I kept eating as much as I had when I was feeding us both. I was 25, a full time stay at home mum, with my first child now at school about 55kgs. I was busy. I took the plunge and joined the gym. I was going regularly when my husband got home from work in the evenings.
One evening a young woman that worked for my husband, saw me at the gym and told me off for being selfish and leaving him at home with three young children after he had been working hard all day long. I was crushed.
I stopped going in the evenings.
I bit the bullet and against my better judgement, put my two young non-school aged children, in the quite unsuitable gym creche (It was in a garage at the back of the gym, complete with roller doors and punching bags for evening boxing classes). I only used the 'treadmill room' as it was close enough for me to hear what was going on in the creche. My children didn't like it. It wasn't working. I stopped going to the gym- Again.