Friday 15 June 2018

LIFESTYLE: How I Lost 1 Stone in 5 Weeks as a Busy Parent

This post has been sitting in my drafts for months and months now, partially I think due to fear but also because I don't want to in anyway suggest new mums need to lose weight. Each to their own and I certainly am no expert, but when Poppy was 8 weeks old I decided to try and eat healthier, control my portion sizes and get moving. Fast forward 5 weeks and I was one stone lighter, which I've managed to keep off. I've still got more weight to lose in an attempt to be healthier, but I thought I'd share how I lost my first stone with life as a mummy to two children.

Back when I was pregnant with Isabella I put on four stone, much of which I didn't lose in between giving birth and getting pregnant with Poppy. I just wasn't focused and didn't want it enough to make it work. I told myself I didn't have time to exercise, there was far too much snacking on biscuits blamed on needing the 'extra energy' for breastfeeding and all my time was focused on Isabella. I didn't give myself any 'me time', which had a negative impact on my weight. Determined not to make the same mistake again I really wanted to get down to a healthier weight after giving birth to Poppy.
^Before - Poppy was 1 week old^
Luckily after giving birth to Poppy I had only gained a few pounds, but that didn't change the fact that I still hadn't lost my 'baby weight' from Isabella's pregnancy. Now I'm not one for weighing myself usually (I hadn't weighed myself for the past 2 years), but I was intrigued to know how much I'd put on this time so stood on the dreaded scales. Since starting this healthy lifestyle journey I have only weighed myself once a week to monitor the change, though to be honest the only thing that really matters to me is how I feel, not the numbers on a screen. 

Starting to exercise is the thing that has had the biggest impact on how I am feeling, now I understand it when people say that exercise gives you more energy! I was only doing between 10-20 minutes a day, barely anything in the scheme of things, but it's 100% more than I was doing and is all I could fit in each day. I woke up at 5am and feed Poppy, then around 6am I'll head downstairs to do a workout video from YouTube. I know it probably sounds silly, but it is the only 'me time' I used to get in a day and I loved it! It felt so good to get moving because sometimes it feels like all I did is sit on the sofa and feed Poppy. Below are some of the workouts I've been doing from YouTube:
(I am a complete beginner when it comes to exercise)

If you know of any easy but effective 10-20 minute workout videos on YouTube please let me know - I've found it key to mix up the workout each day otherwise I dread it or get bored.

Now on to the food side of this healthy lifestyle change, my favourite part! I am such a big foodie, always have be and always will be. I love home cooking, baking and experimenting with food, so trying to restrict my intake is always the part I find the hardest about losing weight. I don't eat rubbish, we have home cooked meals every night, the very odd takeaway (luckily nowhere delivers to us anyway) but my portion sizes are too big. It's as simple as that. I'm also a vegetarian, so that has an impact on what I can eat and does mean we have to cook two separate meals each night (my husband eats meat). In many ways this makes it easier to adapt my meals because I already cook something separately, here are some of the meals I've been enjoying...

Strawberries and Grapes with Yogurt 
Fried Egg White (in FryLight) in a Sandwich Thin
GoAhead Bar
Fruit Salad
1/2 carton of Soup with Ryvita Crackerbreads
Ryvita Thins with Hummus and Crudite 
Rice Cakes with Hummus and Grated Carrot
Courgetti with Roasted Vegetables and Quorn Fillet in 1/2 tub of Tomato & Mascarpone Sauce
Falafel with Couscous, Roasted Vegetables and Hummus
Mushroom Stroganoff with 1/2 pack of Microwavable Long Grain Rice  (using *this* GoodFood recipe)
Red Pepper and Chickpea Chana with Basmati Rice and Poppadums 
Winter Vegetable Bake  (using *this* GoodFood recipe)

Snacks & Treats 
Cadbury Little Bars
Original Ryvita with Nutella
Green and Black's Ginger Dark Chocolate 
Chocolate Chip or Caramel Snack a Jacks 
Fibre One Chocolate Fudge Brownie
Options Hot Chocolate with Light Squirty Cream
Digestive Milk or Dark Chocolate Thins 
Sweet & Salty Popcorn 
Fresh Berries drizzled with Choc Shot
Party Rings Mini 
Maintaining is always the tricky part for me, but I've managed to maintain this weight loss (plus lose a bit more) for the past 10 months by adopting the week day rule. I try really hard to eat healthy/less calories during the week and then eat what I like at the weekends. This is the way I find I can maintain any weight I lose without feeling deprived or always thinking about food! I know that at the weekend I can treat myself to a couple of slices of toast in the morning or the odd slice of cake if we're out as a family. Life is all about balance after all.

Feel free to leave a comment - I love reading every single one :)

Helen x

*Disclaimer - I am only sharing my experience of changing to a healthy lifestyle and weight loss. We are all different. 


  1. Wow sounds like you have had impressive first results but I do agree it’s all about balance which is so important in being able to sustain a healthy lifestyle and weight.

  2. You've done so well and your food plans are really impressive, I need to get back into healthier eating as I'm doing so badly x

  3. Well done! After putting on 30kg wth my twin pregnancy it feels like its taken forever to start shifting that weight but my pants are low loose! Taking care of 'me' though is still the most difficult.

  4. Well done, I really need to lose weight for my upcoming wedding as I still have 'baby weight' from my last pregnancy and my son is now 3! I have started eating healthier but really need to get more active, I will have to give the exercise dvds a go x

  5. Wow, that's a ton of weight to lose! Love that you start off with a disclaimer about mums not needing to lose weight but we have to do what makes us feel better about ourselves and if you (or anyone else) wants to lose baby weight, then good on you! I think that most people fail because their diet becomes restrictive thinking that they will go back to eating normally when they've lost weight. The secret to keeping it off is to eat everything, in moderation. Depriving yourself of something only makes you want it more! I am like you - my portions are WAY too big, which is always a problem!

  6. That's really good, I can't get myself into a good routine with exercise after my back operation as everything I do hurts too much. So I find it so frustrating! This is a good way to do it and good food choices too. Thanks for sharing

  7. I found this really interesting to read as I’m in a similar boat to you. I never really lost all my baby weight after having Luke and now I find myself with one month to go before I give birth. I definitely want to try and shed some baby weight afterwards, I mean, I have been eating a lot of cake lately! Love that you have your weekday rule, that’s such a great idea !

  8. Well done, I love your approach as I think its so important to not crash diet and to still include treats. You sound like you have a very healthy attitude to weight over all which Is so important x

  9. I love the Fit Sugar workouts ones too. The girl who does them is so fun. I think she is called Hannah? Well done for losing a stone. you must feel so proud! I am on the same journey so fingers crossed I get the same results

  10. Well done :) I try and walk at least a mile in the morning and run 2 x a week and that works for me at the minute.

  11. Congrats on your weightloss!
    My son is 12 weeks old tomorrow. I currently am getting over the flu, but once I'm better I am getting back into my exercising. I love following Yoga With Adriene on YouTube. She has tons of amazing, free, easy to follow videos.
    Truly a life saver and I've been following her on & off for years.
    I also love doing 15-20 minutes of Walk Away The Pounds with Leslie Sansone if I feel like picking up the pace a bit. Her videos are insanely easy to follow and I've been following her since I was about 14 and started doing them when my mom would do them!
    Most of her videos are on YouTube as well.
    I wish you all the best in your journey! Let me know if you try either of these ladies programs. They really are my favorites!

    ~ Ray


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