Wellbeing

Why the scales don’t count. {My postpartum conclusion}

October 16, 2016

I can see the eye rolls as this post airs.

Finding itself disappearing into the plethora of “postpartum blogposts ” and “weight doesn’t matter” memoirs.

Nonetheless, I have my own audience and ultimately I am speaking to you my dear friend.

Women who have stuck with me through this journey of self discovery, who have engaged with me and sent e mails or texts about their own struggles.

Those of you who stop me in the shops to say you started a kettle bell class after seeing my video, or made the decision to commit to two instead of three nights a week pilates classes when you realised it’s just not possible to do it”all”.

I love being surrounded and inspired by women like you, in my repertoire, who consistently let go of the need for the “perfect body” as defined by our air brushed society.

Seeing self worth as a better guide than any scales or numbers on a machine – you my darling are who this is for.

To give you a bit of background on me and my “journey”.

I had pneumonia a few years ago which led to a re think about my life in general. Also tied into this was my emotional battle with wellbeing when I had two small babies under three years old. Read more here.

Fast forward to a growing business, a better sense of worth after I put my priorities into check (God, family, health) and now we have our third baby bundle (read our adoption story here) and I am happily on the postpartum high line once again.

My words and unchartered wisdom is not for everyone.  There are bits about this post that are definitely geared towards those among us who love fitness, that’s just where I find myself and this blog.

There are plenty of posts out there just as vocal on the topic of weight and body image like this (topic – can you lose weight without exercise?) or this ( topic – my real postpartum body) which target from a different angle and may suit you better.

Furthermore the pre cursor to this post can be seen here on my blog entitled “My postpartum body- part 1″

I’m interested in real people. Mainly but not indefinitely, young Mothers who find themselves up four hours in the night, who still manage to pack kids off to school, run businesses, hold down a 9-5 job, home school their brood, train in ten minute windows so they feel strong and have freedom to move the glorious body God has gifted them.

If you fall into this category or around the outskirts- YOU are the person I want to know that goals can be achieved, in your timeframe, with your workload and using your brain and willpower.

Back to the topic…

Due to complications I could only train weeks 6-13 and then weeks 22-39 during my pregnancy. I trained at 37/38 weeks here with Ian Young and swam 200 lengths a week. It felt good even if I was slow.

I looked like this a few weeks before I had our third son.

Processed with VSCOcam with f3 preset

And this the day before giving birth. Brace yourselves…

IMG_6338

Then I gave birth to a beautiful 9 pound baby boy. My birth story (without the gory details) can be read here.

FullSizeRender-27

The week after I had the baby I looked like this picture below and weighed 69kg.

To be fair I look at this image now and think what was all the fuss about- I looked bloody good for having survived a week postpartum with three boys and a hubby back at work.

IMG_6965

I power walked from two weeks postpartum, eventually training lightly at the gym ( spin classes, bodyweight work, light weights) from five weeks. I looked like this and still weighed 69kg. In my husband’s boxers and all..

IMG_8428

I wore a girth for my split abs which I hated. Sweated like a beast, trained at the gym every day, continued breastfeeding and wanted badly to wear a sign or to stop people to scream  “I HAD A BABY EIGHT WEEKS AGO, that’s why I look like this!!”.

Because, like the rest of us, I fall short and allow myself to think I don’t look good, or “up to scratch”.

Then fourteen weeks hit. I still didn’t fit into my clothes but I started to feel myself again. All the while still weighing 69kg.

IMG_9496We get to the stage where I stop feeding, baby goes into his own room, I continue to train hard and walk everywhere I can with the buggy. My body fat percentage drops and muscle mass (I use the boditrax machine at my gym) increases which makes me feel good.

Yet my weight on the scales stays the same. Really?

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

My melter brain takes a beating and I decide that I must be doing something wrong. Surely the weight should be shifting?

I decide to download My Fitness pal and count my macros- something I made fun of friends for doing over the years.

It turned out to be such a fun thing to do, and insightful. I was able to track where I got my fats from. It turned out I ate way too many “good fats”.  I counted my prosecco and sweet treats.

With my walking and daily training at the gym I always had calories left over. I wasn’t sure if it was weight I wanted to lose, which ultmately is the aim of the app.

I just wanted to look and feel lean. The weight issue was more to do with my warped perspective of how I thought I wanted to look.

Three weeks later, not even being that strict, I decided to hop back onto the boditrax because I knew I was feeling so much stronger and felt more muscular (which was my aim. As I say at the start- you may not be into fitness physique and that’s ok. This was my own goal and driving force. Feeling and looking strong).

To my surprise I was down from 29% body fat in June to 16.2% now in October.

From my past experience I don’t reckon I would be 16% body fat if you did the fat pincher test on me. The boditrax scans your body internally and externally. It is very detailed including water retention and BMI. So, because I have used it since June I am fully believing this reading it gave me and I am owning it.

How and ever, I STILL WEIGH 69KG!!

Can you imagine my eyeballs squinting at the machine that tells me I am down in body fat, I am up in muscle but STILL the same weight I was when I had full boobies of milk, an ass riddled with cellulite and a jelly belly!?

IMG_1155

So I look at myself and I KNOW I have changed yet I worry about the scale reading. That 69kg rattling arund my brain.

But you know what – I’m owning it girls, I am owning that body fat decrease. I have worked hard and I think it shows.

In a nutshell, I walk 15,000 steps a day, I nourish my body with greens, carbs and protein. I run after my kids, I train once a day in the gym or at home ( a mixture of body exercises and weights ) in some format (follow my instagram stories for a heads up on that).  I sleep as much as my five month old allows.

I constantly, CONSTANTLY have to check myself and give myself a break.

So there you have it. A body which has essentially transformed in that I have shred the fat and turned it to muscle.

FullSizeRender (1)

But the scales have stayed the same. 69kg to 69kg. 

Keep going girls. Allow yourself the treat if it means your weekend won’t be a write off. Stick the motivational quotes around the house if you know that’s what keeps you going.

Don’t, please don’t refer to yourself as “fat” in front of your children or anyone from the generation below us. They have enough to deal with, without us projecting our negativity and degrading our self worth in their presence.

You are made, you are beautiful and those scales need not be your focus.

All my love and best wishes.

A few words on the subject of same weight different shape from professional Hollie Edgar of Tribal fitness Belfast.

“When we are on our weight loss journey, many can get caught up in the numbers on our scales. Getting leaner and fitter does not necessarily mean getting lighter. I’m always trying to encourage my women to become more familiar with their OWN bodies. How it changes visually and how it feels in clothes. Another great indicator is during physical exercise you will find movement so much easier as excess body fat is being decreased, it may not show in numbers, but the body becomes much more dynamic and you begin to feel more physically capable. That is so much more rewarding than a decrease on the digits.”

And from Ian Young of ifitNI

“In terms of weight loss markers such as inches lost, skin folds are paramount above weight loss.

Body composition changes should be measured on several factors as above – skin folds and measurements should be forefront in your mind, the scales obviously are a good marker, but they lie – you can drop 4/5% body fat , look leaner, be stronger, fitter and gain weight!!

So scales in my opinion aren’t the most accurate form for tracking your body composition.

Unfortunately females are transfixed by the scales !”

If you like my blog you have two options. You can get every post I have (normally three times a week max) to your inbox as they air. OR you can drop your e mail here on my website to get my fortnightly/sometimes monthly newsletter which includes some of my blogposts.

6 Comments

  • Reply Katie @ Live Half Full October 17, 2016 at 1:22 am

    I’m almost a year PP and still weigh about 10 lbs more than when I had my son. It’s true the scale is a hard measure, but I’m not in my pre-baby pants yet. That’s my goal! Thanks for your honestly.

    • Reply Aly October 17, 2016 at 10:45 am

      Good on you lovely! Just know that it’s how you feel- we are so hard on ourselves! The baby will be six months next month and I have to keep reminding myself he is tiny, so listen to me when i say that a one year old is also still TINY! Thank you for taking the time to read the blog and comment. Happy monday x

  • Reply Michelle de silva October 17, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Aly this is so encouraging to read.. I started the couch to 5K 5 months ago & weigh myself every 6 weeks or so & have not lost a single pound, I’m enjoying running even if it only is twice a week but feel better for it, & I know my shape has changed. Plus I’m nailing the 5k with times of under 30mins, so I guess the scales are totally not accurate lol!! Thanks for sharing this xx

    • Reply Aly October 17, 2016 at 7:54 pm

      Hello and thanks so much for reading Michelle! I really appreciate it and also I am THRILLED that you are enjoying running. Four kids don’t hold you down- awesome!! The scales are the worst. No matter what I did, I kept gravitating towards them even though I knew they would make me feel so bad after I spotted that nothing hand changed on the figure. Go by your clothes, also your skin totally glows every morning that i see. So things are working! Thanks again x

  • Reply Rosie Simms April 19, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Hey Aly, bit late to the party reading this but have found both posts about your postpartum journey so helpful. I’m finding it really hard this time round as I’ve got that split abs thing & my tummy is looking quite scary to be honest! I know you’ve worked so hard to get to your amazing bod in your recent shot & it gives me hope I can move forward with my training & see results (hate thinking of it as ‘getting back’ your pre baby body…make bing forward is so much more positive!). Anyway, thanks again for sharing, so helpful as always lovely xx

    • Reply Aly May 21, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      So sorry for the delay on this Rosie! Thank you for reading and I am so glad it hits gome in some wya for you- post baby is HARD in so many ways ever mind anything related to our bodies. I hope you are enjoying the journey with munchkin. Happy sunday xxxx

    Leave a Reply

    You Might Also Like