After giving birth to my first born, I opted to be a stay at home mother to take care of my child. Because I was always at home, I did not pay much attention to what I ate. I would eat anything from bread, drink a lot of porridge and eat a lot of food thinking that this way I would have enough breast milk. This was made worse by the fact that I continued wearing my maternity clothes, which blinded me to the fact that I was gaining a lot of weight.
One day, while attending a graduation ceremony with my husband, a photograph opened my eyes to the fact that I had gained too much weight. Next to my slender husband, I looked so big. I started feeling uneasy and out of place.
When I returned home, I tried to wear clothes that used to fit me perfectly could nolonger fit, something that had not bothered me before, more so because I would never leave the house. On weighing, I realised that I was now 85 kilogrammes. I detested the thought of looking older than my husband and knew that if I continued like this, my health would be at risk.
I knew I needed to do something immediately. I was almost graduating and because I had already designed a slim fitting dress, I decided to use this as a yardstick to lose weight.
In a fit of desperation, I began walking up Mbuya hill. I could not jog, owing to a fracture I had suffered years ago. However, I had to do this with my baby on the back because I had no one to leave her with. Regardless of how much I loved it, I opted out because my back was strained after doing it for almost two weeks.
I also tried drinking hot water with lemon but stopped the lemon on learning that it was drying up the breast milk. Then I ventured into going to the gym. However, on my first day, the energetic instructor took me through a gruelling workout that at the end of two days, my body hurt so much that I had to quit.
My options were limited at this time so I resorted to skipping. To ensure that I got optimal benefits from it, I did it on an hourly basis.
I also started watching my food portions. I ate supper no later than 8pm, consumed less millet porridge, reduced on the amount of carbohydrates, ate less fried foods but more fruits, and took a lot of juice and warm water. I made myself a food time table to follow weekly.
“I also did not have a maid and did all my household chores. I lost 15kgs within one-and-a-half months. Thereafter, I dealt with the flabby arms and tummy. For these, I did a number of exercises such as planks, sit-ups, leg raises, bridge, jumping jacks, and arm circles,” she says.
After losing the excess weight, I no longer feel constantly tired, I sleep better, my clothes fit and my confidence has grown.
Losing weight also helped me during my second pregnancy and after giving birth. This time it was easier to shed off the weight because I knew how, what and when to eat. Additionally, I breastfed for two years and within one year, I was back to 60kgs.
“It is not easy but when you put your mind to it, it is possible to lose weight after giving birth. I have also joined hands with my friends, who are also mothers, to form groups where we meet and advise each other and also find ways of helping each other lose weight. We support and advise each other as well as celebrate our triumphs,” she concludes.