Somehow or the other you gained a tummy and called it quits. I don't think you are a quitter, you are reading this, which means there is a part of you that really wants to win.

What is the difference between people who strive to lose the weight and that dreaded tum and actually succeed in achieving their goals compared to those who continue to slave for years seeing very little to no difference?
It depends on how badly you want to succeed. Determination and willpower is key! you have to really want it. I like to think of it like brushing your teeth, just because you skipped a day or two, say due to travelling etc. doesn't mean it's all over, or your teeth will fall out or you can never brush again. You just go ahead and brush your teeth like you always did.

or think of it this way...

I have never really been overweight, except for when I had gained weight after my pregnancies. I wondered even before my pregnancy if I was going to be one of those ladies who gained mum weight and would never lose it. It definitely scared me. I experienced swollen aching feet for the first time in my life, constant back aches, nothing fit comfortably and my obvious discomfort was very visible to everyone. I understood just a portion of what others who suffer with weight matters feel, and I felt miserable. My fear coupled with discomfort, insecurities and frustration made me more determined to fight back. Losing the weight was not easy and this is exactly how I lost the weight and the tum after both my pregnancies...about 20kgs each time and in better shape than I have ever been before.

1. Psyche yourself out:
  • You have to stop telling yourself you can't do it and put your fears aside. If you cannot do this and I often failed to as well, tell yourself that you are going to keep trying because you are no quitter. Working out has never been an issue for me, and I even worked out during my pregnancy. I had both my kids via natural birth and always felt that working out helped alot. I love being active and I guess that is mostly because I choose activities I love doing. 
  • I workout in the morning to get it out of the way and I'd start my day happy on an endorphin high. The hard work would keep me motivated to avoid junkfood all day. you may find that evening workouts are better for you, whatever it is, it all counts.
  • If something is difficult, it's all the more reason that you need to do more of it....sometimes like arranged marriages..the love eventually develops...and is a force to be reckoned me! 
2. Be Inspired:
  • Keep a diary to encourage and inspire you...I kept a file instead, filled with fitness and health motivation including workouts. Check out future posts on how to build up your own workout and fitness motivation file. I get bored easily so I was always looking for new workouts or to mix it up a bit and have fun, which coincidently is an advantage. Changing your workouts every 2-6weeks will make your workouts more effective and get you to your goal faster.

  • Read stories about ladies who have achieved what you are trying to achieve, most importantly their journey. This will help you accept that it is normal to feel the way you do, to deal with obstacles and that your goals are definitely achievable.  The key factor in every story I found besides will power, was "persistence" and "commitment" to their plans, which I adopted. I am a Women's Health Mag fanatic, love their workouts inspiration and free workout dvds. 

  • some of my Women's Health stash and my Jillian Michaels cd
  • Lets face it, most plans work! we just lose steam and don't stick with it, so "Stick with it" and be patient to see what happens. If you put in the effort and sacrifice, you will see results!
3. Practical approach to losing weight and getting that sculpted mid-section: 
  • Workout often: atleast a full 30-45min workout every alternate day, so one day in and take a break the next day. It is important though that even though these are break days, donot slouch on the couch, do less strenuous activities but keep moving. eg, walking or strolling, gardening, playing outside with the kids, organising your office or home or getting done tasks you have been putting off were some of my go-to activities. Working out often also makes your body naturally want to burn off energy even way after your workout provided you are eating who wouldn't want a body that is like a fat burning furnace.

  • Here are some of the workouts I did before and still do....start by pushing yourself to do atleast half the workout and then follow slowly to do the full workouts. Remember you can do this, just fool around a bit. This is how I psyched myself out... I would just do it to see if I could and then I got addicted to what I could do. Also remember that every little bit that you do counts, even if its wall sits or squatting while you wait for the kettle to boil or lunges while you brush your teeth. Quit the excuses and workout!
         Fitness blender workout 45 min hiit cardio check out more fitness blenders workouts, start with              their beginner workouts if you are just starting out.

         Here's a link to fitmommiesdiary 30 Youtube workout channels to try for free
  • Eat well and don't skip meals. Skipping meals makes your body think that you are starving and so when you do eat, it stores the food as fat to sustain itself should you ermm... starve again. Eating well is even more important than working out (hold on there Missy!...Working out is still very important, but comparatively, eating well is more important!) a person who eats well is more likely to lose the weight than someone who eats poorly and works out...because being healthy and in the best shape is 70% eating right and and 30%working out.
  • Visit a nutritionist and Read your labels! you won't believe how many people gain weight eating food that read healthy on the label. Read the ingredients, look at percentages. Alot of "Health" snack bars contain alot of artificial sugar and are higher in energy value than your regular chocolate bar. Click on the links below for more info:

  • I went to a nutritionist for about 2 visits whilst preggy, and that was more than enough for me. A nutritionist can help you determine where it is you are going wrong, provide you with recipes, and they are utterly helpful. Here are a few tips:
  1. avoid items with more than 10% fat, ie. must have 10g or less than 10g fat per 100g of product.
  2. increase water uptake (no brainer)
  3. opt for low GI options 
  4. avoid products with corn syrup as a main ingredient including overly processed food
  5. flash fry food in a splash of oil and opt for boiling, grilling, baking options
  6. switch cooking oil with olive oil instead
  7. avoid cheese and over use of butter and cut down on white flour items
  • Avoid drinking your kilojoules: If you love cold, soft or fizzy sweet drinks, quitting them for healthier options is one of the easiest ways to get back into shape and cut kilojoules. I always stuck to water, herbal teas like Rooibos, green tea, chamomile etc. without sugar, and limit fruit juice to one 250ml glass a day. I split that into two 125ml servings and dillute with water. I'm so used to it, I always prefer these drinks over others. Another plus, your skin will be clearer.

  • Eat in moderation: whether dining out or at home, watch your portions. Take aways and restaurants always serve food in larger portions than we need. I would share my single serving with my husband, as it was more than enough for 2 adults. Skip the bread basket, fried chips, potatoes or fried anything and always have your salad dressing and sauces on the side. Condiments are high in fat and carbs, best to just pass it on. Eat your veges or salads before your main meal. Enjoy desserts but keep your portions small (if you can't, then stay away from it) and stay dedicated to your's now or never.
  • Avoid eating supper or anything else atleast 3-4hrs before bed:  this will avoid a bloated tummy the next day and you will lose the weight alot faster. So avoid snacking if you watch tv in the evenings. Drink water instead and eat most of your fruit a good few hours before supper and not for or with supper. Fruit is good for energy fueling so a great mid meal snack.

  • Keep meals simple: 
  1. For breakfast I opt for a cup or half of low Gi Cereal with low fat or fatfree milk and a cup of rooibos. I have this rule not to overdo the kilojoules from the beginning of the day as I still have the rest of the day to go. 
  2. Even though most of us are suppose to breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper....we do it the other way around. So keep your lunches light by including more veges, cooked or fresh. 
  3. Stick to similar type of lunches eg, sandwhiches like tuna, chicken, or boiled egg...
  4. Theres another rule I stick to, I don't have more than a slice or two of bread a day. So if supper needs bread I'll eat only a slice for lunch with more veges and a slice for supper. I have stuck to this rule for years, it works for me. Mostly I don't need anymore than this because of all the other food groups I'm too busy filling.
  5. Eat till you are satisfied and don't fill yourself too much. This is the best way to feel energised and thus avoid fatigue and discomfort.
I will be including more at home workouts that I have tried and trust, in future posts including alot more tips to keep you going.

Try doing all of the above, including one good habit at a time...and I promise you will see results just as I did..stay dedicated to your goal. Even if it's baby steps...( remember)'s in the direction you want to go!

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