updated 2 Sep 2013, 00:07
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Wed, Jul 31, 2013
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Weight loss for regular mums
by Jeanmarie Tan

SINGAPORE - Like most non-celebrity mummies, I'm not a member of any fitness chain or slimming centre, neither do I have an aesthetics doctor on speed dial.

But after giving birth to two boys via natural delivery (the boys are now 4½ years old and 10 months old), I've received more compliments about my figure than I ever did pre-babies.

To those kind souls, know that your words were the only thing keeping self-esteem issues at bay when having to face flabby pouches, dimpled thighs, deflated breasts and major hair loss.

The secret to my weight loss is probably something women will not want to hear, least of all because it's free.

Firstly, good genes.

At 1.53m with a pre-baby weight of 40kg, I've always been rather emaciated. Yes, boo away.

Secondly, the not-so-good gestational diabetes condition that struck during both pregnancies.

My gynaecologist insisted that I go on a low-carb, no-sugar diet, which made me one hungry, miserable ball of hormones, but this kept my weight gain to around 10kg.

I suppose it boils down to easy math: The less you put on, the less you need to lose.

Breastfeeding is certainly key - I swear I could feel my insides shrink with every suckle.


Itchy girdles

Opting for healthy home-cooked confinement food in the first month and the Malay post-natal wrap and massage treatment days after popping also helped. I cheated when it came to the itchy, insanely constricting girdles and removed them earlier than instructed.

Other than that, I was pretty much left to my own devices during my maternity leave, which meant dieting went out the window since I was already so food-deprived while expecting.

As someone who's allergic to exercise, I took a huge step by signing up for pilates classes after my firstborn arrived. The low-impact programme was perfect for me and I could see results over the few months I was there.

The second time round, I got lazy and let nature take its course.

My thought process went something like: "What's the point of getting in shape when I'm going to put it all back on since I'll be trying for a third child in the future, right?"

So the only workout I got was building up those all-important finger muscles thanks to a new addiction to online shopping, but I still managed to slim down.

It's something I've come to take for granted, until a recent encounter with a former schoolmate who looked to be in her final trimester, but had given birth four months ago.

Even though my chest, tummy and hips will never return to their previous state, having sacrificed themselves for the greater good, hearing remarks like "Wow you still look good" or "I can't believe you're a mum of two" takes the weight off my shoulders.

So I like to think I'm having my cake and eating it too. Now where's the buffet line?

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