My Postpartum Transformation Story!!

If I want to put my learnings for the past one year in a single line, I can say ‘ when health is lost, EVERYTHING is lost’… To give a brief about myself- exercise became an integral part of my lifestyle from schooldays. They have mainly resorted to walking and yoga. But the downside of having something right from childhood is that you don’t realize the value of it. I was healthy, still, the world never wasted a single chance of telling me that I was fat and I believed it, worried about it, without realizing that I was healthy.

Before I proceed to my entire story I will give out the transformation details for those who don’t prefer reading long posts.

Stats: 188 lbs to 157 lbs (32 lbs/ 14kgs down) in 1 year.

Workout: Started with walking, then slowly built my way into weight training. Started with PopSugar fitness videos on YouTube. Loved it. Currently, I follow Sydney Cummings on YouTube and workout along with her videos. I workout 4-5 times a week.

Diet: I left white sugar almost 3 years back. So I don’t consume unless rarely when we make sweets at home. I have been a follower of clean eating always. I love home-cooked food. So I eat everything. But I have improved in terms of including more options like millets, quinoa, brown rice, etc. I have 1 or 2 cheat meals a week.transf

Caveats: Hypothyroidism (TSH was 43. After 8 months now it is 2.7); Chondromalacia (Knee issue). I will go into more of these in detail later on my Instagram channel or blog.

So coming to the long story now, I delivered a baby girl in Dec 2017. I had gained 35 lbs and had 25lbs left after delivery. In Mar 2018, I started developing many postpartum issues, the first being my hips getting locked. I couldn’t walk long distances and struggled for 3 months. Meanwhile, in Apr 2018 I had gained 20 lbs all of a sudden and I thought it was because I was eating non-veg food more for lactation. Apparently, it had been hypothyroidism which I discovered only in Oct 2018. My body became stiff like a rock and I blamed all of these on my weight gain.

Jun’18- Oct ’18: I visited a chiropractor as he was very close-by and told I am unable to walk/stand for long/bend and have severe pain in my tailbone. He then told me my pelvis has rotated and core has become very weak. By Sep ’18 I could walk much better with the adjustments and core exercises (planks, glute bridges, cat-cow, etc.) In October I was actually worried about severe hair loss and thus had my bloodwork done. That was when I became aware that I am suffering from hypothyroidism and that was making me feel depressed, tired, stiff every damn stuff. I was on and off with workouts. Some yoga, walking, stretches, etc.

Nov ’18- Mar ’19: I started hypothyroid medications and by Dec ’18, TSH had come down to 4. But then, a knee issue started. I couldn’t sit cross-legged, couldn’t get up from the floor and had severe pain. I thought I had sprained or something, but then it continued for 3 months and then an ortho doc told me that I had developed chondromalacia. There were so many big tablets to take which I hated taking and I went to my chiro again. He told since my hips were already affected, it was affecting my knees too as hips and knees are married to each other. I had lost 15 lbs with clean eating and thyroid falling back in place, but didn’t feel energetic at all. By March-end, I seriously started looking at working on my body. I tried boot camps, OTF, nothing worked. A friend of mine made me understand the seriousness of chondromalacia too. Then I just joined a nearby gym.

Apr ’19 – Jul ’19: This is when I joined a facebook group called Beautiful Brown Bodies (BBB). It is a group of amazing women who inspire, support and hold you accountable for your workouts. I never knew that a Facebook group could bring so much to my life. I came across an Insta challenge to complete 20 miles of run over the month of April. I decided to walk as running was a no-no. After dropping my kid at daycare I used to go to the gym and walk 2 miles on the treadmill with no incline. I did this and by April end I could notice that I no longer needed my knee brace and I could climb stairs without support. It gave me the confidence that I can get my health back.  I was very scared of weight training seeing people lift heavy barbells. I have a spinal cord issue as well and it is very easy to end up with an injury. A group member’s story made me understand that a pair of dumbbells is enough if you have the will power. Another member inspired me to not have a nutritionist and still achieve your goals. I read their posts over and over. I bought a pair of 5lb dumbbells. I started training with Popsugar fitness on YouTube. I was then motivated to do a 5k run. Luckily, there was one upcoming in 2 months near my house itself. I trained with the C25k app and completed my first 5k. I will make a separate post on that.

After joining BBB I lost 16lbs, gained loads of energy, confidence, and positivity. I started taking lots of pics. I came out of my depressing thoughts. I used to feel so tired by 7:30 p.m. itself 6 months back, but now I can play bowling for 3 hrs, dance with my kid and wake up at 5:30 a.m. the next day and carry on with my day like a boss. I noticed all my strength when I went bowling within a month of weight training. I could score on par with my hubby who is a great player. I still have 15lbs to go for my pre-pregnancy weight, but I am in no hurry. I have more non-scale goals like fitting into my pre-preggo jeans, having a rock-solid core, looking so much better for my daughter’s 2nd birthday this year-end.  I am excited to see how my body is going to change by this year-end with these continued workouts.

Few points: 

  1. Always focus on your form and mind-muscle connection while working out. In diet, portion control works well for me. Rest will follow. Consistency and patience are key. Spot reduction is NOT possible. Do your workout, your body will know where your fat is and burn accordingly.
  2. In case you are planning to workout from home, a pair of 5lb/8lb dumbbells and a set of resistance bands are good enough for getting a great workout. They are very much affordable.
  3. For those mommas who have a little one to manage and find it overwhelming to find the time, think of a slot where you can be 100% sure that you will get undisturbed time. It can be early morning or their nap time. Do not try fixing your house in order, doing dishes as a priority at this time. They can be done even with your toddler around. Focusing on your health even for 30 minutes goes a long way! There are tonnes of videos that give a great 30-minute workout.
  4. If weather permits, try taking walks with your little one in the stroller. That can be a workout too. I do this for 2 days (30-45 minutes) a week to get my cardio in place. For me, weight training on the days she is at daycare/when she naps, walking with her in the stroller while she is at home and running on Sunday mornings when she is asleep and her dad is available are great ways to catch up on a workout.

A workout is not just about weight-loss, it is about getting healthy, having your hormones (read as sanity) in place, getting stronger for yourself and your little one 🙂 Most important, take loads of pictures to keep yourself motivated throughout.

See you all in another post soon 🙂 If you enjoyed this, show some love and do follow me on Instagram  @rinis_reflections or My FB page Rinis Reflections.

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