Monthly Archives: February 2017

losing weight after birth

Losing weight after birth

 

Losing weight after birth and getting back to “jeans of my dreams” is an ambitious goal of almost every mom. There are these lucky slender amazons who had never gained weight in the first place, but this post is not about them. The author of this blog is a mom who bargains with every gram of her body, trying to scare them (the grams) away in the most natural way. So, here are three proven techniques for how to get rid of excessive self. These methods do work only if you have the full intention for them to work. No magic potions, no dried bats and no spells. Only work with one’s consciousness and some physical activity for dessert.

Set timed goals and objectives

Just “keeping it in mind” is not enough. A mom needs to have specific goals in terms of dates and numbers. Then, she should try to stick to the goal while keeping with her convenient lifestyle as much as possible. Losing weight after birth is a challenging task that requires some form of compensation for every small achievement. For example, every time my weight goes 0,5 kilo down and does not come back on the following it’s a good reason to celebrate another milestone. For example, I buy myself a piece of cloth that now fits me well: it creates an enormous incentive to keep on the weight-losing track.

I say no quick diets, yes to sensibility

Some people can get very serious about it. Can I live like that? Not yet. But I’m getting there.

I never touch sugar, cheese, bread…
I only like what I’m allowed to like. I’m beyond temptation. There is no weakness. When I see tons of food in the studio, for us and for everybody, for me it’s as if this stuff was made out of plastic. The idea doesn’t even enter my mind that a human being could put that into their mouth. I’m like the animals in the forest. They don’t touch what they cannot eat.”
Karl Lagerfeld

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/dieting

Most of the girls have more or less tried diets in their teen-hood and I am no exception. I still remember these depressive hungry evenings when all my thoughts were concentrated around a loaf of bread. From today’s life position I see it as the most pathetic and the least effective way to lose weight. Keeping one hungry only means that she will compencate it to herself later and probably, will gain the same weight she lost in an unfair battle.

Sensibility and harmony in everything is the gift that comes with age, experience and awareness. It does not only refer to weight, but embrasses every life sphere. However, since right now the painful (cross line) topic is weight loss I will concentrate on that.

So, what does it mean, a sensible diet?

That means I am not rejecting but replacing. “Yummy” things go away and other things come instead. It sounds simple but it is not. How does a mom convince herself, that this very piece of amazing, shiny chocolate cake and this little cup of coffee next to it are not on today’s menu? How do I keep my hands away from favorite things that bring me from size S to S++?

Once the favorite things stop being my number one choice. Forever.

It is achieved by inner conversation and persuasion, by understanding and loving oneself. A bar of chocolate can be replaced by honey, figs, bananas and so on. Yes, I know it’s not fully interchangeable at the beginning, so a mom can come to some agreement with herself, and reduce the amount of chocolate and cookies she consumes by replacing the rest with honey and fruits.

Sports and fun

By sports, I mean all the fun things that mom likes to do that involve physical activity: dancing, walking, running, child-lifting, swimming. Anything works, as long as it is done on a daily basis. A fitness club twice a week is not as good as a 30 minute walk every morning. A swimming pool (how many moms have the luxury to go to the swimming pool every day?) once a week is not the same as 15 minutes of intensive stretching and push-ups done with joy (who said joy? OK, then without the push-ups).

The most important thing about losing weight after birth is let it happen in its own pace. It might take a year. Every mom, eventually, wants this weight to go away forever. This is why quick diets will not work here (not to speak about the danger of losing milk).

To lose weight forever means to be in peace with every extra kilogram and let it go when the time comes. The sports, the balanced diet and the targeted goals are something, that should accompany mom all the way through, with no relation to children, work, success or failure. An after-birth era just requires a bit more attention and concentration, but the general formula – goals, diet, sports – works for all times, good and bad.

yawning therapy

Yawning therapy

So, what is Yawning Therapy?

It’s a natural and simple way to get rid of stress, bad mood and undesired thoughts. Yawning is free, you can do it almost anytime and you don’t need a life coach to teach you  to grab some extra oxygen. Yawning therapy is one of these simple and neglected things people have forgotten (Why? Because most people are busy with other things, that’s why).

Every mom needs to do some yawning once in a while, and when she does is consciously and purposefully, things change: from mere yawning to an effective relaxation technique.

What is it good for?

  • good mood (not a bad thing at all)
  • beauty (some extra oxygen into the cells is a great idea). Tears, that come down by the end of the practice are good for rinsing and refreshing the sensitive eye skin.
  • brilliant ideas and inspiration that come into mom’s head (when the head is not heavily occupied by dirty soup, scattered soup and sock making… sorry, I meant dirty diapers, scattered socks and soup making)

Before you start the yawning therapy

  • you can be alone or among strangers who don’t care about you (like in a bus or in a busy street. But not during family dinner, even if you are with your sunglasses on.)
  • if you cannot be alone, at least put some sunglasses on or turn aside so that your face will not be seen
  • you will not have any make up on your face or at least in the eyes area.
  • You cannot talk or listen to anyone at the time of the practice, it will distract you and reduce the effect (well, it’s pretty self-explanatory, but I had to say it just in case).

Yawning therapy. Three steps:

Exhales longer than inhales

start breathing 4-6 (or any other number, but make sure your inhales and shorter than your exhales). Keep on breathing and counting: 1-2-3-4 is an inhale, 1-2-3-4-5-6 is an exhale. Continue the same way even if nothing happens: just lie and breath (you can do it in a sitting position as well, even in a public place. Just make sure you have sunglasses on).

Let yawning happen naturally

soon, you will start yawning. It will happen naturally, no need to do anything special otherwise than breath in the 4-6 way. Let yourself yawn as it goes, dont’t try to stop or control it. It is better if you are alone, but if not, as I said, make sure that you have sunglasses on or that nobody sees your face. It can get in the way when someone is observing you while yawning. Also, no need to cover your mouth, forget about rules.

Tears of relaxation

In the third stage, tears might start running down and it’s not because you’re sad and sorry, but it’s a natural process which I cannot really explain. I only know that it occures and that it leaves black traces of mascara, so better remove it before.

When to stop?

You can stop the practice at any moment, no special instructions needed. I would recommend doing it for 10-15 minutes at the least, because it takes time to get to the stage of “tears” and relaxation. 2-3 minutes will not be enough for a proper therapy, but it’s still better than nothing.

stressed for meditation

Too stressed for meditation.

As a mom, I relate to different states of mind. Though meditation has become part of my everyday being, still, there are situations when I’m too nervous, tired and overwhelmed with thoughts that won’t let go. Too stressed for meditation. Relaxed breathing just doesn’t happen that easily in these cases. What to do then?

Observe. I observe myself being nervous and I listen to my fast beating heart. I don’t even try to meditate or relax since it won’t work right away. Observation is the first step: it distracts me from one thing – negative thoughts and brings me to another thing – of moderate tranquility. From there, it is possible to move on to steadier breathing.

Observe also means accept. I accept my state, my craziness, my darkest thoughts and malicious fears.  After accepting, I cut them off naturally with one word. You choose your own word, I have mine.

Now, my favorite techniques on how to get going:

So, where do I start if I am too stressed for meditation?

These are not magic ways or special self-treatments. These are ordinary methods of relaxation that work only because I want them too.

Down count breaths.

As I wrote in another post, counting breaths is a simple and powerful technique. Yet, down-counting is another way to calm when ordinary breath counting does not help. The same down-counting method helps when you are working out in the gym: to do 10 push-ups is easier when you start from the 10th. The same goes for meditative breaths: I set myself a goal of, let’s say, 7 breaths, and start from the 7th to the 1st. A silly mind trick that works.

When stressed for meditation – don’t meditate. Act.

Breathing is good but sometimes it’s not enough. Physical action, dynamic meditation, movement. This movement has to be chaotic, useless, silly, purposeless. Dancing, jumping, shaking, scratching stretching and so on.

Do it alone.

It’s not always possible, but being alone works best for me. What if she cannot be alone at this moment, what if she is surrounded by children who want a happy mom?

Then, I tell them the truth, at their level of understanding. “Mommy is tired. Mommy needs a few quiet moments. Mommy will rest for just a few minutes and then will come out and play/make cookies/stay on her head.

Laugh. Or pretend to.

Remember that laugh scene from “Witches of Eastwick”? I believe, that laughter can do magic wrinkles and if not make you literally fly, then at least give that same feeling. The feeling of freedom, relaxation and transcendent joy. When too stressed for ordinary breathing meditation, mom can laugh or pretend to laugh – the extra short exhales that make the belly work hard and a faint of a smile. Slowly, mom can get used to create that pseudo-laughing image of herself on a regular basis (it is funny when you think about it). Self-irony has lots of benefits when you think about it.