My current ‘diet’ and body + mind after baby update

Baby and Parenting, Mindset

My current ‘diet’ and body + mind after baby update

Baby and Parenting, Mindset

Baby in wrap

It’s now almost 12 weeks since I gave birth! It seems to have flown over and obviously I’ve had a lot going on, with even more to deal with than most new mamas. 

I’m definitely not quite where I’d hoped to be body wise by this point. The stress and hospital stays have certainly impacted on getting back into shape, although I am still happy that I’ve lost almost a stone since giving birth, but I still have a few pounds to get back to my pre pregnancy weight and even more to get back to a happier, healthier weight for me. As much as I am defining my progress here in weight terms, I’m trying to not let that be the focus. I’ve done pretty well so far just eating well and moving when I can after all, although I know the extra breastfeeding calories I’m burning might be responsible for that! Weight aside, I would like to be at least 1-2 dress sizes smaller to feel at my best, but I know that will come in time and it’s just not a priority for me at the moment. What is important however is taking care of myself and feeling good about myself. I can’t be the best mother I can be without self care or self esteem so there is a balancing act.

I really do want to get back into exercise, I seriously can’t believe how out of shape I am! But as with weight loss, I know this will come. My 10 minute workouts are actually quite effective for me at the moment and I’m hoping I might be able to get back to the gym a couple of times a week soon.

My focus right now is on eating really well. It’s a challenge just to eat sometimes, and also a challenge not to just give myself the excuse to eat crap! That means that I try and make the time to prepare whole foods and cook, not only for the healthy food but the enjoyment I get out of cooking.

Waitrose foods

After many years of trying different styles of eating from vegan to a more traditional foods / paleo diet, I feel like I’ve found what works for me. I know the foods that suit me right now and generally I just eat what I fancy! At the moment it’s mainly plant based with the odd eggs, meat and fish thrown in. I’m generally not eating cows milk diary and I try and avoid to much gluten, soy and refined sugar containing foods all part of helping my body recover from a lot of stress. The key thing is not ‘eliminating’ anything. I’ll still have a chai latte with cows milk and cheesecake after Sunday lunch and that is why it doesn’t feel like a ‘diet’ or restrictive in any way.

Gingerbread latte and cinnamon swirl

Most days eats currently look like this…

  • Breakfast is generally porridge because it’s quick and easy to make while Fin is napping or in the wrap. I’ve been adding some kind of fruit and topping with nut butter. I had been cooking up a whole grain like quinoa in bulk at the weekend at eating that with some non diary milk and chopped fruit. Occassionally I’ll have a bowl of muesli with unsweetened almond milk.Mid morning I make myself a decaf coffee and usually eat one or two graze boxes if I’m feeling hungry and if breakfast was early.
  • Lunch is either a salad, soup or chilli. I’ve been making lentil based soups most weekends for during the week. I also love salads with mackerel and beetroot or lentil and feta cheese with balsamic vinegar. Sometimes I’ll add quinoa if I have some cooked. Chilli is also one of my faves at this time of year, especially topped with avocado. I often have something sweet after lunch like a square of 90% Lindt chocolate or a Rebel Kitchen drink.
  • Mid afternoon depends on Fin. If he is napping I might make myself a smoothie if it isn’t too cold. If he’s awake or in the wrap I’ll grab a healthy baked treat from the freezer to have with a cup of green tea or maybe a snack bar. I might also grab an apple if one didn’t already feature in breakfast. 
  • Dinner can be all sorts. I give myself a break a couple of nights a week with an Innocent veg pot or another healthy-ish ready meal and James gets something similar. Other nights I have something from the slow cooker, mostly a Thai red or green chicken curry which I eat with steamed green veggies. I also love baked sweet potatoes with spinach and some kind of topping like tinned salmon and red onion or feta. I’ve also just started roasting up veggies like squash and brussel sprouts so they can often feature too. If Fin is napping I might have time to make us omelettes.
  • I do like some kind of little dessert which I sometimes eat later on in the evening so I don’t need a midnight snack while nursing. I stay away from chocolate as it can make me a little wired, plus I’m sure that Fin gets fussy after I’ve eaten too much of it. If I have some coconut yoghurt I’ll have that, if not it might be another healthy baked treat or snack bar

Lentil beetroot and feta salad

While I was pregnant I went right off green tea but now it’s back with a vengeance! I probably drink 4-6 cups a day. I’ve also dropped my morning hot lemon water temporarily as citrus can sometimes not work well for babies via breast milk.

When we go out or to my parents for lunch I’ll let myself have whatever I fancy until I’m full. Eating way past my natural levels of fullness used to be a real issue for me, but no longer! I believe this is really connected to no longer having any foods off limits.

As for how I’m feeling emotionally, I had a very rough time indeed these last few weeks. It probably didn’t come through that much on the blog but I was really quite down and in a bit of a state and I do believe I have some form of post natal depression, although to be fair, I think feeling a bit down considering everything I had going on was completely natural. As my best friend said to me, I’ve had a premature baby, several hospital stays, an extreme health condition and life saving surgery take place on my 9 week old first born. I’ve had to tube feed him and breast feed him at the same time which made me feel unable to leave the house. Those few weeks when he had the NG tube in were the worst. I still have the occasional off day (I definitely think they are related to nights when I’ve had little sleep) and I think it’s really important that I share this as so much online from new mothers is ‘happy happy unicorns and fairies’ if you know what I mean! Motherhood is tough, its hard work and it changes you completely, but it’s also utterly beautiful, life affirming and completely worth while. I wouldn’t change my experience for anything, as hard as it’s been, it’s changed me and given me strength I just didn’t realise I had. Every day I’d wake up and think I just can’t do this, but you do and I kept doing it day after day.

You don’t just give birth to a baby, you also give birth to a new you physically and mentally. Life is never the same again and that can take some adjustment, but 12 weeks in and I feel like I’m getting a handle on it. I’ll be blogging in more detail about how being a mama has been for the first three months. I’m very happy to say that things are now most definitely on the up!

If you have kids can you relate to any of this? What does your current ‘diet’ look like? Do you include indulgences very often?

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29 Comments

  1. Cat

    You are such an inspiration lady! Seriously, if I ever pop out a baby I just hope I can hold it together, let alone be able to blog! Very glad to hear things are looking up.

    My diet isn’t far off from yours – and I especially love what you said about your attitude to eating out/family occasions – the more I tell myself certain foods are totally off limits, the more ‘manic’ my attitude to food becomes.

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      Thanks so much Cat! Yes I can relate to that ‘manic’ feeling as well x

      Reply
  2. Elise

    Laura, I’ve been following your blog for ages but rarely comment. I adore your blog. I really appreciate how open and honest you are in your writing and thank you for continuing that. I think more mums or mums to be would really appreciate your honesty about the first couple months of being a new mum, I know I do :) I have not had children yet so I have no idea how tough but rewarding it must be at the same time, especially everything you have been through. You are doing amazing!!! The last 12 weeks are a lot to process never mind do so and keep moving forward on with so little sleep. You ARE doing this and your doing a bloody good job, don’t forget that. xx

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      Thanks so much for the comment Elise, so lovely of you to say. So glad you enjoy the blog too!

      Reply
  3. Lauren (@PoweredbyPB)

    Glad that things are looking up for you and Finley is doing well. Sounds like you’ve got a good food routine going. I’m loving soup right now and having that everyday for either lunch or dinner, I like making a big batch and having it through the week, so easy when I get home for work late.

    Reply
  4. Lauren

    You are seriously inspiring. The fact you can even think about eating healthy food when you have had a ridiculous amount of stress to deal with is just amazing.
    I am so glad things are on the up :)
    You are an inspiration!

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      Thanks so much Lauren! I think it’s just reminding myself how much better I feel when I eat well that helps :-)

      Reply
  5. Hayley

    Hey Laura, seriously don’t beat yourself up about your body. I did the exact same dropped a bit after birth the. Stayed pretty constant despite a ton of exercise. Now after 6 months of breastfeeding I am dropping more after a consultation with a dietician. I am however back in my pre preggie jeans despite a few extra kgs. I can only think breastfeeding boobs must be heavy, also I have not had a period since so I obviously have slightly altered hormones from breast feeding. In my experience hormones can play a big role in weightloss. You can loose weight at any time and right now you just need to have a amazing time with your beautiful family.

    I totally agree it can be hard being a mum, without your extra battles. However I do the good so far out weights the bad that I just have to laugh really! In don’t think life is going to calm down for at least 18 years!

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      Thanks Hayley, it certainly does take time to get back into shape! You are absolutely right, hormones as well as sleep can play a big role. You are definitely right about life being a bit crazy for years to come!

      Reply
  6. Caroline

    I expect you have been feeling down but you have had to go through an awful lot. Just having a new born baby without all the complications you’ve been through is tough going. Plus there’s a fair amount of hormonal stuff going on for a year or so. The sleeping should be better any minute now. My children all slept through from 12 weeks but I know I’m very lucky. Fin will suddenly and surprisingly go through the night and if you can get your sleep you’ll find everything is very manageable. Also most people cope with the first few months with getting out and about for a walk and you’ll be able to do more of that now. That also helps hugely.

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      I really hope the sleeping will get easier! I’ve just been talking to my health visitor and we were saying it feels like we’ve had to start all over again like he’s a new born. Still, I live in hope that he will suddenly start sleeping more!

      Reply
  7. Anna @AnnaTheApple

    Honestly I think you’re amazing. You’ve dealt with so much over the past couple of months and seriously smashed it. Finley is so lucky to have you as a mother – you rock! I don’t read many mother-baby blogs but there are some fitness/HL bloggers who have had babies and seeeeriously make it sound like every hour is a pin from Pinterest and you just think “yeah right”. I really respect your honesty. Fully makes me aware of how not ready I am for baby right now!

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      Thanks so much Anna, yep I know just what you mean about those bloggers, it kind of made me feel bad but come on, it’s hard work for everyone I think!

      Reply
  8. Tamzin

    I eat a very varied diet these days, I fast for two days a week too and have done since feb it works for me but it’s not for everyone. I think your doing amazingly well and you look fab…I am helping my sister to lose her baby weight at the mo over Skype so let me know if you ever fancy it as it can be done at home! X

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      Thanks Tamzin, once Fin is in a better routine I will definitely be taking you up on the offer!

      Reply
  9. Karina

    You bet I can relate to this(let’s face it motherhood is initially a big shock but ultimately a very rewarding role:), thanks for keeping it balanced and real, Laura!

    Reply
  10. Karina

    You’ve got your priorities right, Laura; top mama!

    Reply
  11. Rachael

    So honest and inspiring thank you for being so real :)
    I think my diet looks pretty similar to yours, the only things I’m really trying to steer clear of are coffee and alcohol as they aggravate my IBS so much…it’s taken me a long time to realise/ face that!! Atm I’m cutting them out completely for a few weeks, but I’m off to Seville soon and won’t be able to resist some Spanish wine but that’s fine!

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      Thanks Rachael! Oh bless you, I have to admit I’d find leaving coffee so tough! Have a great time in Seville, very jealous!

      Reply
  12. Emma Potts

    You sound like you’re doing brilliantly Laura – the fact that you’re doing any cooking at all is an achievement, let alone 3 healthy meals a day!
    Your attitude to food and body image is always inspiring :)

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      Thank Emma! Haha cooking can be pretty challenging sometimes!

      Reply
  13. Nicky

    You know, I’ve always admired you Laura but honestly, as time goes on and you face new challenges, this being probably the biggest one, it just reaffirms why you’re such a huge inspiration to me and many many other people! Your honesty, your strength, the way that you think things through logically about how you’re feeling, it’s all just amazing. You’re the best mum ever to Fin and he is SO lucky to have you as a mum and we all knew it would be that way because you’re incredible :)

    Your diet sounds so healthy like it always has been and what more can you do than eat as well as you can and move when you can when you have a baby? And having treats is part of being healthy too so too right you should allow yourself some!

    And I’m so glad to hear that things are on the up, lots of happy times ahead I’m positive :) :)

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      Thanks so much Nicky, you are so kind! As you say I think it’s a case of just doing the best you can as much as you can and being satisfied with that :-)

      Reply
  14. Maria @ runningcupcake

    I am sure that a few days after birth your body releases loads of hormones which can make you feel really emotional/ depressed too, even without all the added stress of Finley’s operation. I think you are doing amazingly well considering everything you have had to deal with.
    I totally agree in having indulgent foods every now and then too- especially a cinnamon roll from Starbucks- so good :)

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      Yep you get the baby blues when your milk comes in, I can remember being a right mess in hospital! A cinnamon swirl would have probably cheered me up ;-)

      Reply
  15. Claire Hayhurst

    I just want to say how much I admire you Laura, you have coped so well with so much thrown at you in these past 12 weeks and have just been such a superwoman about it all.
    I doubt anyone could come out of what you have gone through feeling completely fine mentally, that’s without taking into consideration hormones and adjusting to having a newborn.
    Your diet looks blooming amazing, I wish mine was there at the moment! Sounds like you are getting lots of nutrients in and good stuff, serious kudos!

    Reply
    • Laura Agar Wilson

      Thanks so much Claire, it’s been hard work but so worth it!

      Reply

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