Having children is wonderful. But, it can leave you unhappy with your body and low on confidence. This can become even worse when summer approaches. Your friends who don’t have kids are hitting the gym and getting their summer wardrobe ready. You, however, want to hide away, and are unable to imagine anything worse than stripping off on the beach. Here are some great tips to help make sure worrying about how you look doesn’t ruin your summer.
You don’t need to go on a huge diet or cut certain food types out to lose weight. The best way to lose weight is by making a few small, sustainable changes. Here are some of the best:
- Reduce sugar. Sugar is bad for you. You know that. Too much sugar affects your blood sugar levels, brain chemistry and your teeth. It gives you a false energy buzz and then a horrible come down. It can also lead to weight gain. Cut sugar from your hot drinks and avoid fizzy drinks. Don’t add any extra sugar to your foods and swap sugary snacks for naturally sweet treats such as fruit.
- Swap your carbs. Carbs aren’t bad for you. They are essential to your diet so don’t try to cut them out. You should, however, try to swap white bread, rice and pasta for brown versions. These provide slow release carbs, which means they release energy slowly, keeping you full and energetic for longer.
- Eat small meals more often. Instead of having 3 large meals a day, try to have 5 smaller meals. If we eat more often we’re less likely to snack or binge late at night. We’re also less likely to overfill our plates.
Water is incredibly important. Your body is made up of a huge amount of water so, to keep it working at its best, you need to make sure you are hydrated. You should aim to drink 8 glasses a day. This will keep all your body’s internal organs working at their best, your brain functioning well and your skin and hair looking great. It will also help you to feel fuller and stop you from snacking.
When we’re trying to get our bodies back to their best after pregnancy, diet isn’t enough. Your stomach muscles have been through exceptional strain so it’s great to let them have a little time off straight after birth. Spend at least the first 6 weeks doing Kegel exercises, going for gentle walks and doing some light tensing exercises with your stomach muscles. Once your doctor clears you to start doing more exercise, introduce it slowly.
A couch to 5k program is a great way back into exercise. You’ll start running for very short intervals and build up gradually over 9 weeks. Swimming is also a great exercise as it works your whole body gently. If you want to target your stomach specifically, team your cardio workouts with some Pilates or yoga, both of which can work your core muscles and tone your stomach.
While wanting to get back into shape is fantastic, it’s important to recognize that your body has changed. It’s been through a lot. You have housed a tiny human for nine months and it might never be the same. Accepting this is key to getting your confidence back. Aim to make your post-baby body the best it can be, instead of hoping to get your old one back.
Confidence is a big problem for many women and it can take work to get it back. Surround yourself with positivity. Make sure you eat well and exercise. Know that you are doing your best. Be proud of who you are and how you look. If you are really struggling with your confidence to the point that it is affecting your enjoyment of things, speak to your doctor for further help and advice.
Dress the Part
If the idea of stripping down to a bikini fills you with dread, don’t panic! There are so many options when it comes to swimwear. It’s no longer a case of having to choose between a revealing bikini or a boring one piece. A nice, well-fitted swimsuit can not only make you look great, it can also increase your confidence and help you to have a great day at the beach. Tankini bathing suits are a great option. They give you enough support to run around after the kids while looking sexy and cool.
Don’t let worry about low self-esteem affect your enjoyment of a great day at the beach with your family. Whatever stage you’re at, enjoy yourself and have fun. A confident, happy smile, can be much more effective than a diet.