UAE weight loss: How I lost 37kg of baby weight while still eating whatever I like

UAE weight loss: How I lost 37kg of baby weight while still eating whatever I like
UAE weight loss: How I lost 37kg of baby weight while still eating whatever I like

Leonie Pitts misplaced 37kg with out giving up her favorite treats like biscuits and muffins
Image Credit: Supplied

Leonie Pitts had at all times recognized she wished to be a mom. But after years of fertility struggles, she and her husband as a substitute determined to undertake, welcoming their daughter Beatrix into their household in May 2016.

Then, simply over two years later, the seemingly unattainable occurred. Leonie conceived naturally: a complete shock. A miracle child.

But the stress of being pregnant after years of traumatic fertility remedies and issues got here with a worth. “I felt that my physician was very blunt with me relating to my weight acquire throughout being pregnant,” says Leonie, a British expat dwelling in Dubai. “Having did not conceive for seven years, I appreciated her treating my miracle child simply as preciously as she felt to me. But infertility points had scarred me mentally and I used to be continually anxious about miscarrying. Worrying about my weight on high of all that was an excessive amount of to bear, so I ignored her as a lot as I might.”

While her physician stored giving Leonie further checks to examine the reason for the additional weight acquire, “in reality it was in all probability principally comfort-eating carrot cake, ice cream and digestives that helped me acquire so many kilos! But I used to be so anxious concerning the child that I didn’t really feel self-conscious about being larger at first.”

Leonie’s precedence throughout her being pregnant was maintaining her child protected, moderately than specializing in her weight

A difficult being pregnant

A month earlier than getting pregnant, Leonie weighed 70kg and was in the perfect form she’d ever been, having gone on a wholesome consuming regime on the run-up to her sister’s wedding ceremony. But as soon as she conceived, the being pregnant undid quite a lot of her good work. “For the primary 19 weeks I felt nauseous all day day by day and cried loads. I used to be disenchanted and a bit of ashamed that I wasn’t having fun with the being pregnant I had so longed for. I believed the nausea would magically cease at 12 weeks, however when it continued, it felt prefer it would possibly final eternally. Constant carbs have been principally the one factor that will maintain it at bay – quite a lot of bread and biscuits and fruit juice.”

When she went for the anomaly scan at 20 weeks, Leonie was lastly feeling higher. “I had began to really feel kicks and was not feeling unwell. I had extra vitality and I used to be feeling excited ultimately.”

But the scan revealed that she had placenta previa – a situation that put Leonie’s being pregnant within the high-risk class. “Due to the dear nature of my being pregnant I used to be suggested by my physician to not train and to not journey.”

Trips residence again to the UK have been cancelled, and all makes an attempt at train have been placed on maintain. “I didn’t need to do something to jeopardize my child’s well being and was scared of inflicting a bleed and freaking myself out additional, so I principally wrapped myself in cotton wool… and ate cake and ice cream,” says Leonie. “I used to be in survival mode. Yes, I might have eaten much less, however I had a lot else on my thoughts. So lengthy as my child protected, all was OK.”

Pregnancy nausea led to Leonie counting on bread and biscuits to maintain the illness at bay, whereas her high-risk being pregnant meant that she was suggested to not train

The child bubble

Leonie gave delivery to her child, Dottie, in July 2019, at a time when most of her pals have been away from Dubai for the summer season. “So I felt little or no strain to get into form, I simply loved being within the new child bubble. Days and nights blurred into one, and I wasn’t actively attempting to shed extra pounds for some time.”

Baby Dottie was born in July 2019

Although Leonie was a second-time mum, her older daughter was past the new child stage when she got here to reside with the household, so Leonie was experiencing the fun and challenges of this intense section for the primary time. “Breastfeeding and sleep deprivation left me ravenous, so I ate much more than after I was pregnant! I gained much more weight in these first couple of months.”

At her heaviest, Leonie says she weighed 100.6kg. “I wasn’t pleased with my form, however I used to be so happy with my physique for having grown a child, a feat I by no means believed I might obtain. The further rolls and folds undoubtedly helped with all of the rocking and feeding too!”

Leonie savoured the early moments of motherhood, not pondering an excessive amount of about her physique picture at first

Then COVID hit – and any ideas of weight reduction fell by the wayside. “I felt completely uncontrolled of the state of affairs,” says Leonie. “Sweet and sugary meals are my largest weak point and have been additionally my largest consolation throughout lockdown.”

“Then one thing snapped”

As lockdown eased and Dubai began opening up into a brand new regular, the additional weight she’d gathered began to take its toll. “The relentless failure to suit into any of my garments, endlessly disliking all of the wobbles that stared again at me within the mirror, and being unable to even match into my wedding ceremony rings for over 18 months, simply ended up sporting me down and placing me in a reasonably low place, mentally,” says Leonie.

Then someday, when her youngest daughter Dottie was 13 months outdated, “I simply snapped,” says Leonie.

Leonie eased into post-baby train with postnatal health courses from ReBalance ME

“We have been out for dinner with pals. One of them was doing a macro eating regimen, trying fabulous and shedding pounds, however seemingly consuming precisely what she fancied that night time. I felt flabby, and sluggish, and depressed in my very own physique. I had hassle sleeping attributable to my excessive sugar eating regimen, and it was beginning to have an effect on every thing.”

Leonie determined she’d had sufficient of struggling to seek out one thing that match her in her personal wardrobe. Something wanted to alter. And now.

“So for as soon as in my life I didn’t look ahead to a brand new week, I made a decision there after which, Friday 21 August, to dedicate a while to creating a change, for myself. I haven’t stopped since.”

For as soon as in my life I didn’t look ahead to a brand new week. I made a decision there after which, to dedicate a while to creating a change, for myself. I haven’t stopped since.”

– Leonie Pitts

Leonie took management and determined to make a change for her well being


– Macro monitoring of all meals

– Daily motivation, quotes from Instagram account @farfromfat126

– Myfitnesspal app to assist observe meals

– Focusing on a high-protein eating regimen, however nonetheless consuming takeaways, treats and so forth

– Progress pictures to maintain up motivation

– Postnatal and baby-friendly health courses with ReBalance ME, beginning two months after delivery

– Working out 4/5 instances per week, generally at 5.30am to slot in round childcare

Embracing macros

Leonie determined to begin monitoring macros the very subsequent day. “I awoke, took my measurements, took pictures of myself from every angle, and determined to take management of the state of affairs as soon as and for all.”

The time period ‘macro’ is brief for macronutrient, the three classes of vitamins that offer you most of your vitality: protein, carbohydrates and fat. So counting macros simply means counting the grams of proteins, carbs or fats that you simply’re consuming. “Macro monitoring, which is actually only a extra detailed model of calorie counting, has merely helped me to gauge how a lot I actually need to eat one thing, and educated me in order that I could make smarter selections,” explains Leonie. “The myfitnesspal app, which I’ve additionally used up to now however not in such element, has been a useful device to assist me on my weight reduction journey.”

Although Leonie had at all times achieved train every so often, it was solely when she began counting macros that the true way of life change occurred, and the load began dropping off

Leonie says the important thing for her has been that she will be able to nonetheless eat the meals she loves, however moderately, “so it avoids that starve after which binge cycle of consuming that always comes with weight-reduction plan for me, and by no means works. Along the way in which I’ve had dinners out, take aways, muffins, pasta, every thing. I’ve simply counted it and had smaller parts, nevertheless it hasn’t felt like a restrictive eating regimen, as a result of I’ve been capable of eat precisely what I would like, and that’s how I’ve been capable of maintain going.”

Macro monitoring has labored higher than any eating regimen or health regime Leonie has tried earlier than. “I had no thought I might stick at it for therefore lengthy, or surpass my weight reduction purpose with ease. I’m now the slimmest and fittest I’ve ever been in my grownup life. Exercising has turn into my meditation, a method to clear my head, and I really get pleasure from it. Getting up earlier than the children to carve out some me time very first thing places me in a a lot better temper for the day. And consuming mindfully has now turn into second nature too.”

Leonie’s weight reduction journey

Pre-pregnancy weight: 70kg in 2018

Heaviest Post-pregnancy weight: 100.6kg in September 2019

Weight now: 63kg in 2021

Leonie says: “I misplaced the primary 10kg fairly simply, I presume quite a lot of it was water retention, my ankles! Then the following 10kg took loads longer – over a yr. The closing 17kg took some dedication. In August 2020 I used to be 79kg and my purpose was to get to my pre being pregnant weight, 70kg. But I’ve been stunned that one other 6kg has come off since, purely from me main a extra lively way of life and never having loopy cheat days or binges like I used to. The numbers aren’t a giant deal to me anymore, it’s about how I really feel.”

In flip, consuming the next protein eating regimen and having 37kg much less weight to hold round has given her a lot extra vitality too. “I sleep higher, and I lead a way more lively way of life as of late, with out it feeling like a chore. I’ve created new wholesome habits for myself and it feels so good!”

Counting macros means Leonie has nonetheless been capable of go for meals out or to have takeaways – she simply eats moderately

Advice for others

Leonie says that taking management of her weight has given her a objective and course at a time when there was a lot uncertainty. “I’ve actually loved having one thing that I can management, notably within the loopy world that we’re dwelling in proper now! It has been empowering to take cost of one thing, and do it only for myself. Plus I’ve actually observed my daughters take an curiosity in my health journey too – setting a superb instance to them has been an surprising bonus I hadn’t even thought of earlier than.”

BC Race Leonie
Setting a wholesome instance for her daughter Beatrix and Dottie has been a significant bonus that Leonie had not thought of earlier than happening her weight reduction journey

She shares her journey on her Instagram web page @leonieash, the place she additionally provides recommendation for anybody else who is likely to be seeking to shed extra pounds: “Hindsight is an excellent factor, and it’s a lot simpler to say this now, having come out the opposite facet, than it could have been to listen to it again then, however, if I might have I might have advised myself sooner, ‘The solely one who can take management of your weight and make a distinction is you. You gained’t really feel higher about your self till you do one thing. What are you ready for? Do it now. Do it for you. I promise when you get going it’s simpler than it appears, and oh so satisfying!’”

Follow Leonie’s health journey on Instagram at @Leonieash

Is there an excessive amount of strain for mums to lose child weight?

There continues to be this concept that dropping your child weight as rapidly as potential is one thing to try for. Living within the UAE, the place we don our swimwear and head to the seaside or pool nearly each week of the yr, in all probability provides to it.

But new mums have greater than sufficient to consider. Plus our our bodies have grown a human! Everyone wants time to get better.

Pregnancy and delivery are a very transformative expertise, each bodily and mentally. But for me, I’m so completely happy to have turned that right into a constructive. Rather than bemoaning all my physique has been via I can marvel in any respect it has achieved. Having seen simply what a miracle my physique is able to (rising a human) has made me realise simply how wonderful my physique is. And in flip, not solely has it pushed me to check my limits and see how far I can go together with energy and endurance, fitness-wise. It has additionally made me respect a lot extra simply how particular it’s. My physique is worthy of being cared for and sorted correctly, with good meals and train.

I’m all for physique positivity. We are all totally different. Everyone recovers otherwise. And everybody has a distinct pure form and dimension to one another too. But I additionally consider that there are too many Mums who write themselves off, resigning themselves to the truth that as a result of they’ve had youngsters (which has stretched their physique in unimaginable methods) and since they now put themselves final (prioritising these youngsters) they’re destined to by no means be pleased with how they appear ever once more. Giving delivery and being a mom doesn’t need to really feel prefer it has damaged you, as a substitute it may possibly empower you.

Women’s our bodies are wonderful, we’re unimaginable. And I’ve by no means felt so completely happy in my very own pores and skin, more healthy, or extra in tune with my physique and its wants. I’m so happy with myself. And I hope that by sharing my journey, that others see that they’ve the facility to really feel the identical manner. They simply have to begin and maintain going, someday at a time.

I really like nothing greater than a message from somebody who has been impressed by my run, or weight reduction, and has began their very own journey and is seeing outcomes and feeling actually happy with themselves. It brightens my day pondering I could make a distinction. Because I’ve been there, in that rut, feeling completely depressed about my physique, and it feels SO GOOD to really feel in management once more. But there’s no secret, anybody can do it with sufficient willpower. You simply have to actually need to make a change.

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