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      Fitness is not just about looking good it’s about feeling good too! Having a baby is a huge adjustment for anyone. The lack of sleep is a killer. I thought I had put in enough training in nightclubs over the years but unfortunately it wasn’t so. I was drinking a lot of coffee and late at night I found it difficult to resist sugary snacks whilst feeding James.

      I had kept up a good fitness regime during my pregnancy but post pregnancy I didn’t seem to have the time. My sister and her husband had been using a trainer called John Lane and the results spoke for themselves. I also felt I needed a push, literally someone standing over me. I waited till James was 3 months old as you need to give your body a chance to recover post birth

      I went to see John but I had a few concerns. Firstly I was breastfeeding and planned to continue. John sets out a weekly diet which was great and it was one less thing to worry about. He said “Breastfeeding puts a surplus calorie demand on the mother’s body – a good nutritional plan will steer clear of harsh calorie deficits that may affect the mother’s, or indirectly, the child’s health. Complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats are all essential for the breast feeding mother – low or no carb diets are not a good option for these women”.

      I’ve always been a bit impatient and wanted to see results fast and John said that “It is important that new mothers realize that it is entirely feasible that they will return to their pre-pregnancy shape and may, with the right training and nutritional plan, surpass it – but patience and a balanced approach is critical”. Patience is a tough one but I did see results within a few weeks. We need to remember that it took 9 months to put it on so it will take at least that amount of time to lose it.

      What was more important though was how good I started to feel in myself. I’ve suffered quite bad babyblues/PND. Diet and exercise helped enormously. Porridge in the morning, oily fish, loads of water and generally a good balanced diet proved to me that a healthy body equals a healthy mind. John says that “Diet is 90% of the equation in achieving the physique that you desire. However new mothers should not discount the critical role progressively intensifying exercise plays in aiding a return to hormonal balance. Exercise can undoubtedly play a role in alleviating the symptoms of post natal depression”

      Finally John advises that “The return to exercise should be steady not extreme – the mothers joints have loosened and for instance the transverse abdominals are often quite slack. Training should be undertaken in a patient and progressive manner” Like most people I don’t get excited about exercise but I do love the sense of achievement afterwards and how good it makes me feel…. Try it as you never know you might even end up liking it!

      Check out my Training Day Food Guide or my Exercise 1 – The box squat

      Finding the right fit

      I find going to the gym pretty daunting. What’s works best and where do you start? I’ve spent a couple of hours hopping from one machine to the other and I would be achieving very little. Because my time was so limited I decided to try one on one training. Everyone receives a detailed seven day nutritional plan tailored to their individual needs. These nutritional plans are monitored on a weekly basis to ensure they are delivering results. I have to say though finding a friend to work out with is fun and a great way to cut the cost. My sis Kate( pictured) always gives me a run for my money and it’s also a challenge as she’s younger!

      We provide one to one and small group training including programming and nutritional plans for 3 distinct categories;
      Physique – The Beach Body Prep Programme
      Pregnancy – Pre/During/Post
      Strength & Conditioning – For Athletes, Schools and Clubs
      One on one sessions €45
      Group sessions (3-4 people, 3 days a week) €165 ea. per month
      In home service €55 (Dublin – for other areas contact John) 089-4296 347 or email: [email protected]

      Mum’s Must Haves

      Iron is an essential mineral for carrying oxygen around your body and maintaining good health. I’ve been taking it since pregnancy and find it makes a real difference. Available at pharmacies and health stores nationwide. Spatone® 14 Day Pack RRP €6.53, 28 Day Pack RRP €11.43

      Briefs-27-300x267While you’re working on getting your body back M&S Magic Secret Support Knickers work a treat where you need it most- flattening tummies and lifting bottoms for a sleek , streamlined silhouette. Above all they’re super comfortable. €27

      Recovering From Postnatal depression is a must read for every Mum to be. Its informative and well written. €9.99 in Eason’s and all proceeds go to PND Ireland.

      Royce-Impact-Free-Sports-Bra-White-44-300x277Cupcakes lingerie stock a great range of post pregnancy support bras. Essential for all new mums especially those breastfeeding. Tel: 01-4126876 | Royce impact free sports bra €44

      Tone those hard to reach areas while taking your baby for a walk Skechers SRT Shape Up’s €100 at the Skechers flagship store on Henry Street, 01 8730055

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