• Janet Sibanda

Hold your breath and hope it disappears!

I don’t know if it's just me, but thinking of food makes me gain 2kgs. When I look at it, an additional 4kgs. Lets not even talk about what happens to me when I smell it, let alone eat it.

For as long as I can remember, exercise and I have been mortal enemies. I was lucky when I was younger because my weight was static at a whooping 55kgs (glory days indeed). I could boast about having a fantastic metabolism, that allowed me to eat all the rings around Jupiter in a breath and not be moved. Besides my lack of consistency and discipline, I just hate working out. Sports have never been kind to me. Ever since I can remember, I have always been last in every single race or sports competition I was in. Therefore, my objective conclusion on this matter rests in the question; ‘Why bother?’

After my first baby, I tried to keep the weight off, but desk work and literally pen-fattening did not help the cause. Then our surprise second baby came with basketfuls of more kilograms. Here I am 2 babies later, a full on armoured truck with a resident pooch, and my African heritage to define my figure. Don’t get me wrong, I wear the handles, and panels with pride. While we have them, why not rock ‘em. However, I know, when my pregnancy journey began, I really wanted to keep the weight off and skin tight. The glaring question was, who would support me in this very noble quest. Most gyms, had the general workout for every Tom, Dick and Lucy. It wasn’t clear if they were ‘preggy friendly’ or not. No one could solidly point me in the right direction, leaving me happily comfortable with the service gap.

I also came to discover the magical relationship between breastfeeding and weight loss, which worked wonders for me in my two years of breastfeeding (yes, I breastfed both humans for 2 years each). Let’s also not downplay the added strain that piles on a woman when she is a wife, mother, employee and administrator. I barely had the time to think, let alone succeed at juggling all those moving pieces. Any woman who successfully manages all those puzzle pieces, I respect you.

Back to my impassioned rationalization about my relationship with exercise. So, we never got

source- Zimbokitchen

along because we are both generally strong-willed. I’m stubborn and exercise is hard. Let’s also not discount my prolific motion sickness, literally throughout the entire span of my pregnancies. Not forgetting our staple diet as a people, or should I say the food that is readily available to us, does not make it any easier to make healthy nutrition and lifestyle choices (I may be making excuses here). So, exercise, good nutrition and I generally agreed to disagree and live our mutually exclusive lives. Or so I thought; amidst my other mouthwatering thoughts about juicy beef bones, greens and sadza.

I soon came to appreciate, however, that fitness was not just for my own good health-wise, but also to improve my birthing and post-delivery recovery. It will also save you from always tucking your tummy in beyond the baby-making years.

Now, 8 years and 2 babies into motherhood, I seriously have to reconsider my physical wellbeing and introspect about the glaring life-long implications, some of my easier choices may have on my future. Needless to say, my genetics have put up clear warning signs about things to come, and certainly do not favour my casual approach to fitness and healthy nutrition. If anything, some of my body parts have a thriving relationship with gravity and possess very strong negative emotions towards crunches. Oh, How I miss hidden blessings nestled in being a pedestrian by design not by choice.

Only now, after the babies do I find the very professionals I have been looking for throughout my maternity journey! In today’s article, we are welcoming to the Mwanangu~Mntanami Family, our fitness couple Danisa and Sheree from LMA Fitness to help us through our weight challenges before, during, and after our pregnancy journey. They specialize in antenatal and postpartum fitness and can help you make informed choices for yourself and your baby’s health. Here is the link to the forum discussion on Fitness in Pregnancy.

My dearest friend and colleague Dr. Nyarai Paweni, a Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in natural and restorative health and healing will also provide some much-needed information and wisdom around good nutritional practices. Baring in mind that this is only an information center, therefore please first clear everything with your Health Care Provider.

I will be posting a link in the comments section for the forum discussion on Nutrition in pregnancy shortly after. Please look out for it, and become a member of our site so you can interact with our Specialists.

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