I saw a post the other day on Facebook and then on the telly, in and mamamia and in the women’s weekly…. Rachel Finch and her post baby bikini photo shoot! Shock horror! She was in a Bikini and she looked damn hot! The comments that flowed were a mix of jealous rage, praise and well… astonishment. The discussion was around how she was blessed with ‘good genes’ by some, whilst others commended her dedication and hard work and some suggested she was foolish to starve herself and conform to the world of show biz, to fit back into her twin piece. I couldn’t help but raise my hand to the facey thread, suggesting that whilst genes may have played a small role, hormones are and will always be the driving force in any situation of weight loss and wellness. Of course, I got a few smirky remarks back, an ‘i wish’ and an ‘if only!’ or two. But what if only? What if, the underlying issue was hormones? It meant our knowledge around weight loss for post baby bodies, mid 20’s bodies and even menopause bodies and weight control is in fact wrong. Quite frankly, I wish we could be less afraid to leave behind the 80’s mindset (along with mullets) and realise just how outdated the current model and ideas around weight loss are.
Skip back to the genes part for a sec. You know I’m mad for a bit of epigenetics discussion – if you recall, it’s the concept and science proven reality that we can influence the way our genes work – and we’ve been doing this for all of time. Our environment, lifestyle, diet and mindset are the key drivers in genetic output. So with this in mind genes really don’t have to play a role if we know how to influence them best. It’s not voodoo or new age, it’s reality. Refresh your memory on that discussion here. So that crosses off that part – that genes aren’t really the problem.
I have to say, after having my first child Olivia, I was very thin. I had experienced a pretty horrendous and extremely long labour and I didn’t eat for a week leading up to the birth (because I was in labour on and off for… A WEEK! – why didn’t I have prelabour acupuncture? Long story.) I continue to become thinner and thinner as I breastfed – and yes I was knackered as I’m sure Rachel or any new mother is, but my body was bouncing back very quickly. I also realised as a breastfeeding mother I needed to fuel my body in a way that delivered the best nutrients to my child. I fed it loads of therapeutic fats, wholefoods, coconut butter, plant based nutrients, LIVE food and skipped on the foods that weren’t going to facilitate my newborn any nutrients. The benefit of this combined with breastfeeding saw me back in my pre baby jeans pretty quickly. Please note. I didn’t starve myself. I ate. A LOT. Similar thing happened with my second child, I was like a mobile milk woman (and felt like a cow) but I was feeding my body in such a way that weight was literally falling off. God bless breast feeding.
But, say you’ve done all the ‘right’ things only to find the stubborn weight has never budged. Those last 5 kg just won’t get the hint. The key is HORMONES. They are the master controllers and really the culprit of weight which of course extends to fertility. As little as 4kg can be standing between you and your fertile weight. Remember, your fertile weight and your ideal weight may not necessarily match as our ideals resemble Miranda Kerr. Weight relies on the inner workings of the hypothalamus – if it is a bit chugged up, the scales will most likely reflect the same. What gets in the way of the hypothalamus working properly you ask? The foods we eat, the environment we live in and most of all how stress affects us individually AND fat stores. I’ve shared a video here with you about this – you really must watch it to learn how to rectify.
The nuts and bolts of it are basically that we need to change our approach around healthy weight and weight loss. We need to understand that if we are doing the right things pre, during and post babies, our bodies will undoubtably bounce back rather quickly. It’s not about being blessed by god or starving ourselves (although I’m not disputing some women do!) until we resemble a twig and are so HORMONAL we snap and eat 5 chocolate bars, it’s about understanding exactly what fuels our hormones also control weight. Because of course, hormones are the masters, they not only control weight but ovulation, reproductive function, moods, energy and responses to everyday living. We need to gain the knowledge that the current approach is outdated and that there is a solution to it (watch the video if you need more) but whilst the hypolthalamus is ‘offline’ no amount of dieting will actually work.