3 reasons why the ‘baby weight’ is harder to lose the second time round.

You've probably heard from your friends and family, or you're probably living this right now, it's something you're sure wouldn't happen and lo and behold it IS happening to you. You are just not seemingly able to lose the baby weight this second time round.

Unfortunately this is happening to me too. I seem to go in cycles of finally managing to lose a couple of pounds, only to pile it STRAIGHT BACK a couple of weeks later. I find that as I'm nearing the 4 month marker I've started wondering to myself if I EVER will get back to the way I was or if I'm alwayd going to remain 8lbs+ my pre-pregnancy weight. What makes it worse is that I keep comparing myself to my first pregnancy and how I lost the weight quicker that time round, finding that the more I compare myself, the more frustrated I was getting. Then at some point I snapped out if it and I really thought to myself. 'Hang on, if I lost it the first time round, then surely I'm doing something different or wrong which means I am not losing it the second time round.' And there was my answer. I was doing something different. NOT wrong, but different. Not only did this revelation ease my impatience, it also opened my eyes to the fact that maybe we should just stop comparing. If you aren't losing your baby weight the second, third and fourth time, then for sure you're doing something different too. Below I'm going to list the differences and why, they're actually real reasons. 

1. It's your second (or more) birth: 

2. We have less time and so we are eating more: 

3. Getting to the gym is harder: A personal one for me, I find that with two children, getting to the gym is MUCH HARDER than it was getting there with my first. I mean after spending the whole day with my first, daddy would walk through the door after work, I'd put him on baby duty and run to the gym, not a feeling of guilt in my soul as this was my hour. However, having two babies it goes something like this. Stay with the baby the whole day, daddy walks through the door with first child (he's been to nursery all day). I obviously choose to spend my evenings with him doing something fun rather than running off to the gym as he's already been away for 8 hours and I'm not wasting my few precious hours that I could have with him, sweating it out in the gym. #sorrynotsorry

So literally, there you go, 3 legit reasons why I cannot get back to my pre-pregnancy weight as fast as I did after my first & also 3 reasons why it doesn't even matter anymore. Life is different, the circumstances are different. I'm a mama, just like you, doing it all alone. So let's not be too hard on ourselves and of course, try and make the healthier choices when we can, have patience and slowly but surely everything will fall into place. 

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Supplements whilst pregnant and breastfeeding.

A question I have been asked a lot during both my first and second pregnancies and during my time breastfeeding after, is, is it safe for me to take protein powder? Do I take/use any other supplements during these precious times. It is at this point where my answer is always, ‘yes and no.’ The lines surrounding this subject are very important especially as it concerns the health of a baby, therefore, if you are thinking of taking protein and or supplements, it is important to know the ‘rules’ as well as how, when and how much is safe to use. On this blog post I will outline the basic – yes and no’s to what can be taken and what is a no go, however, I will be also uploading a VLOG, so that I can expand and talk about in more detail what supplements I take, what stages I take them and most importantly why I take them.

Prenatal Supplements: YES. Prenatal supplements are extremely important to take during pregnancy, even if you have a healthy diet and lifestyle, a prenatal will help cover any bits missed when it comes to getting a full dose of essential vitamins and minerals that you will need to take care of yourself and your growing baby. On another note, whilt breastfeeding many women choose to just continue with their prenatal vitamin, however, experts suggest that it is actually important breastfeeding mother make the transition from a prenatal vitamin to a postnatal vitamin. This is due to the fact that whilst nursing, the nutritional needs of a mother and baby are different to those of a pregnant woman and that certain vitamins are needed in different quantities such as Vitamin D.

Iron Supplements: YES. Many woman after giving birth are temporarily anaemic due to the massive blood loss. Iron supplementation is very important for some new mothers, yet maybe not as important for others, this widely varies from mother to mother, their birth stories and their general diets. One group of mothers it is important for regardless are those who have had a c-section, as iron supplementation is extremely important for the post operation recovery.

Probiotics: YES. During pregnancy the hormone oestrogen slows down everything that is happening within our digestive tracts, leading many mothers to continue to suffer even after birth constipation, wind, stomach cramps etc. Probiotics help to maintain a healthy digestive tract over the long run and results can be seen even from the first few days of taking them. Depending on the specific probiotic, most are safe for use during breastfeeding and even have been proven to help with maintaining a healthy digestive tract for baby too. No more colic! Although when buying an over the counter probiotic make sure to verify that it is indeed BREASTFEEDING SAFE before buying. 

Protein Powder: YES and NO. When it comes to protein powder it can be a red flag on whether you take it or not. Here it is important to understand how protein powder functions to help us and know how the other added artifical substances can harm/cause damage to our growing babies. There are also so many other factors that vary depending on age of baby, stage of pregnancy and the mother herself. I will expand more in detail on my upcoming VLOG on what type of proteins are okay and what types are a NO – GO. 

 

BCAA’s: NO. The term BCAA is short for ‘branched chain amino acids’. In short they are just basic protein building blocks for our body, so you may wonder, why not for a growing foetus? In general high levels of BCAA in children under 12 years of age have shown to cause mental retardation and brain damage, an unborn foetus or nursing child can inadvertently consume extra levels of BCAA through any kind of nutrition passed from the mother to the child during the pregnancy or nursing stages. This is why it has become a general rule for medical professionals to recommend that women who are pregnant or nursing not take any kind of BCAA supplement. It’s better to play it safe than sorry. 

Fat Burning Supplements: NO. Fat burning supplements usually are just made using a stimulant or a combination of stimulants in order to increase our metabollic rate, thus causing us to burn fat easier/quicker. If you have been pregnant or nursing before, you will know even every day stimulants such as caffeine has to be restricted during these sensitive periods of time. Why? Everything we consume, our child does too and if the effect of a stimulant can have such an impact on our body then inadvertantly it would be like giving crack cocaine to your child. So that is a definite no. 

L – Carnitine: YES. Whilst there is not enough research of L-carnitine use during pregnancy, it is better to be on the safe side and to not use it, however, during breastfeeding reseach has shown that it can help a mother bring her energy levels up during this time where a lot of energy consumption goes into making milk. Moreover research has also shown that small amounts of L-carnitine have had no side effects in nursing babies, yet large amounts of L-carnitine use has still not been researched. It can therefore be concluded that l-carnitine in moderation and at smaller doses is safe to take during breastfeeding. 


 

Finding a new Niche

Niche: A comfortable or suitable position in life or employment.

Why have I started this post with a definition? Because metaphorically I am looking for one. Since having my second wonderful addition to my family, I have found that now, more than ever I have somewhat become lost. Lost in myself. Don’t misunderstand me, I  L O V E  being a mommy, every single second and everything else that comes with it, however, as I have written before, it is important to not let motherhood purely become your identity, as it’s from there I have learnt and seen in other people, things have started going wrong. It is important to never forget who YOU are, what you love and what you are passionate about.

aside from being extremely passionate about my wonderful family and my children am passionate about many weird, wild and wonderful things, yet lately I find I do nearly none of them. Not because anyone is stopping me, but somehow because I seem to subconsciously make a choice to not do so otherwise I am sure I will feel a guilt for doing something for me#motherhood #fatherhood #iknowmyhubbyfeelsthesameway. 

Another reason to why I’m not doing things I love (including my husband) #sorrynotsorry is because as a new mother to 2 little wonders, one being a toddler and the other being a newborn it is so hard to find the time. WE hate leaving our children with other people, it just doesn’t feel right to do so, as until today I never really felt I could trust anyone with my children.

So where does that leave me? 

  • feeling sometimes sad & frustrated, followed by guilt because actually my life isn’t all that bad and I have a wonderful family.
  • feeling unhappy with the way I look because it’s been 6 months since I last saw the interior of a gym.
  • feeling like I’m room mates with my husband because we’re so busy we forget that finding time for each other is important too.
  • feeling as though I’ll never be passionate about anything except for my children ever again.

Then suddenly, like a ray of light, I woke up, I or maybe I should say we – finally got the chance to speak about it and realised this wasn’t what we wanted. Sure we’re doing a great job as parents (or so I hope we are), sure we work hard, bringing money in, keeping a clean house, raising a healthy, happy, family. But what about us? What shall we do for ourselves. You see the problem here is the possibility. Let’s take simply TWO things I love which I managed to maintain with my new SAHM lifestyle the last time I was on maternity leave. I loved the gym and then it was something I would really connect with my husband about, we’d swap gym stories at the end of a long day, evem though we almost rarely/never got the chance to go together since having a baby. Nowadays I don’t get the time to go to the gym. I can make the time e.g. get up at 5.30am, I am truly that dedicated, yet for some reason in Romania I can’t find a gym that opens early enough for me to get there and grab a quick workout whilst baby is sleeping. Then at the end of the night it’s almost like we are so separate we rarely had anything left to talk about. Of course, love prevails all, so we decided to find something new. 

Find a new niche, a new passion that we both share and that we can both carry out alongside raising alone (alone together) two babies. So we did! We actually found not one, but two activities that we will start this week and they go hand in hand. We hope we’ll be taking them far. Being amateurs together should be a fun journey and I hope that in a year from now I will be progressing and excelling as I imagine. I cannot wait to share with you, my beloved readers, on my beloved blog my new found passions. Everytime I put something before writing a blog post, I miss it. It’s my outlet and I love to write to you, yet for some reason I never was making time. However, I will – and I will be posting pictures soon of everything new I’m upto and onto this new journey in fitness that I’m embarking on!

With Love, 

Reema

X O X O X 

 

Exercise during Pregnancy

It is a common misconception that during the 9 months of pregnancy, exercise is not allowed, or that it even can be dangerous to a pregnancy. As long as your pregnancy is a healthy pregnancy (and if you are concerned about a work-out affecting your pregnancy then please seek medical advice) then exercise is most probably one of the most beneficial things you can do throughout your pregnancy – even if you have never exercised before! Pregnancy is a great time to begin and heres why…

 

1. Fights Fatigue

Fatigue, one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy (I mean you are making another human here, if that’s not tiring, then I don’t know what is!). Starting as early as 4 weeks and for some lasting right up until week 40 the chronic, intense tiredness can be a true downer on a daily basis. Already well known to be a fighter of fatigue, new research shows that the cure may be as simple as doing a small amount of exercise every day (even if it is the last thing you feel like doing). Even better, new research shows the best type of exercise to combat fatigue is low – intensity exercise. So if pregnancy fatigue has hit you hard and you really don’t feel like a torturing workout at the gym, it actually can be as simple as lacing up your trainers and going for a walk round the block! 

2. Prepares you both mentally and physically for birth

Having strong muscles can greatly ease labour and delivery, why? The strength helps them to push the baby out more effectively. Being able to manage your breathing, having a healthy heart etc. all plays a massive role in pain endurance during labour and in the case of a long labour (hopefully not the case) exercise massively aids by teaching the body pain endurance. In other words, a stronger, fitter, pregnancy equals to a stronger, fitter woman during labour.

3. Bowel Movements

A really unspoken, yet ever so common (and ever so uncomfortable) symptom of pregnancy is constipation. Exercise increases movement in the intestines, therefore increasing bowel movements. 

4. Relieves the aches and pains

A pregnant woman’s body is growing another human, and alongside that other human, with all the other extra baggage, like the placenta, amniotic fluid, increased blood volume, totals to a minimum of an extra 10kg of weight that her body has to carry around with her. In turn, this extra strain can cause all types of aches and pains, especially the back. Exercise increases the strength and posture of the back,  butt and thighs by toning them up, making carrying that little baby love around just that much easier!

5. Activating that lubricating fluid

Due to hormonal changes the joints throughout the body become much looser which in turn may cause joint ‘wear and tear’. Exercising helps activate the lubricating fluid in the joints, keeping them in tip top shape!

6. Promotes a healthy weight gain

Exercising during pregnancy ensures that less fat weight is gained. With less excess fat gained during the period of pregnancy it means that post birth you can be on your way to getting that pre-pregnancy body back much quicker than if you hadn’t exercised at all!

Quality > Everything 

Life always gives us a second chance, it is called tomorrow.’ – let’s start Monday with a coffee and a quote.

I so believe in this quote and my favourite tomorrow is always M O N D A Y’ S. I always feel like I can start fresh and free on a Monday and erase any mistakes I made the last week… All in order to push to a better me. So to start our week off, below I’m adding in the link of why quality is vital. And by quality, I’m a foodie, so of course I mean the quality of food. However, take this as no joke, because really, something as simple as the good we consume can have a much bigger impact on the productivity of our week than many of us realise.

So take a peek at the link and have a great week! See you on the blog tomorrow! Ox

Working out without music?

Good morning Chocolate lovers! I have SO MUCH work on the agenda today, but before all that I’m going to the gym today to work off all this stress and tension!

Headphones I N – Music U P – Game O N 

Oh and here’s a little video for you, on why I DON’T work out without music, I mean, do you? 😉

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

ps.comment me some new music for my playlist, I want to make a playlist purely out of suggestions and see what I end up with- just a little creative idea, and YES I will be doing a video!

OXOXO

 

Finding the perfect fit love.

Today we live in a world where fitness, diets and exercise play a massive role in our day to day lives. Why? Because of the sedentary lifestyle which although we may not want to be a part of, becomes a part of us due to the rapid growth of the cyber world and all the technology that surrounds us.

How? Well think about it, our coffee is made by mechanical machines, a majority of us sit working at screens all day, only to finish work maybe go and do some food shopping only to find out when you’re finished and go to pay, that the cashier is not a human but in fact an automated robot that does it for you. So as all the labour activity is being replaced every day by robots, what are we humans doing instead? We’re taking up fitness regimes, diet regimes and all kinds of health kicks to keep ourselves in shape and in the best health. Is that a bad thing? Of course not! Quite the contrary, this new modern fitness rage which has engulfed a majority of our population has been one of the best ‘fashion kicks’ of this century. There are a whole lot of pros to this lifestyle, and almost, no cons, in fact…just one I can think of. How does the fitness world affect the dating world?

What I mean to say is, we are already so busy with work, hobbies, going to the gym, our diets (I know I am) and all the other little things we do on a day to day basis in our lives. Where do we also fit in time for dating? Let alone a relationship? Do many amongst us stay single in order to achieve our goals? I mean is it possible to find someone who is just as into fitness as we are? Who’s going to look at the menu with us? Can anyone be bothered to count calories with us? And join us on our workouts? If the soul other in fitness exists then where can you find one? They say that finding someone with common interests can be found at the place of interests, but in this case it’s not quite that simple is it? How do we find the perfect person at the gym when everyone is focusing on their grind? How do you go to a restaurant and tell which person is looking at the same part of the menu as you (the lower cal part of course) and even if you can pick that person out from a crowd, a restaurant is not seemingly the place to walk up to someone and socialise without seeming crazy. Is it?

In most other cases, finding the soul other is easier when it comes to other hobbies, let’s take some examples, if you’re a swimmer, you’ll probably find your love chilling in speedo’s by the pool, if you’re a book lover you’ll probably find them in a library or a good old book store. But this is a different story for us on the first line fitness front, however, wait there, I think I’ve found an answer for you! After you’ve finished work and are probably meal prepping or at the gym then what better way to check out a -> dating site . As mentioned before, where technology is taking over then why should we stay single due to this fact? Use the same technology to find the love of our lives, not just for work and our too well known fitness selfies. Helping us find the one most matched for us and let’s not settle for any less! So YES, that does mean, even if you are a fitness freak, and you have been wondering if there is someone like you out there, then there is also an outlet to find them. You just didn’t know where to look until now. So now you do, get started and find your perfect fit love today! ❤

Genius Nutrition Protein- why it’s so Genius!

PROTEIN – Many of you may know various brand names of protein powders, may know many people who consume them for many different reasons, you may consume protein yourself, which is great! Once you enter the ‘fitness world’ the word protein becomes a very important word to you…whatever your goals may be.

In the Life of a Chocolate Girl we have me (the sceptic), my husband (the supplement consumer), our little bear cub (Baby Ayan – 18 months old, still breastfeeds), Oh and Cliffy the Spitz. I state this to you because, in this case the relevance of QUALITY of protein plays a massive role in the dynamics. My husband has been a gym goer for years now, and has always taken protein to aid him with muscle growth, repair and recovery – so over the years I’ve seen all the different brands he’s tried and have always had protein in our home at my disposal if I’d ever wanted to take it – well, he looks pretty good if I don’t say so myself. However, I never really took any protein despite having intense workouts and needing the extra protein being also a vegetarian and a breastfeeding mother with a super active lifestyle. I used to say to my husband all the time that the ingredients just didn’t seem natural or healthy and that I simply wasn’t ready to put unknown sourced ingredients into my body simply for aesthetic reasons whilst in the meantime possibly ruining the health of both, me and my baby. That is, until I came across GENIUS NUTRITION! 

I am now a protein drinker, I still breastfeed, have much more efficent muscle recovery, therefore less tiredness, more intense workouts and increased daily muscle progress. I’ve truly converted! Okay, so now you’re wondering what is it about the Genius Nutrition product that converted me? What makes it different to all the other supplement/protein companies I have come across until date? Well, let me bullet point you why…

  • Genius Nutrition has bought out one of the most innovate whey proteins until date
  • They provide only the purest, highest quality whey protein available
  • The whey is sourced only from cows that graze on natural grass pastures
  • Sourced from cows that have not had any antibiotics or hormone influence 
  • Protein is produced without GMO’s, pesticides and artifical flavours 
  • Protein from the macronutrients are calculated (no Amino Spiking on the label) 
  • Made in Belgium – Chocolate Dreams is so delicious and tastes exactly like belgian chocolate (always a bonus if you’re a chocolate lover like me). 

See, what more could you want? Perfect for the vegetarian! Keeps the protein requirements up, is healthy and pure as can. Most importantly the quality that is obtained from happy AND healthy cows is simply not comparible. Need I expand more? You may be wondering why the quality and purity mean so much to me, well here’s the thing…In my opinion, life isn’t just about aesthaetic quality, but just as or even more importantly – true quality. What’s the point in looking great if you’re feeding yourself all types of unknown substances and chemicals on the inside? The effects may not show now, but down the line, you never know what damage you may have been causing yourself all this time. Ask yourself, will the aesthetics or the health matter to you in 30 years time? It’s your choice, opt for Genius Nutrition today, get that kick-ass workout, look good, feel good & guarantee yourself a healthier, happier tomorrow!

🔴⚫️ Oh and guys, as a little present from me, any order you make from www.geniusnutrition.ro just insert code -> LCG at checkout for a 12% discount. Let me know what you think of their products, I can be contacted by mail at lifeofachocolategirl@outlook.com ⚫️🔴

I wish you happy workouts & a wonderful week!

Reema ⭕️❌⭕️❌

It’s all about the Genius! 

For my chocolate lovers who have been waiting in anticipation for what’s to come on the blog, then I have good news, the wait is nearly over…Monday will see the launch of a new project taking place in collaboration with Life of a Chocolate Girl

So get ready, it’s going to involve a lot of fitness, food and more importantly Genius…who can guess what the project will be?!

Shake up a protein on Monday morning and I’ll catch you here on the blog! 

⭕️❌⭕️❌⭕️


WSOTD – workout song of the day. 

My workout song for the day 🙂 – Mario Joy: California. YouTube it, then pump it up ▶️

Love, R 

❌⭕️❌⭕️❌