Don’t pretend that everything is fine

Heart to Heart with Malvika

Published On: February 1, 2017 10:08 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Dear Malvika,
I am a new mother. I am struggling to get back to the body I used to have before I delivered my baby. I do work out and recently even tried to go under a new diet but nothing seems to work. I want to get back to the body I used to have. Could you please give me tips for post-pregnancy weight loss?

Congratulations are in order! As you know a woman’s body undergoes massive changes during pregnancy. And after baby, it takes a lot of effort and healthy eating to get it back. You haven’t mentioned whether you had a c-section or had a natural delivery and how old your child is. A lot of loose skin remains, especially around the belly area after child delivery, and that only go away through rigorous exercise. I wore a post maternity belt four days after my c-section. It works like a ‘patuki’ that Nepali women wrap around their stomach.

But this one works much better. It has to be worn between 6 to 8 weeks after the delivery. I did that for quite sometime. My diet included non-oily food, boiled vegetables; stir fry chicken and fish, pasta, little rice, lentils, fruits and chicken soup. I breast-fed my baby, which burns about 500 calories. Also in the first three weeks, I used to squat a lot with the baby in hand. That made it easier for me to lose weight. Once I started my job after three months of delivery, I slowly started losing more weight. Do note that this is through rigorous activity, healthy eating. So do not give up on healthy eating, do not binge, no eating after dinner. Stick to your exercise. You have to be active throughout the day for more toned body. There are amazing moms out there who have gotten their pre baby body back. And it is not impossible. Good luck!

Dear Malvika,
I am a married woman who is having problems with my in-laws. Actually, my husband doesn’t have a job and for the moment I am financially supporting both of us. But my in-laws think that I am forcing my husband not to work so that I could work in an office. They always accuse me of discouraging their son and question my ability to work in a high post at a company. How can I solve this problem?

It is sad to hear things like these. Why would any wife force a husband to not work unless they have health issues? That doesn’t make any sense to me at all. I am sure you had an understanding when you got married. And you must have been a working individual from before. There are two things that can be done here. First is that your husband needs to play role of mediator and explain to his parents that this is not the case. If he is actually looking for a job, they should know that what they are saying is very discouraging for both of you. Honesty is the best policy here. Sometimes parents need a reality check about their children.

There is no use of beating around the bush and pretending everything is fine. Second, turn a deaf ear to what they have to say. Minimize your communication with them. I know I am being harsh but you cannot take all that mental stress. It is not fair. You have to work, bring home the money and still listen to such crap. Would a man hear such things, if his wife wasn’t working? Mostly no! So do not let it affect you and please tell your husband to be honest and forthright with your in-laws. 

Dear Malvika,
I am a 25-year old man. My parents are divorced and my mother lives with me. My mother has a drinking problem and is verbally abusive towards me after she drinks. I have tried to help her and even sent her for professional counseling but nothing seems to work. I can live by myself and my mother would have no problem with it, but I feel responsible to take care of her. At the same time I don’t want to be abused every single time. How do I get out of this situation and at the same time help my mother?

Help her make friends. She seems to be going through depression and is an alcoholic. She needs to join a support group too. Introduce her to other women who are divorced and who are living healthier lives. This could be an inspiration. Alcoholics and depressed people need all the support they can get. Send her to rehab to get her out of alcoholism. There is no other way, unless some miracle happens or something bad happens and we do not want that. This will not be easy. Once she leaves alcohol, then you can start the counseling. But you have to be present here as well and let her realize that what she is doing is also affecting you at the same time. This will take months, sometimes years. But the affect afterwards is positive. So be patient and hang in there my friend! 

Dear Malvika,
I am a high school graduate. I studied science in my school but want to take up arts for my undergraduate studies. The problem is that my parents want me to study science. I have tried convincing them about this but they seem to always ignore me. I don’t see my future in science but at the same time I don’t want to hurt them and be disrespectful. How do I convince my parents without hurting them? 

Many young people in Nepal go through the same. Eventually they take up science and get so miserable that in the end the parents have to comply with their desire. But I wouldn’t want a drastic step for you. My mother wanted me to be a doctor but I was convinced it was not for me. I fought and studied management. Ten years down the road, she kept saying I should have been a doctor. But that wasn’t meant to happen, unless I do a PhD. So first convince your teachers to talk to them. That might be of some help. If that doesn’t work, take help from your relatives with whom you might be close and they might listen.

Give them examples of people who are successful without studying science. It will take some time, it might work. If it doesn’t, then join science and see how it goes. Who knows you might change your mind too! 

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