How I Stay Lean & Toned After 2 Children


Published: July 22, 2014

If I told you I started exercising to stay fit and healthy, I would be lying. I started exercising to stay slim. I wanted the freedom to enjoy all of the fashion choices I wanted to make.

This was my reasoning in my twenties, but as I grew older and took on more responsibilities, I started seeing benefits to exercise beyond the aesthetics.

Titilolami Bello

Exercising keeps me sane!

Exercising keeps me sane! Without exercise, I would find it extremely difficult to cope with being a mom, a wife and a full-time professional (in my case, I also run a small charity.) Sometimes life just gets overwhelming, but exercising helps me deal with the stress and can even shake away mild depression.

The birth of my son challenged me tremendously. I had assumed that my body would snap back into shape like it did when I had my daughter. It didn’t. And I wasn’t prepared to say bye-bye to my size 10 dresses! So, I decided to hire a personal trainer – not because I couldn’t motivate myself, but because my exercise was mostly cardio-based, and I knew that I needed to lift weights in order to reach the next level and get the body tone I desired.

I found a personal trainer over two years ago, and I’ve not looked back! What I love most about Gavin is how he has taught me that changing my body is not just about exercising; it’s about combining an exercise regime with better food choices. I had to clean up my diet, which wasn’t terrible, but which contained too many heavy white carbohydrates and hidden sugars.

Titilolami Bello

My goal never was to lose a huge amount of weight, but rather to gain more definition.

The plan for me involved switching to very little processed food, more lean protein, good complex carbs, vegetables, and regular meals with good snacks.

After six weeks, I started seeing results. My goal never was to lose a huge amount of weight, but rather to gain more definition. I’m happy to say I’ve almost achieved this goal, though my Achilles heel is my abdominal area – I still can’t get it as flat as I want!

Titilolami Bello

I’m known as the exercise mafia on my social media pages.

Unfortunately, my abdominal muscles were stretched badly in pregnancy, a condition called diastasis recti. The muscle is now so far apart that they won’t come back together without surgery or special exercises. This means I have a permanent bulge, and traditional ab exercise like crunches just make it worse. This problem will be my next area of focus.

I’m known as the exercise mafia on my social media pages. I preach it and preach it! I’m motivated by a simple truth: you don’t need silly diets or crazy detox programmes to stay slim. And you don’t have to lose your figure to childbirth or age.

Of course, your body will change as time goes by – mine has – but it doesn’t have to go downhill. Make the right food choices 80 percent of the time, do the right types of exercise, and you will be amazed at how great your body will look!

Titilolami Bello

Of course, your body will change as time goes by – mine has – but it doesn’t have to go downhill.

Titilolami’s Top Diet Tips

1. Eat more lean protein.

2 Never skip meals – you will only end up overeating later.

3. Eat out less often. When I’m hosting a dinner party, I put taste over health, and restaurants do the same, adding copious amounts of sugar and fat to their meals. When you eat out, you relinquish control over what goes in your food.

4. Drastically reduce your sugar intake, including natural sugars such as honey, maple syrup, and even certain fruits. Also, learn about hidden sugars and the various names they go by.

5. If there are too many ingredients in a meal, don’t eat it. It’s that simple.

Titilolami’s Favourite Exercise Tips

1. Stop going to Zumba classes, unless you’re going just for the fun of it. If you really want a good definition, start weight lifting or find your nearest circuit training.

2. Hire a personal trainer! Share her/him with friends, like I do, and the cost becomes more affordable. (Plus, having training partners will keep you motivated.)

3. If you don’t know what squats, deadlifts and burpees are, you need to! Ask your trainer or look on YouTube. These exercises really sculpt your body. They will give you great abs, lift your bum, and give you the best arms ever!

4. Learn about High-Intensity Interval Exercise (HIIT) – your life will never be the same. You can work out in 20 minutes flat and still see amazing results.

5. Lift heavy weight! Not only will you sculpt your body, you will lose more weight. (And no, you won’t end up looking like a man, unless you are using performance-enhancing drugs!)

Are you our next profile feature? Share your inspiring journey to health and your story could be next. Email us at editor(at)radianthealthmag(dot)com.

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About Titilolami Bello

Titilolami, 37, works full time in financial services. She is married and a mom to a 7-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy. Ardent in her dedication to public service and giving back, Titilolami founded the charity “Path to Possibilities” ( in 2009. This charity primarily provides scholarship funds to bright but underprivileged Nigerian children. Titilolami is also a governor at Leyton Sixth Form College. She is passionate about fitness and plans to enter a fitness competition next year. She also enjoys being an amateur writer and blogs at Her talents also include cooking, and it is the only thing she refuses to be modest

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