Bet you can’t weight for all of that… (yes i meant it…)
Hold on. How about you don’t get all of that?
It is not possible.
YES IT IS.
I had my first son when I was 20. Young, not particularly fit at that point, but I had always been slim built.
I was small when I was pregnant with Cameron at the front but as my mother and her friend Carolyn were keen to point out my ARSE WAS HUGE. At least they waited until after I had him to tell me… I still went to hospital to have him wearing a pair of size 8 jeans and when I left the hospital you would never have known I had just had a baby.
Everyone was reasonably accepting of this. I was apparently 20 and very very lucky.
All that gymnastics had paid off. I was over the moon. I truly was. I was worried about how my body would be afterwards. It was a huge relief, I was much the same.
I had never had a particularly good relationship with my body or food.
I had always got quite unhappy if I put weight on. Particularly when I was stressed the first thing that would happen was that I would stop was eating properly.
It became a habit.
One that I am not sure will ever really leave me but now I use it as a positive. I now recognise it when it starts to happen and I notice if I am starting to neglect my health. It’s is usually a sign I’m not feeling very happy about something. I notice if my mood is starting to go down or I am starting to be more negative in my mind set, I have to make physical changes to what my body is doing.
The place my mind is in really effects my body and how my body looks effects my mind. I accept and understand that millions of women struggle with the opposite issue and struggle with their weight and food when they are happy but that is not me, or how I work.
More days than not now I am happy with myself and my figure. When I exercise and eat properly and get out in the day light. When I do these things my mind is happier and I stop looking at my body because I know I am looking after it and that automatically makes me feel better.
As soon as I found out I was pregnant this time at 32…
All I heard from the PEOPLE (not just women) was about the weight I was going to put on, the state I’d be left in, or how I wouldn’t ‘be tottering about in size 8 jeans this time…’.
I mean really, why the fuck shouldn’t I be??
I did the last time, I still try and take care of myself, why is my experience not relevant now that I am 32?
I’ll tell you why, because its not what ‘happens’ ‘its not normal’.
Women get fat when they have a baby and then struggle to lose the weight. The health and fitness industry has been making FUCKING MILLIONS for years based on this ‘fact’.
Lose six inches with Carole or Chloe or whoever else it is… You know what I am talking about… IT IS A BUSINESS… Fat new mums who feel bad about themselves are a GOLDMINE.
And the real beauty of their industry is that women (often), give themselves the problem…
They decide for themselves that because ‘they are having a baby’ they can eat what they want, when they want it because ‘it is a perk’.
Short term it may very well be but long term when there are sleepless nights and new baby hormones and low self esteem… An extra 3 stone to lose would have made me unhappier. I KNOW this!!
If you are happy with your weight all the time, then more power to you but that is not me, and I recognised that, that is not me. For me I processed being pregnant and the thought of weight gain like this…
- I am growing a human.
- My body is going to change immensely.
- My head is going to be up my arse when I have this kid.
- How can I make the other end easier.
- Lisa you struggle with your weight.
- Right make a plan.
And that is what I did…
Now before I go any further. The health of ALL my babies is and will always be a million times more important to me than any weight that I could EVER EVER weigh BUT that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t recognise a potential issue in myself and try to make things better for my family at the other end. The last thing I needed after giving birth was to hate my body.
I always kept my head focused that I was pregnant not sick. I kept moving.
I kept exercising. I kept going to work. I was 20 weeks and no one in my office knew I was pregnant.
I researched and looked into sensible weight gain plans across various countries and health accredited bodies and discovered that in all honesty you need very few extra calories to grow a human.
Your body needs nourishment not calories, not cake and crisps, but to be fuelled correctly to grow this little person.
So that is what I did I ate sensibly and exercised. The day I went into labour I was doing a local kids play obstacle course. WHY?? Because I could. My body was still my body. It was still healthy. It still needed to move and more importantly I hoped the jumping up and down would persuade Ava to make her appearance. It clearly worked…
I was healthy the full way through my pregnancy.
Slightly contradictory given that I was signed off work at 25 weeks. I was taking palpitations after a short hospital stint with a kidney infection. I had really at one point put myself on my arse but that too was a lot to do with my mind. Work was always high pressured and something had to give… Work gave. I had to put Ava’s health and mine before that life.
I couldn’t do that and grow her properly. I just couldn’t have.
But in terms of Ava’s weight gain and development I met every ‘milestone’ and measurement. I was ticking all the boxes in terms of her growth and the doctors never had one issue with the weight I put on (or didn’t put on). At 35 weeks I had put on 1st 11lb and they were telling me that Ava was 6lb4 of that.
By 40 weeks when she was born she was 8lb 5.
Healthy and happy which apparently shocked the life out of a few people. I think a few of them were expecting a wee sickly malnourished baba… ‘ehh where were you hiding her…’
I was asked at one point around 32 week if I was having a growth scan because my bump was so small… Nope I’m having that because I’ve had four miscarriages but thank you for asking…
My body has changed since being pregnant. My boobs have lost a fair bit of meat and my ass needs some squats but at five months post par-tum I am pretty bloody pleased about where I am. I have a few faint stretch marks up the top of my bum but nothing on my tummy or hips. I moisturised every day with coconut oil. It works. I don’t know how but it works.
Everyone’s journey is different. Some people would never have any option about exercising due to health concerns, and if you have no choice then you have no choice. If Ava’s health had required me to I would have sat on the sofa all day every day from the minute I found out I was pregnant. I would have ate 12 donuts a day if there was some scientific reason why she needed me to. The fact is she didn’t need me to so I didn’t.
If you are happy with your weight and don’t care about the size of your arse at the end of your pregnancy then crack on, tuck in to what ever you like. I just couldn’t walk blindly into pregnancy without knowing how to tackle this issue for myself.
Why don’t we talk positively about how we are looking after our bodies during pregnancy…?
Why aren’t we promoting the fact that there are safe and healthy ways to grow a human to each other?
Why aren’t we kinder to women about how they are going to change?
Sometimes just by trying and not accepting ‘how it will be’ we can change the outcome for ourselves?
My mental health deserved me to at least try and avoid giving myself a problem that I didn’t need too… And it worked…
Maybe if we stopped promoting the fact that becoming over weight is an inevitable part of pregnancy more women would embrace their changing bodies rather than mourning the loss of their old one?
I don’t have the same body I used to but I like this one. I’m looking after this one.