When is the right time to lose weight after giving birth? Are you proud of your MummyTummy or are you keen on improving your post-baby body?
My Little Lass is 4 months old now and maternity leave has, so far, involved a few baby classes, catching up with people and (you've guessed it) lots of cake - which, I'm told by friends is the norm.
To be honest, I probably haven't been ready to give up the sweet cravings just yet. Only seems two minutes since I gave birth and I still feel deserving of edible treats.
Lad celebrates a milestone birthday this summer so we're heading on our first holiday abroad as family of three with a group of friends & their little ones. We can't wait! The reviews look fab (yes, we've got a member of the group who regularly stalks the reviews on TripAdvisor to make sure that it'll be everything we hope for - and no, it's not me for a change). Looking forward to sunshine, being away as a family and spending time with friends.
Now for The Post-Baby Body.
There's a tension.
It's between me not being ready to give up maternity-leave-cake and the issue of self confidence. Not to mention the practicalities of 'nothing in the wardrobe fits'. Can't really afford to replace an entire summer wardrobe - ladies, I'm on statutory maternity pay now for crying out loud (you know how it is, right?) so losing a few pounds (ok, a stone) seems the only solution in an attempt to squeeze into my old faithful summer outfits that have been tried and tested to successfully hide a multitude of sins. Saddens me to say that the trusty bikinis and daywear playsuits just aren't sitting right on the body.
Well-meaning people tell you there's no rush to slim down (some days I think they're right) and they stress that it's more important how you feel. Exactly. I agree. Show me one woman who is genuinely feels happy with her body. Just one. Because I don't believe she exists.
Whatever size I've been, throughout my adult life I've been a UK size 12 -16 and I've always thought I looked fat. Like a lot of women, I tend to 'zoom in' on the least attractive parts of me and continually criticise them in the mirror. Now, I look back at photos and think I wish I was as thin as I was then - even though I thought I was fat!
Take me back to a slender me as waitress working in Malia, Crete circa 2000s (only for the body; I couldn't handle being drunk for 6 months again). Or take me back to my first ever 5k (and only ever my 3rd!) when I made it around the route in a credible time for a self-confessed fitness-phobe. Or just simply take me back to my pre-baby weight. That'll do. Ta.
I've been a yo-yo dieter throughout my adult life, and when I've needed to slim down for a special occasion or because of too many indulgences, I've joined slimming groups to shift a stone or so if I'm trying to be good, I'll often cook things that I remember from the group even if I'm not in one so I know it works. It's just the commitment, you see?
How many women feel the same as me? The need to feel like you again. The need to feel 'nice' in your clothes. I'd asked for comments from followers about losing baby weight: other ordinary women shared their experiences with me - their honest responses helped me to realise that I'm not alone in the body hang ups. The Lovely Ordinaries told me:
"Your body shape changes when you've had a baby. You haven't got time to wash your hair - never mind diet. Don't worry about it. Let it happen on its own. Just enjoy being a mum and wait 'til you're ready".
I've seen transformations among my own friends (and friends of friends) so I know it can be done not but I'm just not ready for the hard work needed to tackle the developing bingo wings and turning the mumtum into abs (I'm a realist you know). I do, however, hope to feel comfortable in a 'nice top' and jeans (whatever a nice top is...) So, as of this week, I've joined a slimming group on a 6 week countdown to give me a nudge. I've already got the tummy control costumes to 'suck it all in' so it's not all bad if it doesn't work.
My sister-in-law has artistically provided the visual motivation in the form of a sketched palm tree which I will colour in with each pound I lose. It's stuck to the fridge. Never been so excited to start a diet - just to colour it in! I've attended the slimming class with my mate (to support each other) and we've started this week.
Wish me luck! I'm already starving!