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New Year, New Me? Mums, you dont exist to lose weight

This Christmas has been a hectic one for sure. I noticed this because, for the first time in a long time, my inner critic was silent. I was literally too busy, too overwhelmed with emotions and too tired to hear her.

You know to whom I am referring. That bi**h who never stops commenting on your appearance. Who never shuts up about your parenting tactics or career choices or relationship problems. They might embody the voice of a twisted society, an unsupportive family member or a toxic partner.

Whoever they are, their voice is loud and lingers at the forefront of our thoughts most of the time. Especially in the early days of parenthood, that voice is crystal clear and never has a kind word to say.

Owing to its usual omnipresence, I was surprised that this year’s festivities had silenced the voice for the first time. I was relieved and relaxed for a few blissful days... Until she was woken again by a Facebook post. And shook awake by an ad on the TV and poked into aggravation by a stray comment.

Two dreaded words brought her back to life stronger than ever: weight loss.

To say that we are bombarded with diet culture this time of year is an understatement. The worst part is that we buy into it every year.

Every single January you hear and read about other mums' plans to lose weight for the new year. Every year we devote time and energy into caring about this thing that, according to society, defines us as people. As mothers. As partners.

All of us mums struggle with it because no matter what size you were pre-baby, your body will be TOTALLY different post-baby.

No matter how little you cared about your appearance pre-baby, the world will force you to think about it, even when you are knee deep in newborn.

Last year, like many mums, I spent yet another January on the weight loss train- it was a sickly ride full of relapses and self-hate. The “healthier” I was on the outside, the less healthy I became on the inside. Sound familiar?

So, this January, before you get sucked in by the motivational ads and the motivational outfit you buy in the sale ask yourself one question: Do I exist to lose weight? The answer is always no. If your past attempts to lose weight have been toxic in nature, wave at that train as it passes by this New Year. 

With her daughter Evie as her muse, Anna writes about mumhood and all its intersections from mental health to movies, social issues to pop culture. Anna lives in Dublin with her daughter, partner, three younger sisters and parents. She is a dreadful cook, a fair guitar player and thinks caffeine should be given as a yearly vaccine to parents - courtesy of the HSE.

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