Eating for two…

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Jessica Simpson recently declared that she can’t get enough twinkies (weird, processed cakes in packets that you get in America apparently) and sugary stodge since she got up the duff. The rather dull Daily Mail article (okay, okay – I admit I read it in full) went on to show several pictures of said Simpson girl, looking like she was about to give birth to a baby rhinoceros.

That’s right. The woman isn’t just blooming. She’s FLIPPING ENORMOUS!

One can only imagine the physics equation required to work out how much stress is concentrated in the single points that end in her six-inch stiletto heels. Would I let her walk on my polished wooden floorboards? Would I eck!

In fact if Jessica Simpson came over to my house for an entire black forest gateaux and a sisterly chat about being in the family way, I would almost certainly send her on her way – preferably in the direction of the local gym.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those pregorexic nut jobs who lives on grape nuts (WTF are they anyway?) and bean sprouts while gestating. Quite the contrary. But unfortunately, I know from bitter experience that piling on the baby weight (because you’re a fat chick on the inside and pregnancy gives you chance to stuff your face) is only bound to end in tears. Yours.

Many moons ago, when I was incubating oldest son, I let my gargantuan appetite dictate all the terms. If I fancied a chocolate milkshake at 8am, I’d jolly well have one. And if that happened to be followed by a cheese and crisp sandwich and a hearty hot lunch involving pies, then so be it! After all, if I was craving it, surely, surely, my baby (even though at that point he was about as large as a quail’s egg) needed it too. Right?

Wrong.

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But this refrain saw me though many a fattening snack and stodgy meal. Encased in pastry? Yes please! Served with fries? You betcha! Covered in chocolate? Do you even have to ask?

The result was of course, that I got fat. Not just pregnant fat – but seriously fat. Friends weren’t helpful – or truthful either. ‘You’re pregnant! You’re not fat! You’re blooming!’ they’d insisted. But I realized toward month seven, that they were only trying to be kind. And their misguided tact really hit home when my doctor told me in no uncertain terms that if I kept on eating like Jabba the Hutt, my baby would be the size of a Gammorean Guard…

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By that time of course, it was too late. I was already 20kgs up (that’s 40lbs – or three and a half stone to the initiated) and as every women who’s ever been pregnant (apart from skinny celebs) knows, it’s the last trimester where the weight just goes up, and up – and up….

I tried to put the brakes on – I really, really did. Gone were the Mars bars and Cornish pasties, and in came the steamed veg and fish. But as I said, by then it was too late. Because in the latter stage of pregnancy, your body becomes so concentrated on fat storage for the supposed ‘hard times ahead – ie breastfeeding) that basically, there’s no stopping it. Sniff a lettuce leaf and you’ll gain another pond – that’s evolution for you. So of course, I gained another 5kgs before the end.

In the last few weeks, stretchmarks formed a flaming ring across my gigantic belly and carrying the extra four plus stone, meant I could barely waddle. It was unbearably uncomfortable to say the least, especially as the weather was hideously hot. My legs swelled like sausages and my feet looked like they’d been borrowed from a Peter Jackson Movie.

It didn’t get any better with the delivery either. Because I was so uncomfortable – extra weight means extra aches and pains – labour required an epidural early on. Despite the merciful pain relief, I couldn’t move a muscle below the waist, and so the process was very, very slow – 48 hours slow in fact….

Not only that but once oldest son was finally delivered, he was fairly sizable, and not only broke the door rather badly as he exited – but my tail bone as well. Gee – thanks son!

So there I was afterwards, still four stone overweight, but this time, completely knackered, utterly shell-shocked (first baby does that to you) and unable to sit down for, oh, about six weeks….

Let’s just say the journey back to normality was a long and arduous one. I was finally able to fit back into my size 10 jeans, around 18 months after delivery. And even then, because I’d let myself get so huge, a certain amount of loose skin never went away. Yes, the experience of pigging out for dear life while pregnant, literally scarred me for life. And what’s worse is, it was my own entire fault.

The next time around of course, I was much more careful….

And third time around, as soon as I was able to pick myself off the floor from the morning sickness at around 17 weeks, I enrolled in the local gym and now do an hour a day, four or five days a week. Chocolate is banned. Chips are banned. And so is anything made with white flour, butter and sugar. Even then, I’ve gained a sizeable amount of weight (which is probably because I am now classed as an ‘older mum’) and my backside is huge.

‘Mummy, why is your bottom so big?’ was oldest son’s innocent inquiry just this evening as I huffed and puffed my way around the bathroom, tidying up clothes.

DH, despite swearing that he loves me the way I am, was heard guffawing loudly and unrestrained from the bedroom. And a little later, youngest son bounced up and down on our bed shouting, ‘Big bottoms! Big bottoms!’

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But even if my backside gets bigger than it did during my first pregnancy, at least I will know that I did my best to limit the damage. At least I will know that is wasn’t just all down to me and my hand to mouth cake compulsion… Yes, if I gain 25kgs again this time around, at least a small percentage of it will be down to muscle rather than unlimited amounts of refined carbs and peanut M&M’s….

It’s too late for Jessica Simpson now. Even if she gets an attack of norovirus, or lives on fresh air until D-Day, she’ll still walk out of that hospital wondering why her new baby looks so small, yet she still looks so enormous…… Poor woman.

And that’s where my sympathy ends. Because now I’m just looking forward to the next Daily Mail story about her struggle to lose the weight afterwards … and the ‘shocking pictures’ of her ‘post baby body’.

Mean of me? Probably. Unsisterhood-ish? Certainly. But will I be the only woman thinking this? Absolutely not!

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