I have never been particularly fond of pregnancy; even the sound of the word when I say it conjures up visions of birth suites and maternity pants and makes me grimace and wriggle uncomfortably. I went back four times (because I do enjoy the end result of pregnancy) but I do not, however, take even the slightest pleasure in the baby weight. Gaining it maybe, but losing it, no.
All of my previous babies had been born when I was in my 20’s, so the Mrs Mac’s pies, hot chips and mushroom gravy, bucket loads of chocolate and a borderline obsession with Hungry Jacks whoppers never seemed to stick around long after the baby had popped out. But once I turned 30, it was like my body simply decided ‘you can’t eat that shit no more!’ and I entered into my fourth pregnancy with an extra 5kg’s already taken up residence on my backside before I even started to indulge in what I believe to be the only pleasure of baby-cooking. I subsequently put on over 25kg’s, and walked out of the hospital with a 4kg baby, my maternity pants feeling snug around my fat bum and boobs the size of honeydew melons. To say I was uncomfortable is an understatement of epic proportions (kind of like my underwear size!).
I have always been in a rush to achieve things; I’ll admit I never stop the smell the roses or identify the simple joys of life, so when it came to the baby weight, it had to come off, and it had to come off now. I felt like a bean bag, my body all malleable and squishy; at least when I was housing a small human it wasn’t quite so……flubber-like. So, in the tradition of being terribly non-politically correct and probably sending some warped message out into society and to my existing children about bodies after babies and being healthy when pregnant; I did what I know a majority of new mothers would secretly love to but are usually too sleep, or time, deprived.
I busted my arse! I started running once I got the all clear from the doctor at 6 weeks and I was not kind to myself. My inner monologue would chastise the voice screaming at me to stop by telling me if I hadn’t of gotten so fat when I was pregnant, it wouldn’t be so hard now. I did the crime, I had to do the time, no pain = no gain and all that. I wasn’t breastfeeding (the reason being nobody’s business but my own) so I cut out meat, wheat and anything sweet from my diet and drank so much water that I could feel myself sloshing when I walked. I listened to my stomach grumble at 8:30pm (when I would’ve usually been tucking into a choccie bar) after eating a salad with a piddly little piece of chicken for dinner and ignored my sweet tooth when I walked down the confectionary isle at the shops. I would run up to 8km everyday, itching to get out and ‘feel the burn’. I didn’t feel like ‘taking it easy’, neither did I believe that it took 9 months to put it on so it takes 9 months to take it off. I felt uncomfortable with the excess weight, so I got rid of it.
And you know what, it worked. I revel in the comments of my friends and family about how good I look after just having a baby; I like how my favourite old pair of jeans fit just right once more and I no longer have to worry about going shopping for bigger clothes. Losing my baby weight (and a little bit more) quickly has made me feel fantastic, physically and mentally, so why should I be frowned upon because I did it in a socially ‘unacceptable’ way? Just because I had a baby doesn’t mean I cant embark on a fitness challenge or restrict my diet, society makes up these rules to make us feel better about our choices. You can judge me all you want for working hard to lose my baby weight fast, but it’s what worked for me and makes me feel good about myself.
There’s a positive connected to this negatively stereo-typed choice, and I’ll bet there’s a huge majority of women out there who are frowned upon just like I was for being so concerned with my own body after giving birth. Some might argue I was being a little selfish in my efforts, that I should be putting all my energy into a new baby and my other children, but isn’t being a little selfish something all mothers need sometimes?