The pressure of losing weight after having a baby

I’ve always been skinny (apart from when I was a baby – those are my overweight days having 13kg at the age of one) and I never followed a diet or went to the gym to get toned. I remember the good old VHS tapes with aerobic workouts that I was trying to foolishly copy when I was 14. I wanted to look like those ladies wearing bright neon leggings and multicoloured headbands, jumping up and down in a perfect rhythm created by the 80’s amazing music. But see, I was only 14 and they were probably around 30 so soon enough I realised that this was something close to mission impossible so I gave up on it.

exercise

Later on, in my twenties I was working more than living so training constituted in running around hallways and wearing high heels for more than twelve hours trying not to complain much. But I loved it. I loved it so so much I couldn’t even think that that style of life was not as healthy as it should have been. Again I was skinny to the point when people were picking on me thinking I don’t know what food is. But I did, only that I was guided but one motto: “I eat to live, I don’t live to eat!”

Around my late twenties I realised that I only had my work and nothing else. I was a single, close to thirty woman, skinny as fuck but with a nice career and no other perspective. It didn’t take long until I decided to do something so I moved countries. I was still skinny but heading towards a different life.

Fast forwarding to these days, I find myself in my late thirties trying not to eat, exercise as much as I can and frustrating about my weight and especially my baby belly.

I always wanted to be one of those sexy, thin pregnant women who can wear almost anything and look so damn good

The thing is, before I got pregnant I gain some weight due to quitting smoking and starting to have a balanced life with three meals a day (not very good, is it?) I got stressed out and I didn’t know what was going on so I was making efforts in losing the extra kilos I put on. But right when in the middle of it I found out I was expecting  so good bye exercising and not eating. I can say I had a pretty nice figure and I didn’t put on much but towards the end of the pregnancy, the only thing you definitely don’t want to hear is: “Oh my God, you are so huge! Can you get any bigger?” 

Yeap. I heard it as well. So annoying, so frustrating, so painful. And yes, I still had four-five weeks to go so getting bigger was a big possibility. And in a society that seems to dictate every step of your life, no matter how strong you are, these things will get to you and they will affect you.

 

I remember that the first thing I realised after I came home with my little one was how big my feet were

My God, they were the size of tree trunks. So swollen and ugly it made me cry, having nightmares thinking what if they will stay like this. But lucky they didn’t. They went back to normal in a week – one shoe size bigger, painful and wider but not as swollen.

After this I was obsessing about getting rid of that jelly big belly that not long ago served as a home for my growing baby. But now that the baby was in my arms, there was no space for a belly. I couldn’t wait to stop breastfeeding and past the nine weeks exam so I can start doing something about. Thing is some of my old trousers still fit me although others I could not even think of. I was not a size 8 anymore but a “proud” size 12.

I started exercising slowly but the lack of time stopped me from building a routine. Ruby was attached to me 24h a day so the times she spent sleeping during the day I spent trying to tidy up the house and sometimes having a biscuit or something light to eat. I started walking everywhere, regardless of the distance. I kept Ruby outdoors and I walked as much as I could every single day. It seemed like a win win situation and it actually was. I thought I lost so much weight and for a short period of time I seen myself as a normal person (society normal).

Time flew by and in January I had to come back to work. There it hit me. People staring at me and asking about my weight, some making fun of my baby belly and some asking if I lost all baby weight or I intend on keeping a diet.

My first thought was: screw you all and your diets

I love my wine and chocolate and coffee and they help me cope with countless sleepless nights, a teething baby, a work environment that should be nicer and that shitty flew season that this time lasted for three and a half months in my house. So you just leave me alone and let me be.

But that was not the end of it. Working in customer service I got approached by so many people with their own business. Guess what they all did? Of course. Selling slimming products, from creams to juices and from pills to vitamin bars. All telling me how they lost so much weight and they gain some money as well. Way to go for you! Thanks. You just called me fat trying to sell me stuff and make me work with you (for you).

You know what? I am having a ball of noodles while I write this post and stare at my belly. There are some strong muscles under that jelly. I love feeling them and thinking I am ok. But from time to time I hit a wall and I see the Instagram skinny fit mums, the magazines full of diets and exercises fit for those mums desperate to lose the extra weight,  I receive those countless FaceBook friend requests from other skinny mums working from home and promising we to look just amazing if I join their team and follow their juice/powder/slimming bars programme in 100 easy steps or if I drink that magical tea that will make me look almost anorexic.

fit

It hits me, makes me so frustrated and sad, makes me hate myself for the way I look. And this lasts for a while and then it hits me! Who are you to judge me and make me feel this way? I am 37 years old, I have a baby and I am as active as I can. I don’t exercise much (can’t stick to a routine) and I sure as hell don’t keep a diet but I am healthy and I look like a woman who grew a tiny person inside her for nine months and fifteen so far outside. So yeah I will wear those skinny jeans and that top I love so much even if you will check that trace of a belly and I will for sure wear those denim shorts in the park while playing with my baby even if you will judge me or approach me trying to sell me your miracle products. I am fine! Thanks

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