There’s no denying that, when I was pregnant with my first (and only) child (she’s now nearly 5), I was big and round. Think Mr Bump with a hideous side of dreadful maternity outfits.
But then the baby came, life was good and I never got a chance to look in the mirror. After 9 months, I went back to work and all my clothes still fitted – so I kind of thought I was back to my pre-baby bod.
Only it turns out the real reason I could still get them on was that I always wore stretchy stuff. You know, elasticated long hippy skirts and strech-waist leggings. As for scales? Never stepped on them since I was 17, except at the doctor’s when I always refuse to look down.
It’s only been now, 4 (yes, that’s F-O-U-R) years on, that a few things have happened – in the space of ONE week – that have made me realise I never lost that baby weight at all. Sigh.
1. My daughter pointed out my wobbles in the swimming pool
Nothing can cut you to the quick like a well-timed put-down from your own child. So imagine how mortified I was when my daughter squeezed my thighs and said my boobs were coming out of my top, just as we were about to come out of the changing rooms at the local pool.
She caveated it with a comment about how she thought “bikinis were just for skinny people”. OUCH. (This has NOT come from me or my husband, by the way).
Nevertheless, I held my head high, told her “all bodies are beautiful” and hit the flumes with pride. Sort of.
2. My mum told me she was ‘way thinner’ than me when she was my age
Now, don’t get me wrong: I love my mum to bits and she has always championed me and everything I do. But this particular offhand remark of hers is a veritable masterclass in what a mum shouldn’t say to her daughter.
And, of course, she said it in a public place: as I recall, in the local café as I was munching my way through a piece of red velvet cake the size of my head – and it hurt just a wee bit.
Not to worry though. It didn’t stop me polishing the red velvet off. But I SO need to remember NOT say that to my daughter EVER (and particularly not when she’s eating cake)…
3. The photos can’t ALL be lying
Over the years, there have been a few occasions when I’ve felt the camera hasn’t necessarily got my, er, best side but, on a recent day out with hubby and the kid, when copious pics were taken, I realised I looked a little, shall we say, round – in ALL of them, without exception.
Even when I made my other half take the photos from my better side. Well, it turned out, I don’t really have a better side: you couldn’t see my cheekbones from that angle, either. Boo.
4. Every single pair of leggings I own is ripped
I’d love to say this is down to the fact that I’m a religious runner and it’s all exercise wear-and-tear but no, not true. I’m the girl who, on a company sports day, turned up for a football session in 6-inch leopard-print wedges.
It’s way more likely to be down to the fact that I’m trying to pour my thighs and bottom into 6-year-old leggings that really don’t fit anymore. I’ve ignored the rips cos I don’t mind the grungy look but it might just be time to face the fact that I’ve totally and utterly outgrown them. Sob.
5. I don’t fit into ANY size 10s in the shops
I’m pretty sure there was a time, say 5 or 6 years ago, when there was the odd shop here and there where you’d convince yourself the ‘sizes came up small’, so you avoided them (natch) and stuck to the ones where you knew you’d get into a slightly smaller size, no probs.
Now, it seems, there ain’t no size 10 (or 12, or…) that I can get into. Has the world very, very drastically changed its sizing guidelines?
Or is there a simpler explanation? Gulp. I think there might just be….
6. I started contouring
After the swimming pool debacle, I hotfooted it to my nearest department store and bought the first contouring kit I could find.
I quite liked it, though it was only a cheap one. And after (I think) mastering the whole shading and highlighting business, I splashed out on the ‘Hollywood’ version with price tag to match.
It’s actually working wonders for my face and I have cheekbones again. Woo hoo! But they really need to design one for hips and thighs, too….
7. I broke a bench
OK, OK, now this seems pretty dramatic, so, to caveat it, I have to say it was a pretty rickety bench outside one of the oldest pubs in London, so has probably been around since ‘yore’ days and all that.
But it cracked. Under my (never-to-be-gone) baby weight. And was the straw the broke the camel’s back in what has been a week of revelations about the fact I SO no longer have the wispish figure I have in my head.
To be honest, I was pretty upset at first.
And then I thought, you know what? I had a baby. That changed my body.
And I’m fine with it. I might not have the figure I thought I did, or once had, but I’m happy, my daughter’s happy and life is good.
So as far as I’m concerned this oh-so slow dawning that the baby fat’s here to stay is just a a great excuse to buy a couple of new (bigger-sized) dresses and some flattering heels.
Now, someone pass another slice of cheesecake, please…