I always wait a few weeks before weighing myself after having a baby. I affectionately call this ‘assessing the damage’, and I have to gear myself up for it. I did it a few months ago, but didn’t expect to be 16 lbs heavier than at the same point after having Rufus. I was really shocked. I knew that after my dad died in February I had indulged in a fair few emotional eating sessions.
After my dad died, all of a sudden I felt so fed up with being pregnant – I immediately wanted to feel like myself again and be one person, rather than two. I know weight isn’t everything, accurate even and that body composition can change, but 16 lbs is a lot of weight (a whole 6 month old Otto) and let’s face it – it wasn’t muscle. It was Cadbury’s Giant Chocolate Buttons and Bitsa Wispa…plus bread, ice cream and cheese. I knew it. I had eaten it. I had sat on that sofa scoffing away.
Now I’ve lost the 16 lbs of excess, I feel ready to address (and talk about) the 9 lb I have left to lose to feel like me again – the real ‘baby weight’. It’s a subject that makes me feel vulnerable and slightly self indulgent, yet it is a topic I feel so passionately about. I don’t want to buy new clothes or carry weight that puts extra strain on my body. With 9 lb left to lose I feel good, I feel fine, I’m happy (this is not an invitation for coos of: “Oh, but you look great” – *cringe* ) but I want to feel completely content. Put simply – I just don’t particularly want an extra 9 lb (almost a whole newborn baby O) hanging around, not if I can help it anyway.
In the same way Jessica Ennis-Hill doesn’t give up her Olympic dream after she’s had a baby – I’m not giving up on having a body I feel content with after having babies. Maybe one day I will have to wave goodbye to it, but I’m not waving goodbye to it and the age of 29 after having three kids. There’s no way. Not when there are so many things in my power to change it.
I’m naturally muscly. I know I’ll never have long legs, I’ll never have thin legs, I’ll never have a small bum…and I’m fine with that. On the other hand, I can get a flat stomach without too much effort, I have narrow shoulders and I love the shape of my arms. There are so many things I can change – I can make my body stronger, healthier, get rid of excess fat and strengthen my bones. I can feel better, feel happier and use it as an opportunity to show my boys why it is so important to look after our bodies.
I completely acknowledge that growing a baby inside my body is incredible. The female body is amazing. It can grow a living organism cell by cell without being aware of creating each cell. The whole process is magical, and empowering. Whilst I sit in the ‘giving birth changes your body’ camp, I also sit in the ‘you can still have the body you want after having children’ camp, and I never sit in the ‘…but I’ve had a baby’ camp. In the same way a female body can adapt to accommodate a baby, a female body can adapt to eating healthier, or exercising more.
Jared and I have had fun over the last few weeks with a set of Beets BLU Bluetooth weighing scales, which couldn’t have arrived at a more perfect time. They are super sleek weighing scales that monitor weight, fat percentage, muscle mass and body water. On receiving them; neither of us could wait to get our statistics downloaded onto our phones new app via Bluetooth. It was so quick and easy.
We all know that BMI is a very crude way of measuring health, but the Beets BLU scales offer far more helpful information. Jared measured a minuscule 10% fat, whereas I measured in at 24%. He was 45% muscle, whereas I was 35%. It has been fascinating. The scales are compatible with both iPhones and Android phones – just switch on your Bluetooth, get on the scales and wait a few seconds for the information to download onto your app.
I don’t have many regrets in life, but one tiny one I do have is not fully understanding my body type, exercising more and finding out what works best for my body before I had children. Exercising, planning and researching takes time, which becomes sparse when you have little people to keep alive and nurture.
Slim does not equal healthy, in the same way that being bigger does not equal unhealthy. When all is said and done, the most important thing is that you have a kind and caring attitude towards your body – that you love it and appreciate it. Our bodies are a wonder and a gift.
Many thanks to the guys at Beets BLU who sent us these fantastic scales for review. Every single thought, feeling and opinion is entirely my own.