“Mum do you still have a baby in your tummy?”
“But mum is your tummy going down now?”
I hope so, what do you think?
“Lets have a look” [lifts top, stares, frowns, thinks]
“Its all bumpy!!” [laughs hysterically]
That’ll be the stretch marks…which by the way, you started
[frowns, thinks, prods stomach] “Mum, are you SURE you don’t have a baby in there?”
Um, you’re kind of making me paranoid. I really hope not
[Closes eyes. Thinks. ‘Please no more, no more! I refuse to take fat jibes from a 3 year old!!’ Deep breath…)
Yes Phoenix? [smiles sweetly and adopts ‘interested engaged mum face and awaits insult]
“Mum…..I did a trumpet”
Excellent, we’ve moved on
Shortly after this conversation I signed up to a 12 week boot camp style thing at my gym. I start next week. Nothing like a call to action. Well, after making a career out of informing clients how much influence kids have on their parents’ behaviour, I am evidence of ‘practise what you preach’. I’m nothing but consistent.
The remnants of the bump (which looking back at photos already seems unbelievably ma-hoosive, did i really get that big?! Now I realise why people on the tube looked terrified when i waddled on), have to go. I’m unlikely to have another baby (famous last words), so it’s all about getting ripped. I’ve decided I’m going to peak at 35. That will be my moment. My 35 will be my new 26 (my hottest bod years). Both kids will be at school, I will have normal sleep levels, the pregnancies and breastfed boobs will be long in the distance and I’ll have the best wonderbra money can buy, my hair will have finally reached an optimum length, I will always have painted nails, I will smell of beautiful products and perfumes and not a faint odour of puke and pom-bears, and I will wear such things as high waisted trousers, body con dresses and ultra tight skinny jeans, even if they’re not in fashion, in fact ESPECIALLY if they’re not in fashion. I will throw away my shaz pants. I will be a glam mum. I am excited. I have written down, now it has to happen.
Has it happened yet?
Ok, ok…I am 11 weeks into that journey. But seriously, lets do this.
Yes I know it’s early days, I know I should be relaxing, I know it took ‘9 months to put it on and will likely take the same to get it off’, I know I’m breastfeeding and shouldn’t be counting calories and I know it’s awful how mums feel the pressure to snap back into shape after babies…but people, I have back fat. WTF? Seriously, I do. What woman needs fat on their back? On. my. back. This has to go.
At 11 weeks post natal I do feel like I’m returning to some kind of shape much quicker than when I had Phoenix. There is more to lose this time but I have less patience (I know shocking right? Me, impatient?) With Phoenix I was so immersed in how to cope with being a mum all my energies were poured into learning what the heck the do. Generally I was just a bit more chilled out on the whole thing. This is not the case second time around. As I know what I’m doing on the baby front and am so far finding the whole thing a doddle and the days a breeze, my attentions have turned quickly to using all this time off work to get back in the gym. My gym has 4 circuit classes a week where you can take babies along which is awesome. Finally, I am starting to get my moneys worth out of my overpriced membership.
The first few times doing exercise after labour are pretty hellish. I started at 6 weeks which is recommended and felt like a robot. My body felt so sluggish and heavy and my balance was all over the shot. Catching sight of myself (in the unnecessary amount of ceiling to floor mirrors) in the studio, I looked like one of those wobbly clown toys. You know the ones that are a bit chubby and can’t stand up straight, the ones that have a kind of possesed look in their eyes? Yeah, one of those…except drunk…and sweating.
I’ve now done about 4 weeks worth of classes and some incredibly painful running with the pram (on the first outing a dog with a limp overtook me, way to get motivated) and I have to say I have seen a rapido change in strength and fitness already. That’s the good thing about postnatal exercise, you do notice improvement really quickly with exercise, especially if you were training before because muscle memory kicks in and it feels a bit like your body is been woken up again. It’s very liberating and the endorphins do wonders for the tiredness.
Whilst the fitness is well on the way up, after the first few weeks of steady weight loss, I have totally plateaued. Whilst I do seem to be changing shape and going up on the belt loops, I don’t seem to be actually losing that much weight. Not sure if this is a breastfeeding thing or the fact I am on the scales every day, twice a day, awaiting miraculous number drops. What do you mean I haven’t lost a pound in the last 45 mins?!..I think I’ve now gone past the natural weight loss bit and am just tackling the rest head on with gym and lots of smoked salmon and crackers. Chocolate Buttons I miss you: please write or call soon.
I’m not too sure how much I buy into the whole ‘breastfeeding helps you lose weight’ claim either. I’m sure it must do, as it seems to be a pretty solid fact that’s touted around. Perhaps there’s a parallel universe somewhere with another Emma Martin who didn’t breastfeed and who looks like a wobbly elephant toy as opposed to a jolly clown one. But to rely on BF alone to get you back to some kind of body normality is sadly, for me anyway, not enough.
So I will keep you posted on how the new programme goes. I surely must burn at least 100 calories every time I try and squeeze myself into a sports bra anyway, so that’s a bonus. I need every calorie burn I can get as we’re approaching Xmas when when I usually just have a drip feed of Celebrations injected into my arm. But I can look forward to Phoenix’s ruthless observations to monitor my progress and keep me in check. Nothing like getting diet advice off a three year old dressed as an astronaut. To infinity and beyond back fat…