I was at the gym the other day when I noticed 3 distinct types of women’s bodies that were very age specific; the young 20-somethings with their tight, flawless skin, perky breasts and flat stomachs (did I ever really look like THAT?). The women in their 30’s – either stretched and pregnant (like me!) or trying to reign in the post-child-bearing lumps and bumps. Then there were the next generation of women in their 40’s, who with pregnancy and young children exhaustion behind them, had re-found their mo-jo and with time, money (they all seem to have personal trainers) and energy have re-claimed their bodies and have found suprising new levels of strength and fitness and who look bloody brilliant! (Please God let this be me in another few years!)
At the ripe old age of 37 and well into the second trimester of my third pregnancy, my body is a little out of control and I am doing my best to surrender to the journey. I am attempting to muster as much acceptance of my ever-changing body as I can, but man it’s an uphill battle some days.
Let me paint you a picture: I was always a pretty average size 12 kinda girl. Pear shape. Small boobs, big butt and thighs, you know the one. It was okay! The other day I went and bought both bra and undies in a maternity size 16 so my ever-expanding breasts, butt and stomach could be housed in comfort. I admit – it was a little confronting!
My first pregnancy was so different. I was still cycling around London working as a Personal Trainer when I was 6 months pregnant. My stomach was flat until I was 4 months pregnant… I fit into my regular clothes up until the last few months. I was still fit and toned. This time round I am soft and dimply all over!
A dear old family friend said to me the other day something along the lines of; ‘Oh, look at that belly! Do you think you are going to last another 3 months? It looks as if you could drop that baby any day now. Are you sure you are not having twins?’ I did my best to smile and laugh but I am sure the grimace through clenched teeth and the fire in my eyes told another story. Bless her…
The funny thing is, I think pregnant women are incredibly beautiful, no matter what their size. So why is it any different for myself? Why do I think every other pregnant Mumma is a glowing goddess whilst I am a waddling whale?
Okay, let’s look at the upside here. For the first time in my life I am indulging in every dietary whim and desire. I have enjoyed a Magnum ice cream for dessert for the last 3 nights in a row. I regularly eat hot chips or pasta. I have butter about an inch thick on my toast. And after being a generous A-cup for the last couple of years, my husband thinks my breasts are both ‘massive’ and ‘wonderful’. (Pity they are so sensitive he can only admire them from a distance!) I am really enjoying eating whatever the heck I feel like eating instead of counting calories and only doing gentle yoga and only when I feel like it, as opposed to smashing myself at the gym 3-4 times a week.
Honestly, I am trying to embrace my curvalicious pregnant body. It’s refreshing to let go and just be. Sure it means investing in a whole new wardrobe and sometimes being disgusted by the figure reflected back at me in the mirror, but hey, you only live once. Maybe I will find my inner Michelle Bridges in my 40’s and be in the best shape of my life. Now, what do I feel like for lunch?