baby, body image, fitness, Weight, women
Despite my opening title, I’m not going to wax lyrical about a Tammy Wynette classic or advise you to “stand by your man”.
No, instead I’d like to talk about that wonderful subject: weight. Post-baby weight, in fact.
It’s a tricky one. I’m like millions of other women in being unhappy with my size. I don’t know why exactly, I’m not big. In fact, I’m smaller than I was before I got pregnant with Frog. But still, I’m not happy.
It’s all the lumps and bumps, you see. Plus the fact I’m getting married in just over two months and have every intention of upstaging Kate Middleton as being THE bride of 2011.
I tried exercise. It didn’t go well; I wet my pants, farted publically and flashed a bare breast by accident. I tried dieting. That didn’t go well either. I fell face first onto some cake. And then some wine. And then some chocolate.
So now I’m thinking, well, what now?
And here’s the thing. I’ve decided not do anything. Nothing. Not a jot. I’m not going to worry about my body. I’m not going to obsess about the size of my wobbly arse or the less-than-flat shape of my belly.
It’s not because I’ve suddenly realised I look better than J-Lo and Pippa Middleton combined. I don’t. Nor have I suddenly grown to love those wobbly areas I hated before. I still dislike them rather a lot.
It’s because of this article.
I’m loathe to link to it, but I can’t very well write the rest of this post without you at least having a glimpse of what has triggered it in the first place.
Had a look? What do you think?
Personally, I don’t think it does anyone any favours.
First of all, the woman who’s featured (or rather, ridiculed) in this article is clearly in great shape. Especially when you consider she’s had two children, not that long ago. So I disagree with that bit for starters. Secondly, apparently she’s admitted to an eating disorder in the past. Which makes poking fun at her all the more cruel and unnecessary. And thirdly, why does it matter?
And that’s the thing I haven’t been able to get out of my head all day. Why does it matter? Not just that, but why does it matter to me?
Is it because I’ve recently (yes I know she’s nearly one – but it still feels “recent” to me) had a baby myself? Is it because I’ve suddenly taken up my place in the sisterhood now I’m a mother? Is it because having a baby has made me ultra over-sensitive and a little bit moody?
I don’t think so. Or at least, I’m pretty sure the answer’s no to the first two questions.
Actually, I think the reason this article really gets to me is because I had a baby girl. A daughter. A daughter who will grow up to be a teenager, to be a woman.
I don’t ever want her to hate her body. I don’t ever want her to feel too fat or too thin or too short or too tall. I want her to feel confident and comfortable and happy in who she is and what she looks like.
And articles like this really don’t help.
So that’s why I’ve decided to accept my own body, lumps and bumps and all. I eat healthily and attempt exercise. I’m not fat, but I’m not thin either. And that’s just how it is.
I’m going to quit moaning about not being the size of a supermodel and start leading my daughter by example. I’m going to start liking my body again, for what it is now. Not what it never will be.
And once I’ve completed that mission I’m going to don a very tiny cropped top and march up and down outside the offices of the Daily Mail. I bet they can’t wait.
*This post is for all the ladies in the MUMenTUM group.
Oh my god,
I am utterly fuming – and you know I dont normally get fuming!
how does that reporter sleep at night – what a shocking article!
anyway as for you you are beautiful outside and in and I cant wait to see the wedding pics x
That was exactly my reaction! x
I am seething, they say she has an eating disorder and then they do that to her too. Talk abotu head f**k for the poor woman.
I have blogged about body image and the effect on children so many times.
Well done you for accepting youself for who you are, lumps, bumps and lovable.
It’s shocking isn’t it? Such an unfair piece – for all women I think. x
Mum in Meltdown said:
That’s pretty horrendous. It’s bad enough for us normal mums to see our unsavory bits but bloody hell I would hate to have any of mine plastered across magazines!! poor girl
So glad I have boys ! x
It’s funny isn’t it, because I doubt this article would have irritated me as much before I’d been a mum to a little girl. x
It irritated the hell out of me and I have a son………..
It’s certainly an irritating piece. On so many levels.
I worry that when (and if) I get as slim as that lady clearly is, that my skin will go like that too, as it does already have a paper tissue texture to it.
I know you probably think we should give up Mumentum for all of the reasons you say above, but I love our crew and the way we spur each other on. Some of the girls are doing so so so well, and I think it is good to strive to be healthy.
I know when I am eating well and exercising I have more energy and I need that to give Aaron my very very best.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with exercising and being healthy. I still want to continue with that – and with the Mumentum group. It’s more that I also need to learn to accept my body shape for what it is. I think articles like the one I’ve just written about can make it hard for women to be happy in their own skin, which is tough enough when your body changes so drastically after a baby. This post wasn’t meant as a criticism to the Mumentum group at all. x
Ahhhhhh okay lovely. I didn’t throw my toys out of my pram, as I had understood you correctly, thankfully, and I hate the unnecessary misunderstandings that go on (in Mummy land).
Big love, and big hug,
Ah good, was worried I’d offended! x
Thanks for highlighting an important subject. Reporters have no scruples xx
Ugh, what a poorly written totally pointless article. You’re so right, we have to love ourselves, warts and all, for the sake of our daughters if nothing else! Our society’s obsession with looks is so damaging and I fear that it is much worse for them than it ever was for us.
You’re right – it does seem to be a pointless article (and particularly spiteful). I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking pride in your appearance, or wanting to be in good shape, or exercise etc. It’s when it becomes all-consuming that there’s a problem. I just don’t think articles like this help keep any sort of balance.
Frankie Parker said:
Good post… You got to love the body you have, life is too short to worry about lumps and bumps you get after having children.. Just be healthy all i say..
That’s the main thing isn’t it? I’m not saying give up trying to get back into shape after a baby or eat a ton of cake – just keep the balance right. At least, that’s what I’m going to try and do before Frog’s old enough to hear me moaning about my love handles or wobbly thighs!
Uuugghh the bloody Daily Mail and all their pearls of wisdom. What an amazingly newsworthy ‘story’ that was. Good on you, Molly, for adopting a healthy and balanced attitude towards body image. It’s all about confidence and happiness really, two things the Mail reporter is clearly lacking x
Ah, confidence and happiness – the two things I most wish for Frog as she grows up. x
Deborah the Closet Monster said:
Bwahaha! I love your conclusion/ But then, to say that feels like it diminishes what I’m about to say next: I love ALL of your response. What a powerful entry! Time to share it. Thank you.
Thank you – I had to get it off my (dimished post-baby post-breastfeeding) chest!
Inside the Wendy House said:
That is just so cruel. I would hate to be a celebrity, because that is the price they have to pay for their status. They are there for the tabloids to rip apart and it is so wrong. However, for me with regards to #mumentum and dieting, it is about health, fitness and self confidence. I have 3 daughters, 19,15 and 8 and I want to give them a positive role model. I want to be someone they are proud of. That doesn’t mean I’m going to starve and bleat about my wobbly bits, but it also doesn’t mean I am going to allow myself to be overweight and unhappy in my skin. I’ve lost 11lbs since joining Liska’s group. I no longer over eat or binge, which is just as important as not starving myself. I want my girls to have a good relationship with food and I want them to have a good body image. But I also don’t want them to think that being very overweight is OK, and for me, doing nothing about my weight was sending that message. I want them to be healthy but it is a fine line…and one the media does not help with.
That’s a really important and valid point – one I totally agree with. I think it’s commendable (and good for you – for shedding 11lbs) to lose weight and get healthy for yourself. It’s when dieting becomes all-consuming that there’s a problem. For me, I think it’s about accepting that I’m never going to be a size 8, because that just isn’t my body shpae. So I need to continue to be healthy and exercise, but also to learn to love the shape that I am. This is for the same reasons as you’re wanting to get healthy – to set my daughter a good example as she grows up.
When I tagged the MUMenTUM ladies in this post, I didn’t mean to say stop doing what you’re doing – I think it’s great that the group is so motivating and is helping people get fit and healthy. I just wanted to write it as an empowering piece really, because I think all too often, as women, we can be ground down by articles like this one. I mean – if this woman is getting ridiculed then what hope is there for the likes of me?! Thank you for reading and giving such a considered response. x
I despise articles like that. They do a disservice to everyone involved: the ones who write them seem like bitches, the person picked at clearly feels bad (or at least I would if I was her), and the readers can’t help but compare themselves to this fit, almost-perfect person and think that if she’s a failure as a woman, what are we? /rage
Anyways, lurking about your blog, reading all your posts about bootcamp and laughing out loud. It’s nice to blog-meet you!
Couldn’t agree more – the article really doesn’t do anyone any favours. Nice to blog-meet you too!
Ghislaine Forbes said:
Mols – when were you reading the Daily Mail?
Don’t worry Mum, I’ve not started buying it. I saw it online.
You are an absolute star writing this! I am desperate to lose the few pounds I’ve put on since I lost over 2 stone over the course of 18 months through exercise and dieting healthily. But I have four daughters, and I worry myself sick that I’m making them body conscious too. I need to read ‘Fat Is A Feminist Issue’ I think! Have you read it?
No I haven’t read it, but it sounds interesting. Well done for losing that weight in the first place – it is a tricky one though, isn’t it? How to lose weight without it becoming an “issue” or passing any of our own body hang-ups onto our kids. Let me know if you work it out!
Dave Aubrey said:
Really is a disgusting article and this response (not my comment, I mean your blog) is very admirable. I know too many girls who have eating disorders, hate their body and worse, and I really truly wish they didn’t, and it’s shit like this which is consistently making things worse.
Thanks for taking a stand.
Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I nearly didn’t write this post but it was swimming round in my head all day yesterday so I thought I better commit it to the blog. Had to wait though, as I didn’t want to post while still in the midst of the anger I felt after reading the article!
I’m so glad you wrote this. People who write nasty articles don’t realise that, for them, it might just be a case of sensationalist media, but for the person being written about it’s their life. It’s irresponsible journalism, with no humanity. Really glad you stood up to it.
I agree it’s irresponsible journalism. As a journalist, I don’t think articles like this do my profession any favours. x