Why I am refusing to put that pizza slice down.

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A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips. If a powerful genie appeared and offered to grant me just one wish, the first thing that comes in mind is this: I would like to be able to eat everything that I want and not gain a gram. If your first reaction is to mock my base instincts and lack of sophistication, please try to reconsider. Just imagine all those delicious comfort food feasts I could enjoy: pizzas and beers, buckets of buttery pop corn and eating ice-cream out of the box would definitely make life sweeter, once the prospect of looking like a bloated whale was removed from the equation.

In my 20s I did not value food that much. That did not mean I did not like food (quite the contrary) but i was happy to have a couple of glasses of wine for dinner. When I took a holiday I never looked for the the best restaurants or best ice-cream parlours, and neither did i try to educate myself on the local cuisine. Spending money on restaurants was not good on my wallet, and neither was it on my waistline. You see, being single and overenjoying your food is never such a good idea in today’s market, as you ladies probably already know.

Today when I travel I could probably skip a few museums, historic churches and monuments. If I have a great meal somewhere this makes it a nice holiday. If I am so lucky as  to eat well every day it is simply unforgettable, even without the museums and the churches. I guess it is one of the hidden advantages of growing older: You find more pleasure in the small things that when you were younger you either did not care for or you took for granted.

I remember when I was pregnant we travelled to New York. Before the trip, I spent hours, if not days, looking for things I would like to eat and restaurants I would like to visit. In this capital of fashion, not being able to indulge in cloth shopping was liberating. We visited twice Lombardi’s and both times I enjoyed a huge  NYC style Italian pizza. No guilty afterthoughts either. It was all “for the baby”.

Food gives us humans so much pleasure. There are of course numerous other pleasures in life that can make us incredibly happy. But at the end of the day, life is tough and, for better of for worse, the pleasure of food often requires less effort and is more readily available than other things.

I am not saying that eating like pigs and accepting obesity is a good thing. I am not obese and I would definitely not enjoy being one. We all hold on to the phantasy that one day that Jennifer Anniston diet will work its miracles and we will look so effortlessly chic and naturally glowing. (Diet? Daaarling, I eat everything in moderation) But as I said, life is not always a piece of cake. So you sometimes need a piece of cake to make things right after what appears to have been the shittiest of days. When this happens you should eat without a hint of guilt or sense of failure. Give yourself a break.

You deserve it.

The Bitter Truth about my Pregnancy Weight Gain

I feel for you Kim

I feel for you Kim

When I put my foot on the scales for the first time after giving birth it was 8 weeks post partum and I was consciously holding the baby in my arms. I thought, if I saw something I did not like I would blame it on the baby. When the actual number hit me, two thoughts crossed my mind: a) the baby cannot possibly weigh that much before she turns ten years old b) an old classic: this scales is old and broken.

Just to be completely sure, I tried to balance the baby alone on the scales before I tried again without her. Coward me. I had never seen that number in my pre-pregnancy life.

During my whole pregnancy I was in denial about my weight gain. Apart from the fact that I refused to get on the scales after the fourth month when I realized I was already 10+ kilos heavier, I somehow tried to convince myself that “it is all swelling and fluid retention”. (Guess what, it was not.) But I could not control it unless I went on a diet, and that was not what I wanted to do while pregnant.  Having been slim most of my adult life, I never had to struggle to lose anything more than 4-5 kilos max.  So when I had to confront my post partum weight reality, I panicked. I kinda expected that out of these 28 kilos half would be gone after delivery with the baby, the placenta and well… the swelling. At least that is what so many moms on numerous pregnancy blogs claim, that by the time they left the hospital 10 kilos had miraculously evaporated. But it does not always work that way.

When it comes to pregnancy weight, It turns out that your body, in combination with the amount and quality of food you consume will do what your genes and hormones dictate. You may have the noblest intentions to stay “all belly” and be like one of those celebrity moms that go into their skinny jeans a few days or even hours after giving birth. If it is not genetically meant to happen, it will not and the worst thing you can do is to hopelessly cling to this idea in a desperate effort to maintain a sense of control in your life.

Becoming a parent suddenly changes your life so drastically and means that your weight gain will be the least scary of the scary things that will happen to you. I am not suggesting you should eat for two or stuff your face at meals. On the contrary, staying healthy should be a priority. But bear in mind that weight gain is inevitable during pregnancy and how much weight you put on will not solely depend on your eating.

Frankly I am tired of being bombarded with images of pregnant media personas and celebrities-pretentiously- competing who has the best genes.  Yes, we all know there are women out there that are naturally very thin and manage to stay slim during pregnancy.  We also know there are people who can afford expert diet consultation, personal trainers, chefs, weight maintenance programs and plastic surgery.  But the majority of us cannot and the worst thing that can happen to a woman is not the kilos she stocks up during pregnancy but her obsession and frustration over it.

Fellow moms, it’s ok.

Summing up, I had a discussion lately with a male friend. He was telling me how much weight both he and his ex partner had put on during an unhappy relationship. He literally felt heavy with frustration and toxic emotions and it was as if the weight came not from the excessive food but from the feeling that they were both dragging their feet living under the same roof.

So I say away with the weight gain remorse! It is as harmful as the weight gain itself and the surest way to find the old you again is to do everything in your power to be stress free and happy.