I should never have stood on the scales today. Since conceiving my first child three years ago I have put on two and a bit stone. My Toddler – my big, heavy Toddler – weighs two and a bit stone so that makes me a whole Toddler bigger than I was before. Obviously given that I’m breast-feeding I might be carrying some milk about my person but I strongly suspect that my boobs don’t weigh half a Toddler each. I hope there is still fluid in my uterus. Surely it can’t be the new fat-pads around my body that are to blame? And if so, why did they appear in the first place? – I never invited the damn things.
Perhaps it’s because when I have a hypo (and at the moment I have lots) I tend to eat a full bag of sweets, even though I know that a quarter of a bag will often do the trick. In my defence, when your blood sugar is 2mmol/l your brain is not working quite right and your body is programmed to make you feel starving. A hard physiological drive to wolf down food is a hard one to overrule when there are three-quarters of a bag of uneaten Haribo in front of you.
Or perhaps it’s because, when the Tiddler starts screaming again and the high frequency sound-waves grate against my consciousness, I sometimes pick up a cereal bar before I pick up the baby. I know I shouldn’t: I know that it’s technically ‘comfort eating’ and that food consumed against the horror-movie soundtrack of a baby’s screams is never actually comforting (it just sort of vanishes) but I do it anyway. In fact I’m often so disappointed by how little I enjoyed it that when he finally shuts up, I’ll get up and fetch another one so that I can indulge properly.
Or is it because of hubby and I’s competative snacking tendencies? We bring nice ‘treats’ home from the supermarket – six chocolate mousses, say – and we will have one each. Then he will have another and of course, if I don’t have another too I know that he will get more of them than me. So I try and match him, the same way that friends buying rounds match each other for drinks. A week’s worth of treats have usually gone within two days. It’s lucky the supermarket is quite a walk away or there might be another fraction of a toddler – another leg’s worth, perhaps – sitting about my hips.
Or maybe because it’s so easy to put Toddler’s full-fat milk in my coffee? Or to slurp out of the Tommy Tippee the few mouthfuls that she didn’t drink? Or to finish the leftovers from her plate before I put it in the dishwasher? I’m not proud of it but I do all of these things. I’ve also had a little pellet put into my arm – the sort that releases hormones to prevent the birth of I’m-a-Tiddler-too – and the word is that this makes you considerably heavier.
Luckily, I have a secret weapon in the war against the fat-pads: breastfeeding. Every time young Tiddler wriggles, every time he beats his little hands in the air, every time he grows, every time he screams (and trust me he can scream) I am providing the energy for that. Calories that I have eaten are being used up by him without me even having to go for a run. Cool. And on top of that, I DO go for a run (OK so I’ve been for two now).
But given all of my bad habits is it enough? Am I still loosing weight naturally or maintaining or did I weigh half a stone less last week?
I tried to google the amount of time to give it before I worry but its clearly a question of ‘how long’s a metaphorical umbilical cord?’ The reputable medical websites won’t commit. A few ladies on chat forums suggest 9 months (9 months to gain, 9 months to loose it); a blogger who is criticising the pressure on Posh Spice to look skinny a few weeks after Sprogpopping then offers registration on her loosing-baby-weight course just 6 weeks post-sprog. Is that really the time to be concerned or is she cashing in on the natural drop in weight that most mothers experience around that time?
Well, I guess we all know the answer to that: in fact, my search turns up so many adverts for diets that I abandon it in disgust. And anyway, weight is just a number: what matters is feeling good.
And if I know one thing that can be depended upon to make me feel good, it’s my body doing what I want it to. It’s not being on a diet. It’s a chocolate bar, for heaven’s sake. But maybe I should learn some self-discipline from somewhere, too.