Maternity clothes, biscuits and how to become a Vegas magician

It is now over six months since Mini-Ginge arrived and I am still waiting to ping back into shape. I suspect that my first mistake was not having a team of nannies, personal trainers, nutritionists and stylists* on hand. Arse.

I last did a proper diet ten years ago when I lost about two and a half stone doing WeightWatchers. This took me from a size 16/18 down to a 12, where I’ve mostly stayed despite some of the weight creeping back on. The wonderfully contrary thing is that at my lightest** I still wasn’t happy with my body, but a year ago I was nearly a stone heavier, still fitting in the same size clothes and was the happiest with myself that I’ve ever been. That’s the power of running, people.

During my pregnancy, my weight gain was incredibly steady (see, I even made a little graph)

graphand in maternity and nursing clothes, I remained a 12.

However, maternity and nursing clothes lie. Nobody tells you about this. Maternity and nursing clothes can be the same as your pre-pregnancy size because they have all sorts of elasticated bits, magic flaps and stretchiness woven into them. Real clothes, particularly jeans, do not. You spend months wafting around in your empire line dresses, not minding if you look pregnant because you are pregnant, and then it’s back to reality with a loud (but well padded) bump.

So I am back to the size and nearly the weight I was before losing weight ten years ago, although I don’t feel that I look the same as I did back then (the fat has redistributed itself in a post-natal way – I believe I can now refer to it as a ‘mummy tummy’ instead of a ‘beer gut’). I do however feel somewhat cheated that I ‘suddenly’ leapt up two sizes. Rationally, I know that it has taken a year to acquire this lot, but that damn maternity wear has lulled me into a false sense of security.

Deep down I know that if I went back to a slimming club and stuck to what I was told to do, I would lose weight. However deep down I also know that I am not ready to be told what to eat and/or endure the sympathetic nodding of the nice lady as she asks if I know what went wrong this week. I have therefore adopted a new policy of “not eating all of the biscuits”. I have enjoyed quite a lot of freedom with my diet whilst breastfeeding and am fairly certain that if I had eaten the last six months of food without breastfeeding I would be the size of a house right now. I am also fairly certain that if they checked Mini-Ginge’s blood type, it would come up as “Tunnocks tea cake positive”.

I am still allowing biscuits into the house because I still have the hunger of ten men (another thing that they don’t tell you about breastfeeding) and sometimes I really fancy a biscuit at the end of the day. My favourites are brands that have been shrunk so that they come in at 99 calories, although I have learned that 99 calories-worth of Aero biscuit just gives me the urge for a whole Aero, which possibly defeats the object (I do manage to fight it most times).

I also realised that helping myself to a scoop of sultanas every time I go in the cupboard was putting a heck of a lot of extra calories onto my day. My solution to this? Buying the miserable value brand sultanas and only cutting off the corner of the bag so I can’t shove my hand in the bag whenever I drift through the kitchen. I have also moved onto dried apple rings, which are a bit like gnawing on a dog chew and therefore take a bit longer to eat. Please note that my diet is not based on scientific evidence and whether or not this does the trick remains to be seen.

*At the moment my idea of styling is wearing an outfit that has no visible mashed parsnip or baby sick smeared on it. This is sometimes achieved by creative folding or the strategic placement of a bag. Or a baby, people are very easily distracted by a baby. In fact, I reckon you could easily fake it as a Vegas magician just by dangling a baby at people during your tricks.

** I was at my lightest for a friend’s wedding. It lasted for about a week.