When my pal Bonnie at Spabreaks.com asked if I’d write for Women’s Wellness Week about my thoughts on dealing with body image while on the telly, I thought I had something to say.
Because after gaining ten stones over three pregnancies over four years, well, it’s been an experience….
My first day of filming for Homes Under The Hammer was back in September when I was almost seven months pregnant.
The call to say I’d got the gig had come just a couple of weeks before and I was (understating it somewhat) tickled pink. Or blue, as he turned out to be when, on 2nd December last year, I delivered baby Guthrie. My third child in a sea of plastic cars, Lego that bloody hurts when you stand on it at 5am and Spiderman costumes. I love it.
Has having three children under the age of four (Monty was three and a half and Chester two when Guthrie was born) changed my body? You bet. 10 stone in four years – that’s the weight I’ve put on in total over three pregnancies. And yet I weigh less than 10 stone in total now.
So when Spabreaks.com asked me to share my thoughts on how body image around pregnancy has impacted me while presenting on TV as part of Women’s Wellness Week, I felt I had something to say.
Let me caveat all of this with: you just want them out healthy. Talking of weight gain seems frivolous in comparison. I became acutely aware of this after a 20-plus hour labour (I relate to recent headlines over a ‘cult-like obsession’ with ‘normal’ births… being told I had to stay in a midwife-only unit… he was never coming out naturally) before an emergency C-section.
I am proud of the weight I gained. I obviously never gained that 10 stone at once. With my first pregnancy came almost four stone and roughly three then three again. I wanted to be one of those women who can run 10km until they drop; who wear leggings and look long and lithe with a gorgeous ball-shaped bump. But at 5ft 3 (and a half) inches, I looked more like a sloth in middle-aged loafers, albeit a happy one, loving each kick and hiccup inside my belly.
“I clung to the weight and it clung to me.”
Never mind, I told myself. I’ll be one of those women who post the before and after birth pics on Instagram and people will fall off their seats at the transformation after six weeks. Breastfeeding burns millions of calories. My friends might worry I’ve gone too skinny. The reality? I clung to the weight and it clung to me. It was nature’s way for my body – not for Kim Kardashian’s body or countless other new mums with flat stomachs on the Daily Mail’s ‘sidebar of shame’ – but for me.
To me, it made sense. As cavewomen, our bodies would store fat for our newborns so we had reserves of breast milk in case of famine. I just never had the famine. While nursing I stared at my baby for hours and I craved (and ate) a lot of Digestive biscuits. So far, so earth-mother, but when a call comes to present for a show that will be seen by millions, there was only one thought in my baby brain: WHAT ON EARTH CAN I WEAR? It had to be something that made me look a stone lighter.
You can read the full article here: https://www.spabreaks.com/hottub/2017/09/post-pregnancy-body-confidence-new-job-tv/