OK, IT'S back to the drawing board for me and my quest to become the body beautiful. After "helping" my son to eat his Easter Eggs (it's a mother's duty, surely) I have noticed a distinct
And while watching GMTV as I got dressed for work and seeing Victoria Beckham ponce about in her size six jeans about five minutes after giving birth, I feel my heart sink further (It's sinking only stopped when it reached the constrictions of my tightening waistband).
Okay, I accept that people generally put on weight when they get pregnant. They say it takes nine months to put on, so we should allow ourselves nine months to get it off, but at the rate I'm going it's likely to take nine years instead.
Of course I'm aware Victoria Beckham is far from the typical woman. Apparently her secret to being such a yummy mummy is getting into the gym and following a strict diet under the advisement of a personal trainer. There aren't many of us out there who can manage to do that. Getting five minutes to pee in peace without a baby pawing at your trouser legs is tough enough, never mind an hour for pilates or some other such trendy exercise programme.
And while I'll admit my job is not the most physically demanding in the world, it is tiring nonetheless. When I get home I rarely feel like doing my best Jane Fonda impressions in the front room and instead crave the warmth of my bed and a good book. (The Bad Mother's Handbook being my somewhat appropriate current page turner).
For the record, I have tired really hard to lose weight since giving birth last February. In the immediate weeks after my son's arrival I tried the "Physically Too Tired To Eat" diet. While in the first instance I did lose weight, I also developed the appearance of probably the most anaemic woman on the planet, prompting calls by my midwife to eat rubbish, any rubbish, as long as it built me up.
This I duly did and while my iron stores were duly replenished, I was "built up" in many other ways too. At this stage people looked at me funny to see me pushing an infant in a pram while clearly looking ready to drop number two at a mere moment's notice.
Deciding the time was right to be sensible about the whole thing I rejoined the Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Club, where I had much success with weightloss before getting pregnant and undoing all the good work.
Lumping about my stretch-marked tummy to some sultry salsa tunes was a little disheartening. Before becoming a mum I was a regular on the salsa dance scene so to realise that I had lost any trace of grace and style in a mere nine months was shock to the system and a bigger shock to my fragile ego. I had definitely become more Christine Hamilton than Christina Aguilera and believe me that is not a good look to bring to anyone's dance floor.
When the baby-sitters dried up just two weeks into my return to class, I was somewhat relieved. Perhaps I just wasn't ready to change my life.
But three months later and still a shocking 2 sizes bigger on my bottom half than before having my baby, I took action again. Having previously declared WeightWatchers to be the spawn of Satan I relented and signed up online (no need for a baby-sitter, you see!).
I admit it, like Rosemary Conley, works when you have the will power. But willpower only seems to exist in my world in three week bursts; and then I falter, have a couple of drinks and the pizza comes calling.
So now, I'm trying a more holistic approach and that is self hypnosis. I've bought the new Paul McKenna book that everyone seems to be raving about and I'm trying to re-educate my body into not craving caramel squares or sausage rolls and instead looking a nice piece of lettuce or some seeds and pulses and thinking "Yummy!"
Basically, while there is no one to swing a watch in front of my face, I'm reading about how to cope with my comfort eating and little techniques to help take those nasty cravings away.
The thing with Paul McKenna though is that he says its okay to have a Mars Bar if you really want one. If you fancy fish and chips then, he says, you must listen to your body and go for it.
My only concern is that, lately, all my body seems to want to crave is chips and Mars Bars. Surely it's not humanly possible to lose weight by following your (in my case sizeable) gut?
What's nice about Mr. McKenna is that you get to follow his programme by lying in bed of an evening listening to his dulcet tones seep into your brain as you drift off to dreamland. There is not a dodgy salsa move in sight and a fairly minimal risk of you needing the cardiac ambulance by the end of it.
So whether or not it will work, well that is anyone's guess. But it has to be worth a try? After all summer is, allegedly, on the way and the excuse of "I've just had a baby" is running anorexically thin.
So wish me luck (once again!) and please can someone tell me if I start acting strangely following any of my hypnotic episodes.
Reading At The Edge - I'm delighted to return to Cavan on Tuesday, next week for At The Edge, run by Kate Ennals. Do come and join it, it's a terrific line up and there's an op...
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