In the last 24 hours, I have been told ‘You’s got hairy bottom’ by my two year old and ‘Your teeth are yellow (when actually mummy, they should be white’) by my four year old.
Nothing like children to take a sledgehammer to your blissful ignorance.
I’m feeling frumpy. I’m feeling fat. I can’t fit into any of my pre-Christmas jeans. I’m not even sure how to dress myself anymore (is it too shiny / too glittery / too hipster / too short for my late-30s?). I’ve tried canvassing The Husband, who just says encouraging things like ‘I think you’re gooooorgeous’ (sub-text: ‘Fancy a shag?’) whilst squeezing my sagging bottom like a stress ball, which ironically just makes me feel fatter. So in order to assess how much of my body blues are down to time-of-the-month hormonal nonsense (please God let it be water retention) and how much is reality, I asked one of my closest friends for an honest opinion, to which I got ‘You’re chubbier than I’ve ever seen you’ and ‘Stop shopping in New Look, you’re too old’. Right. Good job I love her so much.
I know at 37 I should have grown out of this (at University, The Husband used to point out that I would grow old spectacularly ungracefully). He’s right – to a point – but it’s not so much the wrinkles I have an issue with. Nobody managed my expectations that childbirth would turn my stomach into playdough and replace each of my tits with a marble in a sock.
I know I should wear these body ‘scars’ with pride, like Badges of Motherhood, but I still can’t help feeling envious of those pert 20-somethings with their bumpy midriffs and tiny thighs.
And then the conundrum: I could do something about it. I could log every calorie and spend any glorious free time chasing pavements in lycra. And I would eventually get back to 9 stone. But is it a hollow victory? What am I expecting from this body equivalent to a Porsche? Am I just in a text-book middle-aged place, yearning for years gone by? Will being thinner change anything or make me happier? Really? I’m more fulfilled than I’ve ever been. I have a brilliant family who make me laugh daily and love me unconditionally (hairy bottom, yellow teeth, sagging arse an’ all). Why do I still want to be a size 8?
The Jury in my head is still out. Which is why, for now, I am finishing writing this - still in my maternity jeggings - with a large glass of Shiraz (that’s 170 calories for the record).