by: Pippa

The thing is – your body is like a massive Transformer.

(If you want this Transformer thing very articulately – though a teeny tiny bit swearily – explained, check out poet Hollie McNish’s video, Transformers. I loved this.)

It is true though. Your body morphs and adapts as every week progresses – slowly but surely your bump arrives. I was a bit concerned about my body when I got pregnant – just wasn’t sure how everything was going to go on the old ‘getting-as-big-as-a-bus’ bit. I surprised myself how much I actually enjoyed my body changing, my bump arriving and how my body quietly adapted to this – my testing of equipment that was always there, just yet unused.  And then you get used to having a bump. It’s what you know. I was lucky enough that I didn’t have much back pain or sciatica problems, so I was able to keep walking up to the end of my pregnancy – though was a bit waddly nearing the end!

And then baby arrives. And then after a few days or weeks (depending on your new mum haze), you turn your attention to your body.

I don’t know about anyone else but I deliberately didn’t think about this for a while. I had enough to be dealing with between a brand new human that seems keen for me to take care of her and my body working out how to feed her. But it did happen – after a few weeks, I did finally take a look at myself in the mirror in just my underwear. And I wondered what the hell was I going to do about the extra bits of me that were there.

I found it really was about stages.

Stage 1: Sure I’m breastfeeding aren’t I?
This was where copious amounts of food – basically anything that was near to me – were consumed. Food was fuel to generate milk. While at this stage, I did not much exercise at all. And I really didn’t think about it!

Stage 2: I’m going to venture out…
For me, this happened after one week. The major trip was to the shop and back, with a little detour around the nearby river walk for a bit of scenery. This was not exclusive to the above stage of breastfeeding. ie. I went to the shop to get more chocolate.

The ‘I go out and walk every day more than I have ever done in my life’ stage: Found this kicked in after a few weeks. I have never walked as much in my entire life as I did for a number of months.

I’m really going to tackle this phase while I’m on maternity leave
This was an ugly stage. I was finding that my body got used to the daily walking – and even though I was up to quite a distance every single day, I had really plateaued on the weight front. I decided to up it another gear. I gave up all sugar for around five weeks while I went to a personal trainer once a week. It was grim. I was miserable and didn’t shift any weight. And then I had a bun and felt so much better (see next stage). Fair play to you ladies who can do this but I wasn’t able for it.

The ‘sod-it-life-is-for-living-but-let’s-be-a-bit-sensible’ stage
And here I am now – nine months since Arrival Day. I’m back in a lot of my clothes but do have a bit of a extra wobble around my tummy as those lost muscles are still lost. I’m now at the stage where the odd run is starting to get wedged into a week and I do have to think about just how many biscuits I should eat in a week. Am drinking lots more water in work and wonderfully my office has signed up to this weekly fruit box delivery which means I can reach for an apple rather than dive into the giant sweet jar that is eternally filled in my office. That sits right behind my desk. But yet I reach for an apple. Except on Fridays.