When it comes to being body positive, I’m all for it. However, even I have my limits, and right now, I’ve reached a level of self-disgust.
The cellulite doesn’t bother me, nor does the slight arm jiggle. I’m cool with them. We’re friends. What does bother me are two things; 1: I now weigh more than I ever have, which means I weigh more than my 40 week pregnant self, and 2: my skin and general reflection looks so dull and lacking in vitality.
This is the point where I take a serious self-assessment, and face some hard truths. Weighing more than my pregnant self is simply not okay. That’s not body positive, that’s body harmful.
So how did I get here? I have my reasons, but they’re also an excuse, of which I take full ownership. Alas, here is my excuse:
Moving away from all of your family half way across the state, five months pregnant with a toddler in tow under considerable financial pressure is not wise, albeit necessary. It’s hugely isolating and emotionally tough. I handled it, but my goodness, did the toughness level escalate when Harvey was born.
Suddenly, I’d gone from maximum three hours of pregnant, need-to-pee-all-of-the-time sleep to even less than. As some of you reading this may be acutely aware, a newborn feeds all of the time, night and day. Couple this with my husband working extremely long days, and only short stays from parents, I had to somehow push through with little to no relief.
And so what did I do?
I turned to sugar.
Sugar was like a magical drug to me. When I felt like I couldn’t bare the weight of my own eyelids, all it would take was a glass of coke or two squares of chocolate and I was ready to go again. Until the next low, when I would then consume more sugar to power through.
This was great when Harvey was a newborn. I was getting away with it. Our exclusively breastfed relationship was like a free pass to sugar wonderland. (And yes, if you were wondering, I still ate my fruit and vegetables, and so my son’s health is fine). My coping mechanism and me were enjoying a productive relationship, and I was able to manage bathing, feeding and playing with my children.
Fast-forward to Harvey eating solids and my free pass was swept out from under my feet. By this point, I was already fully dependent on my sugary caffeine hit, and the consequences were building. Thus, as I write this, I have reached my something-has-got-to-change point as my body now harbors a sugar-induced baby heavier than my real-life baby in utero.
This epiphany came to me at 2am this morning, a time only achieved with the glass of coke I had drank once everyone else had gone to bed. Netflix had suggested I watch some sort of modern food is now the enemy type documentary. As I mulled over the consequences of the Western diet being berated at me (okay, this was my own personal infliction), the chocolate mud cake and ice cream in my mouth suddenly didn’t taste so good. And then, the asshole scale’s measurements of me only added insult.
And so, I took myself into the kitchen, opened the fridge, and proceeded to tip down the drain the entire bottle of cold, delicious, fizzy coke – followed by the orange juice. It was a bit like relinquishing a toxic friend who was also a heck load of fun. You’re sad to see them go, but you convince yourself it’s for the better.
Bravery then overcame me; the scotchfingers in the pantry – gone; sumptuous velvety mud cake – face down in the bin, unable to be revived.
It has now been 15 whole excruciating hours since I had any added sugar. I have a splitting headache that is still unresolved even after two nurofen and two pandadol tablets. And since 12pm, my mood could be described as ogre-ous – I’m talking Shrek before Fiona. It has been a complete stay away from me, I don’t like anyone, kind of scenario.
As I type this, I’m proud to declare that I even went food shopping and avoided ALL products with added sugar that were beckoning to me as they sat handsomely on the end of their aisles. These included the crumbly chocolate-chip cookies, the new smooth mnm chocolate blocks (I should know, I sampled a whole block over the weekend), coca-cola, nesquik, and even white bread (oh how I adore you smothered in butter, you delicious food you).
And so here is my closing sentiment:
I will conquer this addiction.
I will be exonerated from sugar’s evil clutches.
And I will find healthier ways to cope with motherhood.