Right, so with this pregnancy on the way and a rising bun in my oven, I thought I might start charting the rise of the loaf.
It seems to be 'the done thing' these days, to have weekly photos of a growing bunnage, so I might as well - and it will also remind me, when I'm weeping into my engorged breasts and 7-month pregnant abdomen, wondering how I will EVER reach my feet to put my shoes on, that I did, once, not look like a hippopotamus.
In truth, it is absolutely AMAZING what a woman's body does during the course of (and after) a pregnancy. I've found it really interesting - and at times helpful/reassuring/terror-inducing/lovely - to look at 100s of photos of pregnant women at various stages of motherhood this time around, to
a) prepare my mind for the INSANE changes that are about to come my body's way, and of which I'm quite sure I am still in total denial
b) know that I will probably, at SOME point, rediscover my abdominals again.
It's also a great opportunity for me to demonstrate my pathetic pants collection. As you will see over the coming weeks, I literally have about 4 pairs, and they are all shite.
I think I last bought pants in 2003, and they were reduced because some didn't have all the elastic.
So, here we are. This is me, Elizabeth, 42 years old, mother of 3, runner, writer, shite pants owner.
Week 6. THE START:
I would like to add just this:
Yes, I am quite small. Yes, I am strong. Yes, I am fit.
But no, I don't think I am superior to anyone else for this, nor do I think anyone else 'should' try to, or want to, look like this, if that's not what makes them happy.
It is just what makes ME feel good, and be happy. I like it. I am very honest about the fact that I work hard at it, I train almost every day, come rain, snow, heatwave or hangover, I eat healthily, and no, I don't do it to please anyone else, to show off, or because I think this is 'the right body shape'.
It's MY body shape, and I like it. I like being strong. I like having a toned midriff. I like having rock-hard legs.
I love the feeling of running fast and lifting weights and not carrying much fat on me.
I like how clothes feel on me when I'm strong.
I like the benefits that exercise brings to my mental wellbeing.
I like being able to put my socks on without wheezing because my stomach is squeezing into my ribs (something that will be happening in the coming months...)
I like being able to sprint for the train carrying 15 kgs of bag/laptop/water/granola....and catching it.
I like having muscular arms - even though they are teeny weeny arms, they are still kick-ass STRONG.
I like the feeling of feeling like this.
It's just what I like, for ME.
Other people can have their body shape, and like that. And if they don't like it, they can try to change it. That's entirely everyone's individual call.
So don't even START with any body-shaming bollocks, because I can't be arsed with that shit here.
Of course body-shaming exists, and it's awful - whichever body shape or size it's targeted at. But I don't, and never have.
I'm not body-shaming anyone, and, believe it or not, people with my body shape also don't like to be criticised or slagged off for looking like this - which we often are, as if we're some kind of free-for-all target for bitching and false assumptions, when really, we just have the body we have.
This is just a diary of my journey into motherhood, my mind and my body, just as it is. I don't think I'm better than anyone else, I don't do it for anyone else, and I'm not putting pressure on anyone to look any other way than they want to. If you want to think that way, you go right ahead but that's on you, honey.
Each to their body own.
*feels a bit sick again. Remembers she is pregnant. Goes back to sucking on grapefruits to relieve nausea*
So. From here on it goes out. And down.
Down and out. And if I'm lucky, in both Paris and London, if I can swing it.