See, now, and here’s another thing. When I was pregnant with Teddy (my now 18-month-old whinge-bucket of a beautiful toddler) I ate everything. Everything. I read somewhere (not on the Guardian – I know, mental, right?) that as a pregnant woman I would probably be limiting my fat and sugar intake, eating more vegetables and whole grains, and possibly even exercising more. I mean, that’s actually written somewhere on the internet forever and ever, for people to read and assume is real. The point of that story being that pregnant women, it was assumed, would take better care of themselves in order to take better care of the precious little life they were carrying inside them. Like, LOLZ.
From a quick straw poll of two friends who are also pregnant, I deduced that no-one in their right minds would pass up on the opportunity to shove in bucketloads of pasta for a palm-sized portion of bulgar wheat – for the simple reason that the bump hides the fat, and therefore anything goes. Anything. Furthermore, when you’re pregnant, you’re thinking, “I’m pregnant! Woo! It’s all about me!” and definitely not, “I’m pregnant! There’s life forming inside me! I must nourish it!” So, as I was saying – when I was pregnant with Teddy, I ate and ate and ate and ate. I was HUGE. Vastly, plumply, pregnantly huge. Kind people said things like, “but you’re tall, you can carry it off!” (which translates roughly as “yes, you are very, very fat, but you are also tall”) or “you’ll spring back into shape in no time” (which translates roughly as “yes, you are very, very fat, but you are also springy”).
Turns out, I did go back to roughly the same shape, but I put that down to two things: breast-feeding and a wedding. One sucks the calories out of you no matter how many dark chocolate digestives you eat. The other makes you poo a lot with nerves. However, I still had to lose quite a lot of weight to get to where I wanted to be, and it took a bit of time.
So, I’m pregnant again. And this time, I said to myself – quite fiercely – now Esther, don’t be a plonker. Don’t eat the whole world just because you can, just because of that thing about The Bump Hiding The Fat. It’s not good, it’s not healthy, and you will look like a Sexy Pregnant Lady if you exercise a little restraint with the biscuit barrel. Since that fierce talking-to, I have discovered two things. Firstly: I tend to ignore the voices in my head (this could be a blessing, as my other voices can be really, really stupid). And secondly: it turns out that the bump does not hide the fat. The bump merely accessorises the fat.