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Babies are the new black. Seriously, babies are so hot right now. Everywhere you look (as long as, like me, the only place you get your information is from trashy magazines) celebrities are showing off their cute little baby bumps, parading their children around in tiny clothes that cost ten times what my adult-sized clothes cost, and flaunting their ridiculous baby names (I’m looking at you Uma Thurman!) But the most annoying thing that celebrity mommies are flaunting these days: their skinny, toned, stretch-mark free post-baby bodies…just weeks after delivering. What’s even more annoying is that when questioned about this crime against nature, most of them say that the “weight just came off” or all they did was “breastfeed.” Seriously?! If breastfeeding got me abs like Miranda Kerr or an ass like Gisele, I would breastfeed my daughter through college.
Alas, for us mere mortals, this is not the reality. No, my baby weight didn’t exactly fall off as easily as a celebutante’s undies. And while breastfeeding allegedly burns 500 extra calories per day, when I was breastfeeding I was ravenously hungry and still eating for two: One for me, and one for an entire football team. I must admit that looking at celebrities like Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson, Heidi Klum and Kristen Cavallari (I use the word celebrity loosely) who looked beyond amazing right after having their babies made me feel bad about myself. I would huff and puff my way through 45 torturous minutes on the elliptical, followed by round after round of lunges and sit-ups, and then look at myself in the mirror hoping to see some instant, radical change. Hoping that I would like what I saw again. Then I would dejectedly look down at my saddle bags and pinch my still flabby tummy and wonder what I was doing wrong. Why was it taking it me so long to get my body back? Why don’t I look like those celebrities?
Then one day it came to me: What I was doing wrong was simply not being a celebrity. I wasn’t devoting my life to my figure. I wasn’t working out 4 hours a day, 7 days a week with a $500/hr celebrity trainer. I didn’t have a personal chef or nutritionist or even a meal delivery service. I never looked like a supermodel in the first place. And all of this is ok because looking good isn’t my job. I don’t have a movie to get in shape for or a modeling gig to slim down for. I don’t have paparazzi chasing me and magazines pointing out my every flaw. The world isn’t watching my every move, hoping that I will fail. Hoping that I, too, will have cellulite and stretch marks. And thank god for that. If they were, than I would sure as hell be shelling out for the personal trainer and delivery meals.
I was looking at it all the wrong way. Instead of feeling jealous of how quickly these celebrities were able to whip their bodies back in shape, I should be feeling sorry for them for having to whip their bodies back into shape so quickly. Now, I know that it is hard to pity a rich, beautiful, famous movie star, but don’t forget that they are moms too. Imagine how stressful it would be if you had 6 weeks to lose the baby weight before your next movie. Imagine if, on top of having a new baby, you also had to spend hours and hours working out each day because that is your job. Imagine if paparazzi stalked your every move, trying to get an unflattering photo. Imagine if, a few months after having a baby, people called you the real F word. The worst thing a celebrity, or most women for that matter, can be called: Fat. And not just behind your back, or even to your face, but proclaimed on TV shows and splashed across magazine covers. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy… or even that bitchy, high-and-mighty mom at the baby music class. Well, maybe her.
Us non-celebrities have the luxury of taking the weight off slowly, or maybe not at all. We have the luxury of exercising when we can, and resting when we can’t. Of wearing yoga pants and baggy T-shirts day in and day out. Of eating an entire box of cereal when you can’t sleep after waking up to feed your baby at 3 am (hypothetically.) We have these luxuries because we live in the real world. And in the real world, no one would dream of telling you that 6 months is too long to take off the baby weight. In the real world, no one calls a new mom the F word. And if they do, then F them.
So ladies, give yourself a break if you don’t lose the baby weight, immediately or ever. In the real world these things take time. Stop comparing yourself to models and movie stars or anyone else for that matter. Every woman has different goals, needs and obstacles. Aim to live healthfully and to feel good about yourself. And please stop using the F word! Don’t use the word “fat” when talking about someone else, and most definitely don’t use it when talking about yourself. But feel free to use the word Fuck all you want. It’s fucking fun.
Here’s an idea: When you see a movie star’s kick-ass post-baby body, let it inspire you instead of shame you. Think of it this way – apparently it really is possible to look completely amazing after having a baby! If I had a trainer/nutritionist/dietician/stopped eating/sold my soul to the devil perhaps I could look that amazing too. But in the meantime, stop letting their amazing bodies make you feel bad about your own. Have I gotten there yet? Not totally. But I am working hard to stop comparing myself to anyone else, especially movie stars and supermodels. However, I refuse to stop making fun of their odd baby name choices. Hey, I’m no saint, and Alicia Silverstone is asking for it by naming an innocent child Bear Blu.
And for the record, I worked my ass off (literally) and I did lose the baby weight. I don’t look like Gisele or Jessica Alba, or even Jessica Simpson for that matter, but I do look like a pretty damn good version of myself. Now, most days I feel happy with the way I look, and on the days that I don’t, there’s always Spanx. Just ask any celebrity.