Madam, aap pregnant hain kya? Oh no, Not Again! I am at the security check booth at the airport, and this is the umpteenth time the CRPF guard on duty has asked me this question before scanning me. Anyway, from now on, I will just have to suck in my tummy and hold my breath for the few seconds that she scans me. Apart from, of course wearing flared clothing that stays far far away from the body!
There! I have admitted it! Admitted to my ridiculous shape. Those who have been reading my blogs will know that I have been baring my heart quite a bit. But believe me when I say, that admitting THIS was tougher. Tougher, because I could have easily remained anonymous on this online blog. Many you have not seen me and many who know me, saw me ages ago. When I was really different.
I was not always like this (i.e. perpetually pregnant looking). In fact, majority of my life I have been underweight and used to being called names such as chhotu, chhutki, virus (I am assuming due to size and not temperament), hangar (clothes seemed to hang off me) and hearing jibes such as – are you from Somalia? or How do people even take you seriously (with this kind of size and structure)?! On top of that diminutive frame was a small face, which meant I never looked my age, often younger than my younger sister. And of course, not to forget the Just About 5 feet height.
But I didn’t mind. Not at all! While some of my friends of similar size and structure did not like being small, I just loved my small frame! I was in college when my cousin gifted me T shirts meant for boys aged 10-12, and I was delighted. I firmly believed that all good things come in small packages. So no body image issues, none at all.
Mind you, I loved flaunting my pregnant belly both the times I was expecting. It is just that when the baby is out, but the fat remains, things aren’t so sexy anymore! I was almost underweight when I conceived the first time, and after having Arnav, I slowly lost weight over the next year or so and settled at a decent weight, with a little bit of a muffin top. Yes, I did mind not being able to fit into pre-pregnancy clothes, but it wasn’t so bad anyhow. Plus, to go back to that level, one needs to be NON lazy, committed to working out and remain disciplined about it. I knew I didn’t have it in me. So I made peace with my body.
[While we are on the topic of work out though – let me digress and share with you my experiences of gymming. So the first one was, when the movie Road released. This was 2002 and I had just started my first job. I was Super impressed with Antara Mali’s flat Abs and decided I wanted one too. I stayed in a working women’s hostel at the time and joined the nearest gym that I found. I told the instructor my area of interest i.e. my abs. To my dismay though he instructed me eat bananas, paneer and milk – basically to gain weight. Needless to say the proposed diet plus the hard work ensured that I didn’t last long. The other two experiments with gymming were after the first baby, when I still had some hopes of coming back to original shape. But after losing money both the times, having taken membership for 6 months, attracted by discounted rates, and barely making it to the gym for two months or so, I decided to confront the truth. Gymming is NOT my piece of cake. Gymming saga ends here.]
Anyway, so seven years later, I conceived again, and twins this time. I looked up pictures of women pregnant with twins – and believe me their tummies were HUGE! My doctor told me that there will be a time when I won’t be able to look down at my feet! And it all excited me!! I took pictures of my growing belly every month and shared with friends and family! And by the time I delivered, I am not exaggerating, I pretty much looked like a beached whale. But it didn’t worry me. Of course, I will be huge, I am carrying two babies. It will go once they are out.
Unfortunately, it didn’t. I waited patiently over months, waited for the fat to reduce, but it didn’t. And, it looked different from the muffin top I had earlier. It was a weird, apple kind of a shape. so of course I googled. And found out about Diastasis Recti. This is a condition that affects pregnant women – mostly after second pregnancy or in case of multiples. Both boxes checked in my case. So what happens is this, the ab muscles, whose role it is to keep your guts from falling out, become weak and get pushed apart. See how. WARNING – graphic ahead.
This was a revelation for me. And for other moms facing belly fat issues – please check if you may be suffering from the same condition. It is important because regular exercises, yoga etc. may actually make this worse. To me this was a great piece of news – because now I could tell anybody who suggested a work out to get in shape, that it is not an option for me!! That trainers who know how to deal with DR are far and few in between (to tell you the truth, I haven’t bothered checking).
So where does that leave me? I am back to getting used to my current body shape, buying large, flared clothes and munching my cheese toast and bhujia. And of course I dream about a tummy tuck/ abdominoplasty, which seems to me the easier way of getting back in shape. Though I haven’t bothered finding about that either, given all the warnings I have received from everyone I shared the idea with.
But those who are more conscious and disciplined than I am, please do the following:
- Figure out what your body needs – fat reduction, muscle toning, or is it the specific case of Diastasis Recti. If so, please make sure you have the right trainer and doing the right exercises. (linking something here that I have not tried myself)
- Diet control – avoid crash diets, our bodies need all nutrients, including carbs and fats in the right proportion. Focus on a lower calorie diet, rather than omitting certain food types (e.g. fat, carbs) and Do Not try to lose weight too fast. Your body will get it all back eventually. You can look at this app, I found it interesting.
- Do a full body check up, including hormone levels and thyroid functioning. Sometimes, weight gain (or loss) can be due to those imbalances.
But those like me, sit back and relax, your body shape doesn’t determine who you are anyway.
Lotsa Love and Cheer!
Ha ha ha… That’s quite a hilarious take on the issue that “weighs” down on most of us 🙂
Since it took me 5 years+ to loose all that weight and my tummy still looks like another one is going to pop out, totally relate to it. Then finally gave up and took up Bellydance, if you can’t fight it, just flaunt it 🙂
Haha… hilarious… you are excellent with words
Haha, loved the post! I can totally relate to this specially the sucking in tummy part that i have gained expertise at…also thanks to you, i am now convinced that i am suffering from the DR condition too..
[…] pregnant tummy hasn’t gone anywhere (obviously, since I have done absolutely nothing about it) – and I am […]
Thanks a lot happens after pregnancy. One of them is the issue you have raised. I am glad I am not the only one.
While reading I was totally agreeing with you on how our both changes with pregnancy and all. Till I read Diastasis Recti. I got know about this when my tummy was not sucking in after 3-4 months. My doctor checked if I have that and explained about it. Unknown to many women, they exercise the wrong way and enhance the gap. Hope more people get aware about this
yes true. that’s why i decided to write about it – people can actually make it worse if they do regular routines.
My life story is exactly opposite from yours. I was always plump, fat if you may, and had everyone picking on me for it. After two kids and a very strict diet and exercise routine I now have presumably the best figure I possibly could. Still, there are people who say I was good earlier. We can never win with them!
ya true – so best to be happy with what you have/want – no matter what others say!
You play with words very wisely! And true this after pregnancy tummy is really hard one
Your blog title totally cracked me up! and i so agree… the tummy fat is the last to go after pregnancy… just takes ages!!!
ha ha thanks! glad you enjoyed!
Hahaha, this is so relatable. I am getting terrible flashbacks. Thanks for sharing about DR.
Haha! That was a fun read! It’s great to know that you are happy in your skin. That’s what matters more than the physical appearance.
I can relate to this, few years ago I had to face somewhat similar situation when an old lady from the society asked me ‘any good news’, I simply brushed it off but that comment haunted me for long.
Ya I know!! so painful!
This is true, I too figured out that I have Diastasis Recti when after 6 months my tummy never shrinked even I was completely breastfeeding. I too heard about mutusytem, not sure how will this work. Glad you are spreading the word
glad you liked it!
Dear Sakshi, I read your both posts today and I admit we are clones in many aspects. Loved both straight from the heart pieces love and hence send you a request on social media, much love Roma 🙂
Thanks so much for liking my posts – all this encouragement helps! Do follow my blog if you can. thanks!
hilarious post, not at all bore me and even many ask me that I am pregnant again and that make me sad , i like to hit the gym but gymming is like a dream
I swear I can totally relate to it. I have been heavy all my life and so when I was 5 months pregnant, no one really could guess that I was expecting! lol
ha ha! that happened to one of my friends too!
This condition with the recti does have rectification.But obviously as you mentioned we need to really want it. This was interesting.
glad you liked it.
Ha ha that is so relatable.. tummy is the hardest part to get no to normal after pregnancy
This is so hilarious.. This story brought some major flashbacks.. Same thing used to happen with me after my first pregnancy ..
I read many blogs, but your way of writing is really different. For me, its story telling kinda thing. I have a pear shaped body and i dream for a kareena kapoor Silhouette but gym is not my cup of tea as well.
Haha love the way you have spoken about weight gain after pregnancy in such a lighter vein. Absolutely i also had a muffin top for about a year after my son was born and being always fitness concious and skinny i was having a hard time accepting this new body….well improving my diet and getting back to fitness helped me getting back to track. Yes it definitely was a slow process and required dedication.
This is such a great article and you are perfect when sharing thoughts with words…loved this post a lot
Thanks! So glad you liked it!
my son is 3.5 and i think i still look pregnant! so i understand this pain. now i turn deaf to ppl who has to say anything about the waistline!
[…] of all (eyes roll). Going from petite to large (and now thankfully back to medium, but still). The muffin top – and that’s not going anywhere. The drooping skin (not going to go back in however much you […]