Husbands and Muffintops

No. Not you. 

He stands on the scale. “168.5. Up ten pounds and I’ve got a muffin top.” He’s an avid cyclist, needlessly worried how light he will be on the bike.

These are the last words I need to hear from my husband right now. He didn’t have a baby almost 3 years ago and isn’t still carrying the pregnancy weight.

Nope. I don’t want to hear that from you, hubs. I’ve got to listen to that damn voice shouting about my horrible body from inside my throbbing brain for most of the day, and you were my only hope for outside perspective. And now you- you’re worried about your weight. No. No. No!

That voice and I have been confrontational lately, so I’m hoping thats a step in the right direction.

The only time that voice didn’t exist was when I was carrying my son. It was magical. That voice was silenced as soon as I peed on a stick.

People love pregnant mommas. They love it when we are round and in full bloom – they open doors for us, the let us jump ahead in the bathroom line, they always have something to talk to us about – those precious, little babies soon to be here. The doting, the possibility, the love –  it’s there as our belly grows.

I loved my plump baby bump. I loved the glow on my face – even if sometimes it was the just the vomit reflecting off the toilet.

But then our water breaks and so does that positive energy. We become tired, engorged, our mental abilities and physical abilities become stymied.

Our beautiful baby belly turns into a frumpy gut. And, in my case, two surgeries – a C-section and myomectomy – within three months does not make you a happy camper who wants to worry about calorie intake or exercise output. I simply wanted sleep. I still do.

From a person who ran a half-marathon right before getting pregnant, then having a five pound fibroid taking most of my oxygen during pregnancy – couching me for the last four months of my pregnancy – my body isn’t what it was. The voice reminds me of that constantly.

And now with my husband – if he’s judging his own body, does he look at me and think about pastries as well?

Speaking of pastries, I do have a bad donut habit. But with all the night wakings, the repetitive readings of Crankenstein, and the monotony of mini-hipster t-shirt laundry, don’t I deserve a little comfort too?

I think for moms, especially when we stay at home, food becomes our paradise. We can escape for a second when we jostle Bonbons in our mouth. We can stop our bodies and sit still for the three-seconds- just three – it takes to swallow pizza and a little wine down. Food becomes our break, our oasis. And we definitely need it.

But the trick is to trick your mind into thinking you are going to freedom town when you eat your veggies. It’s about savoring those bites. It’s about giving yourself space to disregard the rush of things to do around you. It’s about making the connection between how you want to feel after you have eaten this food – energized – versus how you fake yourself out with that Nutella.

It’s also about dropping that nagging voice in your head, dismissing any media that urges you to get your body back asap. But it’s also about finding exercise you enjoy. For me, I rock it in spin class. The music is loud, and the parts that jiggle don’t that  much on a bike – they don’t get the chance to criticize me with every bounce. Instead, working out reminds me of how strong I am, how awesome women’s bodies are because they endure so much. That’s the energy I’m taking in when I’m in that zone.

So, no, please not you, my love. I don’t need to hear body complaints from you. I’m working so hard at loving me, I would love a reminder that I’m doing ok. 

And he does remind me that his lack of free time after our baby has limited his work out time and meal prep time too. Yes- keep talking, hon. This is what I want to hear – that I’m not alone in this, that things always change, that there’s no need for the pressure I place on myself, that happiness doesn’t have to measured by pounds, doughnuts, or muffin tops.

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