My Post Baby Body: A Life Without Cheese is Not a Life Well Lived

Photography: Alexa Mazzarello

By Lauren Keenan

Before I had children, I was convinced I was fat. I spent most of my 20s wishing I was smaller. Sure – my BMI was fine and I was a classic size 10/12, but it wasn’t thin enough. I stressed about eating junk food, hated most photographs, and weighed myself daily. I spent years not eating cheese, and was always on a diet, about to start a diet, or berating myself for failing at yet another diet. I used to go to the gym often, but it was about losing weight more than being fit.

Fast forward six years, two children, many sleepless nights, buckets of self-neglect and countless pies later, and here I am. I have rediscovered cheese, and while six years has passed, I eat it like I am making up for lost time.

The result?

I am bigger. My hips are wider. I like to think of it as my baby weight, but it’s more likely to be the lasting remnants of the daily macaroni cheese habit I developed in both of my two pregnancies. I have dodgy knees, which the physio ascribed to the 25kg I put on in 9 months while carrying my first. I recently tried on my favourite shirt from pre-child times, and the button over the bust popped off.

Then, I felt sad for that me, as well as a bit cross. How could she not see how good she looked? How could she not understand that she was probably a total bore with all the thinking about diets and calories? How did she not realise that a life without cheese is not a life well lived?

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