Sunday, 1 January 2012

The Search for the Holy Grail...

Or otherwise known as the Quest for a Flat Stomach.

I know this particular phenomenon exists as I used to have one. It was way back in my 20’s and I completely took it for granted. In fact if anything it was a bit of a hindrance. Models were still a respectable size then – Cindy Crawford had the body every one aspired to – and the smallest size than most fashion shops stocked was a size 10. Only in the deep dark recesses of places like Marks and Spencer and Wallis could you find a size 8; and then it was probably in clothes even your mother would think twice about wearing. So I hid my beautiful stomach in baggy jeans pulled in tight at the waist, (in homage to my style sisters Banarama) and envied the larger girls and their vast choice of clothes. Oh how time and society has changed. Now I am a size 10, I find myself furtively searching to the back of each rail whilst the size 4’s and 6’s stare mockingly at me from the front.

So what happened to my lovely abs? Well falling pregnant in my early 30’s didn’t help. This however gave my slim self no immediate concern. I treated my vastly expanding stomach as a thing of amusement, confident that I would snap back into shape once the baby was born.                

The worry started shortly after the birth. I distinctly remember lying in my hospital bed the day after Mini-Me arrived, poking my flabby stomach and asking the nurse why it hadn’t disappeared. “You still look pregnant” my brother in law said when he came to visit. I wanted to kill him.

As soon as I was able I joined the gym and set about transforming my shape. The gym had a crèche and to quickly identify mothers, should they need them in an emergency, special wrist bands were handed out. I wore mine with pride as it told the world that I wasn’t really fat I had just had a baby – the perfect excuse. Late nights, the stress of motherhood and a return to work full time soon had me abandoning my gym visits but I still used my pregnancy as the reason for my shape. I knew my luck had run out though when I was talking to a client at work and we were discussing our expanding waistlines; strange I know but a common topic amongst women.

“How old is your baby?” the lady asked,

“Eight” I replied.

“Oh eight months, what a lovely age,” she beamed “Is she sitting up yet?”

“Err… actually, eight years” I mumbled –at least I did have the decency to blush!

So now I think I have to accept the fact that my expanding stomach is more to do with my age and the copious amounts of wine and chocolate I consume rather than my dim and distant pregnancy.

So what have I tried?

  1. Pilates. Very boring.No music.
  1. Running. I bought a treadmill specifically for this purpose and set it up in the garage with a TV and DVD player to keep me entertained. I think they’re still there, I haven’t been in for a while.
  1. Personal trainer who I used to meet at the back of a Supermarket car park. Very expensive and the humiliation of being sweaty and red faced in full view of the general public became too much to bear.
  1. The Thing We don’t Talk About. (It involved a garlic enema and that’s about all I can say).
  1. Gillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD. This actually has a glimmer of hope to it. I will report back once the full programme has been completed.
So my quest continues although I have slowly started to accept that I may not be able to return to the full glory of my former self. That said, my holiday is only 4 months away and the thought of a bikini may keep me going a little while longer!
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