I porked up good and proper when I was pregnant. It was slightly bizarre - every time I stepped on the scales, there it was, like magic: another pound. One for each week of pregnancy, in fact. A big, lardy 40 pound in total. Luckily, my midwife didn't weigh me at any point, or she would probably have had me harpooned immediately. I even managed to get through my ridiculous hospital admission without being weighed at any point, which was quite an achievement, since they seemed hell bent on testing me and the in vitro Lumpy in every way possible, strapping us to any machines they could lay their hands on (I'm sure I was tethered to a vacuum cleaner for a couple of hours at one point).
This was all very lucky, as I have a near psychotic phobia of being weighed. I am, putting it politely, a solid unit, and weigh a fair old heft, even without an invading giant fetus and all the trimmings. I like to think that a good amount of this poundage is muscle, what with my glorious past as an international athlete, but to be honest a lot of it is now simply lard. And cake. Lots and lots of cake.
Though fairly horrifying, my weight is generally pretty stable, so it was unnerving in the extreme to experience this steady continuous gain. The thing is, I didn't eat any more than usual (I eat a great deal usually, so it wasn't really necessary), and I stayed just as active as I always was: cycling to work and back every day, gymming, weightlifting, swimming, shark wrestling, unarmed combat, etc. etc. In fact, so active did I stay, that strangers felt compelled to voice their concern about my level of activity and its effect on the unborn Lumpy. I punched them in the face, naturally. Then ate them. I needed the extra protein, what with all the steroids I was taking to maintain my Miss Universe physique.
I knew that I needed to put on a certain amount of weight in pregnancy - there's a bloody person growing inside you, for god's sake. And persons are big and heavy. But 40 pounds? I was guessing that Lumpy wasn't going to weigh 40 pounds. If he was, I was in big, big trouble, and a natural birth was probably out of the question. So for some reason, my body had decided I clearly wasn't porky enough already and it needed to lay down a great deal of extra lard. And there was nothing I could do about it. I genuinely believe that I could have eaten nothing but a lettuce leaf every day, and still put on a pound a week. By some form of fat osmosis. Probably.
I got quite worked up about it, to be honest, convinced I would be stuck with an extra 20 pounds (at least) for the rest of my life. Probably entirely on my arse. And I have enough trouble getting my arse into trousers (and through doors) as it is. A future of wobbly, strained leggings awaited me. Woe, doom, and gloom.
Or not, as it turned out. Because after the Lumpy emerged, the exact opposite happened. On the day of his illustrious birth, I lost a stone, so that was 14 pound taken care of. Then every day after that, another pound was gone. It was like magic, particularly because by now I really was eating my body weight in pick and mix, chocolates, and CAKE pretty much constantly. But still, the weight came off. By two weeks, I'd lost 28 of the 40 pounds, and started to wonder whether this magnificent loss would continue, and I should be contacting modelling agencies to establish my career as a waif-like supermodel. Sadly, that was not to be, as after that I started to drop a mere pound a week, then every two weeks. By about five months, the lot was gone, and I was back to pre-pregnancy weight. And all by the power of sweets and sitting on the couch. Magic!
Which is why it makes me bluster and blather with rage when you get bollocksy advice like this gets broadcast, as if pregnant women are stupid fatties who need to be told not to mainline Big Macs the minute they get a positive test. Because, if my example is anything to go by, you don't have much choice about the weight you gain when you're pregnant. You can be as active as you like, weigh yourself as often as you can, and eat perfectly sensibly, and the weight will still go on. Then it'll come off. Probably. All part of the wonderful mentalness that is baby spawning.
Having said all that, I'm still not 100% sure I'm the same shape I was before this whole nonsense took place. Having a baby around sort of limits your gym time. So I've signed up to do a two-mile swim in Windermere in June, and a one-mile one in the Thames in July. Hopefully I won't die. At least the lard will help to keep me afloat. As long as their aren't any whalers around...