Thursday, 24 May 2012

Mama Image

Raw food.  That is what I'm mostly eating at the moment.  For a handful of reasons really.

On a physiological level I have been feeling way too stodgy like my diet included too much bread and sweetness and it was beginning to effect my mood negatively.

I've been feeling the need to try and regain my focus on wholesome vegetarian culinary and alchemical inventions and in so doing re-find my love of cooking which got lost somewhere in the midst of motherhood and having to churn out meals everyone will eat every night out of duty rather than love.

Sheepishly, also, self image.  That whole area bugs me, as in, why am I constantly comparing my more voluptuous mama figure with the to-die-for washboard stomach one I had before I got pregnant?  Shouldn't I be over that by now?

I am not over weight - and a quick google search (however reliable that is!) put me in the 'normal' bracket for my height and age.  It is the changing of the relationship between my body mind and soul,  in that I've consciously known my body for the majority of the 30 years I've inhabited it and for most of that I've only ever known what it felt like to be a bean pole.  As a young adult, I ate healthily and heartily and I never had to stop and think about carbs or fats or whatever, it was as if I had hollow legs and could eat exactly what I wanted - virtuous and the not so virtuous. 

In my transition between maiden and mother I went from one androgynous extreme to the other most round ripe and sacred.  I loved my pregnant body.  Having both kids in quick succession didn't give me too much time to think about getting back into pre-pregnancy shape but now that dust has settled - finally as Gaia turns three and life is more manageable I look sky-clad into the mirror and notice the differences accentuated.

Where once I saw an androgynous beanpole I now gaze upon stretchmarks, hips, thighs and a bigger derriere.  I'm pear shaped, which is as much to do with now having a child bearing body as it is to do with retaining weight or fat.  But try as I might I struggle to move away from the former image of my self.  I would love to embrace my new found pear shape and curves and stop hankering after what is no longer.

I think part of embracing the new me is feeling ok about what I consume.  A month ago I did a week long juice detox.  Nothing but juices and herbal teas.  That is extreme but it drew a line under my gobbling of anything in sight.  After that I couldn't face all those breads and cheeses and home baked treats (and believe me the homebaked treats were the hardest thing to say no to!)  And so I've continued in that vein by making my diet a raw food only diet.  I feel 100 times better for ex-changing those heavy carbs and fats for fresh juices and salads.  I feel much cleaner inside, I have more energy and I am not constantly giving myself shit for eating crap.  A diet of fruit juices and salads isn't making me hungry as my nutritional needs are being met and it has been exciting to research, re-find and experiment with new recipes.  I have found my love of cooking again!

I think this is a relatively healthy outlook to maintain and the whole family benefit too from a more conscious cook.  Even if they don't fancy rabbit food most nights they can see me enjoying it whilst they tuck into food I've actually enjoyed preparing not begrudged as duty.  There have even been indignant shouts of 'I want some salad!'

When I started this post I asked myself why I wanted to write it and questioned my motives .  But if this blog is to be my capsule of thoughts and journeying through motherhood then this is absolutely part of it.  And I don't think I am alone, it is an essential part of  every woman's transition from maiden to mother to shift shape some and accept it at some point.  It is a rite of passage to leave behind the girlish looks and fill the mother-image.  Crucially I do not want to betray any lack of confidence or dis-ease with my self to my children. I want them to see someone who embraces all aspects of healthy living and who simultaneously embraces and is happy in natures body beautiful.

So those skinny jeans are still sittin' on the top shelf and actually there are several different sizes of skinny jeans now - the don't be daft! the maybe one day when the kids have left home and you've time to become a fitness freak and the currently still hopeful pile. 

So here's hoping, or not.



1 comment:

  1. Sounds like the journey to accepting your mother body is well on it's way. Two things that stick in my mind are both ideas from women much further down the trail and well into their crone years. One is that every stretch mark, every laughter line is a testament to our lives, and to be without them would be to be without children and laughter. And my 80+ allotment holder neighbour, who must be one of the healthiest people I know (well, I hope I can still be tending an allotment single handed lay when I am her age) was telling me the other day how eating home grown organic, and everything else that is free of a label is what she feels has kept her so healthy, that and the physical activity that allotment gives her.