I’d love the hot beach body – but I’m just not prepared to head out to boot camps at 6am to get it.
And I like food.
I mean, I really, really like it.
And I know that healthy food can still be tasty – but I’m sorry, it can never be as tasty as a bowl of rich Italian pasta, a large glass of red wine, and a large slab of chilled chocolate for dessert. It just can’t. Not possible. Definitely not. No way.
I’ve tried, though. I really have. I’ve bought the snazzy trainers. In fact, for one 6-month period when I lived in London, I convinced myself I was a jogger.
I lived in Blackheath in London back then – a part of London located on a vast expanse of grass – and I used to run around it coughing and spluttering, with LMFAO on repeat… “Girl look at that body, Girl look at that body, Girl look at that body, I work outttt!”
I even applied for the London Marathon once. I mean, seriously. WHAT WAS I THINKING?
With dodgy knees and hips from way too much gymnastics when I was younger (see, I was sporty once), I soon realised that jogging was doing more harm than good. Trainers went back in the wardrobe, cool running iPad bum-bag-contraption went back in the drawer, and exercise was forgotten for a little while. When the rejection arrived from the London Marathon, I collapsed in hysterical (relieved) giggles on the floor.
Then I discovered Pilates – and that was far more successful. With flexibility part of my make up (all that gymnastics worked in my favour, after all), I actually enjoyed the classes. But still, when I had those evenings when the UK got dark way too early and I fancied a takeaway and a glass of wine on the sofa instead, even that hit the bumpers.
And now, fast forward 8 years – and here I am. Now a mother of three – and a size or two heavier than I was when I was jogging around that expanse of grass, coughing and spluttering.
And whilst I know I need to up the fitness levels, I’m kind of cool about my body shape.
For the first time in my life.
I’ve started Pilates again and occasionally swim a few laps in the evening in our community pool. I want to be fit and healthy for my children – and of course, I want to fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothes comfortably without them hugging my post-pregnancy tummy.
But supermodel-esque hot beach body? It’s never going to happen.
And it’s taken me to the age of 36 to accept that.
Because as a child, I don’t remember hearing a single woman tell me they were happy with their body. I don’t remember seeing celebrities say that. Or political figures. Or family members. Or family friends. Nobody said: “I wasn’t made to be a size 8, rocking a bikini in Ibiza with the supermodel set – and I AM OK WITH THAT.” Nobody said that.
And I want Mabel – and her brothers – to hear otherwise.
I will never be a keen jogger. Or a marathon runner. Or a supermodel.
But I am a very proud mum of three, who’s body has done incredible things.
And yes, I enjoy Pilates. And yes, I enjoy swimming the odd lap in a pool. And yes, it’s important to be healthy bla bla bla.
But I only want to do it a few times a week.
The rest of the time, I’ll be on the sofa downstairs with the Netflix control in my hand and a can of Diet Coke next to me, while my babies sleep peacefully upstairs.
Because that’s who I am.
And I want them to know I’m proud of that too.