I was (finally) catching up on my TV last night and had a chance to watch a two-week-old episode of The Daily Show (because, you know, as a mom I’m oh so very current). Drew Barrymore was the guest and when she walked out she looked gorgeous; and like she’d had a baby recently, which she had.
I LOVE that Ms. Barrymore hasn’t succumbed to the Hollywood pressure to lose her baby weight in 15 minutes. I love that she’s setting an example for us “normal” moms. Showing us that’s it’s OK, even BETTER, to lose the weight in a slow, healthy manner.
After her first baby was born, Drew (see how we’re on a first name basis now) told Oprah she “wants nothing to do with that hamster wheel from hell” of celeb baby weight madness. She was also quoted in USA Today saying, “It takes time. Screw these impossible expectations. I’m doing it very healthy and sensibly. You gotta be nice to yourself. What kind of parent are you going to be if you’re to be berating yourself in the mirror? I want to instill in (my daughter) that when she’s happy on the inside she’ll be the most beautiful on the outside. I have to live by that same mantra and it’s a lot easier because I get to eat.” AMEN, GIRL!
So many starlets pop out a kid and voila, they’re rocking their perfectly flat abs weeks after delivery. It makes us real moms, the moms who don’t have the time or energy or team of trainers behind us, feel like flabby crap when we open up a magazine flaunting a 3-week postpartum Gisele Bundchen in a bikini. And as much as we don’t want it to bother us, let’s admit that somewhere, deep down, it does. There’s a little voice saying, “She can do it, why can’t you?” So I love seeing photos of a glowing, healthy Drew Barrymore. It sends the opposite message. A message of “You’re fine just the way you are.”
I gained a lot of pregnancy weight—65lbs to be exact. It was nothing I did. My body just naturally packed on the pounds. My family is all a bunch of genetic beanpoles and I’d always been skinny. I was teased relentless as a kid for being a sack of bones. So I actually loved putting on my baby weight. It made me feel strong and substantial for the first time in my life.
And because I’d always been so thin, I expected the baby weight to just fall off. It didn’t. Two years post-partum and I was still carrying around 40 extra pounds. And I was fine with it. I bought some roomier clothes, continued to eat healthily and tried to exercise, you know, once a year (I hate exercising pretty much more than anything on earth).
Eventually the weight did come off. But do I have my pre-baby body back? No. And I never will. The skin on my abs is stretched and marked. The muscle is split in two little poofs. My ribcage and feet are forever enlarged. My saggy boobs are a pair of floppy pendulums. But that’s OK with me. Those marks and bulges are my mommy battle wounds. Proof that my body did something miraculous. It created TWO FREAKIN’ PEOPLE! It would be insane for something that momentous not to leave a trace.
So here’s to you, Drew! Thank you for being normal. Thank you for setting a good example in that cray cray world of Hollywood mommyhood. And enjoy that new babe of yours. All of us normal moms think you look fabulous!
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