Monday, 27 February 2012

You're so Vain.....

Eight weeks after I gave birth to The Wilburbeast, still in maternity trousers and nudging my heaviest weight ever, I decided enough was enough and I embarked upon a diet.  I joined Slimming World, and lost almost 2.5 stone.  I’m proud to say I have kept the weight off since I reached my target weight in December 2011.  I’m now a healthy weight for my height, my BMI is normal and my waist measurement no longer points to high risk for heart disease.  I also have tons more energy and I actually like the body I see in the mirror.  Ok, I’m a TOTALLY different shape from my pre-baby body, I carry my fat in different places…. But I kinda like that, its like a badge of honor – hell, my body is clever, and I have two beautiful children to show for it!

The problem I now have is that I have no idea what clothes size I actually am!  It seems to vary widely from shop to shop, one manufacturer’s 14 is another’s 10!  I’ve even bought the SAME size pair of trousers in one shop in two different colours only to find one fitted and one didn’t!  Given my new measurements – I come out as roughly a size 12.  However, having trawled the size guides published online by my five favourite retailers (making up 95% of my wardrobe) online, I have discovered that the measurements for a “standard” size 12 can vary by as much as 2 inches from shop to shop.  2 inches is a WHOLE SIZE!  In practice this means I must try on clothes in several sizes before buying, and renders online shopping on a whim almost impossible!  I have gotten to know my favourite retailers well, and know how their clothes fit, and can judge my size; despite the gargantuan differences on paper I nearly always wear a 12.  

In order to find your size across major retailers visit this site What Size Am I armed with your vital statitics.

And now we have the problem of so-called “vanity sizing”, where shops have surreptitiously made clothes sizes bigger.  Therefore what was once a 12 is now labelled as a 10.  Not only does this belittle the achievements of people like me who have worked hard to lose weight and achieve a certain size, but also adds to the confusion!  Now, I don’t buy into the vanity-sizing idea.  My reasoning for this is that yes, sizes have changed since the 1950’s – but this is because women’s shapes have changed.  We are taller, broader and bustier than we were in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, and retailers have altered their sizing to reflect this.  It is not only the actual measurements that have changed – but also the cut of garments. Each retailer has their own style and cut of clothing as well, which also goes some way to explaining why I can be a comfortable size 12 in one shop, but in another I may need a 10 or a 14 – it all depends on the cut.  Some shops favour petite ladies, some cater more to ladies with hips and bums and some shops clearly have a “one size fits none” policy!

The question I ask is this…. Why do we care so much what the size label in our clothes says?

I mean it’s not as if we display this label to everyone, unless you wear your clothes inside out. The only person who sees the label is you - and if you're happy with your body, but you don't like what the label says, then CUT IT OUT !

Friday, 17 February 2012

Babies don't keep

We've been away to Scotland to stay with Granny and Grumpy for a few days... We had a great time, the M6 was not nearly as hideous as it can be, the kids loved seeing Granny, Grumpy and Disney dog.... not forgetting Auntie Carol and Uncle Ed.  Wee Maisie met her fifth great-grandchild for the first time... and let's just say the Wilburbeast was a complete Charmer! I was introduced to the wonders of Picquot Ware (but thats a whole other post!)

After a weekend of fun, family, friends and more food and wine than I should have eaten we returned home, some of us 4lb heavier.... all of us tired!  The big news while we were away is that two of our dear friends gave birth... to Baby Joshua and Baby Matthew.... congratulations guys - you know who you are!  With that news in mind, as I dashed about from pre-school, to supermarket, via cleaning the bathroom and washing yet MORE socks I was reminded of this.....

and I thought who cares if the washing isn't done yet, and the only food we have in is 2 week old broccoli and fish fingers.  I stopped rushing from pillar to post and thought, I'm supposed to be ENJOYING this.... not racing each day till bedtime!

We built a Lego house for Daddy even though he won't fit
We laughed at The Wilburbeast bouncing in the doorway
We all cuddled on the sofa before bed
We hula-hooped in the garden
We went for a walk to the swings
Miss Bags helped feed The Wilburbeast.
We had a great time!

While it is important for us to wear clean clothes, eat healthy food and live in clean houses, and OK, that does require doing housework, laundry and visiting the supermarket occasionally, I have decided I am going to enjoy, involve and appreciate my children everyday.... After all Babies Don't Keep!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Baby Valentine

Had a lovely Baby Sensory session today at West End. 

As its Valentine’s Day on Tuesday this week's session was Baby Valentine....
Not as energetic and upbeat as our usual sessions, but more snuggly and huggly with our babies....We held them close, danced with them,and of course there were bubbles and stars! The whole room was full of smiling, relaxed mummies, grannies and babies...

As Helen (session leader) pointed out hugging is an important part of the human need to feel loved. It releases oxytocin (the hug hormone) for both the hugger and the hugged. Now, I thought oxytocin was released during labour to help you bond with your baby and push out that placenta....well, it IS - but it turns out that is not all we can credit oxytocin with. 

Ever wondered why hugging your children close feels so good?
Why a cuddle and a kiss from Mummy or Daddy makes all the pain of a skinned knee go away?
Why babies hold out their arms to be picked up and hugged?

Now you know....  So what are you waiting for?!  Get hugging!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dipping a toe....

Well, I've finally taken the plunge into the blogosphere......Wish me luck I'm new at this!

My friend asked me to write a guest blog to appear on her blog..... Her blog is so beautifully written and well thought out,  so I thought I'd better get some practise in here first!

It's currently the bedtime hour in our house, or should that be the BEDLAM hour as The Wilburbeast is refusing to drink any milk from a bottle until he is fast asleep, and Miss Bags is currently covering everything that does not move in Peppa Pig stickers.....

I'm in here dodging all maternal responsibility for the chaos, but as I have just been informed there is orange sick on our bed, and an evening of Birthday Invitiation writing beckons, I had better pull on my marigolds and help out my husband!