A friend linked me to an article yesterday that made me seriously angry. That isn’t all that complicated a thing to achieve most days because my hormones tend to fall much more to the rage side than the weepy one, but even still, this situation is wrong on many levels.
And I will admit, up front, that it is entirely plausible that this situation offends me more than most people because my weight has always been an issue. I have been overweight, I have been seriously underweight, and I have been right in the middle. My weight, those stupid numbers on the scale, have never been far from my mind. Except for the past 10ish weeks, where I’ve finally found some peace about what’s happening with my body and let go of those numbers.
The story is that Weight Watchers, a company I was previously a big fan of, just offered Jessica Simpson a 3 million dollar contract if she agrees to begin dieting as soon as her baby is born.
I can barely begin to tell you how much this irritates me. I think it’s clear that we as a society care way too much about our appearance and I think that Jessica Simpson is setting a precedent that too many women will want to follow. Right after giving birth there are about 10 million different things going on in our bodies. On top of which, dieting during breastfeeding is simply a bad idea. In fact, during breastfeeding, you need more calories than normal, not fewer, and breastfeeding itself can help you burn calories. Your body is already working to help you get back to your old self.
And let me just say here, because I’ve already gotten some feedback, yes, I know Weight Watchers gives extra points during breastfeeding. You would be amazed at how much I know about Weight Watchers, pretty much every member of my family has been on it at some point in my life. But my issue is more the idea of jumping straight into a diet while your body is still sorting everything out and healing. I take serious issue with that. And also with the media focus on weight and dieting. That is the problem to me.
I feel like stories like this one are a shining example of how much we’ve stopped caring about the health of our bodies and have moved right to caring only about our dress size.
I have been there. I have fought an eating disorder, I have struggled daily with some of the remnants of that. But I also know that pregnancy is not like other situations. It takes time to gain this weight, and it is good weight, it is necessary weight, and it will take time for it to come off. Restricting calories while your body is healing is not a healthy thing to do for you or your child. Eating a well balanced diet is exactly what we should be doing, both while pregnant and right afterwards, but counting calories and obsessing over carbs? No.
In many ways I am so thrilled to be having a boy simply because the pressures about his appearance will hopefully be less than those for a girl, than the ones I’ve fought with. I hope that I can raise him and any other children I have down the road to care more about their health, about taking care of their bodies, than about their pant size.
I wish that Jessica Simpson could’ve taken this opportunity and her celebrity status to celebrate the changes in her body instead of planning to immediately change them as soon as her pregnancy ends.
For more information, see Jezebel’s story about Jessica Simpson’s 3 million dollar deal.
Don’t sweat it– check out Babble’s tips on How to Safely Lose Pregnancy Weight!