A Healthy New Year


These are the Snowy Rocky Road bars I made when seeing my amazing sister over New Year. We both like white chocolate and when you add biscuits, marshmallows, dried cranberries and pistachio nuts the overall taste experience is incredible.  I wanted to make something that would travel and last well (which these did; even surviving flight cancellations). I used gluten free biscuits so my wee niece could try them too. My amazing sister loved them.

Many people are in the throes of their New Years resolutions. Gym memberships are up, shopping baskets are full of colourful fruit and vegetables and wine glasses are empty. Unfortunately we can’t live off delicious white chocolate rocky roads all year!! For the most part I have had a healthy relationship with my own body. My adult weight has rarely fluctuated and I can eat without calorie counting.

While pregnant with Conor I watched in awe as my bump grew and grew. I was so proud of my expanding tummy and my B cup breasts. After Conor died I very suddenly had a complicated relationship with my body. I know from speaking to other bereaved mothers that I was not alone here. Within two weeks of Conor’s death I weighed less than my pre-pregnancy weight. Rather than feel proud that I fitted into my jeans I was heartbroken. I had no child at home and now my body showed not a single sign of ever giving life to my little boy. I had delivered Conor naturally so there was no caesarean section scar. There wasn’t a single stretch mark and my breasts had shrunk to their unimpressive A cup. It was only my feet that didn’t return to their original size. Yet all I had to show for being a mother was a shoebox filled with memories. I also struggled knowing that Conor had died inside me and that I couldn’t save him. Sadly lightening can strike when babies are meant to be in their safest place. In those early first weeks and months I had no appetite and only ate when food was put in front of me.  For the first time in my adult life I hated seeing myself in the mirror. I looked like the person I used to be but I was no longer her. I know others who went the opposite way and over ate for comfort. One Mother said she ate lots to try to keep her bump as she had loved her pregnant body.

The pressure in the media for Mothers to get their figures back after giving birth is enormous. At this time of year there are adverts everywhere targeted at new Mothers. There are diets and classes to help Mothers get back into their jeans. While I totally understand that people want to feel fit and healthy after having a child, this pressure angers me. The adverts nearly imply that these Mother’s bodies have been occupied by unwelcome visitors. Pregnancy and childbirth is a gift that not all women get to enjoy. Women should be proud of any lasting changes to their bodies. These tell the world that we are Mothers and that our children lived their lives (no matter how short) within us.

*Top Tips…

I used a recipe from http://www.charlotteslivelykitchen.com/snowy-rocky-road/