Nurturing One's Inner GILF

So. One minute you're publicly revelling in, nay, gloating over your second trimester gorgeousity, and the next minute you're puffing and straining your way through an interval-training class with mirrored walls, confronted at every angle by image of ever-inflating self in gray lycra shorts, and wondering "why the fuck am I doing this to myself again??"

[Let me make a comment aside about shorts. I do not "do" shorts. Not even for exercise. I like a nice boot-cut yoga pant, thankyouverymuch. And yes. I have been known to surreptitiously apply lipstick before entering my step class. See above, re: "wall-to-wall mirrors..." Yes. I am that shallow. But Oprah assures me that it is important to feel that you look good when exercising for that extra incentive. So lipstick on a pig it is...]

Gray lycra shorts--unflattering for 99.9% of population, especially female population where crotch-sweat is of possible issue (not for me, I hasten to add. Just the rest of you skank-whores poor afflicted women).

Gray lyrca maternity shorts. A whole new level of ugly.

But it's about 90 degrees outside and humid, and being all "responsible" and shit, I knew it was important to not overheat during an exercise routine when preggo. (uh, how about NOT doing exercise that involves "running suicide circuits" Joy??? We'll get to that bag of angst in a mo. Just hang on.) So I am wearing the shorts and juggling positions because this mirror makes me look way thinner than that mirror. Which one is TRUE???

And as I boinged sweatily around the class doing high-knee jogging and wondering if there was a belly-bra kind of thing that could keep the stomach from feeling like it would rip my core each time it jarred up, I had the (perhaps overdue) sensation that me being in this class at all at 24 weeks was a leeeetle bit fucked up.

OR was I just succuumbing to my typical "let's see if you can rationalize yourself out of this one, Joy..."? For this is also a tactic I know all to well.

So this is the inner turmoil you encounter me in today. Triggered in large part to the fact that the glory-days of cute pregnancy bump and thin(ish) arms and thighs are receding, and that somehow I am managing to mindlessly chow down almost entire packages of chocolate bikkies in one sitting, and that according to the books (yes, the books I like to decry in rant-posts. did I ever say I was not a hypocrite?) that pregnancy requires 300 extra calories a day, which about amounts to one of these and one of these. Oh, let the abandoned eating begin!

(and when I say thin(ish) I mean for me. First tri nausea meant I shed a few, and yes, though sick-as-dog, I was digging the decrease of wobbly bits, even while I knew it would not last...)

Apparently eating for two basically means adding an organic yoghurt smoothie and a (forbidden) cookie to your daily intake of food, assuming of course that you were eating in appropriate range in the first place. Uh. Sure I was. And if you take away all the wine I'm (mostly) not drinking now, that frees up a good 1,500 kcals a week (day).

When pregnant, most of us take this as carte-blanche to begin eating whatever the hell we want, and huzzah to us! But this is less about us needing to feed our faces to feed our foetuses(biologically speaking that is) but about the fact that as women we are given a big old societal pat on the back to keep shovelling it in! No judgement over the ample portions or second deserts. In fact we are heralded and revered for our showy exhibits of maternal hunger.

Even as I write that, the feminist side of me is scolding myself for portraying such a grotesque image of us women merely eating. But I also realize that what I am currently experiencing is intimately related to these gendered ideologies of eating. I feel a sense of liberation from societal mores about women and eating, and at the same time latent anxiety that mine is a body out of control and I am just using pregnancy as an excuse to overdo it.

I'm not just talking about women feeling more pressure to be thin or physically perfect than men (and I think this is rapidly shifting) but the fact that images of women eating always celebrate restraint (Mommy and daughter bond over salads and happy meal carrot sticks in the latest McDonald's ads) or if she is indulging, the image is eroticized as she "gives in" to temptation. Men get Hungry Man meals, but there's no Hungry Jill pancake mix (that fat bitch) and those of you who have been reading along with me for a while know how I feel about those fucking "he fucked-me-senseless goooood" yoplait chicks. (sorry for the repeta-rant here!)

So what's a feminist-chick with penchant for eating/drinking and healthy dose of body-image issues to do?

Join Old Lady exercise class, that's what. I did the old "prenatal aerobics" class with #1 and it's for pussies, I'm telling you. I mean, if taking an exercise class that consists of slowed down geriatric motion exercises will make you sweat, have at. But I was bored shitless.
No, I'm going hardcore with my geriatric exercise regime. I'm going water aerobics. Yes, it will involve wearing a bathing suit (nearly as loathsome as the odious "short"). But here's my thinking:

1. Mirrors. Zero. (check)
2. Body largely hidden by water. (check)
3. Old ladies who make me look postively lithe. (check)
4. Old ladies who will dote on pregnant me and who can teach me a thing or two about what really matters in this world and who can tell me to get a life over the "oh my thighs are getting bigger boo hooo" thing. (check)
5. Sense that even though I can't quite take the jarring exercise of interval training right now, at least I am doing something to keep me moving no matter how lame it feels. (check)

So screw the MILFs, I'm going with the GILFs. Make room ladies, because I do a pretty mean cannonball!!

p.s. Thanks to Amalah for turning many of us on to this site, Shape of a Mother. We need more reaffirming shit like this, seriously (see above).


Oh, The Joys said...

OMG. I am a swimmer (lap swimmer) and I am hear to tell you that those geriatric water aerobics gals create whole CURRENTS in the pool. I am blown like flotsam and jetsam from one lane marker to the other and swirled around in various, random eddys - and I am one powerful mo' fo' in the pool! I don't know if they sweat, but man alive, they are a powerful collective FORCE.

virtualsprite said...

How funny! Yes, it is a shame that we still feel like we have to be MILFs even when we're huge pregnant. And enjoy those water aerobics! I always thought they were fun!

Mother said...

Wow you're working out? I did that with number one and I still gained 60lbs.


Nice shorts, btw. Very sexy.

Jill Urbane, The Mentor Mom said...

Crotch sweat! I had no idea there was such a thing. What rock have I been living under? Hysterical!

toyfoto said...

Ok ... so here's the thing: How big is your husband?
Seriously ... I think I'll have to fight him for you.

This was FABULOUS!

MrsFortune said...

Haha, this cracked me up, especially after what I posted the other day about all my baby weight and eating whatever the hell I wanted. I also did aqua-robics when I was pregnant and I met other pregnant women, and really felt good about it. :0) I also swam laps almost every day and had the same "at least I'm doing something" aittitude, plus the lack of mirrors is a big PLUS. Makes up for having to get into a bathing suit.

sunshine scribe said...

You always make me laugh girl. Always.

I did water aerobics all through pregnancy. Who would've thought I'd feel LESS self concsious in a bathing suit?! Love the hiding of the water of both my bod and my lack of coordination.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Water aerobics is a kick-- have fun.

Jozet said...


"...those fucking 'he fucked-me-senseless goooood' yoplait chicks"

This post is a must-read for any woman, but yes, pregnant specimens especially.

And water! Yes, water is my friend. I walk into the pool and instantly lose 45 pounds and just try to get me back out again.

Great post!

Pendullum said...

Niiiiiiccccce shorts...
Picture paints a thoudand words... and glad your blog filled in the blanks!

neva said...

oh how i wish i'd had that option when i was pregnant! swimming/water aerobics sounds divine... and way more fun/kinder on the joints than, say, running and/or step-classes (both of which i did). i'm for it, girlfriend!

and i think having a pool full of GILFs doting on you is an added bonus you very much deserve! (along with the organic smoothie and cookie) of course, you may still have problems with "crotch sweat/pee dribble", but in a pool, who will be the wiser? it's brilliant, brilliant i tell ya, BRILLIANT!! xox

Her Bad Mother said...


Goddam. The only exercise that I did during pregnancy were the K-squeezes...

I can see water exercises, tho'. Anything done in water isn't really exercise.

And, you didn't address *vaginal* exercises. Those don't require shorts, and probably shouldn't be done in front of a mirror.

mothergoosemouse said...

I didn't exercise either, unless you count commuting - running for the M31 bus.

And yes, I was a body out of control - both while pregnant and not.

ozma said...

You are too funny. For most of my life, I ate anything I wanted! I developed a weight problem the year before pregnancy--it was scary. Pregnancy made me more scared because I got so humungous. So instead, I took it as an excuse to spend money, which for me was a way more guilt-ridden thing than eating. Admittedly, I spent some of that money on FRESH SQUEEZED ORANGE JUICE which does add calories--on my budget it was basically a Krystal/beluga caviar type indulgence. And pedicures. Because I couldn't reach my $%#@ing feet.

I was terrifyingly large during pregnancy. And I never, ever, evereverevereverever looked in a full length mirror. I totally deluded myself into thinking I looked great. Try it!

Kevin Charnas said...

you are so damn funny.LOL.
two of my favorite lines from this post:

"So lipstick on a pig it is..."


"Just the rest of you skank-whores poor afflicted women)"

Mom101 said...

Oh man, you are too funny Ginga. BlogHer will be a slightly less wonderful place without you this weekend.

I remember when Charlie Sheen was explaining Denise's postpartum Playboy-ready figure by saying, "she didn't use pregnancy as an excuse to eat like a pig."

I was like, "um...why the hell not?"

Mocha said...

I actually was grateful for the repeta-rant because it is FUNNY. EVERY. TIME.

You are so brilliant with the words, woman. And the insight. Not surprising, you being Smarty McSassypants and all...

virtualredhead said...

You will probably LOVE the water aerobics, expecially as you get bigger. The belly floats, and you feel lighter than air. It's worth the bathing suit. ; )

tina c said...

everday i went to the gym while preg. i said to myself: this is one day closer to the day i can quit coming to this god-forsaken place. yeah leaving that chore behind (no time now to get to the gym).

good luck with the water aerobics. i went to one class once and was wiped out. i found it way harder than a step class.

Luigi said...

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