Nine months of eating food for two takes a toll and it can be hard to harness the discipline required to reign it all in. Those extra kilos picked up during pregnancy can be extra hard to shake once baby is born.
Mothers share a similar experience, but as a Dad you are lucky to go through a full pregnancy without picking a few kilos.
It can be a sensitive time for a man. So much of his world is changing and things can feel like they are getting out of control, so sometimes eating is the only thing left to hold onto. The irony is that after you have gone through that experience, you will naturally have a lot more to hold onto particularly around the midriff.
Hold on to it I am. I don’t know if it’s the lack of sleep and need for more energy but I am consuming calories like an Olympic weightlifter in training. My metabolism is slowing down like the demand for CD players and I have an awareness of extra mass resting upon the top of my belt.
Two dinners, four-coffee days, entire blocks of chocolate enhaled, mornings that contain both breakfast and brunch- I have been eating at an elite level. From all of this my once relatively taught stomach has graduated to the gut-leagues.
Along with all this your diet of sleep changes. You want to consume Zzzzz’s like never before, but it doesn't quite happen. You suddenly become erratic in your nocturnal patterns, starving yourself some nights as you attend to different waking children, then bingeing when relatives come to stay and volunteer to do the Weet-Bix shift in the morning. Sadly, the bedroom becomes a place that is actually about sleep and not the other ’S’ word (don’t try and tell me you all don't make sushi in your rooms from time to time!) You spend most of your days with more melatonin in your system than a monkey in a Loreal Lab.
This isn’t a big concern I am told. It is commonly known as baby fat and can affect Dads differently. Some men may look like their concealing a turtle in their stomach while others just look like they’ve taken advantage of a buffet.
Usually what happens is as soon as the baby settles into some regular sleeping patterns, so does the Father and the desire to store calories disappears along with excess food consumption. If that don’t happen, sometime in the first six months your child will get their first bout of gastroenteritis. You will follow within 48 hours and soon magically return to your pre-baby weight.
If this doesn't happen, you are probably eating too much and moving too little. Maybe think about reversing that equation or get used to the idea of regularly asking “Do you have this jean pant in a relaxed fit?”