Eating kids' leftovers is just the tip of the iceberg. Your offspring have a multi-pronged strategy for diet devastation.
A good diet was hard enough to achieve before I had a baby, what with working long hours, drunken 2am cheese and peanut butter toastfests (try it, it's amazing), and hungover scoffing. But as soon as I fell pregnant, the assault on my good intentions and dubious resolve began.
I'm not talking particularly about weight-loss diets here; simply the attempt to eat anything healthy at all.
The Pregnant Eat-and/or-Chuck Period
Oh Mother Nature, you're a funny one. I feel sick-the only thing that makes me feel better is eating-then I feel sick...what a jape! Then in the second trimester, I was so happy not to feel sick any more, I ate for England. I wasn't drinking so I could spare the calories...right? (Reader: I put on three stone.)
You don't eat a proper meal for months - but boy do you snack. I'm breastfeeding - I need the cake! I'm tired - I need the energy! My baby rolled over - gimme a muffin!
Coffee Morning Biscuit Marathons
NCT, you are 100% to blame for my addiction to biscuits. Hands up who spent most of their post-natal meet-ups guzzling lattes and chain-eating biscuits? And hasn't stopped since?
Avocado and banana became my new cheese and peanut butter. Gross combinations suddenly seemed ok when sanctioned by Annabel Karmel. And baby yoghurts - need I say more?
I hate waste! Those are good chips there! Never mind that they are cold and soggy with baked bean juice. Why put in the bin what I can slap on my thighs?
The Naughty Cupboard
I've always eaten chocolate, but I've never stocked a naughty cupboard like I do now. The problem is, I know where it is.
Shoving chocolate in our faces behind the fridge / cupboard door is a mummy cliché that it is true for a reason. Yes, we know that comfort eating is not the answer, but unless I see a nanny / miracle coming to my aid, it'll have to do.
Mother always serves herself the worst cut of meat. I don't even eat meat. But don't you always find yourself eating the smallest baked potato, the runtiest cupcake, the coldest toast? Or you do without completely.
Biscuits are cheaper than berries. Do you ever find yourself preparing a sumptuous mix of strawberries, blueberries, kiwi and kumquats for your children, only to have a manky apple for your own "five a day"? As a family of five, I'm often stung by the fact that pack sizes are often in even numbers - I'm looking at you, corn on the cobs! Except for my dear Freddos - sold in packs of 6: one each and a second one for me.
Children chuck crap in the trolley and you are so weak by the time you get to the checkout, they win.
The kids are in bed, but they still get you, driving you into the arms of alcohol, the ultimate diet saboteur.
It doesn't matter when you eat, I've read (as long as within the healthy intake for the day). But it might if you've spent the previous six hours grazing through the kids' tea-bath-bed-feed-resettling-nappy-bed-scream merry-go-round.
If anyone knows the answer to my diet dilemma, please shout. Speak up though, cos I'll have my head in the fridge.
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