Ursula Hirschkorn - size 24
When I first got pregnant one of the perks was that I could dress in stretchy leggings all the time and I had the perfect excuse to eat constantly.
I was in heaven and saw no reason to change my ways once the baby arrived. Not surprisingly I quickly morphed into a chubby mummy, and continued to happily scoff all the leftovers from my sons' plates and live in oh-so-comfy Lycra.
During the years when my sons were babies and toddlers I never spared a thought for such fripperies as jeans without elasticated waists, make up or gym workouts.
I was only too happy to hide behind my giant pushchair and forget all those inconvenient aspects of being a woman. It was Ugg boots, baggy tops, a shiny face and straggly hair all the way.
I reasoned that there was precious little point in dolling myself up in the latest fashions only to have them dribbled all over by whatever infant I was burping over my shoulder or digging out of a sandpit.
In short I became that figure we are all so familiar with from the school gate – the slummy mummy. The one where you know it is a good day if she has managed to get out of her pyjamas to do the school run and who looks as if she hasn't seen the inside of a hairdressing salon for over a decade.
I was fat, unfit and generally not a pretty sight. Luckily my husband is a very loyal man and understood just how incompatible rearing four tiny sons is with being in any way attractive. But once my twins hit two I suddenly realised that my excuse for looking such a state had passed its use by date and it wouldn't be long before my boys were embarrassed to be seen with a mum who look so little care of herself.
It was time to belatedly ape all those celebrity mothers who instantly spring back into shape and lose the mummy tummy. I banished all children's leftovers to the bin the moment a meal was over, stopped snarfing second hand snacks, joined a gym and began a punishing self-improvement routine.
Over eight months I fell eight dress sizes and I cannot tell you the delight I felt at finally being able to fit back into a size 10 again.
I had transformed myself into one of those yummy mummies I used to scoff at as I shuffled past in my supersize jeans on the way to school, raking my unruly mop of hair out of my eyes as they shook their shimmering blow-dried manes out behind them.
But where I used to laugh at them, thinking I was a much more realistic portrayal of motherhood, now I have only admiration for these hot mammas.
It is a nightmare keeping yourself presentable whilst parenting small children. Not only do you have to dredge up the willpower not to indulge in childhood treats like squashed cake in a party bag or those last few Smarties in the tube. There is also that small matter of time.
Children simply eat up your day. Where the childfree can hit the gym in their lunch hour or after work, mums must somehow fit working out around their children's schedule.
Early mornings are out unless you fancy getting up at 4am before the blighters wake at 6am, lunch hours are spent spooning fish fingers into little mouths and clearing up the resulting mess, and once you have endured evening bath and bedtime routine that Zumba class has lost all its appeal.
In my pursuit of yummy mummydom I have been known to set my alarm to wake me at some ungodly hour so I can pound the streets before the school run. I have become a evening regular at the gym trotting along after daddy gets home from work at 7pm.
Let me tell you after hours workouts are not mum friendly and I always find myself struggling to lift my tiny set of dumb bells in a room filled with sweaty bodybuilders vying over who can lift the heaviest weights.
Swapping the stained T-shirt of the slummy mummy for the skinny jeans of a yummy mummy has been exhausting. I will never again look down on those apparently airbrushed paragons of maternal perfection again, as I know just how much hard work it takes for a mum to look that good.
Did you lose weight post baby? Was it a struggle? Any top tips to share?