Thank God for Zara!


I am not a royalist – like most girls in the 80s I had a scrapbook of pictures of Lady Di, but apart from that I haven’t thought much about the Royal family for a lot of years. Little did I think my latest heroine would come from the royal stable – Zara Phillips (now Tindall) may have had a more ordinary upbringing than many of her blue blooded clan, but there is no denying her life is a million miles away from what most of us get up to. But how my heart went out for her and my spirits soared when she went out in that yellow dress this week and was forced to deny she was pregnant! Whilst her cousin’s willowy wife has been parading her oh-so-skinny figure just weeks after giving birth to Princess Charlotte, Zara is obviously embracing the changes having a baby have made to her body and is proud of her curves and her belly!

Getting rid of the baby paunch is tricky for everyone – but I reckon us short girls definitely have it harder. None of my friends who are over 5’6” have had any trouble getting back into their skinny jeans soon after birth, while many of us more diminutive girls (5’4” on a good day in my work heels) are struggling to get rid of our baby tummies years after having our families. I, like Zara and many other women, have had to deny being pregnant – my excruciating experience was at a kids’ birthday party when another mum asked me when I was due – my little boy was six months old at the time! I smiled, blinked back some tears and said two children was enough for me. I then fled home, threw my outfit in the bin and promptly did 100 sit ups to try to make myself feel better!

A 5’3” friend of mine has completely changed the way she dresses since someone wrongly suggested was expecting again – she now shrouds in body in billowing layers and has vowed never to wear anything that accentuates her stomach or waistline off to anyone. “I’d die if it happened again” she said recently. It just seems unfair – I exercise five times a week, eat relatively sensibly, wear the size clothes I want and I;m pretty pleased with what the scales tell me, but from many angles you could still be fooled into thinking child number three was on its way. Sometimes I wish I could just stretch a couple of inches so that sagging skin had somewhere else to go!

So that’s why I applaud Zara – she seems to be embracing her figure – wearing a gorgeous coloured dress to a fabulous occasion. I wish I had her confidence – our bodies go through so much to produce our children, it’s a miracle we can ever walk again. never mind worrying about losing weight and regaining muscle tone! For every yummy mummy out there who is lucky enough to have the genes (or dedication) to snap back into shape there’s an equally great mummy trying her best to push her wobbly bits into the latest fashion and struggling to accept her new figure is just another sacrifice of motherhood.


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