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To wonder what exactly middle class and upper class Mums do to be skinny

(1000 Posts)
Humpy84 Fri 19-Apr-19 04:18:46

I am a Mum of a two year old turning three July. Not an age that he can be packed up for long walks in buggy.

I have gained weight and feeling overwhelmed by everything.

I have noticed and I think it is obvious that middle and upper class Mums tend to be slimmer.

I want to know if you identify this and if so what is your weekly shopping routine, meal plan, how do you exercise with or without toddler/s, tips and tricks etc, diet plans, etc etc.

MsLucyHoneychurch Fri 19-Apr-19 04:31:40

I know plenty of slim working class women. Weight is mainly about what you eat rather than exercise. They don't eat crap or drink a lot of alcohol.

Expressedways Fri 19-Apr-19 04:33:39

Er I don’t know that this is a necessarily a class issue, interesting take on it though!
But since you asked, I work full time. Don’t eat breakfast as mornings are a rush to drop at nursery but I pick up a Starbucks on my way into work. Then I’m distracted by said work until lunch when I usually buy an overpriced salad. Another Starbucks mid afternoon. Then I eat whatever I want for dinner and fairly frequently wash it down with a glass of wine. Sometimes it’s healthy and home cooked, sometimes it’s a greasy takeaway. I don’t do any formal exercise but live in a city so walk a lot especially at weekends. On weekends we usually go out for brunch so combine breakfast/lunch. I was at home for a year and a half and definitely felt the lure of the biscuit tin plus the temptation to finish those lovingly prepared yet rejected toddler meals. I’ve always been slim but working full time definitely helps me stay that way!

Alicewond Fri 19-Apr-19 04:38:50

I’m guessing they do the same as any other class of women. It’s not a class issue. They eat a recommended calorie intact and/or exercise. Or they have a fast metabolism. This isn’t a class issue

araiwa Fri 19-Apr-19 04:41:05

They eat healthily and do exercise.

Like most slim people

araiwa Fri 19-Apr-19 04:44:34

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Pyracantha1 Fri 19-Apr-19 04:51:29

There are some class issues at play here. I live in one of the most affluent areas in the UK and I see new Mother's and mothers in general have so much help. They have Nannies (sometimes even 2-3) who take care of their children whilst they can go to the gym or do other things, housekeepers who often double up as a chef cooking healthy meals for them and the family.

Money also ensures the ability to pay for expensive exercise classes, nutritionists and personal trainers etc.

All the above is extremely common. This definitely facilitates women to keep the weight off during pregnancy and post pregnancy to quickly get back in shape. Compare this now to normal mums who have no one to leave their children with, have to still cook, clean, run the household (with out without partner support).

ConstanzaAndSalieri Fri 19-Apr-19 04:52:51

I have noticed that skipping meals is a massive thing. “Oh I’m too busy for breakfast”, if we’re out for lunch with the kids, at a picnic for example, they’ll eat an apple or carrot but not a sandwich. Would rarely partake of birthday cake if handed round. And then the gym.

I’m middle class but definitely not skinny. Also I love my food too much.

Poppins2016 Fri 19-Apr-19 04:57:31

I don't think class (or money) has anything to do with it, to be honest.

Top tips:

You are what you eat. You can go to the gym all you like but if you don't change your nutrition, you won't see results. Exercise is important and will have an impact, but the impact will be limited unless you eat correctly.

You shouldn't feel constantly hungry. Eating well means feeling satisfied. Hunger after a meal means that you're more likely to end up eating junk food or sugar as a snack.

If you crave something, eat it. The longer you fixate on something the more you'll want it. A small bar of chocolate every now and then is better than binging on a large one when you've been craving it for ages and you're starving hungry.

Don't 'diet' and/or change your nutrition radically overnight. Instead, make gradual adjustments to your meals. Reduce portion sizes and sugar over time, for example. Because it'll be an easy/small adjustment each time, you'll have a better chance of succeeding long term.

Cook from scratch. That way you know exactly what you're eating.

If you have a 'bad' day, treat it as exactly that. A one off day. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. You can start again the next day without feeling that you've failed. I tend to eat well most of the time but will have the odd day or two where I eat lots of cake and then have takeaway for dinner!

Eat balanced meals. I find the more balanced a meal is, the more satisfied I feel.

LonelyTiredandLow Fri 19-Apr-19 04:58:25

Actually sadly this is about income - not class per say.

Women who do shift work have a lot of things against them when trying to keep weight off - hormonal changes from the circadian rhythm, lack of fresh food at their work (NHS was bad for this, trying to turn it around) and lack of time or energy for exercise.

For some eating is socially learned from parents as a go to for combating emotional issues or hard life experiences. Maybe they see it as a reward or treat. It's a cheap easy fix that boosts the feel good receptors in the brain with sugar but leaves a crash and obviously long term has dire consequences on health. Weight in itself becomes a reason not to exercise and judgemental comments about larger people working out or trying to stay fit ensure the person doesn't have confidence to combat the issue.

OP - try to stop thinking about it as an impossible - your post suggests you think it might be. It will be dedication on your behalf, so prepare for hard work that you will want to quit many many times. Ditch as much processed food from your diet/house as you can. Think daily shopping for fresh food that would go off if left for 3 days rather than bulk shopping for the month. Food prices are rising, which is not helpful to healthy eating but Jack Monroe is a good example of cooking healthy food on a shoestring. If you aren't used to that kind of food it can be quite a change - particularly if you are used to processed food which has very high salt and sugar contents. Prepare yourself for that when you start trying out new meals - cooking is a really good skill to have but one we aren't taught any more at school, so allow yourself time to practice and make mistakes. There are loads of old threads on here with recipes smile. Once you have a few meals you enjoy you can batch cook/freeze them to make them easy for after work. Avocado mashed on toast (I like mine with a bit salt and basalmic vinegar) is easy and filling but a bit of an acquired taste for some.

As pp have said you do need to try to up the activity wherever you can - take stairs rather than lifts, get off the bus a stop or two early, find a friend who needs their dog walked, visit a local attraction on foot etc.

You aren't wrong that there is a social divide on weight and tbh a lot of people don't understand their own privilege a lot of the time. Good luck!

Ihatehashtags Fri 19-Apr-19 05:02:32

It definitely helps to have money. The thin women I know mostly have always been like that and have a high metabolism, or pay for nannies , cleaners, don’t work so they can go to the gym, expensive reformer Pilates classes, see dieticians and order pre made low carb, keto food.

MsLucyHoneychurch Fri 19-Apr-19 05:10:30

Per say = per se

Alicewond Fri 19-Apr-19 05:11:44

I am definitely not upper class, I think I mostly range as upper lower class maybe, although unsure of the lines! I am thin, I walk a lot with my dog though, and also spend a lot of time on my feet at work. I eat normally although avoid unhealthy stuff as much as possible. Other than an odd treat 😊

LonelyTiredandLow Fri 19-Apr-19 05:17:51

@MsHoney - yes I use my mobile to post and predictive text takes over at times. I am also dyslexic which makes it hard to spot errors. Thank you for pointing out the error and correcting.

Ohyesiam Fri 19-Apr-19 05:17:59

Really surprised that people do t see this as a class thing, my friends ando used to have a phrase “ rich-girl thin”.

anotherBadAvatar Fri 19-Apr-19 05:21:26

It’s simple.

Money buys time- nannies/nursery/cleaners free you up to exercise.

Money buys good quality food- lean proteins, healthy fats etc that may be unaffordable to a family on a strict budget.

Those two things coupled with the social pressure of moving in circles where your peers are all slim and well groomed means you don’t end up wanting to be an outlier.

So yes, I agree with PP above- its not necessarily a class issue, but a money one

Alicewond Fri 19-Apr-19 05:22:34

@Ohyesiam yet many more poor girls are thin, I’m sure you and your friends enjoyed the laugh though, how hilarious

LonelyTiredandLow Fri 19-Apr-19 05:22:53

Well, most health professionals will know there is a correlation between income and obesity - BMJ meta analysis (2018).
If anyone is actually interested Micheal Marmot a leading epidemiologist does some very good YouTube videos on the various issues that are caused by health inequality. Something to bear in mind when watching shows that make fun of the person for entertainment.

Humpy84 Fri 19-Apr-19 05:25:31

DH has good job, we live in good area, we have good assets but not great income as I am SAHM. I feel like a fish out of water as all the Mums at park, groups, classes and my friends etc are fashionable and slim. It makes me feel like a failure as I always thought I would be glamorous Mum but my weight has tail spinned. To make matters worst my husband prioritises his gym sessions nightly and looks amazing at the moment. We look like we shouldn’t be together,.

I have had Post natal depression, plus have one toddler with erratic sleep patterns, who is now not napping, having daily tantrums and I am sometimes up until 9/10pm trying to get him to sleep. Food shopping and cooking have fallen by wayside as I’m battling to keep this show on the road. This is another reason I feel like I’m losing the battle as I only have one child. He is climbing on my back as I write this. DH unhelpful but that’s a whole other post.

DS prone to ear infections so DH wanted him out of daycare as was repeatedly unwell and made sleep even worst. He was also having tantrums about going there even though it was amazing nursery and expensive, meant to be best of the best.

I am studying post graduate law at prestigious university but have had to put on hold due to daycare situation. Meanwhile am getting depressed and putting on weight.

I just feel in a rut and stuck and like I’m making excuses or being negative but yet feels like there is always obstacle after obstacle.

I guess I wrote this post to find out how Mums who have it all together if only seemingly, seeking inspiration and tips.

I really don’t need criticism and snide remarks so please don’t comment if you’re bothered by this.

echt Fri 19-Apr-19 05:26:15

Here's some data:

KC225 Fri 19-Apr-19 05:27:47

I agree with you OP. I think weight is a class thing thing with women in certain areas. I noticed it in London when we lived in a poorer area but kids went to primary school in a different area.

I was definitely more porky than than the other mums. They were nice and I was included but I always felt aware the thin persons body check. The two seconds up down body glance and the look of urrgh fat' When we went for coffee, it wwsnliterrly coffee, no one said 'ohhh d'you fancy a fry up'. It would be toast with a smashed avocado on it perhaps. On mums nights out they drank more but ate less.

Most of them had an exercise regime - zumba or gym, several of them ran. I pushed a trolly round Asda's salivating 'ohhhhh that looks nice'. Also, the husband's and partners usually did some sport football, rugby or gym. All the kids did some form of physical activity.

Of course there were slim mums where I lived and doubtless someone will come on and say the fattest woman I know owns Bedfordshire. But a size 18 woman in elasticated trousers trying to stretch a waterfall cardigan over double Ds was me not them.

Alicewond Fri 19-Apr-19 05:30:33

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Ohyesiam Fri 19-Apr-19 05:31:06

Interesting take on my post Alicewond but I can’t ever remember finding it funny.
It was an observation based on working in Chelsea in a client facing role, so lots of contact with women who had time and money to hone themselves, even as new mothers.

anotherBadAvatar Fri 19-Apr-19 05:33:37

I mean this kindly, but from what you’ve written your weight is a symptom of your problems, not the cause.

It’s easy to fixate on “if only I was skinny, I’d feel much better”, but your other problems would still be there, you’d just weigh less.

You have had to stop your law course
Your child has tantrums and doesn’t sleep
Your DH doesn’t help and prioritises his own exercise
You feel overwhelmed and like there are obstacles to everything

^none of this is fixed by losing weight.

Do you have a cleaner? Can you try gusto boxes to take the pressure off meal planning and cooking? Could you get your son to a childminder or afford a nanny for the time you need to resume your course? Most importantly, can you discuss all this with your DH and come to a solution to help yourself?

Alicewond Fri 19-Apr-19 05:35:51

@Ohyesiam you can debate this in my dm if you want but I’m a bit worried about op now

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