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When I studied for the bar (a lifetime ago), I followed a very specific routine every day.  One of the essential components of this daily ritual was my lunch break when I watched a certain celebrity-gossip-focused cable channel for exactly one hour.  It provided the absolutely perfect respite - juicy enough to capture my attention completely, and dumb enough that it never lingered in my thoughts after I turned off the television.  

Fast forward several years, and you find me in a different city, on a different couch, after a long day at work, and with my baby asleep in his crib. What am I doing to relax?  Oh, just watching a certain celebrity-gossip-focused cable channel - the addiction to celebrity gossip as stress relief is strong.  When a commercial aired for a certain celebreality show, I suddenly found myself extolling the virtues of both the show and a former playboy bunny or mate or girlfriend or whatever her status was.

Is Kendra really my new hero?  Maybe.  At least the commercial for her show might be.  

When I was pregnant, I spent a lot of my time being self-critical about my weight gain.  I imagine that this self-flagellation was due in no small part to the fact that my doctor was herself a loud critic of my weight gain.  But I admit that I contributed to the problem by having set some unrealistic expectations before I got pregnant.  I thought that I would be one of those Stylish New York Moms-to-be (e.g., that pregnant woman standing on the corner of Great Jones and Bowery, sipping her latte from Dean and Deluca, wearing something chic (not just chic-for-a-pregnant-lady), and with a lovely hobo bag hanging effortlessly from her shoulder.  I was not that woman.  My lattes tended to drip onto my belly, my outfits were not chic for anyone, and my purse always overflowed with the million things I needed for the day.

After Baby was born, I knew that "nine months up / nine months down" made sense, but I set some unrealistic expectations for myself again.  I irrationally felt that I should (perhaps magically?) get back into shape and back into pre-prego jeans much sooner than was possible for my body.  

I am not here to blame "unrealistic media images" for my unrealistic expectations (I am a rational, smart adult who understands the limits imposed by physics without a personal chef or plastic surgeon).  Nevertheless, we seem to live in an era when young, famous, and sometimes beautiful people are getting pregnant, having babies, and losing their baby weight on television, on the internet, in US Weekly, and anywhere else I look.  And these famous people are doing it all so quickly.

Enter my new hero.  Three cheers for the commercial I watched where a woman famous for her figure appeared to be fighting - and I mean fighting - to get into shape after having given birth.  Thank you, Kendra.


I just watched five minutes of a certain reality show, and I feel compelled to state that, in the future, I will be more mindful of the meaning of the word "hero."   

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