By Josephine Amoako

Aside from considerations of one’s character, think about the other things that people look out for when choosing a partner. I’m sure many of you added physical attraction to the check list. Not everyone sees it as that important, but for some, the body type matters a great deal. Whiles some men fancy plus sized women, others prefer the “model” size – well-endowed in the right places with a flat tummy.

The wedding bells ring and it is all bliss. After a few months, the men may have put on a little weight and it is usually attributed to the wife’s good cooking. His weight gain becomes a “compliment” to the wife. It shows the world that he is a man well-taken care of.

Pregnancy sets in and the woman’s body begins to change, sometimes to the utter shock of the men. What is happening? Who did I get married to? Some men are able to recover from the shock early and appreciate the changes. After all, she’s carrying my baby, right? Unfortunately, not all men see pregnancy as an important event. They think their wives use that period to make them their “slaves”. And so they decide to stay out longer in the evenings, leaving her to deal with it by herself. But that’s a story for another day…

So the baby comes, all bouncy and healthy, and everyone is happy. Another comes, and then another. This means that the woman’s body would have been stretched and contracted three times and, for most women, returning to their former body size is almost impossible. Not because they have grown complacent about taking care of themselves but because life happens.

Considering all the adjustments she’d have to make to raise the kids and manage the home, it is kind of unfair for a man to make a mean comment about a woman’s weight gain. Just a look of displeasure at her body is powerful enough to crush her self-esteem, but to throw it in her face and tell her to do something about it with no care for her feelings is hitting below the belt.

Hearing a story about a woman in such a situation, and the husband refusing for her to go to the gym for fear that something might happen between her and the gym instructor, broke my heart. At least she has identified that she needs to do something about her weight and she’s willing to make an effort for both their sakes. But his insecurity stands in the way.

I know we see on social media how some celebrities return to the plus 8 sizes a few weeks after childbirth, and God knows what they put themselves through to get their shape back, but everyone’s body is different and thus adapts to changes differently.

So dear men, know that women care about their bodies more than you think. Appreciate them when they make an effort. Weigh your words before speaking them. It’s your words and actions that will make her feel loved or unloved. Just as society may excuse a slight pot belly to your advancing age, kindly cut your women some slack about their weight. Pregnancy/motherhood isn’t easy.

As much you would want them to submit to you, know that you’re required to love them regardless of weight loss or gain. We are all born with feelings so always keep that in mind.