Megan Gale was forced to sign a contract stipulating she must return to her pre-baby weight, just six months after giving birth to her son, River, now five-years-old.
In an exclusive interview with the pregnancy podcast, Tales from the Fourth Trimester, hosted by Naomi Chrisoulakis, the Aussie model opened up about the pressure placed on her by an unidentified client to drop her baby weight as soon as possible.
Gale, 43, gave birth to River Alan Thomas in May, 2014, before having her second baby, a girl called Rosie May Dee in September, 2017.
The mum-of-two, who’s partner is Richmond AFL footballer Shaun Hampson, said she was forced to sign a contract in which she pledged to be “back to my pre-pregnancy shape” within six months.
“I had to agree to that, which I was not a fan of,” she said.
“I was allowed to have six months off, which could have been either six months from the day I gave birth to my son … or I could choose it from six months into the pregnancy.”
But whenever that six month period commenced, Gale was now under a contractual obligation to whip her body back into shape or risk breaching her agreement.
She told Chrisoulakis that she decided to commence her six-month weight loss rush from the time she was 7-months pregnant.
“So I knew that once River was four-months-old, I had to be the same, and I wasn’t,” Gale said.
At this point in the interview, Gale becomes a force to be reckoned with, suggesting she had made a mistake signing the contract and no longer cared what it demanded of her.
“I wasn’t the same weight, but … I thought, ‘If you’re going to tear up my contract, because I’m not (a certain weight), I’ll make sure everyone knows about it, and we’ll see how that goes’,” she said.
Knowing her client would be shamed if she went public with their outrageous demands, Gale suddenly realised that she held all the power.
“I knew that would be absolutely frowned upon, and I knew that women everywhere would be in an uproar,” Gale said.
“So I thought, ‘No, I’m not going to (lose the weight), and if you want to push me on, it we’ll make it public’.”
She said she thought the contract was “just ludicrous” and wished she had refused to sign the dotted line when it was presented to her.
“I decided not to pick my battle at the time, but I thought if it comes to a head, and people say, ‘Why aren’t you (working) with such and such a client anymore?’, I would say they sacked me because of this,” she explained.
The company didn’t mention Gale’s post-baby weight, or ask her to “lose the extra kilos”, but Gale said it had taught her an important lesson.
“When you’re pregnant, and go thorough that birthing process, your body is going through such a transformation,” she explained.
“Bones have moved, organs have shifted and things have changed.”
She said a woman’s body suffers enough stress, attempting to heal from giving birth that she wasn’t about to put it under any more stress than it needed.
“I’m not going to rush it, and force it through a process that it needs time to do on its own,” she said.
Gale spoke about her body and how it had helped her forge a lifelong career in modelling.
“I’ve always had an enormous amount of respect for my body,” Gale explained.
“It has … enabled me to do what I’ve done for so many years,
“But when I’ve seen what my body has done through two pregnancies and two births … I respect it on every level.”
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