How I’m Struggling To Accept Some Of My Body Changes
In case you missed the big news we announced this week, I’m 3 months pregnant with my 3rd baby! There’s a fairly large age gap between kids, (more on this another time) and I’m expecting this pregnancy to be tougher since I’m ten years older than the first time I cooked up a kid.
I’m incredibly blessed in that conceiving has only ever taken one try and that my pregnancies and deliveries have all been fairly easy and uncomplicated. That doesn’t mean that I enjoy any of it but I know that I’m so lucky to make healthy babies, whenever I want, without any serious issues.
Thus far I’m feeling well, aside from typical symptoms like nausea, exhaustion and food aversions. I’m also incredibly hungry and can only eat carbs, sugar and fruit. This is a huge issue for me because my usual diet includes healthy fats, proteins and tons of veggies. This massive change in diet and increase in how much I’m eating, plus the fact that I spend a large part of my week sleeping and not being active, has led to a pretty hefty weight gain already!
This is something that happened in both of my two other pregnancies. In fact in my previous two pregnancies, I gained about 70 lbs, and felt incredible uncomfortable and unhappy with my size by 9 months. I’ve always gained weight easily but in pregnancy it seems to just pile on. I’ll always remember some of the looks I got towards the end of my pregnancies when I was so big it seemed to shock people. It didn’t feel great.
Both times, I let myself indulge as much as I wanted to and definitely overdid it with ice cream, sweets and any type of junk food that I wanted. I felt like I could overindulge and it was acceptable. It felt like giving into cravings and eating ice cream daily were a right of passage. And I let myself do whatever I wanted, ignoring the consequences.
It seems a bit taboo to complain or talk about weight gain during pregnancy since it is something that is supposed to happen. BUT it’s also incredibly hard to suddenly switch your mindset from focusing on weight loss and fitness to accepting weight gain. When I typically gain weight I feel uncomfortable in my skin, in my clothes and don’t like how I look. The same is true for the majority of the time I’m pregnant. It feels like your body is lost, unfamiliar and not your own.
And I know I’m not alone with these body image struggles. I see message after message on pregnancy forums, from moms-to-be struggling to accept their body changes throughout the nine months. All of us really having a hard time between coping with feeling ill 24/7, being too tired to work out and just trying to get through those first few months.
I’ve mentioned to a few people that already I’ve gained quite a bit of weight and the response is always supportive and kind. But inside I’m bothered and frustrated. Eating in moderation has always been a huge challenge for me I feel like I can’t control what I’m eating because I’m so hungry all the time.
Now that I’m passed the worst of the symptoms and my energy levels are slowly returning, I’m focusing more on healthy choices and on being active. I won’t be restricting myself but instead trying to eat more veggies when I can and avoiding too many unhealthy sugars. I’ll be returning to my workouts once I’m past the head cold I’m currently battling and look forward to walking when the warmer weather arrives.
I guess the point of this is to normalize body image frustrations during pregnancy. And to make it acceptable to talk about. I know there are people who will say this sounds like I’m whining and that I should just accept the changes to my body knowing I’m creating a life. And I am incredibly appreciative of what my body is doing. But gaining a huge amount of weight is mentally and physically tough and it’s ok to not be thrilled about it. It’s fine to talk about how much you should be eating and the stress your changing body is causing you. And that doesn’t make you unappreciative or ungrateful.
I worked incredibly hard in the 12 months following the birth of my girls, and both times was able to drop all the baby weight. I have confidence in myself that I’ll be able to do it again but also know that I’m quite a bit older and expect it to be significantly harder. It’s not just about losing the weight after. It’s also about enjoying my pregnancies in a way I never could before.
I’ll keep you updated on how I do!