***Originally published May 02, 2012***
For the next few weeks, while I'm finishing school and settling into various other changes in my life, I will be revisiting some older posts that you may or may not have seen in the archives. I hope to be back soon with new content. In the meantime, enjoy! And feel free to find me on Instagram, @kathleenojo.
One of the most interesting, yet frustrating, aspects of pregnancy so far has been how my body has changed - and with it, my body image and confidence. Before getting pregnant, I always thought I would be this super confident glowing pregnant goddess who proudly displayed my bump for all to see. Naive much?
Reality is... it's been an adjustment. I love myself and have a fairly healthy body image, but that hasn't always been the case. My level of comfort in my own skin has grown gradually over the last 7 years as I've watched the scale numbers go down, muscles tone up, and learned to harness my energy and emotions through physical activity. I learned that, not only are eating well and challenging myself physically good for my body, but they are essential to my sanity and peace of mind. When life gets chaotic and nothing seems to go my way, I can always throw some shoes on and go for a run; I can be proud of myself for completing an exceptionally heavy clean-and-press; I can take comfort in the fact that I am filling my body with the best and most nutritious foods possible.
And then I got pregnant. Food hasn't been much of an issue (not counting that couple weeks in the first trimester when I lived on hummus-and-egg sandwiches). I'm eating only slightly more than before, mostly whole and healthy foods, and I've actually cut way back on meat consumption. I'm trying to stay active - Body Pump once or twice a week, yoga at least once, and I walk anywhere between 5-8 miles weekly. All my labs have shown that my nutrition is spot-on, no deficiencies (which I was worried about, especially with Celiac disease). I feel great - well hydrated, not much back pain, absolutely no swelling, skin is clear. I'm the picture of perfect pregnant health.
EXCEPT when I visit the stupid pregnancy websites with their stupid pregnancy weight gain calculators. Exhibit A:
Sorry for the poor quality picture. So that line at the bottom is the minimum amount of weight I should gain. The line at the top is the maximum. And that green dot waaaaaay up at the top there? That's me! I've hit my pregnancy weight gain ceiling, a full 12 weeks early. Sad face.
But after feeling bad about this fact for a few weeks, I put on my big girl panties and got over it. The reality is, the scale may tell me I'm doing something wrong, but I KNOW instinctively that I'm not. I'm not gaining weight at a rapid rate. I have put on about a pound a week (a little less lately, actually), I've just been putting on that weight since the beginning of my pregnancy. Some people get nauseous, can't eat, and end up losing weight during the first trimester. I, on the other hand, felt my appetite increase twofold and absolutely had to eat every two hours to avoid feeling dizzy/sick/exhausted. My body told me what it needed, and I listened.
I have my glucose tolerance test this Tuesday to rule out gestational diabetes, and I plan to talk to my midwife about the weight issue then. Frankly, as long as I don't have GD and continue to feel good and am able to stay active, I am prepared to ignore the scale for the rest of this pregnancy. I will NOT let some generic medical guidelines determine what is best for my body. Pregnancy sits differently on every woman, and really, we're all just doing the best we can in the moment to take care of ourselves, our babies, and prepare for a massive life-changing event. So eff you, medical establishment. I run this body, and I will not steep myself in guilt because my "numbers" aren't "ideal."
*steps off soapbox*