Tuesday, October 26, 2010

babies and body images.

being pregnant has its distinct advantages.  for example, i felt Baby move for the first time yesterday, and that surreal experience is definitely up there with the top 10 WHAT THE HECK! moments of my life. it's amazing that, as it goes along, i keep trying to picture what this little person will be and come to terms with the fact that, no matter what, this child is going to give the two of us a run for our money.

it's very exciting.

one of the things that has been the most challenging for me, as someone who has lost a great deal of weight in years past and who was struggling with the last 30 before getting pregnant, is the idea of seeing weight gain as a positive thing. 

right now, i'm in that nebulous period between not showing much at all that's discernable to anyone but me and my husband yet not being able to button any of my pants and needing an entire new wardrobe of elastic-banded goodness.  all of the things that are supposed to be growing are growing (ahem, i'm looking at you, chest) and the things that aren't supposed to be growing aren't.

that's all good.

yet, i can't help but just feel FAT.  nothing fits the way it used to, and in my previously conditioned mind, that's a red alert neon sign that i have not been doing my duty: i must not have been eating well, i could not have been exercising well, i must have been a slothful gorger of all manner of deliciousness.

when you're pregnant, that's just NOT TRUE. (i mean, i'll admit to too many cookies, but overall...there's more fruit and less baked goods up in here.)  but try telling that to a mind already hard wired with messages about body image and weight and scales and all of those things that the world tells us is important. 

it's hard is all i'm saying.

i spent the first trimester holding steady. according to the doctor's scale (though i will admit that retaining water may have helped me out that first visit), at my 14 week visit, i was exactly where i started.  since i am already over my target weight, that's what i wanted to do.  it was a healthy option for me, individually.

well, the second trimester has brought with it an appetite that just won't stop and the inevitable (and happy! i get it! it's good!) weight gain. not scary. not inappropriate.  just a couple of pounds that, probably, i needed. 

i'm still eating vegetables and fruits and trying hard to keep it all in check. i write everything down so that i know when i can have that piece of toast at bedtime or when i should really reevaluate why i'm eating that piece of toast at bedtime.  i'm still exercising all of the habits that made me successful before, and so i know that i will be successful and healthy this time. 

there's not really any more i can do unless someone creates a 36 hour day.  my doctor isn't concerned.  my husband isn't concerned. no one is concerned. 

but it's still strange to be in this wonderful place, where i have to retool my entire way of looking at my body, at the world of food, at the scale.  i'm trying to look at it all very philosophically. 

i've always said that i didn't want to pass on to my children my anxiety about weight and body image and the world's conception of beauty. i wanted to pass on to them a desire for health and activity, to see their bodies as a sacred creation that they are charged with using well while they are here on Earth.

it seems appropriate to me that the process of bringing those children into this world may be the one thing to help me finally and really understand and embrace those things. 

my Baby is already teaching me to chill. i sort of dig that. 

1 comment:

  1. that is why i don't think i can have a kid. i can't deal with that, so more power to you! but the good thing is that if you worked out before the pregnancy and during the pregnancy, then your muscle memory WILL help your figure come back!