Fitness Magazine

Pregnancy and Body Image

By Wendiw80 @asouthernyogi
Pregnancy is such an interesting time for me, especially in terms of body image and dealing with weight gain. There are so many factors that go into one's mental state when it concerns weight, and if you consider all of the factors a pregnant woman endures, it's easy to see where a problem such as body image can really be difficult during this time.

Pregnancy and Body Image

Photo by Liv Collins Photography

1)  Everybody feels they have the right to tell you how big/small you are. 

When I was pregnant with Ellie, I started off weighing about 170 lbs. I actually was very healthy, but on the larger side of my BMI. In addition to that, I gained 45 lbs with her and my belly was huge. In my third trimester, I got so many comments about how HUGE I was, that I was having twins, I looked like I was going to pop, etc. In spite of it being very painful for me, it might have actually been a good thing because I finally just had to accept that I get big when pregnant and people are going to tell me that. I had to separate the fact that my value as a human isn't connected with my weight and in reality, I was actually kind of big. This time, I've already gotten a TON of comments about how big my belly is and how they can't believe I have this long to go, yada yada yada. WTF people? With Ellie, a lady was so rude about it, I cried for about an hour after our encounter. This time, I seem to not care as much. I carry my babies big. I just do. I'm 40 lbs lighter with this baby and still have a huge belly.
2) Hormones

This pregnancy has been much more emotional, but even with Ellie, I had a lot of ups and downs emotionally, most of it being triggered by weight. When I could possibly have taken comments above in stride, add in pregnancy hormones, and it really upset me. I'm sure my husband and my sponsor heard me talk about my hurt feelings over and over and over again. Poor them.
3) Hunger

Listen, I'm a hungry person anyways. I like to eat. I can eat a lot. When I'm pregnant, I am hungry ALL OF THE TIME. And when I don't eat, I actually get sick, so I eat.
The way that I seem to overcome the obsession with body image is just trusting myself and trusting my body knows what it is doing. I made a promise a long time ago that I was going to listen to what my body needs. I may second guess myself every once in a while, but overall, I trust that whatever craving I am having means it's what I need. I am actually eating a lot better this pregnancy than the last, but I still seem to have an affinity for those damn frosted lemonades.
I'd really love, one day, to no longer struggle with the thought that I need to lose weight or that I'm somehow doing something wrong when it comes to food/exercise. I know that this is my kryptonite and something with which I'll always struggle, but wouldn't it be neat if I could just let go of the idea that I'm supposed to be eating this or doing that? What I'm really grateful for is the fact that I am very healthy, I have super easy pregnancies, my babies are very healthy, and I'm aware of the fact that I'm here to nurture and support them not only emotionally and spiritually, but also physically. I have to provide my bodies with the nutrients needed to carry them to term, give them what they need to grow, and then nurse them until they're able to feed themselves. That's what my body is for. It's really not to wear a bikini in August at Isle of Palms. And actually, because I am embarrassed by my tramp stamp, I probably wouldn't do that anyway :).
Overall, I feel that I am in a better space with my body image now as I am able to separate the physical from all of the other stuff. It'll be interesting to see what happens after I have the baby but for now, I feel pretty good.

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