I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but here I am. Surprised.
Very soon into this pregnancy I started to notice my body changing. I know this is totally normal, that’s the point right? You’re GROWING a baby. Things are going to change. I think the events that led to this “surprise” were the 100 (give or take a few) conversations I had with currently pregnant or new moms telling me they “didn’t notice any changes until 18, 20, 25 weeks”. So from day one these thoughts were in my head, “I’m not going to notice much for a looooong time.” Well as you may have guessed, that was not exactly the case. I’ve discussed body image in the past, but this is a whole new territory for me. But, let’s back up a little.
I’m an active person. I love running, yoga, hiking, lifting weights, barre classes, cycle classes, Orangetheory…you get the idea. My love of fitness comes from the way it makes me feel. I enjoy feeling strong and healthy. Working out obviously helps me feel stronger and healthier. (It also helps me enjoy ice cream and cupcakes without feeling quite as guilty) Up until this point I’ve been able to keep a pretty good head about my own fitness and not worrying about others. There are a million different body types and a million different motivations women have in their fitness journey. So I really don’t do much comparison. But pregnancy has changed that for me, big time.
Thanks to good ol’ social media (namely instagram) it’s a little too easy to get sucked into constantly searching hashtags. Hashtags like #8weekspregnant, #15weekspregnant, #bumpie, you get the idea. It’s also really easy to see how “active” and “energetic” a lot of these mamas to be are. So when you’re in your third hour on the couch (and it’s only 1pm) and you scroll across someone who is as far along as you who just got back from a 6 mile run at an 8 minute pace, it’s pretty easy to start feeling worse than you already do.
This pregnancy hasn’t exactly allowed for super consistent eating or workout habits. Definitely not complaining since I know it could be much worse, but to be honest it’s been tough. I’ve lost muscle, gained fat, and in general just haven’t felt as great. At the same time we moved cross country which has led to not being in the same location for more than a week in the last couple of months. That would throw anyone off their routine! So I know I need to be kind to myself. It’s just not always easy. Especially the day I put an updated weight in my Dr’s pregnancy app had a pop up message that told me:
Gaining too much weight during pregnancy can lead to gestational diabetes, maybe tomorrow you should trade your bagel for whole wheat toast.
Uhm, thanks, app.
As my body is expanding and preparing for baby I’m trying my best to be thankful. Thankful for a healthy pregnancy so far. Thankful that I was able to be so active prior to pregnancy. Thankful for the other women who are out there killing it throughout their pregnancies! Whether or not you’re bigger than me, smaller than me, or not pregnant and thinking you look pregnant (believe me, I’ve been there and had someone ask me if I was expecting while definitely not…WHO DOES THAT??) we need to remember we are all different and that’s ok. Our bodies are made differently, with different strengths and weaknesses. How boring would it be if we were all the same?
So that’s what I’m working on. When I see a cute little bump I’m working on thinking “How beautiful is that?“, instead of “Omg I wonder how far along she is, is she smaller than me? Am I growing a horse instead of a human?”
And I have since deleted that app from my Doctor. I’ll take the bagel, thanks.