Before I get into details of what I’ve been experiencing, I want to highlight that this post is simply describing my personal feelings during pregnancy, some of which I’m sure some women can relate to. While I understand that I’m nourishing my body and baby, I also can’t deny the very real emotions that come with being pregnant and gaining weight.
Since this is my first pregnancy, it’s all very new, raw and real.
Of course, any type of weight gain can be a hard pill to swallow, even when you have a reason for it (like a baby!). I’ve come to understand that it’s been even more difficult for me because not only does weight gain happen so quickly over pregnancy, but it’s also completely out of your control — another thing I’m not used to.
As many of you probably know, I suffered from an eating disorder for several years in my early 20’s. It really took a toll on both my mental and physical health, but I was able to make it to a happy medium through therapy, self-care and self-discovery.
While I am no longer in a place where food controls my life nor do I suffer from disordered eating patterns, I can and will recognize that the weight gain during pregnancy has often times made me feel uneasy and unsteady.
Some days, I’ve simply felt negative thoughts creeping in, especially when the numbers on the scale creep up. Often I ask myself why these stupid numbers even matter if I feel good? News flash: they don’t! Yet, in my heart I know that weight gain is what baby needs, I have also felt as though I’m losing control when it comes to my body.
First, I want to acknowledge that it’s OKAY to have these feelings and that it doesn’t make me a bad person or mama. I’m only human. I am allowed to feel unsteady through this vulnerable part of life.
Thankfully, I’ve spent a significant amount of time developing anxiety coping tools to help me process what my mind is going through in situations like this.
For instance: just because I have a thought about weight gain, doesn’t mean I need to sit with it. Instead, I can choose to say something positive about myself or my beautiful son. I can choose to see that putting life in this world is one of the greatest gifts I’ve been given, and that often, a positive thought is all I need to make me feel that much better.
Shifting your mindset is all about shifting your perspective. You can choose to make it positive or negative.
I’ve also realized that having a good relationship with my body and self for the past few years, was mostly through control. I got used to weighing between a certain amount, used to having and being able to workout as hard as I wanted, and used to eating certain things. It was a range, but it was my happy range.
Pregnancy has certainly began to challenge me to practice more self-acceptance and self-responsibility when it comes to having a positive relationship with my body, and I’m thankful for that.
I’m grateful to consistently learn and grow as a woman and soon to be mother, but I’m also accepting the changes my body and mind are taking me through. Body changes are apart of journey to motherhood, there is no avoiding it, there is only acceptance.
Instead of focusing on my weight during pregnancy, here’s what else I’ve done:
- wrote in a journal about all of my symptoms, the baby movements and what’s going on with current life
- talked to other women about body changes and thoughts. It’s so refreshing to talk to others who have gone through similar experiences
- worked out to feel good both physically and mentally.
- read a pregnancy book to get excited about all the things I still have yet to experience
- hired a doula as a pregnancy resource
- learning about breastfeeding (whoo!)
- shifting my mindset from negative to positive by reminding myself of the big picture (I’m going to have a baby boy soon!)
- take time to treat myself well by going for a walk or listening to music to get out of a funk
- read positive quotes on Instagram and Pinterest.
- remind myself that weight gain isn’t bad, it’s apart of the LIFE growing inside me.
While this whole transition into pregnancy thing hasn’t been the easiest, it has been a beautiful learning experience, and I’m incredibly excited to meet my baby boy! In case you’re wondering: he’s 21 weeks strong right now!
Thanks for reading all the realness. xo.
Jumpsuit linked here.