Week 11 -Body Image Issues
Part 9, Trying for Another Blog Series
I hate writing about this stuff, because I hate admitting it. I’ve been feeling insecure about my body this week. My body is growing, by about ten pounds so far, and in all directions. My body always grows quite a bit during the first trimester, which frustrates me because it’s not due to baby growth, and when I compare myself to other moms(there’s a reason you’re not supposed to do that), I seem to be the odd one. Other moms are often losing weight during the first trimester due to nausea, while I gain weight due to nausea. In an effort to subdue my nausea I eat much more often (every couple of hours), which puts me at eating around six times per day. And a 100 calorie snack doesn’t quell my nausea. It needs to be around 300 calories. Maybe I’m eating the wrong things. Or maybe…..this is what my body needs. Weight gain wasn’t an issue in my first two pregnancies, and both of them went this way, so I shouldn’t be worried. But still….it’s one of those things that’s hard to accept, even though I know logically it's acceptable.
I want to dive deeper into this because 1) I think most women experience a version of this during their pregnancy, and I want to be able to offer support, and 2) I want to heal these damaging thoughts that I have for myself and so that I don't unconsciously pass them down.
So, when digging deeper I typically ask myself, “why”? Why do I feel concerned about my body growing? Why does it make me uncomfortable to put on some extra fat, even during pregnancy? Maybe it’s this vision I have of myself as this super fit and strong pregnant mom. But this vision is not in my best interest. What is the purpose of it? Is it necessary? Is it useful? No, it’s not. It limits my ability to be in tune with my body, in fact. Why is that even a goal of mine in the first place? I think I associate my personal fitness with accomplishment. Wow, ok, this is going deep y'all, and not something I am typically aware of, but there it is deep under the surface. For me, taking care of my body through fitness, shows dedication, hard work, and self-care. "Shows" is a key word here though. Why do I need to show it? I guess it’s a source of my self worth. Ugh. I hate writing that. I hate that that’s the truth.
So how do I heal this and change? I think recognizing it is the first step. And when those feelings of shame or judgment around my body come up, to remind myself that as long as I am listening to my body, I am doing what’s best. Pushing myself to be thinner than my body wants is not an achievement to be proud of after all. I wonder how I came up with this notion that my physique represents accomplishment, anyways. That’s the next level of this onion...to be peeled another time.
But I will return to it, because this is a real issue that us women face: the fear of a changing body during and after baby. For some the fear can be overtaking, and some not so much. But I would vouch to say that it's there for us all. And how unfortunate that we equate some of our worth into our size. Our bodies are not something to force into a certain shape that we deem fit. Our bodies are our temples, our source of life and wisdom- if only we were better at respecting and tuning into that great power.
At my last Kaiser appointment, I crossed paths with two women being checked in at the scales at different times. Both of the women, asked to not be weighed or see their weight. I will leave it at that.
On another note, my kids and husband are on Spring Break this week and the break has been delightful! It’s a break from shuttling them to and from school every day, which is a 20 minute drive each way. It's been lovely to be able to just hang out and have slower mornings. I really just love having quality time to chill side by side with my kids. We made a trip to the beach, which was so fun, and the weather has been great, so we’ve been playing outside a bunch. Luc and I are so in love with our kids and the more time we spend with them, the more excited we become about adding another one to our clan.