So I am (almost) 27 weeks pregnant. Just a bit beyond that and I’ll be firmly in the third trimester.
Here is my secret: I hate gaining weight and having to really watch what I eat. I do not see pregnancy as a free for all in the food area, liberating me to eat whatever I feel like. In fact, I have had absolutely no cravings, and after the general nausea of the first trimester, no food aversions, either. Guess I’m a pretty boring pregnant lady. 😉 Because I figure that every pound I gain is a pound I have to lose. Granted, I’ll lose between 10 and 12 of those pounds in one fell swoop the day that Squirt arrives. But still.
I had an eating disorder from the time I was 19 to the time I was 22. It was a form of anorexia sometimes known as runner’s anorexia, which means that I severly restricted what I ate while exercising my butt off, literally. I never was a competitive athlete, but senior year of college I would routinely spend 90 minutes a day doing pure cardio work, 6 days a week. Not counting walking at least 3 miles a day all over campus and 2 – 4 hours of yoga per week. Kind of crazy.
I won’t go into all the harrowing details (at least in this post, lol) but with the help of my husband and counseling, I have been ED-free for about 18 months now.
That doesn’t mean that it is easy to donate my body and ditch my preferred exercise routine and diet for someone else, though, no matter how much I already love that particular little someone.
When I got pregnant, I weighed 134.5 pounds (I think; hadn’t weighed myself since Christmas). I am 5’7″ tall. I have gained about 18 pounds at this point, and expect my total weight gain to be between 30 and 35 pounds–a perfectly reasonable and healthy amount. I admit being to terrified that I would blow up like a balloon and gain like 70 pounds, but thankfully, that hasn’t happened!
And while I do have some days when I really don’t like how I look, I have been able to mostly “get over” myself and my compulsive need to control how I look and what I weigh. As I thought it would, it helps that I now have a definite “baby bump.” Because when I think of all the amazing things that my body is doing, to build and prepare for Squirt, it is pretty intense. I mean, how wild is it that all I am doing, really, is eating and basically existing as normal, and my body is just doing the thing it was intended to do: create and grow another human being?
When I found this poem on mothering.com, it really struck a chord with me. It helps to remind me that although I am not running or cycling like I used to, perhaps this is the most amazing thing that my body has ever done.
Large and Lovely
by Peggy O’Mara
Now I know my body
Is really a vessel,
Able to transform itself
At the service of life,
Able to stretch big
To swell small breasts
Large with milk,
To grow narrow pelvis
Open for birth,
To reach open arms
Out for comfort.