Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tummy Tueday:: 29 Weeks

Well, it's that time again, TUESDAY!  I think I am starting to look forward to Tuesdays, as I finally have time to sit and blog again.  I like this little escape from my boring life.  This week has been very emotional and a little painful.  My baby keeps growing and I haven't grown much myself.  Today, I am actually 31 weeks, and I am already counting down until the day I can sleep in whatever position I want and until my hips are no longer throbbing!  I can't wait.
Since I have been pregnant, I have learned so many things about myself and my body.  I have never been one who is jealous of other women.  I think jealousy and envy are toxic to ones overall wellbeing.  That being said, I do try to take care of myself and I can be somewhat critical of my health and body at times.  Since, I have been pregnant, I have been paying Extra attention to images of the female body in media and also the things women say in everyday life.

Until recently, people couldn't tell that I was pregnant. I usually wear yoga pants and a giant t-shirt.  I also gained no weight from weeks 22-29.  No worries, the baby continued to grow, which was incredibly uncomfortable.  I have no complaints because my Little Someone's health is paramount.  I just found myself conflicted with emotions.  On the one hand, I was really upset throughout those weeks that people couldn't tell I was pregnant.   I also got super tired of other mothers and pregnant women rolling their eyes at me, saying I was "tiny" and that I "barely look" pregnant. I felt like I didn't earn whatever right of passage into the Maternity Club.  On the other hand, I wanted to laugh in all their faces and remind them that I am still wearing my non-maternity clothes and I won't have much trouble shrinking down to my pre-baby weight after delivery. 

Every now and again, I would be hella constipated and bloated.  On those days, I looked twice my size and everyone was happy and excited for me. Unfortunately, the poop and water weight didn't stick around for the long haul.  Again, I was conflicted.  I was happy I could poop, but even happier that I wasn't getting "fat".  I was also upset that I returned to my status of "barely pregnant".  I am a little disappointed I have come to think of things in either of those ways.  I don't usually compare myself to other women or feel any emotional conflict when it comes to my body image.
I think what upsets me the most about all these thoughts going through my head is that NONE of them are acceptable. I hate this idea that people have permission to scrutinize and criticize women, especially women in vulnerable states such as pregnancy.  I don't understand what it is about the female shape that invites so much negative commentary.  I will admit that I have definitely been affected by this "war on the female shape" since I have been pregnant.

Celebrities and style bloggers constantly state that they "barely gained more than baby weight", that they "never gave up wearing 6-inch stilettos", and that they "never bought maternity clothes, aside from maternity jeans".  Don't get me wrong. I love-LOVE celebrities.  I also respect and understand they have to maintain a certain shape/figure as part of their jobs.  What I don't understand and can't accept the is underlying message beneath the comments they make in regard to their bodies while pregnant.  As representatives of women in society, as voices for women in society, I am confused about why celebrities feel the need to indirectly shame women who gain weight while pregnant.  I also can't figure out why more celebrities, as role models and women of influence, don't stand up to the media when there are negative articles about pregnant celebrities and their weight gain.

Well, here is the TRUTH.  There is no right or wrong when it comes to pregnancy weight.  The ultimate goal is to grow and harbor a Healthy Baby.  That means, eating healthy, balanced meals (if your baby will let you because cravings are the Real Effing Deal) and getting an appropriate, safe amount of exercise.  Your body is going to do what it needs to do in order to accommodate the task at hand.

Personally, I have never felt more feminine than when I am pregnant.  Everything about my body becomes softer and rounder.  At first, it was a bit of a hard pill to swallow, knowing that just before getting pregnant, I lost about 25 pounds and started to firm up.  All of these selfish thoughts are cancelled out when I go to my prenatal check-ups and I am told that my Little Someone is doing well and growing like a lovely little weed inside of my body. 

Ladies, comparing yourself to other women is never the way to happiness. If you are unhappy with your appearance, and you are physically able to do something about it, don't waste time pretending.  Don't waste energy being hateful and jealous of women who have nice curves or women who are thinner than you are.  In the end, it makes you weak and fills you with negative energy and self-doubt.  Rather, take some responsibility for your appearance and do what you can to focus on yourself.  Work to change the things you can and refocus that energy wasted on being envious of others towards learning to accept and love things about yourself that you can't change.

As I've mentioned, being pregnant has taught me so much more about my body and myself that I could imagine.  I really have just learned to accept that I will likely gain 40 pounds by March.  I have accepted that I have gone up two cup sizes in my bra. I have accepted that I can't workout the way I planned because my hips are killing me and too much activity makes it worse.  I have accepted that I have lost most of the muscle tone I worked on.  I have also learned that I can be incredibly happy dressing my new body.  I am impressed that I am able to still get around, despite the hip pains and sciatica.  I am To The Moon excited when my Little Someone moves around, causing me all sorts of discomfort because my body isn't growing as fast as she is.  I am really happy and truly proud of myself.  That's where it starts.  If you can love your strengths, accept your shortcomings, and make a plan to strengthen your weaknesses, no one can take away the confidence that comes from finding peace within and love you have for yourself.

Happy Tuesday!  Hopefully, someone read this today and took a moment to smile at themselves in the mirror, loving Exactly what she sees, just the way she is!