You finally did it; you stuck to your plan and you lost the weight. Did I say finally? It only took you about 487 fresh starts, 36 different diet plans, 16 purchased home exercise routines, 23 procured goal outfits, and countless dollars spent on all the above to actually, just do it.
Now you’re happy, proud, confident yet deathly frightened. You know that weight could come right back on if you even look at quesadilla, so you don’t. And you swear to yourself, you will do whatever it takes to never be fat again.
But, nobody tells you to add a provision to that contract; I swear I will never be fat again…UNLESS I get pregnant.
I always thought pregnancy would be a magical time when you get to grow your own child inside you and experience life’s true miracle and since losing an ovary to a large tumor when I was 21 years old, I always knew I would be extremely blessed to be pregnant as it wasn’t a sure thing.
What I didn’t think about, was how much the ‘ex fat girl’ inside me would fight the magic and beauty of a pregnancy and create guilt, embarrassment, hopelessness, and desperation at the same time; getting in the way of enjoying every growing moment.
I truly thought that all my weight “issues” and negative thoughts about my body would disappear when I became pregnant, but it’s the small idiosyncrasies that made it apparent that wouldn’t be the case as I started getting fat again… with baby.
One of the first signs was how much I liked to wake up in the morning and stretch out my stomach and feel how flat I could get it and roll my fingers over my hips bones. I didn’t realize how much I did that and how comforted I was by it starting my day. At 6 weeks, I couldn’t feel my hip bones anymore.
Realization number two is how many times I suck in, turn sideways, and pose every time I pass by a full length mirror. When you’re pregnant, you can’t do that. Well, actually I still try. But you soon realize that sucking in does nothing.
The hardest thing to accept is the fat you gain that isn’t the baby. For instance, my baby weighs about 7 ounces right now as I sit here writing at 19 weeks pregnant exactly. So, what is the other 15-20 pounds for?? I know, I know; uterus weight, extra blood volume, increased breast tissue, placenta weight…blah blah blah. For an ex fat girl, weight is weight; period! And that’s what comes first, EXTRA WEIGHT.
I remember at 4 weeks when my fetus was only the size of a sesame seed, my belly was already pooching out and turning to round flab and my hips and knees were gaining little pouches of fat around them like they decided to invest in little handbags without asking me.
Then, you become obsessed with what everyone else’s bodies look like at 5 weeks, 8 weeks, 10 weeks, 16 weeks, etc. You want to make sure you’re on the right track with your belly bump and growing hips. Now, thanks to hashtags, you can easily search these images and compare your body to millions of other girls who are posting their baby bumps online. Is it just me, or am I growing at a faster rate than everyone else in the world?!?!?!? Seems like it and I have hashtag proof!
Bottom line is that I didn’t realize how hard it would be to accept “getting fat” again. There is a constant internal conflicting struggle between the glowing mom to be and the distressed ex-fat girl. I ask myself how I can feel betrayed and awed; embarrassed and proud; cheated and blessed; desperate and hopeful, all at the same time about one body. Just call me Jekyll and ‘Wide’ – a split personality gone mad over body fat.
But here’s a lesson to all you girls, ex fat girls or not. You start to look at old pictures of yourself, even just 6 months ago and you are already wishing for that body again and setting that picture as your screen saver or printing it out and secretly putting it in your wallet as motivation to get back there after birth. Did I ever think I would be using my OWN body as motivation?? No way. And that’s the same body I consistently hated on and cried over and made my husband crazy with every time I couldn’t figure out what to wear; it’s the same body that I would cover up at summer time ashamed of that little pooch in the armpit and miss out on a day at the beach; the same body that I scrutinize in the mirror and make mental marks on where I should get liposuction. Now, I respect that body. Dare I say, I miss that body?
I didn’t really get to say goodbye to that body or even treat it nicely when I had the chance. All I can do, is start now and love my body for its newness; for blessing me with the ability to carry my own child; and for protecting my baby while it grows.
Way easier said than done. The battle will continue between that glowing mom-to-be and the distressed ex-fat girl.
I want to say I’m rooting for the mom-to-be. Period. But, believe or not, I’m still rooting for the Ex-Fat Girl. I’m rooting for her to not let her pregnancy become an excuse to eat every doughnut that comes her way. I’m rooting for her to still achieve her best self after birth. I’m rooting for her to love herself no matter what; to not be mean to what she sees in the mirror; and love her new best body, whatever body that may be.