Monday, December 7, 2009

No place for body image issues

I realized (ok, admitted - I realized some time ago) that I'm waddling these days. I sort of feel like I have a bowling ball between my legs (as someone recently described a similar feeling) and have weights strapped to my frontal section. I caught a glimpse of myself in a store front window yesterday and I was totally shocked at how HUGE I look! I had on several layers, including a large down jacket that I can no longer do up. I also got my hair cut very short on Saturday and had sunglasses on. S told me I looked like a bouncer at an Albertan lesbian bar (she said it, not me - I apologize for any offense taken by anyone from Alberta or anywhere else). Anyway, it has been interesting how much my body has changed...and will be changed forever by being pregnant. I have been fairly fit my entire life, on the "average" size and never overweight beyond 5 or so pounds (overweight as defined by me that is). Sometimes I would even get what some called "slim." I feel good and healthy at about 140 lbs as long as I'm fit. Having been pregnant twice last year, dealing with the emotional trauma of 2 miscarriages as well as the resulting hormonal changes really changed my body shape and weight. I found myself terrified to exercise or do anything strenuous in case it caused me to not get pregnant again or have yet another miscarriage. I also, for the first time in my life, suffered real depression. Not day in day out depression, but an underlying sadness that I had not experienced before. So, I put on weight. Quite a bit actually, more than I have ever put on in my life. Once I got pregnant again I was worried about getting bigger and how my self image would change even more. I find I actually love my pregnant body though. I love the curves and marks and changes that are all evidence that I'm creating life - that my body knows exactly what to do and is doing it. An amazing thing. Do I wish I were fitter when I got pregnant? Absolutely. I wish I had been in tip top shape coming into this pregnancy. But, I wasn't. I've accepted that along with truly falling in love with my (sometimes foreign looking) pregnant body. Next time I will respect my body more and give it the exercise and nurturing I know it craves.

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