My Pregnancy Aversion
I was chatting with a beautiful friend about pregnancy weight gain. She said something that struck a chord with me.
She told me she has had weight battles her whole life. She said she ate what she wanted during her pregnancies and in regards to her pregnancy weight gain, would deal with it later.
But later came and went and her weight stayed the same.
This got me thinking about my own extra 30 kgs found during pregnancy. How on earth did I manage to put on 30 kg with each baby after losing 40 kg before I started. I vowed to never, ever go back there, and here I was with a new baby ('s) and 30 kg to lose. Again!
I hated being pregnant. I still feel guilty saying that out loud. The constant low level anxiety of every twinge in your abdomen, what you should eat and drink, what you shouldn’t eat and drink, new hormones, constipation, a pea bladder, no libido and just the pressure of growing a human. Awful. For those mumma's who love it, more power to you. I wish so much that I loved it. After all conception and birth and breastfeeding it is a true miracle. I did love feeling, and eventually, seeing my little monkeys move around in my tummy. I knew then as I know now it’s all worth it. But at the time It just wasn’t my thing. Two relatively easy pregnancies, a couple of little scares here and there, but really, I was very lucky. I was ashamed that I felt this way. The ungrateful pregnant woman who chose to have a baby. I know the amazing gift that is a child. I know how many people want so desperately to have a baby and can’t and here I am complaining that “I just don’t like it”. Not only did I know this but pretty much every time I fessed up to my feelings about really disliking it, I was met with that good old unsolicited advice that seems to magnetise to pregnant women.
So, what did I do?
I stopped talking about it and started eating it.
I ate the most beautiful nourishing food with the freshest produce I could get my hands on. I followed all the food rules (mostly) and took my pregnancy vitamins every day. I had the most terrific appetite and never felt full. That running out of space thing that pregnant women talk about, only letting them eat tiny meals, nup not me. And then the sun would go down, and the ice cream would come out. Man, did I eat some ice cream when I was pregnant. I also started drinking creaming soda. I hadn’t drunk soft drink in years and now it was almost a daily event. I was using food to numb my misery. But it never did. It would distract me temporarily but never actually make me happy. Using the food band aid was comforting to me. I had done it for the first 21 years of my life. So even though I had this massive weight loss with a whole lot of new healthy habits formed, I never dealt with the reasons I needed comforting. Loneliness, embarrassment, rejection, happiness, I ate to distract me from feeling whatever it was.
I would go to my old school OBGYN who would weigh me at each visit. Gosh I looked forward to being weighed by a stranger every couple of weeks. Every visit he would tell me I was putting on too much weight and would educate me on the dangers of excess weight gain during pregnancy. And after each visit I would cry. He told me at either the first or second visit that I was “a bit over (weight) to start with so I should put on even less weight than in a normal pregnancy”. Say what? A normal pregnancy? But I’m normal, aren’t I? When he asked me what I was eating to put on so much weight I said I didn’t know. I told him that I had lost a lot of weight before my pregnancy and I think I’m just predisposed to weight gain. I didn’t tell him about the ice cream.
Looking back, I should have just stopped getting on the scales. It measured nothing except my self-loathing and disappointment in myself. It didn’t paint a clinical picture of my health then, just like it doesn’t define my health now. Had I have known then what I know now I would tell pregnant Kate to just be present. I would tell her that the number on the scales is just that, a number, it doesn’t measure how loving or kind or funny or devoted I am. That one person’s opinion about my weight is not gospel, it’s just an opinion. And for the love of god, that ice cream WILL NOT HELP!!! I would tell her to focus on all the good in my life, not all the bad.
I have no regrets and truly believe that everything has happened for me, not to me. All my struggles and battles and deep seeded beliefs, what I thought was the truth, have made me the Wonder Woman I am today.
The past doesn’t have to predict our future. Just because you have always been big or always hated exercise or don’t like veggies, doesn’t mean that will predict what happens tomorrow. So, don’t wait for Monday, or the New Year or until you have more money, more time, more sleep to get healthy. Do it now. Make one small change to your life today that will make a healthier you. Your future self will thank you for it.
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