In case you hadn’t noticed by my last slightly bitter post, I have been feeling just a wee bit self-conscious about my body lately. I think that some people assume that as soon as you become pregnant, it is a free-for-all food fest and all body worries go out the window. They assume that every pregnant woman eats ice cream all day, without worrying about the effect that it has on her body, both in the present and in the future. Oh, how I wish that were true. While pregnancy does change your eating habits, and let’s face it, some of us do spend the day eating ice cream, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have the same body guilt, and even shame, that we felt pre-pregnancy. You eat more and crave more of certain kinds of foods while you are pregnant, not just because you are entitled to “gain all the weight you want”, but because your body is not-so-subtly demanding a double-meat, double-cheeseburger with a side of M&Ms in a way that most people are unaccustomed to. A pregnant woman’s hunger is similar to a twenty-two year old man’s sex drive: it will not be ignored, despite all logic and good sense.
So your body is telling you one thing (ie. eat that tub of Crisco. Now!) and your mind is telling you another (ie. Control yourself and eat a salad instead, fatty!). Sometimes you listen to your mind and sometimes you listen to your body, but even when you listen to your body, it’s tough to totally shut out the negativity of the mind.
But, as the weeks go by and my baby bump grows, so does my self-confidence. I am finally starting to find my pregnancy groove. The irrational hungry monster inside my head is slowly settling to a dull roar, and I am becoming able to control it. I finally have enough energy to exercise on a more consistant basis. My belly is beginning to look more like a baby bump rather than a jelly roll, so I am finally starting to pull out the tighter shirts that highlight my belly, instead of shamefully hiding it under baggy clothes like an unwed Mormon. My hips and thighs might be wider than usual, but a nice, round belly makes everything else look skinnier. My ass might be twice its usual size, but hey, so are my boobs. Finally, I am starting to accept, if not totally appreciate, my lovely (pregnant) lady lumps.
That’s not say that I have shed my all body hang-ups just yet. I have my good days and my bad days, just like I did pre-pregnancy. Buying a couple of new, flattering maternity outfits has helped. And on a good day, with just the right lighting and a bit of make-up and some high heels, I feel almost like myself again. Like myself with just a little something extra. So yes, maybe I am chubbier, bumpier, lumpier and cellulitier (yes, I just made that word up) than I was, but there are two of in here now… and that means two of us to answer to if you even think of asking me how much weight I have gained so far.