For most of my life, my weight has never been an issue. I have been blessed with good genes and a fast metabolism and remained slim no matter what I ate. That being said, I always ate a fairly healthy diet and exercised sporadically. Until I was pregnant, I never gave my weight or body image much thought.
This all changed during my pregnancy. I didn’t gain much weight during my first trimester or during the first half of my second trimester. However, once week 2o hit, I started gaining weight fairly rapidly. The pounds quickly added up…10…20…30…40…50…..once I got to 50 I stopped getting on the scale!
As I gained weight my body changed and suddenly it became a topic of conversation for anyone that I encountered. Not a day went by without someone commenting on my body. Here are some examples: How much weight have you gained? Your face has really changed! You look like you’re having a girl (code for: your face is fat!). Wow, I can hardly recognize you! Your butt is much bigger than it used to be! Your hands are huge – where are you rings – don’t they fit? Etc…etc…etc….
Somehow when you are pregnant, people think it is OK to say things to you that they would never ever to say to someone not pregnant. Why is that? Why is it socially acceptable to comment on a pregnant woman’s body? I would never walk into work and tell a co-worker that she looked like she was retaining a lot of water. But why was it OK for a co-worker to say that to me when I was pregnant?
I didn’t like others commenting on my body. I was well aware that I was gaining weight and that my entire body had changed – even my nose! Let’s not even mention the pimples, the greasy hair, and the stretch marks. I didn’t appreciate other people talking about all the changes I was experiencing!
When my son was born, my body slowly deflated. I can’t say that it returned back to normal. By about 6 months I had lost most of the weight, but my body had changed forever. Sure – my face wasn’t swollen anymore and the pimples had disappeared, but the stretch marks were still there and my tummy will never be flat again! I’m ok with that and I’ve made peace with my new body. I’m not the same person since becoming a mom – not emotionally, and not physically – and you know what – I’m happy with the new me!
These days, when I see a pregnant woman, I have one and only one comment. Whether she looks gigantic, or tiny, or somewhere in between, the only thing I say is: You look great! And it’s true! All pregnant women DO look great! They have a miraculous new life growing inside of them – could there be anything greater than that?
This post is participating in the Body Image Carnival being hosted by Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! and MamanADroit who will be posting articles on themes pertaining to body image all week! Make sure you check out their blogs everyday between April 12-18 for links to other participants’ posts as well as product reviews, a giveaway, and some links to research, information and resources pertaining to body image.