Being pregnant is hard. Even when you have a relatively easy pregnancy, as mine as been so far, it is still a huge change, and can take a toll on both your body and your mind.
One big thing that I, like a lot of other women, have struggled with throughout my pregnancy so far is body image. There’s no question that a woman’s body goes through some major changes during pregnancy, and even though some women handle the changes better than others, I think almost every woman struggles with their body image at some point during their pregnancy.
As someone who considers health and fitness a big part of my life, seeing the changes that are happening in my body is hard. In addition to my belly growing, my arms and thighs are bigger, my boobs are bigger, my hips are wider, my butt is flatter, I’ve lost a lot of muscle, and I honestly just don’t even recognize the body that I’m currently in. I have continued to work out throughout my pregnancy, (not so much in the first trimester, but pretty consistently through the second so far) but workouts are definitely not as long or as hard or intense as they were pre-pregnancy. As far as weight gain goes, I’m doing really well. At just over half way (23 weeks tomorrow) I have gained about 13 pounds, putting me right on track to stay within the recommended 25 to 30 pound range.
Even with all of that though, some days I really struggle to wrap my mind around the fact that I am currently the heaviest, and most out of shape I have ever been. And I still have 17 more weeks to go for things to keep growing! That honestly freaks me out a little.
I cannot tell you how many times I have either said out loud to my husband or thought in my head, “I can’t wait to get this baby out of me and get back in shape!” Now don’t get me wrong here, I am SO grateful to be pregnant. I am so grateful that I was able to get pregnant so easily. I am so grateful that my pregnancy stuck. I am so grateful that up until this point, (and hopefully through the rest of it) I have had a complication free pregnancy. But right along with that gratefulness, I can’t help but feel a little down about the way my body currently looks.
Negative body image, whether pregnant or not, is not something you can just get over. It takes time and it takes a positive mind set, and for me, it takes remembering WHY I’m going through this. When this pregnancy is over, I will have my sweet little baby in my arms, and I know that all of the negative thoughts I had about my body will mean nothing, because that little boy will mean everything.
I have good days and I have bad days, but honestly, as I get further along, and ironically, as I get bigger, it’s getting easier for me to accept the changes that are happening in my body. I’m slowly learning to look at pregnancy as the amazing miracle that it is, instead of focusing on all of the negative that I see in myself. I’m literally growing a human that is half me and half my husband, and that is absolutely incredible.
So, pregnant mamas, new mamas, mamas who maybe aren’t new but are still struggling with their post baby body, or even those of you who aren’t moms but are just having a hard time with your body image, this one is for you. You are beautiful just the way you are, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to better yourself. So I’m going to try my hardest to enjoy the rest of my pregnancy and be thankful for what this body is doing, but I cannot wait to see what else my body can do once my little man is born!