I’m not sure I’ve spent much time writing about my history with disordered eating before but as I’ve progressed through my pregnancy it has proven to be a constant mental battle. In the past, I severely restricted my eating so I could lose about 60 or 70 pounds in 6 months.
I was able to keep that weight off for years. And then I decided to become a mom. I knew my pregnant body would change my relationship with myself but I didn’t really know exactly how.
At first, I would periodically take pictures, hoping I’d get my belly soon.
During that phase, I was doing an amazing job of eating, even with the horrible morning sickness. Then things started to change. At my 20 week appointment, I had gained close to 20 pounds. It was like a switch flipped in my brain and all of a sudden getting bigger wasn’t as beautiful. I was scared of the weight gain. I resented parts of my changing body.
Mind you, at 20 weeks most of the weight I had gained must have been my breasts and water weight. It didn’t really matter in my mind though. All my hard work (the unhealthy hard work) seemed to be getting erased.
After that, it became a constant battle with myself.
Part 1: I’m hungry. I’m light-headed. My blood sugar is low. I need to eat.
Part 2: You’ll be fine! Just take a glucose tab. You don’t want to get too big!
Part 1: But, I need to eat for the baby. She needs me to be healthy. I can lose the weight after.
Part 2: She will take what she needs regardless! It is fine. Just have some water and an apple.
So on and so forth! It hasn’t helped that I’ve been short of breath since the second trimester and being active is mostly out of the picture. I try to exercise and then my blood pressure tanks or my blood sugar tanks or I just get light-headed from not enough oxygen. So, I feel sedentary compared to my activity levels before. That just further fuels the ED part.
Now, I’m 32 weeks and heavier than I have ever been! On the one hand, I see my belly and I really am pretty in love. It houses my beautiful baby.
On the other hand, I can’t help but to pick apart the rest of my body. My arms have gotten bigger. My legs have gotten squishier. My butt is bigger. My breasts are WAY bigger. I am pretty sure that every day until I have baby girl will be a continued battle with my self-image. I will continue having to force myself to eat. I will continue forcing myself to get in at least a little bit of exercise.
I wish I could say that the disordered eating part of my brain was miraculously healed… I wish I felt completely confident in my pregnant body. I wish I felt comfortable growing and surrendering to the beautiful, miraculous process. That’s what I wish I could give to my daughter as an example. I’m just not there yet. I still take pictures though. I want to remember this time. And, I want to be able to show Carys, that her mommy did her absolute best to be gentle and strong during these months.
Pretty much every therapy appointment lately has been dedicated to my desire to give Carys the best shot and for her to have the healthiest version of me as her mom as I can possibly give her. So, I’m not giving into the part that wants me to restrict, that feels shattered at the number on the scale. I’ll keep trying and trying! I’ve got a lot more healing to do before she arrives.
And when Carys is here, I’m sure I’ll struggle my way through new obstacles that I never would have anticipated. All while enjoying her sweet presence.