When I found out that I was pregnant, two thoughts entered my mind:
I’m going to be a mommy!
Oh crap. I’m going to get fat.
Having lost 40 lbs and kept it off for 5 years, there’s always been a nagging fear in the back of my mind: What if I gain all the weight back I worked so hard to lose?
When I first started trying to lose the weight, I was a tad overzealous; counting every single minuscule calorie that entered my system and carefully working out so I could burn off the excess. As time went on, I learned to calm it down, dial back the crazy, and love my body. I allowed myself a treat now and then and tried to follow the 80/20 rule. So when I got pregnant, a part of me thought: Well, that’s all out the window! I can sit back and eat anything!
Then I realized, I didn’t want to do that*. I like being fit. I like working out. I like running. I can honestly feel a difference in my body when I ate a grilled chicken sandwich rather than a Big Mac. Fruit made me feel better; fries made me sluggish. So I told myself I would still be healthy and try not to overindulge while I was pregnant^. (I knew there were risks to gaining too much weight during pregnancy and I want to give me and my baby the healthiest chance I can.) When I said this to some people (whether they be friends, family, or random people at Target) you would’ve thought I was the worst person in the world.
“You shouldn’t starve yourself!”
“Don’t you know you need to gain a lot during pregnancy?”
“Isn’t eating the point of pregnancy?”
Those comments were easy to let roll off my back. I knew those people said that because they probably thought that what I meant by “healthy” was eating a bowl of dried fruit and a glass of water and that was it. Trust me, I loves my food. I eat.
The comments I wasn’t able to let go of were the ones like this:
“You may think pregnancy is easy now, but that’s because you’re not fat yet.” (<–Someone’s exact words. Yeah.)
That got me thinking: Why do people associate fat with pregnancy?
Its not fat, its a baby.
That has been my mantra during this pregnancy. I’m not gaining weight because I’m sitting in front of the refrigerator, swallowing everything in sight. I’m growing a human. And let me tell ya, its not easy. So when I see pictures of Kim Kardashian with her growing belly and a headline that reads: “Kim Fat During Pregnancy!” it makes me cringe. Mostly because at first I was like Nelson from The Simpsons, pointing and laughing. (The Kardashians really bring out the Regina George in me.) But then I scolded myself because I had to remember that she’s a woman too. Not just a woman, a pregnant woman. And she’s probably hormonal and I’m sure she sees these headlines and wonders: “Am I not good enough? Am I gaining too much weight?”
Its not fat, Kim, its a baby.
Its tough to be pregnant and adjust to a growing body. Its even harder when you’re pregnant and in the limelight. And, the fact that Princess Kate is skipping around the UK looking adorbs with her tiny bump doesn’t really help other preggos’ self-esteem.
But you know what? That’s okay. Kate’s body is different than Kim’s. Its different than mine. And I’m okay with that. And Kim should be too.
Yes, I watch what I eat. Yes, I still workout. And yes, after Hermione gets here, I will work to lose the baby weight and get fit again. Why? Not because I’m selfish and not because I’m vain. I’ll workout because it helps me feel better (those endorphins are real!), it gives me more energy (don’t all new moms need that?), and because I want to set an example for a healthy lifestyle to my daughter. Does that mean I won’t let her have candy now and then? Of course not! But it does mean I’ll encourage fruits, veggies, and whole grains to help her feel good.
And until Hermione arrives, I’ll eat my organic eggs for breakfast along with the occasional doughnut. And you know what I’ll be thinking the whole time?
Its not fat, its a baby.
*If you choose to eat whatever you want, that’s fine; there is no judgement from me. I’m just saying what was a priority for me, what I want to do. Everyone’s different.
^Granted, the first trimester I was so nauseous all I ate was French fries, plain baked potatoes, tater tots, and Funyuns. If it sounded good, I ate it. Now that the nausea is gone, I can go back to my normal eating habits.