First of all, thank you to all my blog readers! Almost all of the outfit from today's post was courtesy of my first check from BlogHer Ads, which means that each and every one of you who come to view my page are directly responsible. Thank you!
But my weekly picture might as well look like a hot air balloon.
That's right folks, I feel like a blimp/hot air balloon/any other extremely large object pumped full of some foreign substance. The fact that one of the church ladies exclaims, "OH! It's the FATTIE!" every time she sees me does not help. She is not trying to be mean, but it is giving me a complex. Which means that this post is going to be largely dedicated to something that most pregnant ladies (or current mamas) will sympathize with, and most non-pregnant ladies will roll their eyes about (don't feel bad, I was an eye-roller too when I wasn't pregnant)--pregnancy weight gain. This post is going to be whiny. Feel free to stop reading now...I won't be offended. My goal with blogging about my pregnancy isn't to give you the puppies and rainbows account--it's to give you a real account of the joys and frustrations. And this week, weight has been a major frustration for me.
To give you some history, weight has always been a struggle for most of my family members. Most of us are large both in terms of height, and stature. That fact, coupled with being a rower in high school, led me to have a pretty distorted view of myself and my weight. You see, rowers are a lot like wrestlers in that they're always trying to cut weight. One of my coaches in high school was openly bulimic, and encouraged the team to make themselves throw up on the scale if we were above weight (you race in different weight classes). My other coach, was extremely health conscious, and used to have us record every bit of food that passed through our lips during the season. A few days before a race, we were given a list of exactly what we were allowed to eat and at exactly what time. It was ingrained in our heads what weight we "should" be, and what weight we should not go over, and it's still hard for me to see the scale go above that number. In high school, I didn't ever feel thin or fit, but looking back on pictures, I was pretty thin. When we got married, I felt fat and disgusting because I weighed more than I did in high school, but looking back, again, I was in pretty good shape. My BMI was at the upper end of "normal", but not terribly.
Just prior to finding out that I was pregnant, I had started seriously running. My BMI had creeped up into the "overweight" range, and I was trying to get myself back "under control" ASAP. I found out that I was pregnant, and although I was incredibly excited, part of me was disappointed, because I didn't want to start out a pregnancy "overweight". I had a number that I had determined that I never wanted to reach in my head, and I wanted to lose weight prior to becoming pregnant to ensure that I wouldn't reach that number. Now, I should probably mention that this wasn't something that my doctor had recommended or was concerned about (he still hasn't said a word), this was all something that was self-imposed, and was a by-product of my distorted self-image: at the time, and presently, when I look in the mirror, I see someone who looks just like the contestants on Biggest Loser...when they first arrive. People could tell me day in and day out that that's not the case, but it is what I see. Maybe it's what I'm afraid of.
Anyway, I did a lot of soul searching when I discovered that I was pregnant, and decided that I'd try my best to eat well, and keep to the recommended 20-25 pound weight gain over the course of the pregnancy (again, not doctor suggested, self-imposed). I had been doing pretty good with the weight gain as of my appointment earlier this month--about a 7 pound total weight gain as of my 20 week appointment. Yeah, until I went to my appointment yesterday, and had gained 10 pounds since the last appointment. Putting me at 17 pounds total gain, and above the arbitrary number that I did not want to reach. According to the online pregnancy weight gain trackers like Baby Zone, this puts me well above the maximum amount of weight that a person who began their pregnancy overweight should have gained. This is no doubt due to the increased pizza and ice cream that I've been eating, because it's what I'm actually hungry for. This is also no doubt due to the fact that I haven't been walking lately due to the fires and the fact that the air had been deemed unsafe. BLAH!
I know, you're all probably rolling your eyes and thinking "Meredith, get over yourself. You are growing a BABY. You don't need to be concerned unless your doctor tells you to be concerned, and if you are concerned, stop eating so much danged pizza!" The rational part of my mind is telling myself the same thing. I remember thinking the same thing reading the blogs of other pregnant women who were complaining about their weight. But let me tell you...I am eating my words now, because it is HARD. It's hard to feel like you have no control over your own body. It's hard to flip a switch and go from being all-focused on not gaining weight to being absolutely content to gain weight, because you know it's what your baby needs. And it's HARD for me not to wonder if I will ever be able to get the weight off post-pregnancy, and freak out imagining weighing this much for the rest of my life.
Don't get me wrong...this pregnancy is a blessing, and I am so grateful for this little life. But the reality is that I've just had a bit of a hard week mentally with this pregnancy weight-gain business...