With an emphasis on the "weight."
Since this blog has spent a good deal of time discussing my weight loss journey and my goals to living a healthier lifestyle overall, both physically and emotionally/spiritually, I think now would be a good time to talk about this aspect of pregnancy...
...the dreaded weight gain.
I knew I would struggle with this aspect of pregnancy, at least mentally. I had no idea how my body would change or gain weight, because I've never been pregnant before. I also know that it's very different with every woman and even with every individual pregnancy the same woman experiences. But I knew that I'd struggle with the reality that the needle on the scale was going to go up higher and higher, whether I liked it or not.
Some of the things I was told:
* Your body is gonna gain what it's gonna gain, so eat what you want.
* You started out overweight, so you really shouldn't gain more than 10-15 lbs (by the lovely woman who works for United Healthcare's "Healthy Pregnancy" program on the phone...a woman who doesn't know anything about me other than my starting, pre-pregnancy weight).
* I'd like to see you get to this weight before you get pregnant, and keep your weight gain to about 30lbs.
Take a wild guess as to which I took the most seriously.
If you guessed the third statement, you win the prize! That was the advice of my doctor a year ago, when I became his patient and he encouraged me to drop about 20lbs to be at what he considered a healthy weight for me before getting pregnant, and what he said to me when I re-visited him after getting pregnant.
Allow me to go off on a tiny tangent here to say how much I love my OB. This is why I stayed with him after that first visit in February of 2012. He gave me a very matter-of-fact instruction to get to a healthy weight for me -- not to fit what was on a chart for my height and age. He's also very matter-of-fact that I need to get off my butt more than I have in this pregnancy if I want to keep the weight gain under control.
Anyway, it's time to list some facts:
* I met my goal weight, or got within a pound or so (I need to check with my doctor's office to see what my actual weight was at that first visit after the positive pregnancy test) right before I got pregnant.
* So far, I have gained approximately 12-15 lbs (as of my last visit on February 8th). Again, I need to get some legit numbers.
* I've let my eating habits slide big time because of how I've felt during the first trimester and a half.
* I've felt better and could be eating better and exercising more, but bad habits are so easy to get back into that I've let myself be lazy.
* If I'm careful, and if I gain about a pound more per week (which is pretty normal during the third trimester), I'll meet my goal of only 30lbs weight gain.
This will still make me heavy. Heavier than I've been in a long time. But I still have time to make sure that this weight gain is for the pregnancy, and not because I've allowed myself to have 3 Slurpees a week and all the candy I want (this baby either LOVES sugar, or my body missed it so much as I was approaching my goal weight that it's craving it like crazy...).
I'm getting nervous, though. I feel very big and awkward. I feel incredibly nervous about my Glucose test on Thursday. I'm nervous that I'm going to get lectured on weight gain. I'm nervous that in my third trimester I'll hate how I look and I'll resent the pregnancy because, yes, unfortunately, I am that vain. To be honest, I look forward to having this baby MORE so I can get back to a body shape I'm comfortable with than so that I can meet my baby. OF COURSE I'm excited to meet this little dude or gal, too.
But when you've struggled with weight and vanity issues your whole life, that doesn't just go away during pregnancy. So it's a daily struggle and prayer to make sure that I'm giving the baby and my body what it needs (healthy food, water, exercise, etc.), still giving in occasionally to the MASSIVE sugar cravings in moderation (because, hey, you just don't know how singularly focused the mind can become on getting that Slurpee), and easing myself back into some healthy habits without starving myself.
Because the fact is, I need more food than I did before. I need to eat more calories. But they can be good calories and smart choices. I'm not "eating for two." Not two adults anyway.
I'm also taking lots of pictures. I'm THAT girl. I've felt NO shame in taking selfies and posting them on my Flickr and Facebook accounts, because it's nice to hear people tell you that you look great when you are feeling more and more like a Weeble Wobble.
And finally, I leave you with a comparison shot (and the shot on the left will be my inspiration once the Little One is born). The picture on the left is less than a month before I found out I was pregnant, and the picture on the right was taken this morning. It's a fairly drastic change in my head, but in reality I can see in my face and arms that I am gaining weight where the baby is, mostly (no comment on the boobs), and that I haven't completely let myself go.