Thursday, April 20, 2017

Embracing My Pregnant Body

I am officially 23 weeks pregnant and so far my pregnancy has been going great. I have been blessed with one of those pregnancies where I never got any morning sickness and I haven't blown up like a balloon (yet). No complications so far and I am still able to workout/run. For the most part, I still have a good amount of energy. Okay, it may sound like I am bragging but that is not my intention. I actually am having a hard time dealing with one thing, my body changing. Coming from a history of body image issues, seeing my body change right before my eyes is a hard concept to grasp. I have absolutely no control over the changes happening to my body and it brings back many bad memories of self hate.

I grew up with my parents calling me fatty as my nickname. I would constantly place myself on "diets" when I was in middle school and high school. By diets I mean I would starve myself to loose weight and play sports just to burn the little calories I would eat in a day. Yes, I had very low self esteem and didn't recognize how screwed up in the head I was. It's sad really because I was not alone. Plenty of girls go through this during their teenage years. They start this unhealthy cycle and it can lead to bad choices. Honestly, we live in a world where being skinny is glorified; where super models are idolized for being skinny. I'm Mexican and I have always been a bit curvy. Growing up that just wasn't what "beautiful" was. I used to pinch my fat, cellulite and just cringe. I wish I could say that I have completely grown past my body image issues but that isn't entirely correct. In the last recent years, I went through many infertility treatments that led to a significant weight gain. Even after coming off all the hormones, my body never fully got back to my baseline. And now that I am pregnant, I am having to embrace the weight gain and see my body change once again.

I know I am growing this tiny miracle and I should be thrilled...and for the most part I am. I truly am blessed that I am pregnant. After many years of being told I couldn't have kids, this pregnancy is truly a miracle. But then there are days I look in the mirror and go back to my old ways of pinching my love handles, checking out my cellulite, and scanning my body for any new stretch marks. I think it was a bit worse during the first trimester though. During the first 13 weeks I noticed my hips widening, my boobs getting bigger making me top heavy, and my stomach was in between looking pregnant or having a beer belly. Recently, I've noticed I've lost a lot of muscle since I am not lifting as heavy as I used to. I've gotten tiny spider veins on my thighs and my skins is a bit more loose on my legs due to loss of muscle mass. However, the skin on my stomach is getting tighter. Sometimes I look down at my pregnant belly and wonder how can it get any bigger? One thing that does amaze me is how my body just knows what to do. It literally is taking 40 weeks to cook this tiny human.

Learning to let go and embrace my pregnancy is something that I deal with on a daily basis. I started a journal to write down any negative thoughts I may have. Once I am done writing I don't allow myself to think about any more negative thoughts. It's helped and I find myself more content and overall happy with my pregnancy. I actually don't even write in it that often anymore. I guess that's a good sign right? I am more than half way done and I know it will get tough towards the end but like I said, I need to stay positive and just be thankful that I have the opportunity to carry this tiny human inside me.

If you've been pregnant (or currently pregnant),
have you dealt with body image issues?

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I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons