Thursday, April 14, 2016

Plus Size Pregnancy Guilt

When I first started this blog, I was on a journey to change my body.  I had accomplished much that I'd set my mind to in life, but I'd never really been able to alter my shape.  The more I tried, the farther from happy I became, and I seemed to be stuck in a pretty bad cycle.  So, I started writing about it, hoping to keep myself accountable.

If you're been reading for awhile, you probably know that something unexpected happened.  Instead of hating my body and wishing it was different, I started to embrace it.  I ran half marathons, I did bike races, I learned to cook all sorts of great things, and I smiled a lot.  I realized that being skinny wasn't going to someone make me happy.  I had to learn how to be happy where I was.

This carried with through my wedding, where I decided I would not diet to fit into some crazy dress, through my honeymoon in Hawaii, where I chose to take pictures of more than just my face, because even if my body didn't look perfect, it was my body, and up until the time I got pregnant in August of last year.  I don't think I struggled with anxiety about being overweight and pregnant then.  The pregnancy was too short lived for me to really begin to understand what it meant to be making a life.  When it was over, though, my sadness took away my desire to numb with food.  I made the choice to not drink through my grief, and over the months we had to wait to try again, I lost about 15 pounds.  So, when I got pregnant again in January, I felt pretty comfortable in my skin.  At first.

Soon, though, that began to change.  I started again to feel the body hatred that had plagued me in my mid 20's.  As my uterus expanded and began the process of creating another human, I shied away from mirrors and berated myself for starting this pregnancy at my current weight.  Knowing that the scale will probably only go up from here, I fretted about gaining too much weight.  My nausea didn't help this, as one might think.  The only things that felt acceptable to eat were mashed potatoes and ice cream, things bland, white, and starchy.  I could barely walk down the hall without wanting to throw up, so working out was off the table.  For almost 12 weeks, I stayed glued to the couch and full of carbs.  It definitely did a number on my head.

The internet has tons of resources for healthy, plus sized pregnancies.  I know that my blood work has always been stellar, I take care of myself, and I got pregnant easily both times.  There shouldn't have been major things to worry about, but still I worried.  I got very sensitive about craving sweets, something that I really never did before pregnancy, and got very defensive about it.  Basically, the first trimester was rough.

Things have gotten better, though.  At 16 weeks, I'm still not really showing yet.  I think I probably just look a little pudgier than normal, but my closet full of A-line dresses will likely hide whatever growing bump I have for quite some time.  I feel like I'm coming through this rough patch, though, mostly due to feeling more like myself again.  Since about 12 weeks, I've been able to work fruits and veggies back into my diet.  I've also been working out again.  I'll talk more about that soon, but it's been a complete and total life saver.  Fitness really is my antidepressant, and take that away and I'm in bad shape.  I know that I will continue to struggle with this stuff, and that being a new mom will make it hard to get in some me-time, but I know I will need to make it a priority.

At my checkup today, I was bubbly and happy.  I got to hear the heart beat, I was feeling really good, and I'd only gained a pound.  Last month I had gained 4 pounds since the month before, so I was fearing some out of control weight gain.  With healthy eating and tons of walks, though, I'm definitely feeling like a healthy mama.  I'm sure the bad days will be there, and I'll long to be a thin chick with a round belly, but that's just not me, and I've got to make peace with it.


  1. Thanks for this post. Although I'm not pregnant, I can still relate to a lot of what you wrote. I'm struggling to accept myself and my body, and it really is becoming a huge challenge for me. Getting rid of those negative thoughts about myself has proven almost impossible.
    I've been reading your blog for quite some time, and you are seriously a shining example of healthy living. You eat beautiful, healthy meals, and do all kinds of exercise. I'm sure your little baby is thriving!

    1. Hang in there, girl. The best thing you can do is be kind to yourself. Those negative thoughts are so real, and sometimes they can be so loud, but they're totally wrong. <3

  2. This is a beautiful post, Dana; thanks for sharing this. I've never been pregnant, never wanted to be (I think I'm too neurotic -ha!), but I can only imagine that MANY other women struggle with this, as well - no matter their size. I'm currently working on some disordered eating behaviors and a disordered relationship with food; this definitely resonates with me, outside of the pregnancy realm. I'm super excited to hear that you are doing well and love seeing that smiling face!!

    1. Hi Tara! You're so right that these issues can crop up no matter what, pregnant or not. It's truly fascinating how many of us struggle with food. We need it for life, yet is causes such internal conflict. We all just need to remember that we're beautiful creatures and lucky to be here :)

  3. Been there! Don't stress too much. You're going to gain weight. I gained 55lbs with my first. Oops!
    But I lost most of that a year or so after the baby was born.

    I think if you keep going for your hikes and walks and eat healthy you'll be happy. I gained a lot of weight because I was making homemade mac and cheese like a fiend!

    Just enjoy your freedom and your husband while you can!


I'd love to hear from you!