Pregnancy is a strange and wonderful experience. My body has already been through some pretty crazy, amazing changes, but it's a little bittersweet to watch. I have had countless women tell me that my body will never be the same, and of course, I'm sure that's true, but I really struggle to cope with the fear that they're telling me I'll never be fit again. I know that's not true and that I can get back in shape after baby, but I know it's going to be extremely difficult and it probably won't happen as quickly as I want it to.
I have always struggled with my weight. I started to get a little chubby around age 12, and I got steadily chubbier until about my sophomore year of college. I was never really happy with my body and always wished to be thin, but didn't let it stop me from doing much. I think I just figured I was 'big-boned' (I've always been on the tall side, too), and was never meant to be thin. During college, I gained that freshman 15 (and quite a bit more) without even realizing it. One day, I stepped on a scale and the number I saw shocked me! I'm 5'9" and pretty consistently weighed in around 155 lbs through high school, but now, all of a sudden, I was almost 180 lbs.! I was definitely not okay with that number, or the pants size I was shopping for. I decided to sign up for a PE class at school to have something to get me more active.
I ended up in an early morning aerobics class, and I loved it! I dropped about 15 lbs. over the semester and was feeling great. I wanted to take the class again the next semester, but couldn't fit it into my schedule. In fact, the only class I could find a spot for was a running class! EW! I hated running. I had always hated running. I think my timed mile time at that point was something like 15 minutes. I think I could pretty much speed walk a mile in 15 minutes! But I took the class anyway, and in time, I found out that I loved to run. I made friends who liked to run (didn't hurt that one of them was a cute boy that I really liked at the time), and slowly increased my speed and endurance. I made a goal to run a half marathon. One weekend on a training run, I ran 15 miles and decided I needed a new goal! I signed up for a marathon. I ran it and LOVED it. I did another one, and another one. I was not just thin, I was fit. I weighed 135 lbs. and wore a size 4. It was the smallest I'd ever been and by far the healthiest. Back and foot injuries kept me from running for a long time and it's been about 2 years since I really ran regularly, but I have managed to stay the same size.
Although I know that I'm gaining weight like I should and that my body is doing what it's supposed to to support this baby, it's hard to watch my belly grow and grow and grow. It's hard to see that number on the scale creep up and up and up. And it's especially hard to lack the motivation and energy to eat healthy and exercise. I'm trying, and I do okay, but it's not anything like what I'm used to. I miss the fit me, and I'm scared not to see her again.
*Sigh* I know it's all normal, and that it will all take time. I know I'm not alone in feeling this way, and I know that I have the motivation and strength to get back in shape when this pregnancy adventure is over, but it does make me nervous to think about. Will my husband still think I'm attractive when I'm all post-baby flabby? What kind of clothes will I find to wear that can cover my tummy? Etc., Etc.
I know that my body is performing a miracle and I should be proud of every stretch mark and grateful for every pound that means my baby is growing healthy and strong, and I am. In so many ways, I am. I can't believe the things a woman's body can do It truly is miraculous, and I'm so grateful to be experiencing a healthy pregnancy. I know that it's not something everyone gets to do, and there are many who wish they were in my position and would give anything for a stretched out belly and tiger stripes if it meant holding a healthy baby in their arms. I don't mean to sound vain by talking about my fear of my post-baby body. It's been on my mind and I needed to put those worries into words.