fitness. motherhood. life & style.

Pregnancy and Body Image

Between pregnancy, wedding planning, school, AND work, I haven't taken the time to post in awhile! But I'm super excited to get back to it. I'm also hoping once school is over I can devote more time to sharing my story and help those of you reading. I'm FINALLY getting to sit down and write about where I'm at with our baby girl and how I'm still trying to tie a healthy lifestyle into a new, unknown one.
Earlier this year my workouts suddenly became SUPER hard. I'm pretty in tune with my body so it didn't take me long to realize that I was expecting! We are super excited (along with a little nervous, not going to lie, as this is my first baby!) but I really can't complain as I haven't had much in the way of morning sickness. However, don't discredit the difficulty of any woman's pregnancy! It comes with all sorts of weird things, fatigue, and the crazy feeling that you are actually growing a tiny human! Mine has mostly been accompanied by fatigue and foot aversions (and the occasional hot dog craving).


However, what I want to share today is what I feel like a lot of pregnant women don't talk about, and that is their body changes and the feelings that come with it. I feel like there is a whole lot of guilt involved in worrying about yourself while you're pregnant because it feels like you should now only worry about your baby. However, if you don't take care of yourself, how can you take care of baby?! Being able to carry a baby is literally amazing but sometimes not so magical when you're sick or wanting to nap in a work meeting. As I've been finding my "new normal" during this pregnancy I've wanted to share it because it can relate to anyone going through any life change and finding balance (if you've read my other posts you know I believe that life is all about balance).
Pregnancy is definitely a life change! My first trimester was a whole lot of confusion as my body quickly felt like it wasn't my own. Then there were the nerves of possible miscarriage and being super careful in that early development period. I became super fatigued those first few months and after pushing through work, naps became more important than the gym. I also had strong food aversions to foods I normally ate daily like grilled chicken, certain fish, mostly protein which was a HUGE staple in my diet. Towards the end of the third month I developed some back pain that made me even more stationary. These changes brought me a lot of guilt and feelings like I was lazy, I was giving up a lifestyle that was once important to me, I should just push through it, I wasn't being healthy enough for my baby, etc. But if you've been pregnant, that pregnancy fatigue is NO JOKE. Looking back now, I'm not sure how I even made it through work (my work days are usually very busy and require a lot of activity).
I only gained a few pounds after the first trimester but into my second trimester, my pants started getting tighter and I was just generally uncomfortable. (However, I was glad to be out of the first trimester miscarriage worry zone!) This was accompanied with a feeling that was all too familiar to me back when I had gained weight (not from a baby) and lost self confidence, went through body image, and food battles. This was really hard for me because being pregnant still didn't feel real. I didn't have baby movements and all I had was an ultrasound picture and tight pants. It took me right back to a dark place but I felt guilty for feeling that way. I felt like I was being selfish about my body instead of just being excited all the time that I was pregnant. But in reality, self esteem is important to any woman and if you don't like how you look and feel it's okay to feel a certain way about it. I promised myself that I wouldn't settle for these feelings, I wouldn't give up on my usual lifestyle, but instead I would just search for my "new normal".


Now, well into my second trimester (and out of it in a month, omg scary!!) we found out we are having a girl and I can feel baby moving. Starting to feel actually pregnant helps with those early feelings of confusion, and guilt, and lack of self confidence. Now that I can feel the reason for the changes I was having, it feels completely worth it because there for sure is a baby in there! I've been working out when I can and I incorporate healthy foods that don't gross me out (sorry grilled chicken you had to go) into my diet. Weight lifting was my favorite work out before, but that's been much harder pregnant (and I can't lift heavy) and it really doesn't interest me currently. So instead I've been opting for resistance band workouts, walking, stationary biking, etc. I made the decision this week that if I feel like I can't push myself, I need to listen to my body because that's what baby needs. I so badly wanted that super "fit pregnancy" but it's a lot harder than it seems especially when you're working a very busy job. I figure as long as I'm maintaining some works outs and daily activity (since I'm now feeling pretty good) and still getting nutrient dense foods into my diet (and turkey/hot dogs because that's my only craving lol) then I'm doing a good job.
Hopefully, if you're reading this and struggling with any new changes in your life, it can help you search for that "new normal". It's important to live a healthy life but not to the point that you're missing out on your normal life, pregnancy excitement, new job, etc. Adjustments can be made and self confidence shouldn't be lost, it's not easy but it also isn't something to give up on. Just do your best and don't be so hard on yourself!

katie lynn

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