The baby is officially 9 months old!
When I was pregnant, I read a book called The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy
and I really liked it. I would totally recommend it. It has a fun sense of humor and makes you feel less alone if you don’t have a lot of mommy/pregnant friends (I don’t). It’s written by an L.A. resident, so maybe it has a few concerns that I didn’t have/feel while living in occasionally arctic New England and never feeling much societal pressure about my makeup and hair, but I still really enjoyed it.
One of its tips that I loved and want to share (but can’t remember the direct quote… although it was said a few times) is basically: it took you 9 months to gain the weight, don’t beat yourself up (or be surprised) if it takes you 9 months to lose it.
It really made me feel ok with my body for the last 9 months, especially the early months after her birth. I had been warned that I would still look 6 months pregnant when I left the hospital (and I did!), but I didn’t expect to look 4 months pregnant when she was 3 months old. But I rolled with it with the thought “9 months up, 9 months down.”
And you know what? I think it was totally right for me. The baby is 9 months old and I fit in almost all of my pre-pregnancy pants now, there are two hold-outs but whatever. My body doesn’t look exactly the way it did before, but it feels to be roughly the same size. I feel like I’m back to living in my old body, more or less. And when I see myself in the mirror, I’m no longer surprised by the reflection. The image of myself that I hold and the image in the mirror finally align again!
And the bonus of this mantra is that I didn’t beat myself up for no good reason while I was enjoying this tiny human being that my body incubated!
Also, yay for fitting back into my old clothes!
One thing I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is how hard it is to motivate yourself to exercise when you don’t feel comfortable about your body, especially when you have to exercise around other people. It’s so easy to worry if others will judge us as harshly as we judge ourselves.
Also, I was talking with some friends about a friend of ours who is struggling. This friend is extremely overweight (I’m guessing she weighs about 400 lbs) and struggles to take weight off because her knees hurt so much. It’s a vicious cycle: her knees hurt because she’s so overweight and she remains so overweight because her knees hurt. Which made me start thinking, isn’t it terribly sad that swimming, the activity that grants the greatest amount of buoyancy (and less joint strain) is also the activity that requires the least about of clothing and the most amount of skin showing?! So in order to exercise in that environment, one also has to overcome the greatest amount of self-esteem issues?
It really got me thinking. I wish that a chain gym would pop up to address that issue. I feel like Curves (and all of the other gyms in that vein) popped up to address the issue that lots of women feel uncomfortable working out in front of men. I wonder if a pool that encouraged people to wear shorts and t-shirts instead of speedos would be well received?
I know I would love that right now! Especially if I didn’t have to buy a swim cap and goggles. I’m not a serious swimmer but would enjoy having somewhere to comfortably swim right now… without any judgment.
Additionally, it would be great if I didn’t have to get over my issues to just BUY an outfit, let alone use it. Granted, I’m pregnant, so my issues of size may pale in comparison, but I least I can sympathize with the issue.
Good luck to anyone else feeling this way! And have you ever heard of a pool like this? (if so, I hope it’s in Massachusetts!)