Hollywood portrays pregnant women as raging, sobbing, irrational creatures who eat everything in sight and occasionally solve crimes in North Dakota. Some of this is true and some of it….actually it’s all true, even the crime solving (“Fargo” is based on a true story).
There are some women who embrace pregnancy as a chance to shove everything they can down their gullets. They indulge all their wildest cravings and fatty food delight without a care in the world. I love these women and applaud every milkshake and chicken leg! And then on the flip, there are the women I have seen in Los Angeles where I live, who are strict and only eat the most healthy, nutrient rich foods full of all the things that will make the baby smart, strong, sensitive, kind, funny and destined to be President or at least win an Oscar.
My heart wants me to be the latter of the two of these two, but the rest of me is like “cake and peanut butter and hamburgers and fries and cake and nachos!”. I guess this shouldn’t come as any surprise to me. I’ve been in a love/hate relationship with food since I was 10 years old. Always chubby, I dieted all my life until about 5 years ago when I started to go to therapy for what I soon discovered was disordered eating, a condition that plagues nearly two-thirds of women today. The cycle of depravation and binging had repeated itself so many times in my life and at my highest weight ever, it clearly wasn’t doing me any favors.
I discovered new ways of looking at food and dealing with my emotions that didn’t involve cheese and cookies. Eventually I felt good about going back on Weight Watchers with additional therapy (these food issues run deep). When I got engaged, I really struggled with the idea of weight loss for the wedding. I wanted to for pictures, but at the same time I resented it. I compromised and I concentrated on getting into shape. And I have to say, I looked good on my wedding day.
Over the last year, I gained some weight. Post wedding let down, then the holidays and then one injury after another that sidelined me from the gym. So I am not at a great weight to start this journey.
So, I am having a really hard time wrapping my head around the idea of HAVING to gain weight. And how could I not be scared of the scale going up when my whole life I have been told to fear the scale and the higher numbers and the bigger pants and the “wobbly bits”. But now all of the sudden I’m supposed to LOVE all that? I cannot make that switch in my brain. Not as quickly as I need to, at least.
At 14 weeks, I am just showing a little bit, so I just look fatter, I don’t look pregnant. I have the urge to tell passing strangers “I’m not fat!! I’m pregnant!”. And I envy the women who love their pregnant bodies, although I am discovering that those ladies are fewer and more far between that we are led to believe. But the thing I struggle with the most is food. What do I eat? Do I indulge the Hollywood stereotype in me? Or do I go with the Hollywood reality around me of green juice drinking preggos who workout with vigor until they are 9 months pregnant?
I’d love to have an answer right now, but life and pregnancy is a very messy ordeal that sometimes doesn’t present you with answers at the moment you need them. I suppose what most people would say the answer is to have some will power. I guess I would say to those people, imagine the most tired, sore, sad, angry and bloated you’ve ever felt. Now imagine feeling like that for weeks on end and knowing at the end of it all your life will change forever….now which would you like… a piece of cake or a salad?
So usually an article like this would have a picture attached with a photo of me in a mirror showing off my adorable baby bump. And I tried, ladies and gentlemen, I tried. But every outfit made me feel more and more terrible. Every angle only accentuated every non-cute bump. Eventually, I fell into a pile of tears on the bathroom floor.I could have posted a picture of that, but it wasn’t a pretty sight. I can promise you this though, I am working on loving this journey and part of that will be eventually be me being able to post a preggo picture. Deal? Deal.