Life lately has been nonstop. I swear I blinked and the month of October is almost over. I’m not sure if it’s a relief because we are heading into our third trimester now, or if I’m in complete panic because we are heading into our third trimester now. I’ve worked long weekends, witnessed one of my best friends get married, and tried to be festive with all things Fall, but dang… I’m ready to slow down. My body is ready to slow down.
Pregnancy is wild. Day by day you see your belly get bigger, and even the smallest tasks become harder. Overall though, I can’t complain. I’ve had an easy pregnancy (I think). I’m starting to really FEEL pregnancy now. By the end of the day my feet are aching and my belly feels like a bowling ball. I’m trying my best to continue spinning and working out, but some days the best I can give is a slow and steady walk around the block. Pregnancy hasn’t just been a physical transformation for me though, but a serious mental one as well. I want to be honest with myself throughout this journey, and with that comes raw emotion [that others may roll their eyes at]. As always, I feel I have to give a disclaimer to my words; I am so so grateful to be able to carry this miracle. I wouldn’t trade the restless nights, hormonal breakdowns, and being constantly out of breath… but that doesn’t mean my mind is always rainbows and butterflies. I love my baby, pregnancy is a true GIFT, but my mind is still mine. The disordered thoughts I’ve carried with me over the last 10 years don’t just disappear. TRUST ME, I WISH THEY DID.
QUICK SIDE NOTE…
Monique from Ambitious Kitchen captured my thoughts almost PERFECTLY in a recent blog post of hers, as she is about a month ahead of me in pregnancy. I found Monique’s blog through her foodie Instagram account, and love her simple, clean, and delicious recipes. She’s open about her past issues with eating; making it refreshing that I’m never alone in this journey, right now. I strongly encourage you to read her words… I personally think she NAILED IT on the tricky topic of pregnancy-body positivity.
I’ve briefly mentioned before that in high school I was often told by other classmates that I was spoiled, and that I had a “perfect life”. (SPOILER, I didn’t.) I truly believe that was the start of putting pressure on myself. My parents held all of their children to high standards when it came to grades, being respectful, taking responsibility, etc. but never did they expect us to be perfect. I created this pressure myself. I want to make that very clear. A few years later, being in the spotlight as a college cheerleader, the pressure increased; from myself, and from others. I was ALWAYS watching what I was eating and ALWAYS prioritizing working out… most of the time doing it in very unhealthy and obsessive ways. I remember feeling like I had hit rock bottom when I once drove from a late-night practice straight to Panera Bread and secretly ate two chocolate chip cookies in my car, alone. I sobbed afterwards and then headed straight to the gym to run on the treadmill. It was about 10:30pm. The only thing on my mind was to work off what I had just consumed. I was living an extremely toxic and unhealthy life. I could go on-and-on about this topic, but I PROMISE I will write more on this later. I have some seriously strong feelings about this kind of environment and self-harm, but for now… we focus on baby 🙂
I am proudly not in that dark, dark place anymore, thanks to many resources and people in my life, but that doesn’t mean the disordered thoughts are gone forever and always. I believe it’s a battle I will most likely face for the rest of my life; even during the times in my life such as pregnancy.
Within the last couple years, I’ve strived to live my healthiest lifestyle possible, without becoming obsessive. I’ve found a workout studio that makes me feel welcomed, empowered, and STRONG, and I’ve found foods that I love and enjoy without making me feel guilty. I’ve started to feel confident again in my own body. Obviously with pregnancy though, my food and workout regimen has to be adjusted, and my body is DRASTICALLY changing. Can I be honest for a second though? It wasn’t until a month or so ago that I felt okay with this growing belly and having tighter clothes. I stressed about adding more carbs and dairy into my daily diet, and allowing a long walk to be an “okay” workout for the day. I felt guilty for feeling guilty… if that makes sense. I can’t go without saying though my husband has been wonderful, reminding me everyday that my body is beautiful because it’s growing our miracle ❤ He’s also reminded me that my feelings are VALID. Nobody said that watching myself gain weight and forcing myself to eat outside of my comfort zone would be easy, especially with my history of disordered thoughts.
Today though, sitting at 26 weeks, I finally feel comfortable and am LOVING my big ole’ belly! Not that I didn’t love my belly before, HOW COULD I NOT?! But I was still worried about what others may think, worried about how much sugar I was inhaling, and just didn’t feel that pregnancy glow others would talk about. I am finally feeling it now! I love staring at my belly in the mirror, in the shower, or just sitting on the couch. Watching it grow makes me cry because I just can’t believe my sweet little baby nugget is in there! I’m still doing my best to maintain my normal healthy eating and exercising routine, but I’m also not overthinking it anymore either. Some days I crush a spin class and other days I lay on my couch watching Gilmore Girls with a Reese’s Pumpkin. Just like in anything in life, it’s all about balance. And let’s be real… if I can’t enjoy a Reese’s Pumpkin and mid-day nap now, when will I ever?!
Having questioning thoughts while pregnant doesn’t make you a bad human or mother. Having questioning thoughts while not pregnant doesn’t make you any less either. Feelings are feelings, which make them VALID. No matter how many books and blogs I read, or advice taken from ladies that have gone through this, I’m realizing that the only way to figure it out is to just live it on my own. I have a pretty strong feeling that’s how parenting will go too 😉 Thank you for hearing me out, and as always… know that you’re never alone in whatever season you’re in. XOXO,