After I decided to deal with my pregnancy in a healthier way, I also decided that I would be willing to put myself out there in a more real way, talking about the less than sparkly parts of pregnancy. What the world needs now is more Debbie Downers, right?
This is the conversation that has been on repeat in my house the last few months:
Me: I’m so fat
Hubby: You’re not fat, you’re pregnant
Me: Yeah, well feels like fat
Rinse, wash, repeat. Over and over again.
Side bar here – I, like most women, really have struggled over the years with body image. I lost a decent amount of weight in my early 20s and really worked on dealing with my body issues. In fact, prior to pregnancy, I completely believed I had come to a really good place with my relationship with my body.
I was wrong, so wrong. Being pregnant has thrown me into a crisis of body image not seen since my teen years. All the hormones, the weight gain all over, the lack of knowing how my body will respond has been insanely overwhelming.
Worse than that, I found myself commenting on other pregnant women’s bodies. To such a degree, my husband actually looked at me one night and told me ” you understand how jealous you sound, right.” It wasn’t a question, it was pure statement.
Ya’ll, the feminist shame just flooded me. Here I sit in all my self-righteous politics and deep seeded personal ethics judging other women for having the nerve to look more attractive than me while pregnant. I was being petty and objectifying to other women on the basis of their appearance, hence making myself into the woman I never wanted to be. It was one of the hard grown up moments where you have to face the hard facts that you aren’t as mature as you pride yourself in being. Those moments suck. But they are where growth happens.
So, what am I doing about it? It’s a work in progress. It’s constantly checking myself when I look at other women to see if I am using my lens of criticism or my lens of compassion. It’s taking some hard looks at myself to see why I am struggling so hard with this and then working through some unpleasant answers.
Maybe I will come out stronger on the other end.