Body Positivity Throughout my Pregnancy Journey
Holy wow. Obviously I was aware that I was going to get a belly being pregnant. I however, did not realize how much weight could be gained so quickly, and how it would affect my mind. Hello all! My name is Keeley and I’m sharing just a tidbit into my life of trying to get my mind right about my body during/post pregnancy. I think we all can be extremely hard on ourselves from time to time, or even all of the time, when it comes to our bodies... and it’s so unnecessary!
I had trouble with pregnancy (3 miscarriages) before my recent one. I also had gained about 10 pounds that I didn’t shed, even prior to my successful pregnancy. Already being up 10 pounds didn’t bother me much, but throughout my pregnancy I gained another 50. After spending my first trimester on Pinterest and Instagram seeing all of the super cute pregnancy outfits on extremely tiny/fit pregnant women, I was SURE I was going to be a pregnancy model LOL. To preface this, I have always been into fitness - whether it was sports in high school, countless gym memberships in college, and most recently half marathon and marathon training. I have never been tiny but I have always been in pretty good shape (I mean, not to toot my own horn but TOOT TOOT). I also had my mom constantly mentioning how she only gained 15 pounds and put her skinny jeans on leaving the hospital. Calling you out mom.. NOT what I wanted to hear.
Needless to say, by my third trimester I was a complete wreck when it came to walking in front of a mirror or trying to fit into any of my clothes. When a pair of pregnancy overalls weren’t the slightest bit attractive on me I felt like I completely lost my body. You know something is wrong when you insist a pair of overalls should look cute on you pregnant when they never looked good on you before either! I had to really talk myself down MANY times, and what really helped me the most was remembering these:
- It is OK to gain weight - especially when pregnant
- Pregnancy is temporary
- There is a little angel in there, just waiting for snuggles!
So I found the 5 dresses that I liked that fit me. I rotated them every week for work to avoid any “maybe this will magically fit this week” thoughts. Another thing that really helped me through pregnancy was stretching as much as possible. I felt like this helped avoid any extra stresses that would come my way. My friend had also recommend the acupressure mat, which I wish I had remembered to use more. I would pass that along to anyone (pregnant or not) that this absolutely made me feel more relaxed. I found a few Instagram bloggers that were really great with body positivity and scrolling through and seeing some of their posts really got me out of a funk sometimes! It was important for me to remember that women’s bodies are so amazing and it is such a beautiful gift to be able to get pregnant and have a baby.
But now let’s talk about post pregnancy (and that train wreck that I still battle every day). September 18th 2018 I was finally deemed a mother. Now, I know not everyone has the desire for children, but the ones that do know that this is the best day EVER! My body didn’t even cross my mind for the first few weeks after having my daughter. Although, being able to see downstairs again was quite hilarious. I was able to breastfeed which was just MAGICAL. After breastfeeding for just 3 months I only had 10 pounds of pregnancy weight left (20 from pre first pregnancy - but I’m not aiming for that for a WHILE).
Over Christmas break I went shopping with my family as usual. I was feeling great about my body, and there was a super cute pair of high waist green pants that I wanted to rock for New Years Eve. I tried to convinced myself I could probably squeeze into the size I wore before… OK OK maybe I’ll go two sizes up so I have a little wiggle room. Was I mistaken! To my dismay, the larger size was still very tight in certain places. That hit me hard. I had only been working out a few weeks but when I looked in the mirror I didn’t feel like I had looked much different from my pre-pregnancy self. Why can’t we just give our bodies some time? Give ourselves a break? Why didn’t I just get the next size up?!
I sat in the store waiting for my family, for what seemed like forever, to check out and decided to text my husband about how upset I was about the pants. He is always so great when it comes to this and simply said “I love you and you’re sexy.”
I know I’m extremely lucky to have him but let’s be honest, sometimes those messages just aren’t enough. It’s so easy to say “He has to say that” and “He doesn’t actually think I’m sexy, how could he?” Does anyone else do this? I wish there was a magical button out there that we could press in moments like these to make all of our negative thoughts disappear, but there’s not. We have to create our own positivity!
I have found a lot of ways that help with build up positivity in my life. A quick workout, even if it is just 5-10 minutes, can completely turn my day around. A quick stretch with some deep breathing can easily calm me down. Everyday we have to choose to get out of our minds, and remember that we are beautiful, no matter the size of our clothing.
- Keeley S.
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