I gained 13 pounds! Hooray! (No really, hooray.)
in Stretch Pants
Last week I weighed myself at the gym and I’ve gained 13 pounds. Which is perfect. I’m 18 weeks pregnant, and I’m right on track weight wise. But I still had very momentary, an almost shameful, instinctual gut-drop at the sight of a number higher than I’ve seen on the scale. Wait, it’s not an instinctual reaction, it’s PROGRAMMING. Years of living as a woman in our culture has programmed me to cringe at a higher number on the scale even when it’s supposed to be higher.
This isn’t to say I’m not totally happy with my bump, it was just a moment on the scale that isn’t used to this. Right now I feel like I’m in the process of re-wiring my mind for the new body and new purpose. I eat and exercise to gain weight. As my belly grows and gets tight and my boobs feel all unruly and because I’m not out there kicking cardio ass, the rest of me is a bit softer and wobbly too. I could be one of the pregnant ladies who still runs marathons, but I don’t want to be that. I just want to be fit and healthy and relax a little bit from the usual expectations I hold for myself. When my husband brings home nutty bars as a treat for his pregnant wife (he’s totally enjoying getting to use the impending baby as an excuse to bring junk food inside the house), I’m going to eat one.
Before being pregnant, getting all wobbly and huge sent a signal that something’s wrong. An internal siren went off saying “This is a problem!” or worse, “This means you’re being lazy and have no self-control!” And now that growing is a very good thing, and getting somewhat (not totally) wobbly is a perfectly acceptible thing, I need now more than ever to consciously shut that voice off.
Also new to me is seeing my body, human bodies generally, as literally, totally brilliant. I mean, the whole hemorrhoids part is not totally brilliant (How many years of evolution haven’t fixed that little problem with pro-creation, hello?). But my God, I’m glad I don’t have to personally be responsible for knowing intellectually how to grow another human being. My body knows how to do that—has known that all along—and here it goes growing this little kicking human being, brains and soul and all, while I watch Days of Our Lives and eat ice cream sandwiches (or read a magazine on the elliptical, which I’ve done three times in the past week, thank you). I’m totally awe-stricken.
So right now, I’m working on re-programming my thinking, and getting to know my body as its own dynamic entity, learning to trust it because it so knows more about what it’s doing than I do. And I’m re-defining my reactions to the results I get from how I eat and exercise. Hopefully, in the process I’ll learn to loosen up and be less critical forever.