Ahhhh weight gain! My all time favorite topic and “side effect” of pregnancy. Before getting pregnant I was a whopping 123lbs on a “fat day.” For the last year, a healthy weight for me has been anywhere from 119lbs to 123lbs depending on the day. Being pregnant is a different story as putting weight on is my job right now, so the scale is going up and up. As much as I know I need to gain, it still continues to be an adjustment.
I recently saw one of those funny e-cards that read something like, “I wish I was as fat as I thought I was before” and I couldn’t help but laugh. It rang so true to me. I used to look in the mirror and pick out every little thing I didn’t like about my body. I thought I had big thighs and like most women (98%), I had a few dimples (aka cellulite) on my upper back thighs. I used to put a bathing suit on and think to myself, “I hope people don’t think I look fat.” Now I look back at pictures from just six months ago and think to myself, “Why the HELL did you think you were fat?!” Being pregnant has finally made me appreciate the body I had before, strong, fit and lean. But, it’s a little too late to appreciate what you had once it’s gone.
While I have continued to maintain my workout routine of barre classes, trainer rides (aka indoor cycling) and walking, it really hasn’t changed my weight gain, I don’t think… At my 19 week appointment I was up 15lbs, but at my 23 week appointment, I was up 25lbs. Yes, I’m a pregnant female admitting my astronomical weight gain loud and clear. I nearly cried when the nurse told me I had put on ten pounds since my last appointment. I asked how that’s possible if I’m still working out five to six days a week and eating tons of fruits, veggies and have a really healthy diet. Don’t get me wrong, I splurge sometimes, I am pregnant, but I know what my diet consists of and this just didn’t make sense. She informed me that most women, once they really pop and start showing, have one month where they have a huge jump in weight. I wasn’t sure if this made me feel better or not. I told my doctor that it literally frightened me to think what I’d be gaining if I wasn’t working out. I’ve read that exercising during pregnancy can help keep your weight down (in the healthy range); however, according to my doctor, my body is going to gain the weight it needs to grow a healthy baby regardless of exercise. He told me I’m doing everything right and that some women just gain more than others. Mind you, everyone keeps telling me how tiny I am, how great I look and my mother-in-law told me she’s surprised I’m not bigger at this point in my pregnancy (God love her!) My doctor also informed me I’ll likely gain about what my mother gained with me, which was 36lbs, which is really within a healthy weight gain, especially for being at what everyone else tells me was a “low weight” pre-pregnancy.
So, despite my doctors lack of concern, I spent all day Tuesday feeling like a fat pregnant chick that was doing something wrong. How could I be gaining so much weight?! Then I updated my good ole Facebook with a status that said, “Pros of a prenatal appointment, hearing my baby girls heartbeat and the doctor telling me all is good. Cons of a prenatal appointment, stepping on the scale and the nurse saying, ‘Well, you had a big jump from your last appointment!’ Awesome lol.” After that update I had a handful of my mommy friends reach out to me privately to tell me that I desperately needed to forget that pesky number on the scale. I have one friend who just delivered her baby earlier this month who I’ve chatted with quite a bit about our pregnancy woes. She sent me an email and said she gained just over 50lbs and spent her entire pregnancy stressing over her weight gain, but if there was one thing she would change, it would be not stress about it or even think about it. She said two weeks postpartum she was already down 35lbs and only has 15 more to lose. And to boot, she hasn’t done anything in terms of exercise to lose the weight. After hearing from her and several friends about their pregnancy weight gain, I officially started to feel a little better about tipping the scale at 23 weeks. The truth is, everyone is different, every pregnancy is different and in the end, whether I gain 20lbs, 40lbs or 100lbs, I really just want a healthy baby. I was reminded again this morning while taking barre class at just how much the damn number on the scale doesn’t matter. I had more women in class tell me they can’t believe I’ll be six months pregnant on Saturday and still look this fit and small. But all compliments aside, I FEEL great! I feel strong, I feel fit and honestly, I still feel like there are days I could go out and run a half marathon if I really wanted to. Yes, I have days where my upper back hurts thanks to my bust that continues to increase in size. And yes, I have days where I tire easily or feel like I need to take it easy. But all in all, I feel great and for that I am grateful. Even more so, I am beyond thrilled to know that my baby girl is continuing to grow right on track, because in the end, that’s the most important thing of all.
If pregnancy has taught me on thing, it’s to appreciate the body I have and what it’s capable of. So I’m asking my readers to sit back and appreciate how you look before pregnancy, during and after. Appreciate that you can walk up and down a flight of stairs or walk and run. Appreciate that you can lift a bunch of groceries and cook dinner for you and your family. Appreciate the body you have that allows you to live life everyday. It’s the only body you’ll ever have so take care of it inside and out, be nice to it and love it for the size that it is.