I rejected my body during pregnancy | Madison Fashion Blogger | Body Positivity
Have you ever heard of it? Body rejection while being pregnant? It's a real thing, regardless of whether you heard of it or not, you may not have heard of it because it's an unspoken topic while being pregnant. Everyone knows (or should know) not to talk about a pregnant lady's body to her directly but we all know that there is a high pressure to only gain so much weight and to look a certain way when pregnant.
Last spring I started taking fashion photos and I loved being able to share my curvy body with you all.
Then, I got pregnant, I felt like absolute shit.
I have had two pregnancies before this baby and they were drastically different. My first I gained 70 lbs and it destroyed my self-esteem, my second I gained 35 pounds and was the fittest I ever was in my life. I was hoping this pregnancy would be like my last but I realized very quickly that it was completely out of my control. Unlike my other pregnancies this one I had
- Serious food aversions along with a nasty gag reflex
- Could barely function during the day
- insane brain fogginess
- Bloating in my stomach right from the get-go
- Intense food cravings
Before I continue I have to explain that I eat extremely clean, paleo, keto style diet and that's how I feel the best. Well, this baby was like "yeah that's not happening." Anyone who knows me well knows I can eat leftovers for a week straight and eat plain chicken and broccoli for the next week straight. I can live on the simplest of food and be happy. Well, the food aversions weren't going to allow me to keep up that routine. I felt like I failed every time I had to eat. I couldn't eat clean like I wanted to because I have been so deathly afraid of carbs for so long that even looking at them I feel like makes me gain weight.
I was gaining weight quickly and couldn't do anything about it.
This was with me trying to maintain regular exercise and trying to make good healthy food choices even with my cravings. I was making paleo meals, paleo desserts but because I was consuming more carbs (due to my food cravings and also food aversions), my body slammed the weight on.
How could I be photographed like this?
I couldn't do it. I couldn't be who I was prior to my photos, I was sad, mad, frustrated, at a complete loss of who I was. I was happy to be pregnant but this weight gain had stripped every single ounce of confidence I had in me and left me scared.
How could I reject my body when it was doing one of thee most amazing things a human body can do?!!! How could I let society ruin such a beautiful process??? Simply because I don't look like a celebrity while pregnant??
It's taken me 10 months to gain some confidence back.
10.freaking.months. I've gained 70 pounds (ironic it's the same as my first pregnancy) and you know what?
It's been the freaking best 10 months I've had in the past 4 years.
HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE!?!!!! Honestly, how is it? I'll tell you why I stopped focusing on the little details. Once I realized that the weight gain was completely out of control, I just decided to eat as healthy as I could. I followed my regular paleo eating habits and I try to still limit my carbs but I don't do it to the point where I'm going to blow my brains out. I've worked hard to rid of ANY negative thoughts and energy I had previously in my life (that included people), and it's been so eye-opening.
So much that I honestly don't know how I was even a happy person at the weight I was before. I was so self-conscious, so afraid of gaining weight and so afraid that if I did gain weight I would lose myself completely.
Now, I am not for just going and eating whatever you want and just gaining weight thinking it's the answer to all your problems cause it's not. I am extremely uncomfortable as the weight has all gone to my legs. I can't squat without it hurting and it's very uncomfortable. Now, I would never suggest staying at a weight like this and I don't plan on it. But I do have a plan to figure out what health problems led me to gain so much weight on a healthy diet in the first place (cause that's not normal) and also to have just an overall healthy lifestyle while at a healthy weight. Which for me hovers around 170 lbs at 5'7" (I'm currently 240 at 40 weeks pregnant.)
But you do what you can to maintain your sanity in a temporary situation such as pregnancy and if you currently have health problems that make you have insane cravings and the inability to eat as healthy as you want - breathe and try and work through it the best you can. Give yourself some grace. Don't let your brain get to a place of self-hate.
Back to my main point.
Body rejection while pregnant.
People who are slimmer than me who are pregnant get comments like "you look amazing!" while I don't. That's a form of body rejection while being pregnant. Even ladies who have given birth not long ago and if they don't look fat get comments like "you look amazing!" While I can guarantee you that won't happen until about a year after I give birth. I'm okay with that because my worth isn't determined by these comments. However, I challenge you to rethink what makes someone look amazing.
I realized that I was rejecting my OWN pregnant body. How many of you have experienced that?
It's been an eye-opening pregnancy and I have maybe 4 bump pictures to prove that I've been rejecting my own body. I can't even take a picture because I know I look huge and I can't get over it. Only now towards the end, I have started taking more - but you can bet your ass I'm planning on continuing this throughout the postpartum phase. My body regardless of how much weight it's gained has and will continue to do amazing things. THAT is what is most important. I let society and some stupid predetermined ideas I had of pregnancy make the first 3 months a living hell in my head.
I'm sad and angry that I've hated this process.
If you are currently pregnant or currently postpartum, take a deep look inside of you. If you aren't looking the way you want, or the way society wants, who gives a flying poop. You birthed an amazing human and you continue to provide for your family. That is BEAUTIFUL and yes, we all have to try and be healthy, not only for our selves but for our family. Don't let society (and in turn your brain cause we all know it affects us subconsciously) ruin this phase of motherhood for you!!!!!!!