This is a guest post by my request. Ive known Michelle for what feels like a lifetime and, even though our ages arent THAT far apart, I also feel like a surrogate mother. Or better than that OLDER SISTER. I adore her and have ADORED watching her bloom over the past few years.
Sitting on a toilet with a pregnancy test. Set the timer on my iPhone for 3 minutes. My, now Husband, in the kitchen cooking dinner.
Then the blue ‘+’ sign appears. I started shaking….worst.timing.ever….for so many reasons.
I was 4.5 weeks along, totally unplanned, totally unexpected.
For those of you who may not know me, I’m a blogger where I probably talk to candidly about everything. I started blogging in 2008 as a dieting/weight-loss blog. I’ve maintained about 100lbs weight loss for 10 years. In that time I’ve written about my struggles, successes and road blocks with body image, self-esteem and notably over-coming a binge eating disorder.
When I found out I was pregnant I was at a high weight for me.
I have actively given up dieting and the yo-yo cycle and had gained weight. I was readjusting, finding my auto pilot at a different altitude.
To be honest, the first two weeks that I found out that I was pregnant I binged.
I freaked out.
What if I got super fat?
What if I never got the weight off?
What if all I do is binge my way through it?
I never really had learned to trust my body, never really wrapped my head around intuitive eating, never allowed myself to be where I was.
Well, the first trimester taught me a lot about myself. I had to eat white bread to survive the nausea. I had to sleep my afternoons and nights away because I was so exhausted. I had to say NO because honestly I just didn’t have it in me to guilt myself into doing more than I was.
I learned to start trusting my body. I didn’t gain stacks of weight. I didn’t binge my way through the cookie jar at work. I still squeezed in walks when I had enough energy.
We all know that women have a lot of pressure on them to bounce back from pregnancy (ie lady that got praised and land-blasted for posing with her kids with a six pack –or- the lady 3 days post-partum with a flat belly in a lacy bra). There’s a lot of pressure on women to be something before, during and after pregnancy that has nothing to do with them…and everything to do with someone else.
I had a doctor, very early on, say that I should gain a little weight as I could. To be honest, that was a huge trigger for me. It brought flash-backs of a boyfriend saying similar things to me years ago.
But I was stronger this time.
I had to let the panic of perfection wash over me. I had to be honest with myself about my food, sleep, work, exercise choices. For the first time in my life I’ve had to just listen to my body. If that meant pizza, salad, in bed by 7:30pm, extra water, an evening walk or dirty floors….I just had to listen to me.
I never thought this would be such a healing journey for me. It’s made me praise my body, it’s changing shape. It’s made me feel more womanly, be more kind to ME and really damn proud of what I’m doing. It’s healed so much of the mental head space that I had fought for so long.
It’s made me believe in my own strength.
It’s made me believe in my own beauty.
It’s made me believe in my own grace.