Before I get started on this blog post today… I think has been the most vulnerable, personal post I’ve shared in my years of blogging. I’m sure there’s been other times I’ve been an open book, but not like this! Another thing I want to address is that I AM happy, healthy and couldn’t be any more grateful.
Insecurity, specifically related to my body, is something I battle with for a long time, but never talk about it. Why? I’m not exactly sure why. Many women struggle with body image, especially during pregnancy, women just aren’t open to talk about it. I feel like if I talked about this issue there’s other women who struggle to get pregnant and would long for this beautiful body change. Don’t get me wrong, I love this baby and everything about it. But, body changes are hard. No women could say otherwise.
At the end of the day, I don’t think there’s one girl reading this who can say they have zero insecurity issues about their body. Which is exactly why I decided to write this post. This will be relatable to any women pregnant or not! It’s all the same- really!!
Since the 8th grade, throughout high school and college I’ve struggled with an eating disorder. Been to treatment out of state twice, both in middle school and college. This post isn’t about that experience. One day I will get into it, but it’s a complicated disorder, we would be here all day! I want to clear the air and start off to say that I’m recovered and don’t struggle with those ED thoughts and behaviors. I’m VERY self aware of myself in this degree. The hardest challenge so far during pregnancy is body image, since my body has changed to grow this amazing baby. Struggling with pregnancy body changes is hard and just not glamorous. I can speak for many pregnant women, but it’s just not talked about because we are afraid to be shamed. It’s true!
YES, I love being pregnant and it’s been such an amazing blessing. I don’t take any of this for granted. I’m thankful everyday that God has given us such an amazing gift. However, I would be lying to say it’s easy, it’s hard.
People say, “You look amazing!” Well thanks, but that’s not how it feels. It sucks when your pajamas don’t even fit or even underwear. For crying out loud your PANTIES!! Yeah, that’s the reality. Your boobs get bigger, your chest grows, your thighs have seen better days and you basically puff up like a cheese puff. Told you it’s so glamorous. It all gets bigger and that’s hard for someone who struggles with “perfection,” like a lot of women do. Yes, I know how to cope with all those negative thoughts, I’ve been doing it for a long time. I know what to say to myself and I know how to cope. This post isn’t about the lack of knowing… I’ve been there done that! This is just to raise awareness that it’s okay to not feel pretty when pregnant. I’ve learned it’s okay and it’s normal.
I’ve gained weight quickly early on and slowly still gaining more. I won’t go into how much I’ve gained because every pregnant body is different. Everyone carries their babies different and look different too. Learning this early on helped me cope with body image changes.
I will be honest, I do worry how to get my body back after baby. I hear some people just shed it all off and others really have to work at it. Personally, I’m not having any expectations for myself in this regard. It’s taken 9 months to grow this baby and I should expect just the same or more. Growing a baby is a beautiful thing and so blessed for it.
This goes for pre pregnancy and currently: When I start feeling insecure about my body or how I look…I try to start talking about positive things about myself I love. I instantly remind myself that who I am has absolutely nothing to do with what size I am wearing or what my body looks like. God created me to please him. The value that I bring to my family, to my husband, to you guys, my friends, my kindergarten cuties, my church, the world around me has absolutely nothing to do with my size or how I look in my clothes. I remind myself that who I am is SO MUCH MORE than that! I’m not defined by what I look like, rather the person I am. When I start getting hard on myself …I instantly pray and ask God to lift my eyes to so much bigger and better things all around me that have nothing to do with how I look. Prayer goes a long way!
So, to be honest, thoughts of insecurity during pregnancy do pop into my head. But I can honestly say I’ve never felt more secure in my life than I do today…because I am able to battle those thoughts with TRUTH. By the grace of God I’ve come to a place where I can rest in the truth. No matter what I look like, how much I’ve gained during pregnancy or how much I’ve worked out or how great I’ve eaten…I am loved with an everlasting love. The truth is more powerful!
Thanks for letting me get a little bit vulnerable with y’all today. I hope that sharing a bit of my struggle can help another pregnant lady or not out there. Remember: 1) you are not alone in your struggle and 2) there really is a way to find freedom and live with peace knowing that you are worthy, valuable and loved. Ask the Lord to lift your eyes to something so much greater than that and to find peace because you are ENOUGH.
Love you all,