Since this is a very loaded subject, I am going to state that the following statements/thoughts that are shared are those of my own. I do not mean to offend anyone or make anyone feel poorly about themselves. I am simply sharing my heart, being real, and being honest.
Loving my body has never been easy for me. In fact, I can probably say that if I am truly honest, you would rarely hear me state that I do love my body. Why is this so hard? Why do so many people (women and men) struggle with this? My battle began a long time ago and the older I get, the more I realize it may never go away. I became very obsessed with exercise, eating right, dieting, and how thin I was at a young age. My mind played many tricks on itself and I was fortunately rescued from the darkness of the lies before I could hurt myself too badly.
However, as a result of many years of this negative, inaccurate, distorted way of thinking, I've always had to keep my guard up. If you have never struggled with this you probably won't understand. Ever since I was able to see the light and was pulled from the dark pit of lies, I have been scared to death that I will be sucked back in again. Every time I start exercising on a regular basis I have to be careful the cycle won't repeat itself. The frightening thing is that it is deep subconscious thoughts that start telling me to focus on the numbers again (calories, miles, minutes, pounds, etc) and I become obsessed with these numbers and loose sight of why I am exercising: to feel good about myself and be healthy.
Pregnancy always magnifies this for me in many ways. First, because I vomit the ENTIRE pregnancy. It is of course worse in the first 20 weeks and slowly improves until the end. With my first 2 pregnancies weight gain was an issue as a result. I was also continuously dehydrated and in need of IV fluids during my pregnancy as a result. This time I have been taking zofran (a beautiful anti-nausea drug) that has solved that problem. Second, because I puke my guts out for so long and loose so much weight at first I end up having negative energy and spend many weeks on the couch or in bed. I am not complaining about this and am thankful for the constant reminder that it is a healthy pregnancy. Last, because of my history, I have felt it is safest to not exercise and not put myself in a situation in which I could harm my baby by overdoing it or not eating enough.
This pregnancy I had hoped I would be able to exercise regularly, just because I feel so much better about myself when I am able to do that. I also had been doing it on a regular basis before getting pregnant as a way of coping with our infertility. It helped distract me and motivated me to take better care of myself. Since I was the sickest with this pregnancy, I caved and have been taking the zofran to help with the throwing up and nausea. It has been a miracle drug for me. I have been able to function as a normal person and take care of myself and my family.
So I started feeling more human around 18 weeks and prayed for another week about rejoining our local gym. I still felt unsure of whether or not this was a good idea. I wanted to start exercising again because I have been struggling with loving my body due to my "normal weight gain" during this pregnancy. I feel huge and still have a ways to go. I did not experience this with my first 2 because I wasn't taking the zofran. When I started to feel bad about myself I decided to do something about it.
The day I laid it at God's feet asking Him to help me know if this was a wise decision or not he answered LOUD and CLEAR. The next day I had contractions the entire day and had some bleeding as a result. I was very frustrated by this and spent some time pouting and crying about it. However, I am thankful for the clear answer. I have not had problems with preterm labor or delivery before and am not going to start now.
I am still having them off and on and definitely notice when I overdo it and need to ease up a bit. As a result I have been focusing on loving my body instead of being depressed by it. I wish I didn't throw up the whole time, I wish I didn't have body image issues, and I wish I wasn't contracting already.
However, I am overwhelmed with joy and praise for this life inside of me. I would choose a few extra pounds, some undesirable bulges, and a rounder look over no baby any day. I am also looking forward to working out after this little one arrives. I know it will be hard and I am constantly praying for the Lord to help me turn my negative thoughts into praises.
Some women are blessed with a "perfect" pregnancy and are able to run, exercise, eat without puking, and only feel rotten for a few weeks or months. I am however not one of them. I think it is wonderful if you are one of the lucky ones who does not struggle with any of my above mentioned issues. Wether you are or not, please don't judge. Instead encourage someone who does need it. Encourage them to LOVE their body, even when they don't feel like it.
I would love to be one with a "perfect" pregnancy, but am not. So, instead I am choosing to love my body. I am loving the life that is constantly moving and is showing his or her personality already. I am also thankful for a healthy little one!
So no working out for this girl until sometime after March 4th. If there is anything I have learned in the past 6 years working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit it is that the best NICU is inside mom! Looking a little thiner or having less weight to loose after isn't worth the risk of my baby coming too soon. Instead I can enjoy my time with the boys and work on loving my body! That will definitely be harder for me than making myself go to the gym every day!