Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Scale Anxiety

I'm pregnant.  I'm growing a child in my body.  I'm supposed to gain weight.  I know that intellectually.  Emotionally I'm having a tough time seeing the scale climb so high and so quickly.

First and foremost, I need to stress the point that I am eating, I'm gaining weight.  I am not starving myself.  I'm not counting calories.  I'm not restricting.  I'm not exercising excessively.

Now that that's out of the way, I've always had trouble with body image.  I've always equated with how "good" or "pretty" I was by the number on the scale.  The lower the number, the better I was and if it got too high I would really do a number on myself.  I can't tell you how many time I've looked at myself in the mirror and called myself fat.  How many times I've squeezed my muffin top or looked at the dimples on my thighs and thought the most wretched things about myself.  I can't tell you how many times I've compared myself to my friends or to celebrities and wished that I could look more like them.

I would eat super healthy, using apps like My Fitness Pal to keep track of every bit of food I put in my mouth and I made sure that exercise was a part of my daily routine.  It was time consuming, but it kept me at a healthy weight.  Of course there were weeks that I gained or weekends that I had a blow of eating and drinking, but I always got back on the wagon and felt in control.

Now that I'm pregnant and have had to give up that control, on one hand it's been nice not to have to track my food intake so carefully, but on the other hand it's difficult to see those numbers creeping up.

I'm 5'3 and my pre pregnancy weight was 125 lbs, which is totally normal and healthy weight and bmi so that means I should gain 25 lbs this pregnancy.  In the first trimester I actually lost a few pounds because of morning sickness, not a ton, like maybe 3 lbs.  Then I've steadily gained at about 0.5-1 lb per week, except the one month where I gained 6lbs.  So now I'm 30 weeks and up around 15lbs, which puts me right on track for another 10lbs for the last 10 weeks of pregnancy.

I know this is normal, but it doesn't stop me from getting on the scale every day to check and make sure that I'm within range.  I make goals for myself.  For example, I'll be like "I don't want to be over xxx weight at my next doctor's appointment."  I worry if I indulge too much at a party.  More about the scale than what I'm actually putting into my body.  I worry about what I'll look like afterwards.  Will I ever get back into shape?  Will I ever get back into a gym?  Will I lose my body?  Will I lose myself?

I honestly don't know if this is normal or if I'm just really crazy about weight/the scale.


Christa aka The BabbyMama said...

You're not the only one! I felt the same with all my pregnancies and tracked myself like crazy. On one hand, I probably should have just let go and enjoy it. On the other hand, I gained the "right" amount of weight, which made it a lot easier to lose it after the pregnancies. I don't see anything wrong with keeping an eye on things so long as you're eating and gaining!

ShorT1882 said...

I hear you, big time!! I;ve struggled with the image thing and weight for a long time and letting go of that control, like you said, is sooooo hard!! I have the same pre-preg stats as you and I am up a wonderful 20 lbs. I think I gained between 30 and 35 with Evelyn so I hoping to hit 30 and stay :-) It's all relative though I guess...

Ariel @ Dreams To Do said...

Girl, totally normal! You are the voice of pretty much every woman. Just try to enjoy the rest of your pregnancy and then worry about getting back in shape after baby is out. If you did it once, you can do it again. I'm in the best shape of my life after 2 kids! I know every one is different, but it's honestly what you CHOOSE to do about it. XOXO

Madonna said...

It's normal. I was more conscientious about it during my second pregnancy because I felt so much bigger, but ended up gaining about the same both times. It's been harder to lose the weight the second time around, but I don't think the holidays immediately after and not having the warm weather to walk in either (E was a summer baby - we walked the parks frequently; A was born in October and it was COLD). You will get back to yourself and your ideal weight - you'll have the summer to get a tan, take a walk, and lose the weight!

Leslie said...

Oh how I could have written this post a year ago - even though I never gained more than the recommended weight. Why is it that scale anxiety is such a part of women's inner dialogues these days? It's good to know that you're taking care of yourself, and please know that other women feel exactly the way you do during pregnancy.

Ilene, The Fierce Diva Guide to Life said...

Oh, Melissa! I am so feeling you on this one! I had a hard time with the weight gain too - and I gained weight differently with all 3 of my kids. Growing a baby is such a miracle. And it sounds like even though there is that little bit of scale angst - which EVERY woman has - you have the right frame of mind. I wish you the best for a very healthy last few weeks!

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