When I was pregnant with Logan, I was in the thick of the “healthy living blogging” world. It was the height of blogs, which has since waned. But like you, I read a ton of them. And it felt like there was this underlying competition. Running marathons (which I didn’t do, but tried to run longer races against what my body was actually able to do); crossfit workouts; the latest diet fad. All the bloggers were doing the same things. Then there were the subgroups: the keto bloggers, intermittent fasting, the oatmeal bloggers, etc.
I remember a few bloggers who were pregnant right before me or at the same time as me, who were SUPER into the crossfit world and would post these pictures of their 8 month pregnant belly doing intense crossfit workouts–deadlift 100+ pounds, doing snatches and massive shoulder presses. It was a humble brag on their part, but also a definitive “I am better than you” dig. I mean, if they are 8 months pregnant and still doing crossfit, what’s wrong with you?
I bring this up because as I think back to those days, when everyone was striving to make a “career” out of blogging and dieting, it was hard not to compare yourself to them.
When I was pregnant the first time, my biggest concern was gaining weight. It was always in the forefront of my mind. I diligently counted my calories. I weighed myself often. I worked out no matter what. I tried to keep the exact same workout I had pre-pregnancy. I ran until 27 weeks when it was finally just too uncomfortable to do, and then reluctantly gave it up. I worked out on a regular basis all the way up to the very end of the pregnancy.
This pregnancy is way different, in so many reasons. Other than showing almost immediately, having some complications and suffering from heartburn the second I got a positive on the test, I am also trying to do things differently.
2021 I started reflecting on how I was treating my body.
I stopped counting calories to try and heal my relationship with food–to stop berating myself whenever I ate food.
I listened to my body and if things hurt, I took a rest day or chose an activity that was gently–like walking or yoga. Instead of forcing my body into high intensity workouts JUST TO GET A CALORIE BURN that justified EATING FOOD.
It’s been a rough road. I didn’t realize how disordered my relationship with food and exercise had been all this time. I didn’t realize how much of brain space was focused on weight, calories, food, exercise.
So this pregnancy, things are different. Even though I struggle with the weight gain, and feeling shamed at the doctor because I am considered an “obese pregnancy” (which is absurd because I wasn’t obese when I got pregnant–how is a BABY counted against that??) I am trying to be gentle with myself.
I stopped running at the end of the first trimester. It didn’t feel good, my body hurt, and the spotting issues I’d been having made me too anxious to push my body too hard. Swimming is still ok. I lift weights once or twice a week. I walk, when I can. Having some pain with that makes me walk slower and less often. I am doing what I can and listening to my body and resting when I need it.