The Morphing Body Image

Life Until Pregnancy

I have gone through many changes in the way that I feel about my body. When I was little, I barely noticed anything but its function, and how much taller I had gotten. Around sixth grade I started to become more body conscious, with the combination of Judy Blume books, pop culture influence, and all the girls I knew starting to change. I was so proud when I got my period when I was 13 years old (on Halloween!) and finally became a “woman.”

During high school I started to feel fat, and felt the pressure of being thin. I played a lot of sports and occasionally dieted, even following Weight Watchers with my mom for a while, which kept my weight in check for the most part. When I quit my sports senior year, I gained a bunch of weight which I carried into college with me. Before Spring Break I went on Atkins and lost a few pounds, then started reading everything I could get my hands on about nutrition. Unfortunately it was all conventional advice, so although I was always eating “healthy,” I was battling about five to ten pounds of extra weight for the next five years or so. I had some self-confidence, but was never happy with my shape and envied the tiny girls around me.

When I discovered primal, a lot changed. My blood sugar stabilized, and I didn’t have to try to keep my weight down, it just happened naturally as long as I didn’t eat naughty neolithic foods. I have been more confident in my body than ever in the last couple years. I also must give props to my dear husband for always boosting me up and complimenting my body.

Pregnancy

I have loved seeing the changes in my body since I got pregnant. It really baffles me that many women spend much of their pregnancy focused on the numbers on the scale, and not the magical process. For most of my life up until I got pregnant, I viewed my body in a critical light. I would see all the things I didn’t like and judge them, try to change them. Not so much now.

Being pregnant, I am so much more aware of what my body was really made for, what it is capable of. My boobs have gotten bigger, but not because that way they’ll look better in a low-cut top… they are getting ready to become milk-on-tap for a tiny person. My belly is growing outwards, but it’s not just my belly… it is the temporary home of my growing baby who is constantly moving around to remind me what this is all about!

Oddly, I love the way my body looks pregnant. I have rarely felt pretty and feminine in my life, but I am now acutely aware of my womanhood. Yes, I am bigger, but why do I need to be a twig? My body has a higher purpose than aesthetics. I am eating healthfully (for the most part) to fuel this body and the one growing inside, and I trust that if I continue to follow its cues, my body will return to fit and the numbers on the scale to a happy place, in the months after the baby is born.

Maybe I should do a Demi Moore-style photo to look back on and remind myself my body is amazing? šŸ˜‰

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