how pregnancy has changed my relationship with my body
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every pregnancy is different. you can’t compare your pregnancy to the person’s next to you. just like you can’t compare your body to the person next to you, pregnant or not. this even applies to your OWN body / pregnancies! my pregnancy with shiloh looked very different than this pregnancy in so many ways. i’m carrying / showing differently this time around and i’ve also gained significantly more weight with this pregnancy than i did with shiloh.
and i’m not gonna lie…initially that was a tough pill for me to swallow. knowing “oh at 20 weeks i had only gained X amount with shiloh and i’m WAY PAST THAT now”. this pregnancy has definitely put me on a wild ride when it comes to my relationship with my body. but i can honestly say now that i’m at the end of my pregnancy…it’s truly helped to heal my relationship with my body in so many ways, that i didn’t even know needed healing.
prior to pregnancy, i don’t think i realized how many of my choices were motivated by external factors. or how much of my security was coming from what size my jeans were. you guys know i genuinely love to exercise and stay active and i think that’s such a crucial factor in our overall mental and physical health. prior to pregnancy though i think a big part of my workout motivation was not just driven by “i want to take care of my body”, but also “i want to look good / look a certain way”. i don’t think that’s entirely wrong…but it’s not the relationship i want with my body or with exercise.
i am very much an enneagram 3 and when it comes to exercise…i want to choose the most efficient, the most bang for my buck workout. if i’m in a workout class, i want to be the best one. i want to PR every peloton ride / run or be at the top of the class. pregnancy has changed that for me and for the first time really allowed myself to give my body the grace it needs. it’s totally shifted my goals in exercise and how i view my body.
i’ve been very fortunate to have felt really good throughout my pregnancy and still been able to stay active. however….”active” for me rn looks very different than it did a year ago. i’m still lifting weights, but modifying. i’m still doing peloton rides, but not pushing myself to 100%. i’m still running, but much slower. and at first, that was an adjustment for me. but i’ve come to a place where at the end of every workout (or even a rest day!) i tell myself “i am so proud of you for what you just did”. even if i could only get through half the workout or it was a super low peloton score. i feel so proud of myself for choosing to move and take care of my body in a way that feels good to me in this season. which is going to look different than it did a year ago and will look different in a year from now.
when it comes to my relationship with my body, pregnancy has really helped me not to look for my validation from what size i am or abs or being #1 on the leaderboard. i look at my body now and just say “i’m proud of you. i’ll take care of you” and sometimes that looks like laying down for a nap, or taking an epsom salt bath, or going for a walk outside, or lifting weights! but it’s coming from a place of genuine love and appreciation for this body – vs a place of striving to feel “enough”, if that makes sense.
for the most part i’ve stayed active and eaten relatively healthy throughout my pregnancy but it’s not at all coming from external motivations or wanting to look a certain way. it’s come from this genuine, deep place of appreciation for my body and truly wanting to feel my best from the inside out (and of course, take care of this baby to the best of my ability!). and when that’s your motivation, you can give yourself grace when you’re tired. you can tune in to what your body is really needing that day.
and all of these things have been such a beautiful reminder to me that who i am is SO MUCH GREATER than what my body looks like or what size i am. those things are not my identity. those things are not why my friends or family love me. yes, i desire to move my body and nourish it well but i’m so thankful for how pregnancy has helped put everything in perspective for me – including where i am placing my identity and what my true priorities are.
there have been times throughout this pregnancy journey where body image has been hard or i haven’t felt my absolute best. and i think that’s normal. but overall i am so thankful for how this pregnancy has really allowed me to love, appreciate, and take care of my body in new ways. it’s taught me how to give myself grace, and reminded me that there are so many bigger and better and more beautiful things in life than worrying about the size of our bodies. and i KNEW all of that before…but it’s become so much more real to me these past 9 months and i’m so thankful for this shift!
at the time of writing this…i am one day away from due date! so by time this gets published baby girl might be here, which is what i’m praying for! thank you guys so much for your prayers and encouragement throughout this journey!