The one nice thing about blogging is that if I'm feeling the need to get something off my chest and I want to vent, I can just start writing and hope that someone out there will read what I have written. Maybe, the words that I share will ring true to someone else. I know I am not alone! Daily, when I wake up and proceed to get ready for the day, I find myself staring at my expanding body, praying that I can maintain a positive outlook and stay in control of what I eat.
Being pregnant, after having such a past battle with weight, is mentally, emotionally and physically taxing. Physically, some of the daily tasks of life bring me face to face with "the old Nancy." Shortness of breath, the inability to tie my shoes, heartburn, fatigue and the sheer exhaustion that ensues after a day on my feet at work remind me what being heavy felt like. These physical changes bring me sadly back to remembering what weighing nearly 400 pounds felt like. Mentally, I have to deal with people telling me how large I look. I have to filter those comments with the realization that I am carrying a life. I am not huge, but my baby bump is indeed growing! Is it possible that having a baby bump can be beautiful? I often feel fat and unattractive as none of my clothes fit anymore.
If "the old Nancy" felt fat, it would make me want to eat even more – because, what would it matter since I already looked enormous? After all, there was nothing to maintain, and pushing myself further down the pit used to, momentarily, feel gratifying. Now, I am stronger than people's comments and I am stronger than the negative thoughts that pass through my head. I can turn around a thought or word and not let it get the best of me.
Emotionally, I am actually grateful, thankful, and uplifted. I feel as though one of God’s biggest blessings has been given to me in return for my faithfulness and discipline in remaining fit and healthy. My emotions flow like a river spilling over with thankfulness. I view this pregnancy as yet another journey and path that I am privileged to take in order to become more knowledgeable, sympathetic and empathetic towards other women like me that struggle with eating. It is already hard enough on a day-to-day basis to maintain health and wellness; that's why so many people fail. They go back to their old habits, crutches and ways of living. Pregnancy brings you head on, daily, with cravings and food aversions. Yet, I still have to choose health and wellness. This time, it’s not only for myself, but for my unborn baby. When all I want is a big bowl of fettuccine alfredo the size of Mount Everest, I choose to eat the healthier option that I know will satiate and feed my body with needed nutrients.
What am I to do with all of these feelings? I wonder what studies and efforts have been made to help women that have walked in these same shoes, and the women that will walk in my shoes in the future. My experiences dealing with weight gain and maintaining a healthy pregnancy, despite cravings and desires and aversions, allow me to pave a path for women in the future that may need advice and encouragement! Knowing this keeps me researching, positive, and gives me the daily strength to stay in control. Food will never again get the best of me. When I look at my expanding waist in the mirror, I am reminded that I can use all the feelings and emotions I have felt along this journey to become even more empowered and reach even more people out there.
As a recovering food addict, pregnancy has brought on so many interesting road blocks, detours and challenges. If I could write a manual when I am done, a road map to the finish line, I would. So, if you are reading this, I am comforted knowing that I am not alone. Neither are you!