I was asked the other day how I’ve felt about my body since I got pregnant.
It was a hard question to think of an answer to, at least initially. I don’t know a lot of women that like talking about their body image, regardless of if it’s good or bad.
In a matter of seconds, I ran through all the things I hate about my body. All the things I’ve been self-conscious about my entire life. All the things that make me feel ashamed or not good enough. All those feelings of insecurity and failure came screaming back at me in a split second. I remembered the fact that I’ve struggled with an eating disorder and that some would say I have a slight case of body dysmorphic disorder.
And I opened my mouth to answer the question and the following came out:
“My body is f**king bitchin’!”
I have no idea how or why that came out instead of everything or anything else. I could have complained about how fat I feel some days, that I’ve gained nearly thirty pounds, that my pelvis has hurt since 22 weeks and sidelined me from running, that I can feel my butt rapidly expanding, that my thighs are HUGE (and weirdly pock-marked now), that I spend more time sleeping than awake.
There are probably a million things I could complain about.
Instead, I became absurdly proud of the fact that I’m growing a human. My body is doing this amazing thing that it was designed to do. And even though that means some weird and not terribly attractive side effects (let’s not even get into the gas and the acne and the constant need to pee), I know that it’s all perfectly normal and it’s supposed to be happening.
Running has prepared me for this is ways I didn’t think it could or would. I got pretty hurt during my first distance race a few years ago. I really messed up my knee and it required weeks and weeks and what felt like months and months of recovery before I could start training again. But what I learned (other than patience, which I lack a great deal of) is that if I respect and listen to what my body needs, my body will pay me back in spades. I ran a 10K two months after hurting myself and I paid for it. So I waited another two and half month before attempting another race (this time a 5K) and it was a little better, but not great. So I took even more time off and by the time I ran my next race, I felt like a million bucks…and ran my fastest time which resulted in me signing up for two more half marathons which I was able to run like a champ.
Pregnancy is similar, it would seem. If I just listen and allow my body the rest it requires, it will (hopefully) give me everything I need to get this baby out and in my arms. So yeah, I’m choosing to be in love with the marks and the aches and the expansions and every other weird or awful thing I’d normally freak out about. Because those are the things that have to happen.
And I’m okay with all of it.
Scratch that. I love every damn second of this!