20 weeks, 7 days
For many expectant moms, weight gain is one of the things souring the experience of creating new life. I am one of them. To give a little backstory, I was always overweight as a child and teenager. My parents didn’t have a good grip on handling rewards without giving me treats, and I was home alone for upwards of 6 hours every day after I turned 10 years old. Loneliness as well as accessibility to junk food did their thing and I piled on an excess of about 50 pounds.
Around 20 years of age, I had had enough of being teased and ridiculed about my weight, and made the decision to drop the weight once and for all – with great success. I hit my target weight and ended my weight loss at around a BMI of 19-20. That is my happy weight. 115-120lbs is where I feel my most attractive and energetic and it’s easy to maintain with regular exercise and healthy eating. I had changed my lifestyle for the better and felt good about myself for the first time in my life, and I kept it up for 5 years now.
However, when I fell pregnant, my plans got boycotted. In my first trimester, I more or less lived on simple carbs – bread, potatoes, pasta, pastries and fruit were more or less all that did not make me nauseous and my routine of veggies, whole grains and lean protein got greatly interrupted. I didn’t lose my appetite – in fact; I was hungry a LOT of the time – but the things I was hungry for were things that frustrated me.
Of course, I wasn’t about to let my baby or myself go unnourished, so I ate fruit whenever I could, took my prenatals and made to as best as I could with whatever else I could keep down… but the weight went up. After the first 12 weeks, I had packed on about 5 pounds. After another month, I had packed on another ten. Yes, I somehow managed to gain about 10 pounds in a month! And this was past the first trimester, where I had actually started eating a lot better.
My midwife wasn’t happy with me, and I myself was rather devastated. I knew it wasn’t -quite- as much as 10lbs since I got weighed with boots, before a bowel movement and after drinking a liter of water, but it was still terrifying to see the number.
Thankfully, at the weigh-in a month afterwards, I had only gained 3 pounds (strangely enough, since I went on a 2-week vacation that month and wasn’t watching what I ate at all) and am now hoping to keep up a steady weight gain. I’ve shed most of my bad eating habits and have converted back to whole grains, vegetables, fruit and lean protein – just quite a bit more of it than I was previously eating. I also still visit the gym every second day.
I obviously know that pregnancy is about my baby and giving him the best start to life he can possibly have, so I put my own childish issues aside as best as I can. Regardless, weight gain is hard. This new body of mine scares me when I look in the mirror, and I yearn for my previously slim, non-swollen figure, with which it was so easy to do every day things like running, going up the stairs, cleaning the house, or even just turning around at night.
I aim to revert to my old exercise regime as soon as my doctor ok’s it post-partum. Hopefully I won’t have any issues breastfeeding my bundle of joy, so he gets the best nutrients for his growing body and I get to have a headstart at reverting to my old happy weight (the knockers can stay, though).