Tuesday, 20 May 2008

13 weeks 3 days - Body image

I just wanted to record something I sent in an email to J because I feel it is significant to this pregnancy, and overall life outlook. I want it to be here so that when I look back over the time I was first pregnant, I will see it, and hopefully it will encourage me to carry on, or perhaps if I have changed, to come back to how I am now.

I'm feeling quite positive today, especially since the weather's cheered up a bit, and also I was thinking how it's good that this pregnancy has made me eat more healthily, I'm eating much more fresh fruits, and liking salad more, and stuff like that. Hopefully, this will carry on past the pregnancy, and I'm sure if it does, I may well lose weight without really trying, especially if I'm breastfeeding as well (apparently breastfeeding burns 500 calories a day!) I think it has sparked a complete change in the way I view myself. I know I'm overweight, but now, I feel healthier, and happier, knowing I'm eating good foods, and what I want more than anything is to feel completely happy with myself, and comfortable with the person I am, in the body I'm in. And I think I'm part of the way there already.

I have had so many diets since I was maybe 18. At 18 I was around 160lbs, I managed to drop to around 150lbs, but then, in the years since, I gradually climbed up to 210lbs (my highest weight that I know of, although I know that by November I will be heavier than that). I dropped down to about 187lbs with the latest diet, but then gained some again. I've not weighed myself recently, and I don't plan on doing so for some time. I know I'm going to gain weight. That's the whole deal with pregnancy.

But right now, I plan on eating well, and carrying on eating well long past pregnancy. I hope I can do this, I WANT to do this. But foremost, I want to be happy with myself. I WANT to stop dietting, but lose weight through healthy eating and exercise as part of daily routines. I want to love myself for all my flabby rolls of fat and my big thighs and wobbly arms. I'm crying right now as I say this, because, I am realising that finally maybe I am doing everything I want. Or at least beginning. I stand in front of the mirror naked, and I don't hate what I see. I am ACCEPTING what I see is me. Not some fat woman who should be skinny. And while maybe I don't LOVE what I see in the mirror, I'm getting there. I really think I am. And I think this pregnancy has made me see that. Bodies aren't just for people to idolise, for people to look at and go "how pretty". They have a purpose, and they do amazing things. And I stand naked, and look at my body in the mirror, and I think "wow, this body I see here is doing amazing things, and although I can't really see it right now, I know it is."

I cannot believe it took me so long to realise that my body is so special just the way it is.

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