2/25/2011

Weight A Minute!

Sometimes stereotypes are just completely unfair. That said, most stereotypes exist at least in part due to their connection to reality. It doesn't make them right, nor are they what we should use to inform any decision about anyone.

But... one popular stereotype is of pregnant women feeling huge, fat, like a house, like a beached whale, etc. I thought myself immune to this, but nope. Lately I just feel so huge!

Here's the rub: this is what I used to look like; these pictures are from June 2009, at/around my largest:



Notice how far my stomach juts out!
After having gastric bypass performed in September of 2009 I lost a lot of weight--120 pounds. When I unexpectedly (but DELIGHTFULLY!) found myself pregnant last June, only 9 months out from surgery, I was immediately told that the focus was no longer on losing weight, but maintaining a healthy weight, slowly gaining, and taking care to ensure that I have a healthy baby.

So far, I've been able, by God's grace, to do that. Not only have my vitamin levels in very thorough blood work been amazing, but I've only gained about 20 pounds. Since my big baby boy is already 9 pounds, that's pretty great! My doctor has been thrilled because the weight has come on slowly and when my husband last did measurements I was either the same or smaller everywhere except around my baby belly and breasts (those two areas have exploded!). Overall, in my head I know I've done really well.

But... but but but but. I just feel huge! The problem is that while I know my huge belly is because there's almost 10 pounds of baby in there I just feel humongous. This is what I see when I walk by a mirror, and there are huge mirrors in my bedroom and bathroom and since I go to the bathroom 87 times a day I get this view a LOT!

39 weeks and hello, big baby belly!
That's obviously a baby belly. I get that! My husband tells me this what feels like 42 times a day... to be fair, he probably gets sick of hearing how fat I think I am :) 

I'll do my best to keep this clear, but my case is a little unique. See, just the other day an about to give birth friend who is normally probably a size 4 was lamenting over seeing the number on the scale be in the 160s. For her, being thin her entire life and then gaining 35 pounds in pregnancy has been really tough. I know every woman struggles to some extent with body changes and weight gain in pregnancy. 

For me, it's different because I used to be very, very large. When I was that large, my stomach jutted out really far. I could hardly tie my shoes, couldn't bend over while sitting and pick something up off the floor, etc. For most women, pregnancy is the only time they experience their body interfering with such normal day to day activities. Mentally I know that I'm pregnant, but when I can't bend over or I look down and see lots of stomach but can't find my feet I start to almost flashback or rescind into what my body was like every day for so much of my life. It's hard to remember that this is a baby, that after he's born my body will quickly lose quite a bit of weight and with hard work, patience, and much dependence on Jesus I'll get back on track to weight loss ways and a healthier body. 

It's truly fascinating the way weight affects women so much. I have some other posts rolling around in my head, but right now I'm mostly focused on my little (big) guy, due to arrive in 6 days. But I will share this piece of grace--just when I was starting to simply think this is my body, that it will always be this way and I'm this shape because I'm fat and not because I'm carrying around a miniature human, I came across this picture, taken 2 days after we found out I was pregnant:


I was about 255 pounds there, and I still had a good 100 or so pounds to lose. But I looked decent! I was feeling great, eating well and exercising and on a general trajectory of worshiping Jesus in how I stewarded my body via eating and exercise. 

So then I dug out this gem:


This was in September 2010, a year after surgery, 14 weeks pregnant, but before I started showing. Notice that even though I had weight to keep working off, notice how, for me, my stomach was almost flat! When I looked down I could see my feet! I could bend over and tie my shoes without any problems, or if I were sitting in a chair at church and needed to bend over to grab a pen I dropped it was done without thought or care!

So, the thing is, I know that this giganto tummy that makes it tough to do much of anything is because of my sweet son and that my body has grown a very healthy boy. I know that after he comes I won't exactly look like I did in September, either. I know that I'll have to work hard and exercise; my plan is that Roger and I will be walking fools! Well, he'll kick it in his carseat / stroller, and I'll walk :)

But the point of this entire post is that not only is it crucial to refuse to simply think that how I feel is what I am, lest I think I once again weigh nearly 400 pounds, but it's so important that I ask Jesus to help my head be grounded in reality and how He sees me. I worship Jesus right now by taking care of my body and helping my baby boy grow. And I can't let worries that I'm just a big fattie run amok! It's not true and even if it were it's not relevant to who I am in Christ! I'm His daughter, He loves me, and it's His joy to see me love my little boy and worship Him by stewarding this body well. 

There's so much more I could say but I'll save it for another post. But just for the heck of it, here's another picture, just because I love that this body is housing my sweet baby boy and I know my husband thinks I look incredible and, well, I love them both :) 

[just a reminder that you can click on any image for a bigger view!]


5 comments:

  1. LOVE this post. love, love, love.
    excellent post.

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  2. Thanks, Molly! It's been in my head and I know that if I don't get it out now then Rog will come and I'll brush all this aside, but it's real stuff, good stuff, and I want to record it! So thanks :)

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  3. Tami, it's interesting to read how different gaining the weight is for you. This is my least favorite part of pregnancy-- I hate being this big, I hate everyone asking me all the time how far along I am, I hate not being able to take a deep breath, I hate it all! But I know it's temporary-- I don't feel fat, just huge!
    We're in the home stretch now, though! I remember after my son was born going on a walk and it was just so great walking and not having this giant belly!

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  4. I love you! I love the way you shiiiiiiine Jesus.

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  5. Colleen - I feel you in some ways, in that the CONSTANT pressure in my pelvis and this peeing 1 tablespoon 3 times an hour business is not my favorite! But... this is actually my favorite part of pregnancy!

    I don't love the discomfort, but the peace of mind that he's healthy and ready for the world, and that for the most part as long as I'm feeling him move every so often then I know he's healthy and the chances of miscarriage and death are so tiny at this point just are so nice. And I don't know if this is gonna happen in every pregnancy, but I know that I am seriously glowing right now! I mean, even I can see it in my skin and face, but I get comments on it all the time. I generally feel really good and just patient for him to get here :)

    I know a lot of women are miserable at this point and probably hate women like me who love this! But it's all good--when most women are floating on bliss in the 2nd trimester I wasn't sleeping, had constant migraines and constipation and wondered if I'd ever get my "honeymoon" phase!

    But yes... losing the giant belly will be surreal but also so nice! I can't wait to do my first transcription after Rog is born and actually be able to sit at my desk properly and not way back with my arms all stretched out :)

    Bek - Thanks, sister :) I love you, too!

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