Comparison and Pregnancy Weight Gain

27 weeks pregnant

Before I got pregnant, I always hoped that I’d be able to run during pregnancy. To me, running has always been the easiest way (and my favorite way) to stay in shape.  But the year before my pregnancy, I kind of fell out of love with running.  And for the first time in the eight years of my running history, I consistently did not want to run.  That, coupled with some unhealthy eating left me weighing about nine pounds above my happy weight the six months or so before I got pregnant.  I know some of you tall gals think that nine pounds is no big deal, but when you’re just under 5’2″, this extra weight is noticeable and not just to me.

What’s funny, in an interesting way, is the first few weeks before my pregnancy and the first few weeks of my pregnancy, I naturally started eating healthier and being more active via walking.  It wasn’t a conscious effort, just a change in what I wanted to eat and how I wanted to move.  I stopped beating myself up over not running and decided to take walks.  I walked and I walked and I walked.  I craved healthy fats and fairly healthy foods. And I lost weight.

I lost weight during my trip to Belgium and I lost weight during Christmas at my in-law’s house, which is completely unbelievable with all the amazing food I experienced at both places.  And thankfully, I got down to a more comfortable weight before engaging in the pregnancy weight gain.  So that’s my story pre-pregnancy and in the very early stages of pregnancy.

I find myself now at 27 weeks of pregnancy — that’s 6 months and 3 weeks — very pleased with the weight I have gained and the level of fitness I have maintained.  But on my way to mommy-hood, I’ve noticed a lot of judgment and comparison between women.  We women tend to analyze every piece of making, carrying, and birthing a baby to make the right choice for ourselves, so it’s easy to sometimes wonder how anyone else could have possibly come to a different decision “if they had done their homework”.  I think this is natural when you’ve been very thoughtful about your own choices. But for Pete’s sake, don’t say that to them!

And similarly, it’s really easy to compare ourselves and I’ve done that myself, knowing friends that have ran their entire pregnancy or have only gained X amount of pounds, etc.   It’s hard to keep in mind that everyone’s body is completely different and everyone doesn’t always have the healthiest habits when it comes to pregnancy — being unhealthy can mean not eating enough just as much as eating too much.  I’m not saying that if you gained very little during pregnancy you weren’t healthy; people have all kinds of factors that cause and inhibit weight gain and no one really knows what your body needs except your body. I’m just saying that before anyone compares themselves to another person, they should be aware that they don’t know the whole story of what’s going on with that person.

And this is true when it comes to all scenarios when you fall into the comparison trap.

P.S. I talked to my nurse about the “right amount to gain” the last time I was being weighed and she said as long as I was moving in the positive direction on the scale, I was fine.  There is no “right amount” to gain.

And then there’s this elderly couple who I’ve known my whole life that ask me every time I see them about how I’m managing my weight during pregnancy.  Thank goodness they’re pushing 90, else I would say something to the extent of, “None of your business”.

What is it with being pregnant and all of sudden people feeling like you should be comfortable with talking about your weight?  But, I’ve had it easy!

I have so many friends who have heard comments like:
– Are you sure you’re not having twins?
– You look like you’re about to pop!
– You look like you could go any minute!
– You’re enormous!

I mean, wow.  I’m pretty sure I would cry or say something unladylike.

There are some people who will never understand how hurtful their comments can be, but there’s another group (fellow moms and mommies-to-be) that know exactly how it feels.  So at the very least, the comparison traps, the hurtful comments, and the judgement have to stop with us.

If you’re in the “I feel like I’ve gained too much weight” camp, keep your chin up.  I think inspirational stories about women getting their body back can be really powerful.
So check these out:
Fit Mommy Success Stories
Laura Lost 81 Pounds Post-Baby
Weight Loss Success Story: Mama Laughlin
Weight Loss Story via Mama’s Weeds

If I blow up like a balloon before the end of August, I’ll be looking for some inspiration myself.

That is all. Thank you for reading my rant.