We have returned from our “Family Babymoon” in Oahu! (You can see some pictures on my instagram feed. More on that later in the week.)
The first few days we were away, I realized something about myself that was both hard to admit and dare I say a little scary.
It seems somewhere between when the world was obsessing about how Jessica Simpson would lose that “horrifying” 70 lb baby-weight gain and how Kanye was ready to leave an expecting Kim Kardashian for “ballooning” up to 200 lbs. … this Mom of two apparently sipped a little bit of the Koolaid– even though I knew better.
Like many women, body image is something I’ve struggled with from a very young age. I have curves. Those curves expand all over while I’m pregnant– even when I am not over indulging and eating healthy– no surprises there.
So why after having experienced the gaining as well as my ability to lose the baby weight twice already, did looking at vacation pictures of myself nearly bring me to tears? Immediately I saw the cellulite and nothing else. Was I expecting to suddenly see a woman who was “Skinny Pregnant” (as Khloe Kardashian once coined it)? Sadly, I think I was.
When looking images in magazines, today’s pregnancy standards seem to go far beyond just gaining the recommended 30-35 lbs., they come with a whole new set of unwritten rules. As Charlotte of The Great Fitness Experiment noted –
“Your hips should not widen. Your butt should not expand. Your arms must remain perfectly defined. And your cheeks, while they should “glow,” should not be round.”
The damaging headlines like the ones I included above and images of celebrities showing off her post baby bod just 2 weeks after giving birth speak to us whether we want to hear them or not.
Are we living in an age where not even during pregnancy, are women given a pass on feeling body conscious?
and side note– while we’re discussing- Do we actually have proof that Claire Danes is human?
It’s true that some women naturally sport “basketball” bellies and have picture perfect pregnancies, but often, how a woman carries has to do with genetics and many of us with curves will carry more like Jessica and Kim than Kourtney and Claire- and that is ok.
I think women everywhere need more reassurance of that, because I know I am not alone. I know there are other expecting mamas out there that are beating themselves up over the scale or some cellulite in a photo.
So here is me at 23 weeks.
I’m up 14 lbs, of which from what I can see is mostly being carried in my hips, thighs and upper arms for reasons that will never make sense to me. But– I’m vowing that as long as my doctor is ok with my weight, and I know that I can join my friend Nikki with her online fitness challenges post baby, I will focus only on the little (some may say vain) things that make me feel good- like mani/pedis, makeup, maxi dresses and not picking up tabloids at airport terminals.