Dealing with Negative Pregnancy Body Image and Comparison (BeYOUtiful Revisited)

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About 2 weeks ago, I posted about the Handful and Momentum BeYoutiful Body Positivity and Self Love Campaign on the blog and on instagram. Baring my soul and (just about) it all. I wholeheartedly meant every word that I said: that being pregnant had changed my “permission settings” when it comes to my body.

But that doesn’t mean that I am not exempt from unwelcome moments of self doubt and body imagine negativity.

Since announcing my more relaxed schedule (well, I started to do this a bit before the announcement, but I’ve made an earnest and concerted effort since), I’ve tried to purge out the riffraff from my social accounts. Getting rid of people that I followed because they followed me, or because I thought that I should. As a result, though I am still scrolling through and being like, yeah, don’t care, those “don’t care” moments are MUCH fewer and farther between.

But I still get caught by inoccuous comments/posts/reposts.

Shape Magazine posted something on IG that, for many, may be really empowering: a woman standing up to body-shamers becaus she is 25 weeks pregnant and basically looks like me after a date with Alex at Tarascas before I got pregnant. Basically, a little itty bitty bump. Here is the post.

And I looked down at my Yoshi bump, and I immediately got self conscious about it. On the one hand, I was happy that this woman was standing up for the “little bumps” out there–we know you exist and we love you!–but the post also made me feel incredibly… not just self conscious, but body negative. Which wasn’t the intention, but it was the effect.

I clicked on the woman’s profile (because why not tenderize that wound with tons more salt, right? Hell, I’ll salt cure it for the winter), and I was greeted with more of the same. And for the next 15-30 minutes, as well as about an hour later, I found myself looking at my Yoshi-bump and questioning the size, the weight, the appearance.

Basically, I started comparing myself to her as if she was the standard, and I started taking away my self-granted permission to love myself, my journey, my belly. I wasn’t lying for a second when I said that I love my bump, I love my pregnancy, I love the fact that I’m popping and bumpin and that it is obvious. I am waaaaay past the “awkwardly pudgy” stage, and it makes me so happy.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t fall into the painful comparison trap. Comparing myself to others who are the same number of weeks in, or just a few ahead or behind me. Others that are still running, or that bumping more or less. Or feeling more or fewer baby kicks.

Every body is unique. Every body’s journey is unique and beautiful and special. Just because my bump already gets in the way of me tying my shoes doesn’t mean ANYTHING. That is just where I am, and how Yoshi is growing.

I put on a lot of weight quickly in this pregnancy (probably part of the reason for my stress fracture) without getting a major bump. My body was like WHAT? HORMONES?!?!?!?!! and placed weight all over. Then my weight gain slowed down, and instead my bump grew. Kind of like a kid packing on pounds and then growing like crazy. That is just my pattern, my journey, my growth. My belly is going through a major growth spurt right now. WHY ON EARTH SHOULD THAT BOTHER ME FOR A SECOND.

But, as in most things in life, when we finally get what we want… we think OH SH**. Then (hopefully) we get over ourselves.

Bring on the long-ass maternity shirts (especially when you are crutching with a backpack and it is cold–otherwise, draft town and am I not talking about the NFL). Bring on the fact that I get ENORMOUS after I eat dinner or have a glass of water (seriously, I grow inches).

Because I am pregnant. That is AWESOME. GROW YOSHI GROW. But don’t grow too much. I don’t want to push a 10 lb’er out. So grow with discretion.

I love you, Yosh. I love you, body. Thank you for supporting this adventure.

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