I'm at that super sexy phase of pregnancy when I feel like the Michelin man. Bloated, flatulent. My clothes are tighter. I don't like this part. So much of this, and let me just be honest here, is what derailed me when I was pregnant with Lucia. I felt fat, so I freaking went for it: I acted like I believed a "fat" person would act. Which was putting away tons of food. I didn't know other people felt this way too. I thought something was wrong with me and I was inherently flawed and what kind of mother would I make anyway, given I wasn't ecstatic about 100% of pregnancy? I really and truly thought that. So I ate more. It was what fat people did, and I was desperately trying to match the inside with what I felt on the outside. I also was trying to reconcile the two seemingly incongruous feelings of being 1. SO HAPPY I'M PREGNANT and 2. So unsure about the changes in my body. Reconciling complicated emotions, I've learned through therapy, is my Achilles. My black-and-white brain needs things to fit in neat categories, so to feel ambivalent or THE HORROR -- two things at one time, well, that's just not OK. So I tried to stuff it down.
This time around I'm realizing all of this; I recognize it. I wore my favorite Little Miss Bossy shirt to the gym today and it was too tight. I looked like I had been on a pizza and ice cream binge. I googled pregnancy bloating feeling fat tonight and there are hundreds of other women at anywhere from 7-15 weeks saying the same thing. Feeling fat and puffy.
I have to remember and remind myself constantly: this is a temporary state. I can make great choices and still get to the gym to make myself feel awesome. And I did that today: I dragged myself to the gym and talked with another woman who was 36 weeks pregnant and she was impressed I was there, given the first trimester exhaustion (check) and nausea (check). But I told her, I'm afraid if I stop I'll lose momentum. It's such a mind game with me. I feel fat and make choices to fulfill that. I feel good and then make choices to keep feeling good.
So today I wrestle with feeling fat despite making pretty good choices, and feeling good despite feeling fat. It probably doesn't make sense to you. But I feel hopeful that this time I'm not stuffing the feelings down and trying desperately to fit them into a category of good/bad-should/shouldn't. It just is. This is my experience, and I get to show up for it and participate in it.