The moment I found out I was pregnant, I made a promise to myself. A promise to exercise regularly. To eat healthily. And, no matter what it took, to gain no more than 20 to 25 pounds.
I thought that seemed reasonable. After all, I had just finished losing huge amounts of weight. Eating healthy had become second nature. And working out had long since stopped seeming like work. If I couldn’t keep my weight in check, then who could?
So I began my first trimester determined to gain no more than the two to five pounds all the books recommend.
Then the freight train of badness that is the first trimester of pregnancy hit. Soon, the only way to control the constant nausea was by feeding my face every two hours.
And as for those daily workouts? Well, I sure hope dragging my exhausted ass from the front door to the couch counts as exercise. That’s about all I’ve been able to manage.
Finally, last week I got on the scale. And, blinking at the number, got back off. Then got back on. And back off. And back on. Until finally it sunk in. At 13.5 weeks pregnant, I was up 11 pounds—more than twice my first trimester goal.
That’s when I broke into tears. And not cute, girly sniffles either. These were the huge, wracking sobs that turn your face purple and send snot pouring out of your nose. My poor husband bolted out of bed, convinced someone had died.
It took him a half hour, endless amounts of patience and a cup of deliciously forbidden coffee to calm me down.
And that’s when it hit me. I’m not in Kansas anymore. Whatever control I may have once had over my body is gone. There’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s tough—even if at the moment he’s only 3.5 inches long.
So I’m going to stop beating myself up. Stop counting every calorie and dreading every pound. Instead, I’m going to enjoy my pregnancy, including my newly rounded (well, rounder) belly and everything that comes with it (like elastic waistbands).
After all, my body’s making miracles happen. It deserves a little respect.