On Sunday, I celebrated six months of being pregnant. It was an amazing milestone for several reasons, and I could not help but be overjoyed that I was getting closer to seeing the gift that God has placed inside of me. While prepping these last few months for motherhood, I found myself also consciously and unconsciously being aware of the fact I am in the place where the weight battle begins for so many. I can’t lie and say that it did not fill me with a bit of anxiety, as I know my relationship with food has been quite challenging for most of my life.
When I received my first confirmation that I was pregnant, one of the first things that came to mind was wondering whether or not God will continue to remain faithful as I gained weight during this pregnancy. I don’t think any woman wants to gain weight, and with my complicated history with weight loss and dieting, it made my trepidation a bit more real. So many questions popped in my mind: "Would I gain too much weight?" "Would I not be able to manage these pregnancy cravings?" What I be too upset about gaining weight and fight urges to want to diet? As all these thoughts continued to swirl , I began moving through my first trimester (full of exhaustion, I must say) toward the goal line.
So, six months in, I have several reflections that I wanted to share with all women who may be nervous, anxious, and/or hesitant about losing control of their body for 10 months during the growth of a child.
1) Obedience Remains Obedience. Within our culture, pregnancy is one of the foremost excuses to begin a pattern of overeating. However, I was surprised at how similar I felt inside as I consumed meals. Oh sure, I was more hungry, ate more than normal, and noticed my hunger coming more frequently than it usually did. However, I also noticed that my signal for hunger and fullness remained the same. This signal has been what I have found to help me maintain my weight for the last several years. Even though I was pregnant, I still knew when I had enough food. I also still knew when I was eating for hunger or I was eating because "I felt like it." And I still had the choice of whether or not I was going to obey the signals God placed within me and stop, or respond to cultural norms around me and continue to eat. If I was going to eat following my rules, I could not be surprised if I gained more weight than I wanted. I knew I wanted to obey God. See https://freedomchaserdotorg.wordpress.com/?p=209 for more information.
2) It’s Okay to Not like Gaining Weight. I really hate gaining weight. Yeah, I know I’m growing a baby, but with every number that moves up on the scale, I still fight thoughts of "fatness." I found myself reminded of times where I have seen those numbers before, and it was difficult to not associate this season of weight gain with previous periods. I didn’t think I would struggle with that, but I do. However, God has reminded me to let him worry about the weight, and focus on remaining faithful and doing what is best for the baby.Repeat as many times as necessary: "I am growing a baby; I’m not getting fat." I received this advice from the helpful app, "What to Expect When You’re Expecting" and I believe it is incredibly helpful.
3) It’s Not about Me (Or You). It’s been about me and my weight for so long. So long. I’ve been the one who has wanted to lose weight for whatever the reason. I have been the one who has mostly benefited from my weight loss. I have had numerous opportunities to go work out, to wear the most fashionable clothes, and to enjoy the benefits of living and being content with my weight. Maybe, this is an opportunity for me to love someone enough to give that up for a season. As I think about my son growing in my womb, I am overwhelmed by a sense of knowing that "it’s all going to be worth it." I constantly shake myself out of my selfish thoughts, and push forward to developing into a mother.
4) This Season Will Change. One day, not too soon in the near future, I will give birth. And prayerfully, as I’m holding my son, I will begin my new season of motherhood and all the responsibilities and joys that come with it. I will also not be pregnant anymore. And amidst all of the other things I will be doing, I can lose the rest of the excess weight. However, I believe that it won’t be too difficult, as God honors faith. He honors obedience. And I think he will show himself strong and mighty through such a small and little thing such as weight.
So, for the remainder of this pregnancy, I will do what I always do: eat when I’m hungry and stop when I had enough. That will be the extent of my worry about my weight. That’s it. And I think that needs to be it. I trust God to worry about the rest. I need to spend my time doing far more important things, and take one of the first steps to living a life where "my needs" are not the first thing on my mind.