An Unexpected Confession: Body Image When Expecting
I had this moment of hesitation before I decided to upload the photos of my outfit, taken during the event #YouTubeFemaleCreators. While editing them I just couldn’t get over my normal-looking thighs. I’ve gotten way too used to my slender (sometimes a bit too skinny) body, especially on photos, and now when I look much more adequate for my age, I just can’t help but stare in confusion.
All of a sudden my body is rapidly changing and enlarging here and there, despite all of my attempts to stick to a healthy and balanced diet during my pregnancy. ‘Duh – that’s what pregnancy does to you, girl…’ The rational me interrupts my thread of thoughts.
It’s been years since I spent countless of hours in front of the mirror dissecting my body and trying to find out how to improve it. But while I’ve redirected my control-freakiness somewhere else (which is also problematic), the traces of my body image issues are still here, in the form shameless egoist who’s occasionally popping up. But bear with me.Outfit: Maternity Leggings ASOS (here) //ASOS The Scoop Back Top With Long Sleeves (here) // BCBGeneration Faux Fur Vest in Gunmetal (here) // Liu Jo Ankle Boots (here) // Bag by Nelly (here)
It’s common sense that carrying a child would inevitable make you bigger – you’re growing life inside. But it’s easier said that actually acknowledged and internalized, and I’m sure you get me, especially if you’ve also been struggling with body image in the past. I’ve undergone a massive transformation from eating an apple a day when I was 15, to finally sticking to a healthy and balanced diet again.
And as much as I’d like to say that I’m no longer controlling when it comes to my eating/training habits almost 11 years onwards – well I still am. But that’s the curse of having any type of distorted idea of yourself – even when you believe you’re completely over it and that you can now realistically see yourself and love yourself for who you are – the ghosts of the past do occasionally sneak back and whisper in your ear. It might not be every day – but it does happen and it is scary.
Every time I let my crooked past make a spiteful comment that none of my old clothes fit, feelings of confusion arise reminding me that most of my clothes are XS or double O. Yes, you can buy a pair of jeans in a size double zero if you’re living in the US. So, OF COURSE, they cannot fit anymore.
I can see you raising an eyebrow, bewildered how anyone would feel in any way unhappy with their body when they’re about to become a mom. And I completely get why you would feel the urge to judge me while reading this confession.
Luckily, I try to stay positive and conceive of my pregnancy as a time of new visions and insights. It’s me finally comprehending that no matter how ‘healthy’ I thought I was, the problems from the past are still haunting me today.
And then she kicks me – just to remind me of her existence. At that very moment I can feel the egoist putting his head down and slamming the door. All of the sudden everything makes sense.
It’s only in the moments when I can’t see my belly (like in the pictures above) where I suddenly concentrate on something else and get all freaked out and overly controlling again.
And just to underline – pregnancy is NOT time for being on a diet. It IS, however, the time to look-inward and revaluate your (distorted) perceptions of reality and most importantly of yourself. Being conscious of your body image is one thing, but being sickly obsessed with it – another. It’s destructive and terrifying and worst of all contagious. So next time you see an overly skinny pregnant woman, or just a skinny girl – try not to compare yourselves to them or look up to them. Some people do remain fit and small during pregnancy, others don’t. Some people stay skinny after their teenage years; others gain here and there. But most importantly being called ‘skinny’ is as derogative as being called ‘obese’. So it’s really about finding the balance, the blissful point of being satisfied with your body & mind.
And with that I’m not saying that I’ve managed to scrub the stains that the past have left off my mind. It’s just the beginning of a transformation that I’m hoping to keep embracing even after I have Sophia snuggled in my arms; of a recovery that should have taken place long ago. And you know what? One of the reasons I haven’t fully recovered is my rejection to voice my issues, afraid that such a confession could have hurt many of my dearest ones. Now I’m finally ready to talk and take you with me on a journey that I never thought a pregnancy could guide me to. And right now my belly tickles from the thought that I can finally break free from the haunting past, whose voices are still way too loud.
And you? What’s your body image story? I hope we can start something here – something positive and highly rewarding.
You can find my first confession (here).