I received the following comment/question today on my last post about HIIT and more intense training and I feel it deserved to be replied to as part of a post, since I know others may wonder about this part of my life right now as well. Jennifer asked:
How do you keep yourself feeling positive about your body image? I’m in a similar position to yours; I had to gain 20 pounds and cut way back on my running in order to conceive my first baby; now I’ve put the weight back on and am cutting back the exercise in order to get ready to conceive my second baby.
Most of the time, I am good at positive self-talk in order to keep my mind on the right goal, but sometimes I just look in the mirror and want to cry, or read about long runs and want to cry.
Do you have any sage advice for getting through this TTC time?
First of all, I want to THANK YOU for posting this question. It showed me that I am not alone. Something that has been very hard for me is feeling like no one understands this process. I know many women struggle with their appearance, but they may not understand the feeling of not being able to do anything about it. Or sometimes I feel like many don’t understand why I had to put on weight and cut back workouts to be able to try to conceive. I’ve had people ask me with confused looks “Oh really…your doctors wanted you to GAIN weight??? But that doesn’t make sense!”. And then I feel judged like they don’t believe me or think I use it as an excuse for putting on this much weight after my show.
Now, to answer the question. I am going to be honest and say that I struggle with this almost daily for at least a few moments. Some days are better than others. Today was a tougher one. I was missing more intense workouts and when I went to try on some capris and things that are back in my closet after my shower today…nothing fit comfortably. I immediately felt fat and wanted to cry. I thought “please God just let me be pregnant so I don’t have to worry about this anymore”. And then felt sick to have prayed that, because being uncomfortable with my body is NOT why I want a pregnancy. Growing my family is.
And that is how I combat those negative feelings. They definitely still pop up, but when I consider WHY I am going through this, the reality of it helps overcome the struggles. Also, looking at this beautiful face…
….helps remind me that the first time I went through all of this (yes I got heavier to conceive that time as well) it passed. And I was able to spring back and get in shape and enjoy it for a time. I also try to really focus on how I am still honoring my health. I do workout; and even if its at a lower intensity, it is what is good for my body. I still eat healthy and a way I enjoy. I have a healthy relationship with food…something that others struggle with. So I should be happy about that.
Basically, I try to look at the positives in all of the negatives. And I pray. Oh, you better believe I pray. Another tip, I actually came up with today, is to go shopping. Or at least be sure you have clothes that fit your body well right now and you can feel confident in. I have noticed that not fitting well in some of my clothes can be a big trigger in sparking negative moments. So, I will be shopping soon. Unless two pink lines show up in the next week. Or maybe I should go ahead and go and see if it triggers the “Bathroom Break Law”. You know…when you take a bathroom break at a restaurant and it seems your food is always there when you get back? Maybe if I go shopping, it will work for me. 😉 Okay, sorry for the tangent.
I know my input on this isn’t necessarily anything life altering, but it has helped me. And you know what? It is OKAY to have off days. And that is for all of us. It is okay to feel upset, angry, hurt, frustrated, sad, etc. God gave us those emotions and they are real. The key is to find ways to help turn them around. And reaching out to a companion going through the same thing, is helpful too. So thank you for helping me today. I hope I returned the favor at least a little bit. 🙂