The weight gain dilemma

Scale

Tomorrow, I will be exactly 15 weeks.  I can’t believe that I have actually made it to the second trimester!

I have had a bit of a shock though.  Despite recommendations saying that a woman should aim to gain between 0 – 5 lbs in her first trimester, after 14 weeks I had gained a stone (14 lbs).

Obviously all I really care about is that I am pregnant and that my baby is healthy, and I would gain 100 lbs if it guaranteed that, but I am a little concerned and confused.

I am concerned because the second and third trimesters are when the weight gain apparently really ramps up.  If I have already gained this much weight, how much more will I gain in the next 5 – 6months? Will this affect/harm my baby? Will this make the birth harder? Also, and I appreciate this is incredibly superficial, will I be able to lose all this weight post-birth? I was already 30 lbs over my ideal weight before I got pregnant, although still in the ‘healthy’ BMI range…although BMI is obviously b*ll*cks, and was feeling incredibly self-conscious about my weight.

I am not surprised that I gained weight, and I would have even expected to be at the higher end of the “normal” first trimester weight gain.  After all, I:

  • haven’t had any vomiting;
  • had several weeks of nausea, which could only be satisfied by eating crisps/chips/pizza/cheese on toast;
  • have been starving all the time (possibly now because I have got used to eating more);
  • have been anxious all the time, so have comfort eaten a fair amount; and
  • have done hardly any exercise as I have been exhausted and have struggled physically when I have attempted to exercise.

It is no surprise that I have gained weight, but 14 lbs!? That’s madness and I am confused as to why I have gained so much.  Surely I have not been around THREE TIMES worse than other pregnant women with my eating and exercising?!

I just don’t really know what to do for the best now.  Obviously I can’t diet, as I can’t risk my baby missing essential nutrients or getting distressed (I imagine s/he is a little fatty like me and will be upset if they miss out on food).  I have spent the last 3-4 weeks being more careful about what I eat (lots of fruit, salad and veggies etc), but I have still gained weight during this time.

I know this sounds like an excuse, but I want to start regularly exercising again but I don’t know how.  I can definitely do more at the weekend (Im going for a run today!) but during the week I am out of the house between 6:30am – 8/9/10pm.  I would like to do something on my lunch break at work, but when I even get a lunch break it is for an absolute maximum of 30-45 minutes, so if you factor in changing time (x2) and washing, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for exercise! There’s also the cringe factor of running near the office…

I appreciate this really is a fortunate position to be in and I would much rather be worrying about this than the hell of worrying about getting pregnant! But I do find it difficult and I think it’s made worse because there’s such an expectation in society about how women (and pregnant women!) should look.

Since I became pregnant I have been bombarded with stories like this:

Ridiculous model

Ridiculous abs

Naughty plus size model

It’s the comments sections which are particularly vile.

These are just a few of the latest ones.  There have been all sorts, including one that went viral comparing two women who were both 5 or 6 months pregnant.  One was pretty big and one had washboard abs.  But why should we care? This story was allegedly released to show that “pregnant women come in all shapes and sizes”, but ultimately it was about the general public commenting on who was a “good pregnant woman” (i.e. the type that is still f*ckable, to use the language found in these comments) and who was a “bad pregnant woman”.  Many were quick to defend both types (they shouldn’t need defending) but on the whole there seemed to be more of the “Wow, her abs are amazing” and the “Sh*t, she’s let herself go” type comments.  If both mothers are eating and exercising as best as they can for their baby, then it just should not matter.

Although I’ve not had too many comments, I have had a few from people at work (females) about my weight gain or about how much I’m eating.  Others (males) have said that I “haven’t been looking well for a while”.  Apparently they were referring to my look from a health point of view, but what they were actually saying is “you have gained weight and look bloated and have stopped wearing the tighter fitting clothes.  I can’t say you’re less f*ckable, so I will just punish you for your weight-gain-sin by saying you don’t look as well.

It’s just incredibly sad that people feel they’ve got a right to say something.  Generally, unless something is going to make someone feel good or help them (and don’t assume your opinion is actually helpful), you probably shouldn’t say it at all.  Funnily enough, prior to these comments I was actually aware of my weight gain and the fact that I was eating more.  I didn’t need them to tell me.  In fact, on any given day over the past 17 years, I could tell you my exact weight to the pound and I have hated myself almost every single day.

So I am trying to be level-headed about the whole weight gain thing, as deep down I know that as long as my baby is healthy and that I am healthy that is all that matters.

But it is hard when society places so much value on your weight.  When your popularity and sense of self-worth depend on the number of the scale, and when your chances of promotion or being put in front of a client depend on your appearance.

I wish I didn’t care, but deep down I really really really do.

 

 

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9 thoughts on “The weight gain dilemma

  1. Hi I think the weight issue is a huge scary thing either way. I’m overweight but have been so sick since week 5 that o have lost 15 lb in three weeks and I’m worried about the impact on the baby as I read that you shouldn’t lose weight in pregnancy.
    Whatever we do we cant win! Speak to your midwife and don’t be going out over exercising or worrying too much about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Likewise, try not to worry about your weight loss. Hopefully if you were slightly overweight to begin with, and had been eating ok prior to getting pregnant and in the first few weeks, that’s better than if you had been underweight all along. Also, from what I gather (and I’m no doctor!) the baby will get first dips at everything, so what little you’re keeping down s/he will benefit from.

      Hopefully the sickness will stop soon so you don’t need to worry about what the baby’s getting! Can the doctors prescribe something to stop the sickness? It’s not something I’ve needed, but I’m sure I’ve read about other people taking something. Good luck and try not to worry (easier said than done)!

      x x x

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      1. I’ve been prescribed medicine but I just can’t bring myself to take it! I’ve had extra acupuncture and that’s made it a bit better but still sick 4-5 times a day. I’m very much overweight so would have to lose ALOT to ever been underweight!!!

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  2. Hi, there. I will add my experience in case it will help you. I started this pregnancy smack dab in the middle of my ideal bmi range. I am fit but not too skinny. I also didn’t have any sickness and gained 10 pounds first trimester. As I am entering my third, I am 10 pounds over where I should be which places me at almost 35 pounds already with 12 weeks to go! I understand how you feel. I talked to my doctor, though, and they said they don’t worry if the baby looks good. They said the weight will be mine to worry about at the end of this! That’s not a fun thought, but it eased my mind that they don’t feel I am unhealthy at all since I started healthy. I couldn’t work out much first tri and couldn’t for a month with the placenta previa concern, but I try to walk every day and now get into the gym once or twice a week. So, am I feeling ideal? No. Am I grateful this is my biggest pregnancy worry? YES! I know you alluded to that as well. Try not to worry. Almost everyone I talk to gains at least 30 and easily up to 50. Lots of people say it slows in the third tri too (I hope so)! Try to focus on being healthy and know that you aren’t alone! I am hungry all the time so I eat. There’s not much I feel I can do if I don’t restrict my calories so try to relax. It comes right off for so many women and if it takes a year – so be it! We will have healthy babies and I guarantee that’s what we will be focused on! Okay, hope the pep talk helped! 🙂 I literally feel like food goes in and just packs on so quickly and gets fully absorbed. I know how you are feeling!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Stealing Nectar. You have no idea how much your input has helped 🙂 You are completely right about it being a good thing if this is the worst we have to deal with. At least we’re not losing sight of that and both of us know just how bloody fortunate we are to be in this position! I think it’s hard knowing you have no control for many months to come. Ordinarily, if you gain too much weight, there comes a turning point where you snap and do something about it. With pregnancy, there is nothing you can do. It’s not like you can start restricting your food in any meaningful way or exercising to the max when your body’s got used to a bit of down time. As I have always struggled to lose weight, I’m just worried about how I’m going to be able to lose the 30/40/50 (arghhh – you’ve scared me there!) pounds. But again, I know neither of us will change this for the world 🙂

      Thank you so much again for sharing your experience. It has helped me so much 🙂 x x x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so glad it has helped! One of my friends gained 45-50 pounds and then breastfed and was then permanently a size or two down from her pre-pregnancy weight. I have sisters that gained more weight and, although it took them a little longer, they also lost the baby weight. I feel like continuing to work out (easily but thoroughly) helps me feel balanced despite the weight gain. It’s easier said than done, but I think we need to try not to worry about it too much – even if it ends up being (gasp) 50 or so pounds! It’s just weight. It can come off! Hugs and good luck!

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    1. Oh, it has helped SO much. Thank you (again!). Everyone I speak to says “I didn’t gain any weight in the first trimester” or “I lost weight in the first trimester”. It just made me (and still makes me) feel like some sort of totally lazy fatty. Knowing that I am not alone really does help 🙂 Hopefully we’ll lose it quickly…although my mum complains that she hasn’t lost it in 31 years :p

      Hope you have a good week and don’t get too stressed about your dilemma! X x x

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  4. Thank you so much! I am just so happy one boy is kicking away and healthy, it will be hard to worry too much for now! When we’ve lost babies before, I think our perspective is very wide with how lucky we are. I won’t forget! 🙂 Looking forward to both of our updates!

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  5. It’s so hard not to worry what others think, especially with everything you’ve been through to get here. As for the weight gain, every pregnancy is different and lots of people gain what is considered too much. I can tell you I’m only weighing myself at the OB and am only going to worry about it if she tells me too. I’m just so glad to be pregnant, as you are!

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