body image

23 Jul

I wonder if most pregnant women share this sentiment, but I feel strangely more self-conscious, bordering on insecure, now than I ever have before.  It’s the one time when it’s not only okay but encouraged to gain weight but, surrounded by annoyingly/inspiringly buffed-out mamas at my local suburban yoga studio, women who run marathons and deliver babies on the same day, and the latest spanx craze, I admit I still blush and don’t know quite how to respond when I get the almost daily “You’re HUGE!” or “You’re TINY!” comment–I think both are meant as compliments?  Or maybe just different interpretations of the obvious…

So, as I am settling into the third trimester, I asked John to take a few snapshots during a moment of comfort with my figure.  I had just returned from a yoga class and, though legs and arms were shaking, felt stronger and more capable than I had in several weeks.  (I’ve been feeling a little discouraged since what I think was likely my last run during pregnancy.  Supposedly it’s fairly common, but I think my rectus muscles are starting to separate and, despite various techniques to support the belly, running is no longer pleasant.)


13 Responses to “body image”

  1. leftbrainedcreativity July 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    For what it’s worth, I thought you looked fan-tas-tic on Saturday, and I know the other W ladies felt the same way.

    • annaojesus July 26, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

      It’s worth a lot! Thank you! Not sure there are opinions a value more that the W ladies (LOVE that you’re a legal part of the family, though of course you were part of the family in the most important ways for a very long time!), xoxo

  2. Toni Lupro July 23, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    I seriously almost commented on one of your photos that I think your body looks FIT!

    • annaojesus July 26, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

      Thank you! I love that word–it just seems to so easily encapsulate health and care of one’s body and mind…thank you very much!

  3. phantomdiver July 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    Anna, you look absolutely wonderful—strong and toned and fit. If you keep paying attention to your body, as you do now, you’re very likely going to look terrific and feel pretty darned good all the way through your pregnancy.

    No, you don’t look like society’s idea of what women should look like, the way you used to. You’re in a new phase of your life. Now you look fruitful, the way that women are designed to look. You’re doing something that links you to hundreds of millions of women, past and present.

    Don’t pay any attention to what other people look like and say, unless it’s supportive. Do the best with your body that you can, and be confident. You will glow, and your baby will do wonderfully. In many ways, you will never be more beautiful than you are now. Hug that idea to yourself.

    • annaojesus July 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

      What a perfect note! It warmed my heart–thank you!

      I think the hardest part for me about paying attention to my body now is that there just doesn’t seem to be a middle ground…for anything. As in, before pregnancy I felt like I had a good concept of when I was getting full; now I so quickly go from the hungriest I’ve ever been to stuffed, and it feels like my body’s warning signs have been turned off. The same is true for exercise…it feels so invigorating to get in a good work-out, but it’s so easy to cross the line between doing just enough and doing too much, and then I really pay for it. Guess that’s what happens when the body is in a constant state of flux 🙂

      I love the image of doing something that links me with women past and present…makes me think of all the historic (or fictional) I’ve come to admire so much through literature and the arts, predominantly. Also, of course, makes me think about my mother, which is always special for me.

      I’m hugging that idea to myself, and it’s hugging back. Thank you again for the truly kind and thoughtful words…I hope every mother-to-be hears some variation.

  4. John Jesus July 24, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    Anna – you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known. So much love, JJ

    • annaojesus July 26, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

      Ahh, the husband! I’ll refrain from overtly making the comment that you just think I’m pretty ’cause I’m carrying your child 🙂 I kid, I kid…

      Thank you, John. I love/am perpetually touched that you think of me in this way. I love you so!

  5. ahyesplans July 25, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    You look beautiful, strong, and confident. Try to remember that when faced with the tiny/huge remarks of the public- they’re comparing you to what they know, and it’s really a reflection of their sister’s/friend’s pregnancy in comparison to you rather than a commentary on you.

    • annaojesus July 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

      Thank you so much! (As for the confidence…I’m faking a bit until I make it 🙂 ) Also, very smart comment…I think I always thought of people comparing me to what they’ve seen on TV, but it makes a lot more sense to think of it in comparison to someone they more intimately know. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and advice–I appreciate both a great deal!

  6. ahyesplans July 26, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    PS- I probably should have told you this before, but:

    • annaojesus July 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

      WOW!!! This is overwhelmingly awesome and overly kind! I can’t believe I didn’t notice :/ The last couple weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind, and I have done a poor job at keeping up with anything (even school :/), Thank you so much for including me, and now I have a wonderful list of blogs by authors in some ways like ourselves (or a few steps ahead) that I can tap into for inspiration. Thank you again!

      • ahyesplans July 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

        Don’t sweat it, you’re in clinicals! Sometimes I actually get busy and can’t read every post either 🙂

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