Strength, Not Size

I have written so much on here about trying to keep my weight gain under control during this pregnancy. I have decided that I’m done with that, with the obsession and the anxiety about weight gain. Every time I write about it I say that what I really want to avoid is feeling too big and tired to effectively take care of my preschooler. So instead of focusing on how big I’m getting I’m going to focus on how strong I feel. Right now I feel pretty good, physically. I mean, of course my hips hurt and my back aches and I have heartburn and my hemorrhoids have officially “arrived” and are here to stay for the remainder of my pregnancy, but physically I feel strong. I can sweat it out for 45 minutes on the elliptical no problem. I can walk five miles (at what I currently consider a fast pace) with minimum hip pain. I have done an incredible amount of work in my yard, hauling heavy bags and pulling out hundreds of yards of grass. I’m obviously in good physical shape, despite having gained almost 30 pounds. I am capable and I feel as good as I could hope to feel in the final trimester of my second pregnancy.

I will be 30 weeks on Tuesday. I’m about 10 weeks away from meeting my son. It would be awesome if I could only gain another 10 pounds in those last 10 weeks, but it would be even more awesome if I could keep doing 45 minutes on the elliptical three times a week and walking two times a week and going to yoga once a week. It would be awesome if I could chase after my daughter without needing to rest every two minutes. I absolutely believe that if I keep up my exercise I’ll be able to pick her up when she needs me until the day I go into labor and that is so much more important to me than any number on the scale.

So I hereby declare that I am done focusing on my weight. In fact, I will not write about it again until this baby boy makes his way into the world, and I’ll only do it then so I can have a record of how much I gained. Instead, I’m going to focus on what I’m doing to stay in shape and remain strong for the final months of this pregnancy. Because really, strength is what is most important, not size, and I’m determined to remember that.

6 responses

  1. I love this!! My years of struggling off and on with bulimia have definitely gotten me to focus too much on the scale at times, when really, I just want to be fit and strong (ESPECIALLY when it comes to this birthing time – it really has nothing to do with the # on the scale and everything to do with my strength and endurance!). I think you’d done an amazing job at staying active and taking care of your body this pregnancy, and that will pay off for you in spades, both during your birthing time and during the postpartum period.

  2. I’m so proud of you for taking this new attitude. I worked really hard not to gain too much with my first pregnancy, but again I started out FAT so for the health of my baby I was super careful. This time around with my GD diagnosis I’ve been REALLY active and doing my best to stay healthy. I’m very focused on the number on the scale, but this time around I know I’m much more physically fit as I’ve been walking my butt off and eating SUPER healthy with the occasional treat like last night’s nutty salted carmel oreo ice cream….SO GOOD…but definitely not an indulgence I can give in to all the time. You’ve done an amazing job with keeping active and healthy…even through the pains and discomfort of pregnancy. So happy for you to be looking at this in a new light.

  3. this is totally the view I take. I get in my 5 miles of walking a day (give or take, but I try to meet that goal), eat reasonably, and let the pounds fall where they may. I only weigh myself at the doctor any more and they can tell me if they think there’s a problem! I’m not focusing on it! Just trying to stay active, feel strong, and take care of myself and this baby.

  4. This sounds like a really helpful perspective to have–and one that I’m going to try to keep in mind. I think you’re right that being strong and in good shape will be way more important for delivery than the number on the scale.

  5. This is a tough, tough aspect of motherhood…well, of womanhood, but motherhood sure complicates things. I have been really frustrated with my own weight this week and keep trying to just let it go and not let it impact my mood. It’s really hard.

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