How to Handle Your Changing Shape and Weight Gain During Pregnancy

“Wow, you look so pregnant!”

“Thank you! Yeah, the bump is pretty hard to hide these days.”

My reaction just a few short months ago may have been very different, but I found myself accepting “you’re so pregnant” as a compliment after two very kind, well-meaning women said the exact same thing to me just this past Saturday at the beginning of 34 weeks.

I honestly never knew how I’d feel about gaining weight, growing a big ol’ bump, and seeing my body shape change until I started experiencing it almost 8 months ago. It’s crazy to me how pregnancy can draw upon so many emotions all at the same time. I’ve felt pride for growing a healthy baby, insecurity over whether I’ve gained the right amount of weight at the right time, panic at how I’ll ever be able to lose all the weight and feel like me again, and excited anticipation to meet the little person I’ve been sharing this body with over the last several months. It’s a crazy whirlwind, and I was encouraged to hear myself saying “thank you” last Saturday after working at changing my mindset around weight gain during the course of my pregnancy. The freedom I’ve found from insecurity around my body shape before I got pregnant has also played a huge role in my accepting my changing shape over the past 8 months!

As I reflected upon the journey of growing a tiny human and how it’s caused me to view myself and my appearance differently, I realized there’s 5 tools I’ve used to hold a healthy attitude towards weight gain during pregnancy…

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My Visit to the Dermatologist...and Why I Left Fuming

The first time I noticed the wrinkle was in a selfie. I was home for a long weekend in March to see family and snapped a picture while at dinner with both sisters. It was the first time the three of us were together in almost two years.

“Wait what is that!? What’s wrong with my face??” We snapped several more, but I couldn’t disguise my newfound flaw.

This was a month or so before I called the dermatologist to schedule an appointment for a bump on my leg. It had been bugging me for a long time, and with a tropical vacation coming up in just a few weeks, I was tired of looking at it.

This vacation was the big push Nick and I needed to start working out. We began going to the gym three days a week, and I noticed results for the first time almost two months later while shopping for my birthday. I was trying on styles I normally didn’t feel good in and was surprised at the outcome. I went home excited! It really was working...

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The Hard Truth from a Girl’s Night Out

Do you put your worth in what you look like?

I know I do. I have for years. 

I’m reminded of it when I go to the mall, gazing up sheepishly at the giant posters of beautiful women. I wander inside a store, unconscious of the desire the image has sparked inside my heart. I want to look beautiful…to captivate an audience.

I try on clothing in the dressing room and begin to feel anxiety when I don’t measure up.

I stand in line at Victoria’s Secret and wonder if it’s possible to actually have a body with such perfect proportions.

The women look so happy, so fulfilled. Their radiance speaks of the worth they must feel. The value behind their beautiful face.

All of a sudden, the comparison game has started. And it really has nothing to do with clothing.

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The Struggle Is Real...The Real Reason You Don't Like Shopping for Clothes

This week I went shopping for jeans (for myself).

I haven’t bought denim in a couple years and was due for a year-round pair I could wear with flats or tuck into boots. I thought I’d find what I needed at The Limited, where pants have worked well for me in the past.

I tried on a couple pairs, but found the styles at The Limited more jegging than jean, and I needed something more sturdy. 

I moved on to Macy’s and tried on just about every affordable pair I could get my hands on. Lucky, Levi’s, Bar III, Free People, and Maison Jules to name a few, without any luck. 

I began to think I wasn’t going to find denim today. I was looking at myself different in the mirror…

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