My Body is Alive and Ever-Changing (Tessa)

Tessa – 21 years old, mother to a 2 year old, and expecting another little boy in April 2012!

This is my third entry.
Two previous entries, here and here.

My last entry I had decided to do something about my unhappiness with my body. I was 16 months post partum and I realized it was up to me to get active if I wanted to lose the weight. My body didn’t have “bouncing back” it its dictionary. It just didn’t exist. So I took charge. I started up and kept up with the standard P90X schedule as best I could for the full 90 days. Slowly some pounds did start to come off, but not as fast as I liked. I was displeased on day 90. I was upset I hadn’t yet reached my goal, I was upset that I was still 138lbs, about 13-18lbs above my weight goal. I remotivated myself with Tony’s expression, “Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was your body!” I decided to take a short break before I started up with round 2.

… and then I discovered I was pregnant. We were happy, shocked(surprise!), and I was having some anxiety about packing on more lbs when I had still more to lose. I decided to continue exercising as long as I could, and I did.. until the morning sickness hit at 6-7 weeks. Like my first pregnancy, I was sick all day, all night. I could hardly move or function until nearly 16 weeks pregnant, so exercise was out of the question. I started feeling better, but I didn’t jump back into exercising. I was being lazy. I began feeling very down about my body and weight gain (even though I was eating healthy and not gaining too much). I didn’t have a positive body image about my growing belly at all. I hated and felt that my pregnant belly was not “cute” like the first time around. I had all these stretch marks and extra skin. My pregnant belly wasn’t a cute, perfect round bump. It was frumpy, scarred, and just not what I pictured as a cute pregnant belly.

Starting about 26weeks pregnant, I finally decided it was now or never. I told myself I’d be active through this pregnancy, and gosh darn it, I had to keep my word. Since, I’ve done my best to do 10-20 minutes of exercise every day (using Tony Horton’s 10 Minute Trainer). I use weights up to 10 lbs and focus a lot on arms, legs, some cardio, and stretching. I haven’t been at it long enough to notice any change in my body, but I felt an immediate change in my sense of self esteem. I didn’t feel as disgusted when looking in the mirror. I’m currently 29 weeks pregnant, and 20 lbs gained despite strict diet. I’m hoping to keep my total weight gain under 40 lbs, and I believe I can achieve that. I’m coming to terms that I’m just NOT one of those people that ONLY gain in the belly, and that I can expect to get “fluffy” in other areas. My body simply responds to pregnancy hormones by building up fat stores, and that is completely normal. I’m just trying to avoid the 70lb+ weight gain I experienced with my first son! I know now how hard that weight comes off, and I know the negative outcome of producing a much too large baby.

I am planning an unmedicated, natural VBAC in a hospital 1 hour away with a wonderful midwive group overseen by a very natural birth friendly doctor! Not only is exercising for my own self esteem, but it is for the health and success of my VBAC baby. My first baby was 9lb 13oz. I’m hoping to produce a smaller baby, but there were many other things that contributed to the train wreck that landed me in a csection with my first son. I’m also seeing a chiropractor regularly to keep my body healthy and baby optimally positioned for labor. All around, I’m feeling much better this pregnancy and am hopeful that a much better birthing experience will leave me feeling empowered in such a remarkable way that I will not suffer as much as I did with my body image after my first son.

All in all, I know my body will continue to change. It is my job to keep it as healthy as I can, no matter what society tells me it “should” look like. Just when I thought I was getting closer to the a more perfect body, plans changed and I’m growing again. And I’ll have to lose weight again. My body is not stagnant. It is alive and ever changing. And I’m doing my best to embrace that in a positive and healthy way that leaves me encouraged and motivated to stay healthy! I do not want to accept myself as overweight, nor do I want to accept society’s view of a perfect body. I merely want to be active, toned, healthy, and happy with the appearance of my own body, as well as a good example to my own children to lead healthy, active lives.

1st picture is before/after of 90days of P90X
2nd picture is 5 weeks pregnant
3rd picture is comparison of Summer 2010(overweight!) and Summer 2011 after completing 90 days of P90X!
4th picture is me at 27 weeks pregnant, working my arms!
5th picture, my 2 year old boy!
6th picture, our little boy due in April on ultrasound!
7th picture is my growing belly at 5, 12, and 16 weeks
last picture is comparison of my belly from first son, to this pregnancy at 20 wks

3 thoughts on “My Body is Alive and Ever-Changing (Tessa)

  • Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Which P90X did you do? They have three different once, The Classic, Doubles and Lean. The lean one is the easiest to do if you’re starting out and gives less noticeable changes but with all the cardio it makes your stamina for running and moving better…The Classic is great for toning and trimming. In 10 days of the classic I started showing abs when I never achieved them before I was pregnant…Then after having a child I was getting them! I have been doing the lean version with less than great results physically visable but I feel great inside…Not as tired or drained and I believe it’s helping my wonderful mono…I am going to start the classic though because I’m ready to tone my body!

  • Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 12:46 am

    I just wanted to share a positive VBAC story with you :) With my 1st I didn’t work out during my pregnancy, she was born 8 days early at 8lbs 12oz. I gained 60lbs with her. After a 34? hour labor I ended with a c-section.

    With my second I was determined to have a VBAC (the c-section was the worst experience of my life). I tried REALLY hard not to go crazy with the weight gain, but it was fighting my body the whole way. I worked out through out the whole pregnancy, I played ice hockey for the 1st 11 weeks (with my dr’s OK) and lifted weights the rest of my pregnancy, my dr gave me the OK to lift as heavy as I was comfortable with. Since I was in such good shape going into the pregnancy I was still incline bench pressing 95lbs at 8 month pregnant! So, with all that work I “only” gained 48-50lbs… a lot of work for a 10lb difference lol. But I think it paid off, I had a 22 hour labor with my son including 45min of pushing. He was born 7 days early at 8lbs 9oz, lighter than my daughter but 1/2″ longer and with a bigger head!

    The VBAC was an AWESOME experience! I thought it was totally empowering :) The recovery time was SOOO much better, I played in a hockey tournament 3 weeks postpartum! Best of luck to you with yours! And keep up the exercise, I truly believe it made a difference for me :)

  • Friday, February 17, 2012 at 8:21 am

    You are doing so great and looking great as well. You are an inspiration to me! I am not even pregnant and I have been slacking big time on working out. I am 25 and have 2 kids. Good luck on your VBAC. I had a cesarean with both and would love a VBA2C.

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