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