So, I've been wishy-washy in using Spark in the past six months.
That might have something to do with my pregnancy :)
I waited a long time to announce anything online - partly because I feel like so much of our personal information is swirling out there in the internet universe already; partly because I was still having a really hard time with the idea of transitioning from my life as professional / wife / athlete to professional / wife / athlete / mommy.
I'm still struggling with a lot of body image issues - things I blogged about almost a year ago. It's been very hard to talk about the physical changes of pregnancy with my friends / people in my life. When I hear people asking me, "Are you showing yet?" "How are you feeling?" "Wow, you're getting big. How far along are you?" what I'm mostly hearing is, "You are getting so fat. What have you been doing with yourself to allow this to happen?" It's been difficult to see my year of progress in losing weight and getting healthier erased in such a short time. I've gained almost 20 lbs already and I haven't even hit the third trimester yet when additional weight gain is expected and appropriate.
I don't know what to say to people who talk to me about just accepting that this is what my body is supposed to be doing, I'm growing another person, it's such an amazing process, etc etc etc. I am a doctor - I talk to my patients about these topics and more all the time. I don't want to be lectured about it from random strangers or friends. What I want is understanding that this is an emotionally and physically stressful event in my life that I have been working towards for many, many years and that there wasn't suddenly going to be a switch that occured just because I happen to be pregnant. It's a dirty secret of pregnancy in the western world that many women have exacerbated negative body image issues while they're pregnant and that they get manifold conflicting images and messages about how they're supposed to feel about their bodies / what they are supposed to look like. No one wants to talk about the fact that not everyone is happy happy happy to be gaining "baby weight."
Don't get me wrong, I am very thrilled for the outcome of this process - I couldn't be happier about having a little one in my life in a little over three months. But I don't have to be happy about the fact that my entire body is changing from a body that I worked very hard to achieve to a body that is unrecognizable to me. I do have to work on accepting it and not try to fight it, for my health and the baby's health. That's a process and I'm getting there with help.
However, it's hard to overcome 15 years of hearing "You're fat," in your head all the time in the space of six months just because there happens to be a baby growing. I cannot be the only one thinking this.
Anyway, I am making a choice to be active on Spark again to help me manage the last few months of my pregnancy and to give me some sense of control of what is happening to me. I would appreciate any and all positive support and encouragement, which is what I have come to think Spark is mostly about.
If you have negative comments to make about what I've said, please keep them to yourself. I'm here to work on making my life healthier, in all aspects - physically, mentally, emotionally. Please be a positive influence in that process.
Glad to be back.