I have neglected to make any new posts on this blog in the last several months as I am sure many of you have noticed. Sometimes I feel sad about that because I know that for many people reading my experiences and thoughts related to beauty and body image gives them hope in very private struggle that many keep within the chambers of their own hearts. However, I have been battling my own demons in this area as pregnancy has brought on not only a whole new perspective on being a woman but also very real challenge in being able to peacefully live within a constantly changing body.
My pregnancy has not been easy, and I don't foresee it getting any easier within the next 18 days. 18 days!!! (I can't wait to have that baby in my arms) Every woman has a different story, a different journey. Here is a glimpse of mine.
Some may wonder if me getting pregnant immediately after out wedding was a mistake, but it sure as heck was not! We both were very excited to have children. It has always been my dream to get prenant real fast after being married and honestly, even the ONE month I had to wait to take a pregnancy test was torture! I gained a new respect for women who struggle with infertility. The month can drag real slow anticipating that missed period.
Odd as this may sound, the night before I took the test I had a dream about man who asked me to go out with him. Then that morning after seeing a clear plus sign on my test, I received a call from an unknown number. The man was like "SHERRY!!! HOW ARE YOU! What are you doing Friday night??" I thought it was my husband playing a trick on me, so I was all "Chris stop! I am pregnant! Chris, no seriously I am pregnant!" Finally I told him I was going to hang up on him, and I did! I was a little upset that Chris did not take me seriously. Well, sure enough I found out when Chris got home from work that it was not him playing a trick on me. Weird. To this day I have no clue who that person was.
So at about 6 weeks I got horribly ill. To this day I honestly don't know how I endured the 10 weeks that followed. It was so bad, that even someone mentioning food, made me throw up. I basically lived on strawberries, skittles, cookies, and crackers. Our "honeymoon phase" after being newlyweds has not been so romantic. Our evening consisted of Christopher rubbing my back, flushing the toilet, and holding back my hair. Please excuse my graphicness, but many times the toilet would backlash at me and I would have throw up all over my face. Also, the strong convulsions would cause me to pee my pants. The positive part is that after throwing up, I always felt better, so after looking at the puddle on the floor and throw up on my face, I would usually just laugh at the ridiculousness of the scene, while cleaning myself up. I could go on and on about the stories during these 10 weeks, but I think you get the picture.
The saddest thing about all of this is that I was really scared of gaining lots of weight in my pregnancy and so when I could not eat or when I would throw up it was sometimes difficult for me to not be secretly happy about it. I am not proud of this.
Once the nausea subsided I said hello to my new friends--zits, swelling, back pain, pelvis pain, sensitive teeth and gums, itching, stretch marks, urinary tract infections, heartburn, constipations along with its lovely hemorrhoid companions, and my darling polka dot legs. (I now have polka dot hands and arms) The doctor at first thought I might have a fungus on my skin that develops in tropical weather but after seeing a dermatologist, he confirmed that it is just from blood circulation. I also had an anginoma that I had to have removed twice. Thankfully it was benign. Finally, for some women enlarged breasts, may be a welcomed pregnancy guest, but not for me. If you are not sure how I feel, I suggest you tape two large ziplock bags packed with jello and pellets of lead to your torso and then go for a 10 k run.
It really bothers me how doctors will weigh you with every visit, yet they don't usually ask you about your diet or activity. I am nervous every time I step on that scale. I am not so much nervous about the number as what the number with trigger in my mind. I try so hard to keep healthy thoughts, but seeing that number hit 200 was not an easy pill to swallow and frankly it made me want to diet. I know all the professionals say to not diet while being pregnant, but I told them to screw off in mind, and I did. I did not do anything extreme or that would be harmful to the baby, but it was harmful to my mind to go back into feeling like I had to restrict and monitor everything I ate.
Here is the thing. After having a really good long talk with my husband last night, he helped me come to the conclusion, that it is NEVER a good thing to try to manipulate what your body looks like.
It is a very very hard thing to let go of, and I am in the process now of cleansing my mind of all of the desires to look a certain way. I can just hear the justifications going on in your mind how trying to lose fat, or trying to be more toned is a good thing. I have been there, and I will tell you how those are some of the biggest lies you have ever believed and how they are ultimately hurting you and your loved ones.
I know it will take a while to convince you that I am not crazy to suggest such an idea, so I am going to break it up into a series of different blog entries. I will also keep you posted on how well I am doing with tossing out these old patterns of thought and replacing them with more noble ones. Ones that the world will not praise, but surely God will. This is especially important during pregnancy. Like my husband said last night after I attempted to rip of his head off when he suggested that there is no point in me trying to lose weight. "Skinniness does not bring peace, God brings peace." It is time to let go of the illusion that being thin will bring peace to your life. Sure, you will get recognition and admiration from those around you when you lose weight, but who are we really here to please? I am confident in suggesting that when we stand before God at judgment day he will not put us on a scale, nor pull out his measuring tape or caliper. He will have many more important questions to ask us. I am not suggesting that being thin, eating health or exercising is bad, but it is the motivation behind it all that can poison your soul and make Satan rejoice. From the words of Isaiah...