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Struggling with weight gain / body image

(13 Posts)
Bartimaeus Fri 27-May-11 08:52:26

Am nearly 22 weeks and have put on about 5kg, mostly in the last 4 weeks. Have a largish bump(hard to tell if it's big or little as I don't know anyone else who's pregnant) and boobs have gone up a couple of sizes.

Normally I'm fairly slim, wear a size 10 and do a lot of sport. I've never dieted in my life and although I wouldn't say I love my body, I don't usually dislike it.

This week I've had a lot of comments about how big I am and how I can't hide my pregnancy anymore hmm and it's getting me down. I don't like not being able to wear 95% of my clothes, finding it harder to roll over in bed and getting out of breath walking up a flight of stairs. I've had a relatively hard pregnancy so far with LOTS of morning sickness and abdominal pain meaning I haven't done any sport since my BPF and I can't foresee myself doing any soon because my abdomen hurts when I walk more than 5 minutes...

I'm also starting to think I ought to be more careful about what I eat, something I've never had to watch before. Usually I don't eat a lot of junk food, but even all the biscuits/chips/burgers that I ate before didn't matter because I did so much sport. Now I'm eating lots of biscuits to stave off feeling sick and I'm beginning to think I should cut down, which is not a happy thought!

I also a bit scared of the next few months - when I'm bound to just get bigger and bigger....

Sorry this has turned into a right moan!

MrsVidic Fri 27-May-11 09:24:25

Don't worry, fwiw it's a common thing to go through. I'm similar to you but find that when I reach 30 weeks it's a lot easier to accept things.
You can keep up excersize, it helps with labour and you'll shrink post baby very quickly.
I also am of the oppinion that the reason I put on loads of weight when preg is cause my body needs to for me, it drops off after in the first few weeks.

Get yourself some maternity clothes- you'll still be the same dress size ( I'm still a 10 in mat clothes after putting on 2 stone by 30 weeks)

MrsCLH Fri 27-May-11 09:25:45

Hi Bartimaeus

I feel like I could have written that post myself! Before I got pregnant I was a right little gym bunny, at least 3 visits a week and then a long run at the weekend 8-10 miles. I was very conscious of my body image and keeping fit, but it wasn't I chore, I love exercise and I loved being able to eat whatever I wanted.

Like you I had terrible morning sickness for the first 14 weeks or so and the last thing I felt like doing was exercise! Plus grazing constantly helped to keep it at bay.

I was a size 8 before and I reckon I've gained about 7kg (trying not to go near the scales too often to be honest! I knew I'd put a fair bit of weight on because the level of exercise I was doing before was always going to be impossible to maintain. I'm 22 weeks and have a largish bump too and have been getting all the comments like you! I reckon its cos I was so small before that the bump is just more obvious on me than on someone who maybe wasn't as slim to begin with. I have really struggled to come to terms with the fact that I have not got my lovely slim body at the moment. That's me, its who I am, its important to me even if that might seem a bit shallow to some people. And I really miss the exercise, I did so much before that to go from that to doing hardly anything has been a real shock to the system. I am managing a couple of gym trips a week now, but mainly just a quick half hour on the bike/cross trainer.

Last weekend I finally bit the bullet and went through my whole wardrobe and packed away in suitcases all of the things that I have no chance of getting into at the moment, the sight of them every day was just making me feel worse! Then I sorted out all the things that did fit me and ironed a load of bits that I haven't worn for ages and it did make a difference. I've also been out this week and treated myself to a bunch of new accessories to cheer myself up.

I have to keep telling myself that I have always been a fit person and I will be again. It's always something I've been conscious of and I can't imagine not having that in my life again. Okay its going to be harder with a baby and it might not happen straight away but think how much fun its going to be getting back in the gym with an incentive as good as having all that baby weight to shift. I am only going to be pregnant a couple of times in my life and at the end of the day this is what I want, I wouldn't change it for the world so I might as well embrace this new me for a while :-)

I know this is probably not all that helpful but I just wanted you to know that you're not the only one feeling like this.

Take care

Mrs H xx

Boosaphena Fri 27-May-11 09:30:45

I can see where you are coming from. It's a strange thing when something else takes over your body. I've struggled too in the past but am on dc3 now so know that it does all cone back-all be it differently.
The thing is, your body has to change, it has to host and feed and nourish the baby. Your old clothes won't fit, if they do you may stretch them so they won't look the same after.
I convinced myself this would be the time I let myself go and just tried to enjoy it. I've lost weight easily after each baby and been able to join mum and baby sports classes which has been fun.
I know this is a bit of a waffle but what I'm trying to say is that you have to gain weight it's what will keep you healthy.
I've never had a fun pg in fact I hate it but you forget about it very quickly and move on with baby. X

Bartimaeus Fri 27-May-11 09:48:42

Thanks for all your comments. It is reassuring that it's necessary to gain weight. I suppose my problem is I don't know any other pregnant women, and none of my close friends have had children yet so I can't chat to anyone about it.

I used to do 5 hours of karate a week which is obviously impossible to carry on, even if I found the energy, as it's so physical and dangerous.

Mrs H You talk a lot of sense!
"I am only going to be pregnant a couple of times in my life and at the end of the day this is what I want, I wouldn't change it for the world so I might as well embrace this new me for a while :-) "

I just need to get my head round it all I suppose.

I'm going home (I don't live in the UK) next week and my mum and I have planned to do lots of shopping for me and the baby... hopefully I'll feel better once in more maternity clothes (only wearing maternity trousers/skirts atm).

CuppaTeaJanice Fri 27-May-11 09:56:54

I think you might benefit from meeting some other pregnant women, so your body seems more 'normal' to you. Have you signed up for antenatal classes, or are there any pregnancy groups in your local area? In the uk we have childrens centres which run lots of groups and have lots of information which will be useful to you - maybe you could visit one when you visit your mum, or perhaps they have something similar in your country.

Woodifer Fri 27-May-11 10:03:53

I have put on 6kg and I'm only 17 weeks!!

I made the mistake of checking what weight gain should be by this stage and was well over - I guess I'm lucky not to have actually been sick, and my way of dealing with nausea has been to eat.

I also get extreme hunger (now slightly lessening off - sometimes having to get up in the night to eat weetabix) - if i don't eat i start retching.

I was doing about 7hours of running/ cycling a week before - and this has been massively curtailed - initially by fatigue and then by SPD.

I don't think I can ignore my appetite - my body seems to want a "reserve". I just tell myself its not like i'm not going to end up massive anyway - so try to get over myself. But then I do sometimes worry about risks associated with excessive weight gain and high birth weight.

barelyutterly Fri 27-May-11 10:35:17

I was in your boat, putting on a few kg per month early on and calculating that by the end that I would be huge! But around 28 weeks it started to tail off a bit (helped with the nice weather I was out and about more, and my natural spring metabolism kicked in) and now the weight has levelled off more or less, even though the baby is still growing. I think some people just put on more weight at different times in pregnancy and as long as you don't go overboard with "bad" foods (which aren't that healthy to eat anyway) then you'll be fine. Try to stay active even if you can't do much "exercise" per se, that will help a lot.

I have managed to get through the past 7 months without a single cold or sickness and I attribute that in great part to the extra padding I put on over the winter. Obviously my body needed to do that to keep me safe and healthy (I was super fit and basically my race weight when I got pg) so logically I could welcome it even if emotionally I still don't like to see myself in the mirror!

Totally understand the body image thing and I've put away a lot of clothes that I knew I wouldn't fit into anytime soon too. Bought a few cheaper larger shirts and trousers at Primark rather than going overboard at the maternity stores, as I hated shopping at those places and being reminded of it, so I've been living in the same week's worth of clothes for ages now. Looking forward to unpacking my old clothes again in a few months, it'll be like Christmas! grin

Woodifer Fri 27-May-11 10:40:38

I was wondering if my race weight was a bit under my "normal" weight - so the total weight gain = (race weight to normal weight) + (baby gain weight)

If that makes sense (makes me feel a bit better about it)

MrsCLH Fri 27-May-11 11:25:02

I agree about the 'race weight' thing. I am not naturally a size 8, its only because I'm mega active. I reckon this is also why the predicted birth weight of my baby is so low and it is on the 95th centile!

Bartimaeus how lovely to be told I talk a lot of sense!! Not heard that much lately, especially with this baby brain! Enjoy your shopping trip, will do you the world of good smile

And go and have another biscuit biscuit wink


Thornykate Fri 27-May-11 11:56:42

barelyutterly your weight gain sounds like mine; i put a lot on at first (2 stone in 1st trimester) but it evens out. I've not even been near the scales since but I think a lot must be fluid retention at first as the weight goes on all over & I had to buy size bigger pants at 10wks pg when I am usually an 8; not to allow for a bump but just as I go bigger all over v fast.

But over time it sort of moves onto my bump & at 40+1 I can still wear those pants with more room on the thighs etc than when I bought them 30wks ago, I just have to put a hair bobble through the button to fasten them these days as the bump is in the way a bit grin . Even some of my bigger normal jeans fit using the same method (they are low cut though) & I wouldn't have been comfy wearing them in the 1st trimester.

I agree that suddenly stopping exersize does do something wierd to a newly pg metabolism. Before I even knew I was pg (about 1 wk post ovulation) I became exhausted so easily & struggled with easy runs of 2-3 mile & couldnt even contemplate doing weekly longer run of 8-10 mile so you are not alone OP. I was actually thinking I had some sort of illness & getting a bit worried hmm

By all means cut back on biscuits or make your own healther ones if you feel your diet is not v nutritious at the moment but don't worry too much as you might just be one of those people who doesn't fit the usual weight gain pattern like me.

KatieWatie Fri 27-May-11 12:04:56

Hi Bartimaeus, I totally hear you.
I'm 21 +3 so almost exactly the same stage. I lost weight initially and had no appetite, but the last 2 weeks I've made up for it, and I've had a sizable bump from very early on. I'm finding it very difficult to accept my changing body and I can't see me ever feeling comfortable about it. I see very heavily pregnant women in Tesco and have what I would call a 'phobic' reaction to their appearance - probably because I know that'll be me soon. Like you I am struggling with people saying such things as "Look at you!", which whilst I know well-meaning really makes me want to curl up and die.

Last weekend I bit the bullet and stored all clothes in the attic that don't/won't fit. It depressed me every time I opened my wardrobe to see them hanging there, so I definitely recommend you do this. I've also bought a few items of maternity wear and I can see I've lost weight in my face so there is hope that I have 'lost' a significant amount of weight once the baby has been accounted for.

Exercise wise I've really struggled - I was really careful in the early days as I'd previously had a MC, but I was desperate to be out running. Could you go swimming or to aqua-natal / pregnancy yoga?

Otherwise I think we just have to remember that it's really not forever and we're more than halfway through. I'm not drinking alcohol which I think has accounted for the weightloss I had initially, and I feel much healthier for it. I'm also planning the things I can do with the baby once it's here that will help me lose weight - I've bought a post-natal yoga dvd which sounds fun (using baby as a weight confused) and I'm going to get one of those 'jogger' strollers.

Really really good luck, I think if we focus now on just eating healthily and doing the 'bit' of exercise we can do without feeling too guilty, and it won't be long til we can hit the cross-trainer with a vengance and get the bikini bodies back - it sounds like you're pretty disciplined and I know I will be


Bartimaeus Fri 27-May-11 13:28:23

Nice to know I'm not alone smile

I want to go swimming, but I first need to buy a maternity swimming costume! My current ones really will not fit sad

Good idea to pack away clothes, but that will be tricky because I live in a tiny flat and my clothes are bursting out of the wardrobe anyway. Will have a think as to how to rearrange them so I see them less.

My mum has a theory that you will put on as much weight as you need in pregnancy, just like we all have an ideal body weight, we all have an ideal pregnant body weight. But I have to admit I'm afraid she says that just to try and make me feel better!

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