So here I am, 9 months pregnant and completely ready for our little girl to be here. We weren’t sure if we were going to be able to become parents, which I wrote more about on my story, so I am so excited that the day is almost here. I am also excited to have my body back too. I have loved what pregnancy represents, but honestly I can not say I love being pregnant. Part of me initially thought these were wrong feelings to have, but now I don’t think it is selfish for me to want my body back. It doesn’t mean I will love my little girl any less because I want to get my fitness level back.
Being pregnant while as a personal trainer has been a little challenging, and I’m not talking about physically as much as mentally and emotionally. In my profession I am expected to look a certain way to show that I am fit, (even though looks for fitness level can be deceiving.) Most people don’t want to hire a personal trainer who looks like they don’t practice what they preach. Even by week 8 of being pregnant I could feel my body changing and it was definitely the opposite of leaning out. As weeks went by I was getting stares at the gym that I worked at, and I really wanted to wear a shirt that said “yes, I’m pregnant!”. I had worked at this gym for almost 5 years so many members were used to seeing me daily they could tell I was gaining weight. I started to avoid the mirrors in the gym as much as possible as I was not loving my ever-expanding body.
About 90% of females and 20% of males deal with some sort of body image issues. That is a very large number of people who you see in your day-to-day life. I see many people who are very unhappy with their appearance and want to change it which is why they hire a trainer. I love that they want to change their bodies to be healthier, but they won’t be successful unless they are able to change the way they perceive themselves. They have to learn to love their body enough to take care o it with good nutrition and exercise or else they will never be happy even once all the extra weight is gone. (and then the weight will come back on).
Even though this pregnancy has had its rough moments, If I would have gotten pregnant when I was first married, I would have had a much harder time with it than I did now. I used to have a bad relationship with food before I learned balance and to be ok with my body. Had I had the mindset I did couple years ago, I could see myself getting depressed over the weight gain. People tell me “It’s ok, don’t worry about it, you’re pregnant”. As I know this, it still doesn’t change the fact that I deal with health and weight loss daily in my job and feeling that I’m not a role model right now is tough!
Some of you may have an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, or over eating, and even if you don’t have a classified disorder, still many of you deal with what’s called disordered eating. This is when you don’t qualify specifically for an eating disorder (you have to fit a strict criteria), but you still have an altered view on food and your body. I would say I started dealing with disordered eating in high school. I would go through periods of not eating, then completely bingeing. I lost and gained 20 lbs several times during high school and college. If you feel that you have a skewed outlook on food and exercise or your body, you should find someone to talk to about it. This can be a friend, a relative, or someone who is an impartial observer like a therapist (or a personal trainer 😉 ) You do not need to battle these issues alone!
If you have a psychologist or therapist that you would like to recommend, please let me know. I would love to get a list together of some recommended professionals in the Orlando area and any other areas to help this community. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment on this post.
We are all different body shapes and we all have things we like and dislike about these shapes. Learn to embrace your shape and what foods and exercises best work for you!