Wednesday, September 13, 2006

And Dooce Called It, "The State of My Weight"

One of the phenomenal blogs that I read is Dooce is irreverent, honest, wickedly funny, and wise beyond words. I've been rereading Dooce chronicles from her pregnancy in the Dooce archives and found a brilliant post which she called "The State of My Weight." She bemoaned the many pregnancy books which go on and on and on in an incredibly prissy tone about how imperative it is that one not gain too much weight in the first trimester, and how incredibly annoying said books are because most women in the first trimester cannot keep anything down their throats long enough to convert to actual caloric gains.

In the first trimester, I have learned, it is a crapshoot. Eat what you can. Fend for yourself. Who knows what will stick (case in point, the greasy Quarter Pounder with cheese and large fries from McDonalds did NOT make me puke. However, the healthy watermelon and green beans barely hit my esophagus before they were rejected...go figure!). I am actually at a negative weight gain in the ten weeks of this pregnancy, despite the fact that I can no longer squeeze into my favorite jeans. So, dammit, I'll eat the Quarter Pounder, prissy pregnancy book. So there.

However, there is a larger truth here which I need to address. And I speak it in all seriousness and with all vulnerability. I am afraid of gaining too much weight. Throughout my life I believe I have flirted with an eating disorder. I have never starved myself, or exercised to oblivion, or thrown up purposefully. But, I have learned that sometimes eating disorders come through an unhealthy obsession and focus on what one eats, and perhaps I am like many other American women who struggle in this realm.

I am a feminist. I hate what our culture does to dupe women into believing that they have to be a certain size. I hate the airbrushed images which flood through the television, and magazines, and other print media. I hate that food has become an object to which we assign moral values (how many times have you heard someone say, "I'll pay for this tomorrow. This cake is so sinful!"). I work tirelessly at reinforcing positive self-image into my step-daughters and in hiding from them my own "body issues." Frankly, It embarrasses me that I care about weight and body shape. And it shames me that at a time in my life when my body is nourishing another life I worry about being too "fat."

This pregnancy is an utter gift from God and I am blessed to be able to carry a child. I know this. But the broken and damaged parts of me need to be reprogrammed through grace and I am slowly, and carefully learning to embrace my body as it is, rounded and whole. But, again, my confession to each of you is that this is still hard for me.

It is time for me to practice a radical acceptance, because this is no longer just about me. But sometimes I don't even know how to begin.


Pink Shoes said...

You will be in my thoughts and prayers as your pregnancy continues. Your words rang true and clear, and struck a chord with some of my own.

Cathy said...

I say eat what your body tells you to eat - there's got to be a reason for it.

Yes, you will also be in my prayers during this time.

BTW, I had HEARD of Dooce, but never had seen her blog. Thanks for sharing that - I know why she is popular now!

"imagine the darkness in love with the light." said...

yes. i agree. i too have body issues. my prayers and thoughts as you go through.

Amy said...

I dealt with those same feeling when I was pregnant. In fact, I was a bit overweight when I became pregnant for the first time. Pregnancy brought up all my food issues.

But, the pleasure of being a parent (mixed with the occasional pain of it too) is worth dealing with my crazy body issues.

When I was pregnant with my son, I ate pop tarts (strawberry with frosting only!) for the first trimester. That's all I could stomach. And he turned out ok (but has a bit of a sweet tooth!)

Blessings on you and the little one inside of you.

Contemplative Chaplain said...

Oh my God, Amy...I have been the pickiest eater and can find very little to satisfy me, and then you mention the poptarts and I think..."Oh My God, manna from heaven!" Perhaps my first authentic pregnancy craving...

Gannet Girl said...

Ummm...I puked through both pregnancies. May I suggest, in addition to McDonald's (yep, it stays down), Alpha Bits cereal and baked potatoes. (Produced 40+ week twins for me.) Forget anything green and healthy. Forget prenatal vitamins. That stuff about tea and Melba toast before you get out of bed? Obviously a solution proposed by women who have NO IDEA. The good thing is that the puking will probably end soon. And if it doesn't, then the good thing is that, no matter how entranced you are by the developments of pregnancy, you will be deliriously happy to get your body back to yourself, and you can eat all the ice cream you want while you are nursing.

Erin MacPherson said...


Your blog is great.... I know it's so hard to be sick and pregnant. I threw up the entire nine months with my son and thought I was going to die. Still, it was all worth it when he was born!

I'm a content editor for Parents Connect, a national parenting website owned by Nickelodeon. I'd like to quote this blog entry on our site. Of course, I'll link to it and give you the credit.