One of the phenomenal blogs that I read is dooce.com. 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.