ChooseBodyPositivity Guest Writing Pieces

Keeping Mum; Coping with Pregorexia

It was like a switch went on inside me, this wasn’t right. What kind of world do we live in where it is a bad thing to be big during pregnancy? Who decided that if you didn’t strut out of the hospital in your size 6 jeans that you were a disgrace to humanity and womanhood?

This is a guest post written by Nicci

I had a lovely upbringing but a lot of my memories involve sitting at weight loss clubs with my mum every week whilst she got weighed or listening to her asking my dad whether she looked fat in whatever she was wearing. As I grew up, it seemed like the common issue that all girls would have to deal with. I was particularly unlucky, I developed early and many kids would associate that with classing me as a fat person. It was always said as an insult, a curl of the upper lip and a sneer as they would lean forward and hiss at me- “fat cow, fat bitch, fat, fat, ugly, fat, fat” I could go on but I have a feeling that a lot of you are reading this and thinking that I could have been writing about you and your childhood.

I have spent the majority of my adult life trying to lose weight but it was never good enough. I would spend hours comparing myself to my friends who were slimmer, prettier and, in my eyes, therefore happier. My arms were too chubby, my lower stomach was too flabby, and my thighs were too big- the list would go on and on. I would lie in bed at night grabbing my stomach and arms and just hating myself with such ferocity that it would scare me.  I would spend hours at the gym or running and my soundtrack of my iPhone was ‘Run Fatty Run”.

Everything changed when I became pregnant with my son before I turned 29. I embraced the pregnancy as much as I could and for the first time in my life, I relished the fact that my stomach was getting bigger and I didn’t feel bad about eating. I felt like I need to be the best ‘hostess’ that I could be for my little Squash and I was serious about doing it.

During my pregnancy however the comments continued but with a different tone. People, some who I didn’t even know, would tell me how big I had become; was I having twins and that they couldn’t believe what size I was at such an early stage in my pregnancy. I know that it is something that a majority of pregnant woman goes through but it ruined it for me. I started to worry about my size again and comparing myself to other mums to be.

I have a long-term condition called Fibromyalgia and unfortunately as my pregnancy continued my pain levels increased to a point that I couldn’t walk. I also puffed up like the Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters due to all the extra fluid. My doctors weren’t happy so I was induced at 38 weeks and gave birth to the single best thing I have ever had. My son is the perfect thing to me and I love him wholeheartedly. They say (whoever they are!) that when you fall in love with someone everything pales in comparison. I have been lucky, as I have had this twice- when I met my husband and when they placed that little bundle of my chest after a painful and long labour and he snuffled against me.

Best Feeling Ever.

It was when I went home with my son that I became more aware about how the media portray mums who have given birth recently. Magazines would be full of celebs that had just given birth and were spotted weeks later back to ‘pre-baby’ weight and with a full face of makeup. Websites and social media would be packed with the best way to lose weight as soon as possible but on investigation would suggest that the best way to start your day would be a cup of hot water with lemon.  When I researched this more I found that there was an increasing number of mums-to-be and new mums dealing with a condition called Pregorexia.

Pregorexia is a type of anorexia where the pregnant woman will not eat the proper nutritional intake required and become focused on keeping the same weight or losing weight whilst pregnant.  If you do an Internet search on it you will find hundreds of thousands of sites giving information on this in great detail. It’s extremely disturbing and what is more worrying that just like normal pro-Ana websites, there are the equivalent for women who are pregnant.

It was like a switch went on inside me, this wasn’t right. What kind of world do we live in where it is a bad thing to be big during pregnancy? Who decided that if you didn’t strut out of the hospital in your size 6 jeans that you were a disgrace to humanity and womanhood?

Well enough of this.

Enough of it all.

It shouldn’t be like this, no woman should have to feel that they are judged on how they look. Women shouldn’t spend their life comparing themselves to others. I could kick myself when I look back during my pregnancy. I spent what should have been the best 9 months of my life, hating the fact that others felt that they had the right to comment on my size whether I was pregnant or not? What gave them the right to comment on how much I was eating when I was growing another little person inside of me? How is it fair that when I returned home after a difficult labour that people would ask what I was doing to get back to my ‘pre-baby’ weight?

Hell No.

My son is 14 months old and continues to make me smile every day, he is my little partner in crime and we have travelled over Scotland together when I was off during my Maternity Leave. I have lost weight but it was on my terms and I have never ever deprived myself of anything. I am not going to let my son spend his childhood hearing my complaints and comparisons about myself to my husband. I don’t want him to compare his body, I want him to love the fact that his little legs help him plod around the house and through the grass, that his little tummy is full and he is content and happy.  I never want him to judge others on the way that they look because that is what makes us beautiful.

It makes me so sad when I am on my social media and I see women who are beautiful and happy belittling themselves. I am very thankful that I came across Dani’s Instagram (@chooselifewarrior) page because it opened a whole world to me about loving yourself just the way that you are. I won’t lie, it will always be difficult but I hope that it will get easier the longer I look at myself and think “you know what? I look bloody good”.

I’m going to sign off by telling you all a big secret – I am pregnant.

This time, I am going to embrace it again with every fibre of me. When people comment on my size, I am going to rub my belly and say “Why yes, of course I am getting big- I am growing my baby, I am a good mum, I am going to the best for my baby and, please, would you pass me another slice of cake.”

A little bit about the Guest Writer Nicci
Hi, I’m Nicci- living the Good Life in Bonnie Scotland with my husband and mum to an amazing little sidekick. I’m a big old bookworm, gin lover, baker and an out and proud Disney fan. Learning to embrace body positivity one day at a time!

 

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