“Sweatpants Are All That Fit Me Right Now” | Pregnancy Diaries Pt.11

“Sweatpants Are All That Fit Me Right Now” | Pregnancy Diaries Pt.11

“Sweatpants Are All That Fit Me Right Now” | Pregnancy Diaries Pt.11

My relationship with my body hasn’t always been perfect. At times, far from it. I’d like to think that confidence doesn’t come from an outside source, but I have to credit my loving husband for inspiring me, and adoring me into “loving the skin”I am in.  During our seven years of marriage, I have broken up (completely) with scales, and I’ve found a healthy and happy balance with my body. I enjoy many wholesome and nutritious meals, and I’m driven to choose healthy options mostly by my desire to care for myself, more than a need for a smaller pant size. I’ve gotten into the habit of a (mostly) consistent workout regiment, and my focus is to be healthy and strong, in addition to staying trim. Most crucial, I have healed mentally.

My situation and my mentality was much different in my teen years.  I starved myself in an attempt to be content with my body. I thought that the tinier I could be, the more popular or desired by my crush I would be. I even thought that if I did get small enough, maybe something bad would happen and it could get the attention I craved. It was an outcry. And it’s easy to loose control. It messes with your head. In my mind I was never as small as my friends, certainly never as small as the supermodels. If I could sit up and feel a belly roll, I told myself I was fat. I remember standing in front of my mirror, and being obsessed with sucking in my belly until I was almost invisible. I loved to ball up my fist and tuck them under my rib cage, or wrap my hands around my waist and make my fingertips touch.  I weighed myself morning noon and night. I wanted to see how much weight one meal had added.  If I had to run into the store for tampons, I would make a detour to the aisle that had scales, just to see if one of their scales gave me a lower number than the one I had at home.

The hair on my head was thinning, the hair on my body thickening. My teeth has acid stains and were weakening. Eventually, that bad thing did happen. I collapsed. It finally happened while I was volunteering at a summer camp. Some friends standing nearby scooped me up into a golf cart, and whizzed me into an air conditioned room. “It was too hot! I forgot to drink water!” I insisted, but my sister was done with my bull$%&!, and she was looking out for me. “It’s because she won’t eat! She announced. She’s starving herself”. I threw some eye daggers at her for telling my secret, but of course I knew she was right, and even at times I wanted to be mad at my sister, I knew she always had my back. She was the one who never gave up on trying to pull me out of it.

This was approximately around 2006-2007, I don’t recall exactly.But at that time,  mental health, triggers and body positivity conversations had yet to begin, and my camp director had zero f’s to give over my shenanigans. Her quick response was to give me a bottled water and a sleeve of saltine crackers, and I wasn’t to leave the room, or have any visitors, until I had eaten all the crackers. “She’ll just throw them up” my sister chimed in, so I was left with a supervisor on anti vomit watch. So that was that. I was busted, my gig was up. But my head was twisted. I had trained my body to not want food, to feel full after only a couple of bites. I can barely believe it myself now, but all those years ago, I truly had no interest in food. I struggled to get those crackers down. I struggled past mental blocks, past gag reflexes, past a year or so of bad, bad, habits. Eventually the crackers we’re gone and I’m not sure why, but that actually worked. It snapped me out of my craze. I was angry that I had practically been force fed crackers, but I saw a group of people that cared about my well being. I saw watchful eyes making sure I actually swallowed my food during the remaining camp meal times, and It felt good that people cared.

I stopped starving myself. But I didn’t start loving myself for awhile longer. I mostly just avoided looking in mirrors back then. I’m not even sure how to begin to describe how skewed my “body confidence” or lack thereof, was. I don’t want to always harp on the same: “oh hey, I was messed up by a weird religious cult” thing. I think that at a certain point in someones life, they have to let go of the past in order to move on. At some point, any of my past mistreatments or scars, are no longer an excuse for any problems I carry into adulthood. But if I had to give a reason for what may had led to my self-destructive behavior, I could imagine that being taught that self love is  equal to vanity and pride, and therefore a terrible sin. Or, that my full chest was a “hinderance to a mans walk with God”, and I was constantly made to feel embarrassed for having boobs, that could be where some issues began!

Let’s fast forward to today. I’m 24 weeks pregnant, and there is no end in sight for my ever growing belly. That’s wonderful, right? I’m growing a healthy baby! But I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t struggle a little bit with my ever expanding waistline. No, I have never deprived myself of food, or done opposite of that. I believe that as long as I have a well balanced wholesome meals, with occasionally satisfying the  junk-food craving, then whatever weight that I gain is exactly the amount of weight needed for this baby. But I have trouble fully embracing the mindset that pregnancy is beautiful. I feel so out of control over which part of me will stretch out, where stretch marks may pop up, what parts may never be the same, and what part of me may be less desirable after birth. I hate that. I hate that in the midst of this amazing, miraculous, thing my body is doing, I small voice in the back of my head says “I wonder how long it will take you to bounce back”. “Bounce back” what a crappy term! Can I not just appreciate this moment fully, and love my body for what it’s capable of? Maybe it will be the same again, maybe it wont, but I will find peace with either way.

In the meantime, I must remember to allot myself extra time to get dressed! My options are dwindling, and I think that no matter how much I lower my standards, I should not wear a onesie to work or even for a play date. 😉

 

Thanks for reading. Sending love and light to you all. <3

 

San Antonio | TX | Lifestyle Photographer | Pregnancy Diaries

See more at: http://www.annaangenend.com

Share this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Find us on Facebook