Post # 1
Consider this my secret post.
My husband and I are getting ready to TTC. I am really afraid of what it will do to my body. Sounds shallow…
I have dealt with anorexia and eating disorders for the past 10 years. Everything has been going very good for a few years now, but in high stress periods, I relapse.
Eating disorders is not something you are cured from, you have to deal with that all your life.
For the first time in my life, I am actually happy with my body, and eating/exercising in a healthy way on top of that.
I’m really scared about the weight gain, stretch marks, extra skin that a pregnency will bring. In my family, women have all had these problems – they were gorgeous until they had babies and never went back to their pre-baby shape.
How do I not let this scare me off? It sounds incredibly shallow I know but I really need advice and I swear, I’m usually not a shallow person, everything but, actually!
Post # 3
Perhaps if you really think you’re ready you should see a counselor before and during your pregnancy or nutritionist or someone to help guide you. Because you still can exercize and eat healthy, just for you, you have to be sure not to over do it with too much exercize or too ‘healthy eating’ and that’s probably going to be your tendancy both during and after pregnancy if you’re scared of weight gain. Educate yourself as much as possible on what’s healthy during and after preg. and make sure you have people watching out for you.
Post # 4
It’s not shallow that you’re acknowledging this – I think it’s really deep and important to realize that this is going to be difficult for you. Part of me wants to say that it’s a matter of priorities, but eating disorders are not about rational priorities. They take over and make their own priorities.
I like troubled’s advice to educate yourself on the range of changes you can expect – not just the average, but also the extremes. It may be easier if you’re ready for it. Also – make sure you have a support system in place. If you have a therapist or nutritionist or just a couple of close friends who have really helped you get into recovery, alert them to what’s going on. Make sure your support system is ready if you need it.
Post # 5
I have no training or anything so I don’t have any good advice. But I just wanted to reach out and say that it’s really good that you asked us all for support, and we are here for you! I hope that you are able to maintain your healthy habits and even come to love your pregnant body and your post-baby body too. I think pregnant women are beautiful! If it helps, I know several “normal” women in their 30’s and 40’s who have had children and they all look wonderful.
Post # 6
Ah, I am sorry you have had to go through eating disorders and that you have had relapses too! I have 2 teens and yep I got stretchmarks and flabby skin. I was young and didn’t exercise much or eat right. I had to have some mommy repair work to my body and most people say I am prettier now. I am preganant again 15yrs later and worried too. Worried that I will relapse into another 60lb pregnancy and have to have my tummy retucked and I would again in a heartbeat, call me vain I don’t care. BUT, I am hopeful that I can do a 25lb pregnancy this time and that I won’t need to. I am just focusing on eating right and exercise everyday. In fact my OB said they don’t have you even watch your heartrate anymore, whatever you did prior you can do again. So yes, you might be more obsessed about it but I bet you can manage to not relapse!
Post # 7
agree on the idea of having professional support to help you through this. It *is* hard to deal with a changing body, even though you are excited. I am a little more than halfway through and I do miss my non-pregnant body, I miss dressing a certain way, I miss feeling sexy (i know it does for some, but pregnancy does not make me feel sexy!). I don’t feel horrible at all – but it can be challenging – and I have never had any issues with eating or my weight. I think admitting how you feel is very admirable, and making sure you are well prepared and have the help you need is very smart.
FYI many of my friends now look as good if not better than they did before baby!!
Post # 8
It is for sure possible to get back to a before baby body or better. My trainer was 40 and had an amazing body better than mine.
I also agree with the others that you should consider counseling and a dietician so that you can maintain healthy habits and avoid going out of control.
Post # 9
This doesn’t strike me as shallow, it strikes me as self-aware. You know this is your struggle, and you are anticipating problems you may face.
Working the a councellor while you are TTC, during pregnancy, and after, will be helpful, I imagine. You won’t be the first person to face these issues.
From a totally non-professional POV, I think you need to probably come to terms with the physical transition. Your pre-baby body is beautiful, but you are moving on to a new kind of beauty. I don’t know what kind of imagery would interest you, but maybe work with a professional to develop a new love for yourself, something positive. Like, embrace an earth mother feel about your wider hips, or an amazonian warrior feel about stretch marks. I mean, dude, what you are planning on doing is AMAZING! Your body will reflect that.
Post # 10
I really think you should see a therapist/counselor/psychologist and nutritionist. I think it’s good that you recognize this.
Post # 11
I think it would be good to note this issue with your doctor before you even become pregnant. That way you know it’s recording and won’t risk not wanting to bring it up during your pregnancy.
If you did not have your history, I would recommend some exercises that help you avoid these issues, but I don’t think such “practical advice” fits here, and I agree that it is good you are so self aware. My husband thinks I look amazing in my pregnancy, but I know your perception may be skewed if you start having unhealthy thoughts again with your body image. Good luck!
Post # 12
I too have struggled with an eating disorder, and pregnancy has been a fascinating and empowering journey in that respect. I feel like I’ve grown so much in my relationship to food and body image. I’d be happy to talk by PM more if you like!
Post # 13
The only advice that I can give was given by some of the other ladies already which is to make sure you are being councelled and have a nutrionist on hand to help you through this. They will be your guardian angels through this amazing and empowering process. Yes, it isn’t all rainbows but it can be an amazing journey.
I do want to say KUDOS to you for bringing this to light, Many people hide their issues with their weight and it seems to me you like you really want to be a mother and want to do it correctly.
Good luck to you!
Post # 14
I have also struggled with an eating disorder in the past and I agree that counseling is a great tool in order to anticipate and be able to work through any issues you have with this up front, if it is something you are worried about. I agree with Mrs. DG in that pregnancy has been empowering in a way that I did not imagine beforehand, but I also had the benefit of feeling relatively at peace with my previous body image/weight issues for many years beforehand. Without knowing exactly where you are in your journey, I don’t know how long you want to wait until you TTC, but make sure you have a support system in place and just be easy on yourself and your own body’s journey.
The link below is a little reminder I keep for use during times of stress, regardless of what my coping mechanisms have developed into. My therapist gave it to me many years ago. Recovery is such a difficult and personal struggle and something I hope you are VERY proud to be undertaking. Never be ashamed that you are aware and trying to find your way to “another street”.
Post # 15
thanks for the support ladies.
It’s not something that’s easy to talk about, because everyone will tell you that once you have the baby, you don’t care anymore about that stuff, but I can’t see myself not caring.
A nutritionist is a good idea, and although I had counselling as a teenager, it never did anything for me on that aspect of my life, but maybe I should think about that..
I’m lucky my husband is very supportive and will help me get back on track and will watch out for me – but in the end, the battle is all in my head..
Post # 16
Eat healthy – You’re not eating for two. Try as hard as you can to elminate junk food and fatty foods. Trust me, you won’t regret it
Exercise – In moderation. Don’t sit around like I did for 9 months
Stretch marks – I thought I was in the home stretch until I got them at exactly 9 months. No advice there : (
Wear a belly band/postpartum band – I heard it works miracles!
I gained 40lbs and a year and a month later I still have about 5lbs to go and I’m just now learning to love my body again. Good luck!