The F Word

My husband has banned the F word from my vocabulary. And I’m not talking about the four letter explicit. I’m talking about the word “fat”. As in, “oh my god, none of my clothes fit— I’m getting so fat!”

Which is exactly how I started my day while trying to tug on my gym clothes at 5:30am. Melbs groaned at first, tired of hearing me complain about my body, which I’ve done for the entirety of our 5 years together. While its not uncommon for women to complain about their bodies, I’ve been especially hard on myself.

My mom and sister are probably reading this and cringing— remembering my awful teenage years and how self loathing I was. How self deprecating and often abusive I was to myself. It’s all true and while I’ve gotten a lot better, it wasn’t until just last year that I’ve felt truly comfortable in the skin I’m in. Preparing for wedding and learning to love exercise, running in particular, I finally shed what I’ve always called “baby fat”— the 15 lbs of blubber that I’ve been carrying around since college. I looked good, felt great, and knew I just had to maintain it! …and up until recently, it’s be quite easy to do!

So here I am this morning. Desperately trying to keep up my exercise regimen, up at the crack of dawn, ready to get a work-out in and I’m completely flustered. In complete disbelief, really. How do STRETCH PANTS not fit? And as I mutter to myself, I know full well Melbs can hear me but he doesn’t say anything until I get home from the gym an hour later.

“Rachel, I want to tell you something. And I don’t want to have to say it again, but if you need me to, I will.

You are beautiful. And your clothes don’t fit right now because you’re PREGNANT. Don’t ever use that word, ‘fat’ again. Promise me.”

And in that moment, and now as I re-type his words, I want to cry. Not only is he right, but he genuinely cares about the way I feel about myself. I realize that he has always has cared— and that they way I talk about myself affects him too. Now that we are growing this baby, my body is his body too and every bit of it needs to be cherished out of respect for myself, for my husband, and for our baby.

What I have to accept is that no matter what I do— now matter how well I eat, how hard I work to stay fit, my body is changing and it’s going to get bigger over the next seven months.

What I’m learning to embrace is that my body is going to do whatever it needs to do to grow a healthy baby. Whatever its doing is an absolute miracle and beyond my control. And for my part, I’m going to continue eating well, resting lots, exercising when I have the energy to do so, and most importantly I’m going to go buy some more comfortable clothes.

Ladies, did you struggle with your expanding bodies during your first pregnancy? How far along were you when you started wearing stretch pants?

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