This blog post has been on my mind for weeks now, and I think it’s time to write. With each pregnancy I’ve struggled with what it does to my body. When I gain weight I struggle a lot and not only that, I am really uncomfortable for the majority of the pregnancy. I start out by feeling sick and then my back and finally my whole body hurts most of the time. I’ve never enjoyed being pregnant and pregnancy number four is no exception.
I have spent the majority of the last nine years giving my body over to another human being. I spent almost ten months pregnant and then another year nursing for each baby. I go through ten months of gaining weight while pregnant, to a year of losing it again while feeding another human from my own body. Between each baby I tried to race when I could at whatever I could fit in.
Following Taylyn, for the first time in what felt like forever, I was back. I had officially recovered from a five year injury. I was able to run more miles than I ever had and faster than I ever could. I was biking and swimming again. I was trained and ready to finish an Ironman, the race of my dreams. Most importantly for me, I loved my body again and it was just mine. I was running without a shirt and I felt comfortable. I was at my high school weight, only as an adult I had real muscles and true endurance.
When surprise baby number four came, I certainly felt blessed that I will be mother again, but I still struggle with what pregnancy does to me physically. I look at pictures from the summer and pictures from today and feel disgusted. I dream of what I looked like in July and what my body could do.
I was talking a friend of my mine from work, Beth, and she said you need to own this. You need to know how amazing pregnancy is and how well you pull it off. My logical self knows that today I am in better shape than the majority. I can run faster and farther. I’m swimming more and biking some (I could bike more, but I could always bike more). I just know what I could do six months ago and I could do it not looking like a sausage squeezed into a casing. To prove this point, I did a five mile turkey trot on Thanksgiving. The race ended up a hill and then a mile to the finish. As I was running up the hill at mile four, a younger girl passed me and said, “Good Job, you can do this!” All I could think was I used to be the one passing. I used to be the one saying good job to everyone. Now I’m the old, large lady getting passed while the more fit pass me with words of encouragement.
And again, I know I’m pregnant and I’m supposed to be slower. I know in three months I will be able to work my way back to Ironman shape. I’ve already put together my training plan for 2019, which already includes at least three half marathons, a sprint triathlon, an Olympic distance triathlon, a 70.3 Ironman, and a marathon. My training starts the first week of May, which gives me twenty weeks to the 70.3 Ironman. Of course all of this depends on delivery and recovery going well, but I can only plan to that. My glass is always three-quarters full, so I’m planning for the best.
My logical self truly believes I’m beautiful and in shape. My logical self knows this is temporary and amazing. My logical self loves what I see in the mirror. The unfortunate part and the I’m sure the part that makes most roll their eyes, is my everyday self does not. I hate getting dressed each morning, I have nothing that fits. I REALLY hate putting on my swimming suit to swim. I walk as quickly as I can from locker room to pool and back. Stepping on the scale ruins my week.
What I can say is everyday I make a true effort to love the body I have today. I am thankful and love what my body can do. I try to remember when I’m not racing I am creating or feeding another human. I should be proud and I try very hard to be. Beth’s words go through my mind often reminding me to OWN IT! And she is right, I do need to OWN THIS! I need to enjoy these months more than I’m letting myself. Actually as I write this number four just kicked me and I smiled knowing how wonderful this time is. I may struggle everyday to appreciate my body, but I am trying. I truly believe you should all embrace yourself, wherever you are at, and OWN IT!!