I have struggled with my weight my whole life. However, when I think back to my childhood and adolescence, I was very lucky. Nowadays we hear about bullying and there is definitely a stigma in our society about being overweight. Or maybe the stigma is about fitting an ideal that is only possible with the aid of technology.
I say I was lucky because as an overweight kid, I can’t recall a single incidence of bullying, ostracizing, name-calling. Perhaps I just never heard those things being said by others, but I think I was lucky to be spared the turmoil of body image-related teasing.
This is not to say that I didn’t notice that I was bigger than most of my peers. I knew I was big. It’s an uncomfortable feeling, being fat. In middle school I would wear clothes that were excessively too big. I think at my biggest in middle school I was wearing a size 20. I was wearing a size 20 when I could have easily fit into a 12-14. I did eventually grow out of that and started wearing more appropriate sizes as I entered high school.
According to the American Heart Association in an updated fact sheet, over 70 million women are overweight or obese. With a BMI of more than 30, I am definitely included in this statistic. And this is cause for concern as I am now in my 17th week of pregnancy.
However: I’ve taken precautions. Discussed this with my OB. To start, my general physician had me on pre-natal vitamins a few months before Jason and I conceived. I’ve been having monthly check-ups with my OB since March, during which my blood pressure and weight are tracked, and a urinalysis is done to make sure my glucose, pH, leukocytes, and other substances are normal. So far, my blood pressure is fantastic, my weight is increasing as it should (I’ve been told I should only gain about 20 pounds), and my urinalyses are coming back normal.
I’ve heard the baby’s heartbeat 3 times, all normal and within the range of normal for the age of the fetus. Because we’ve been able to hear the heartbeat, my OB has said that the chances of miscarriage have significantly dropped to just 1%. This has given both Jason and me a sense of security. While we’re not quite at the half-way point, we try to keep things in perspective and keep our fingers crossed that things continue to go as well as they’ve been.
During my pregnancy, I want to ensure that both the baby and myself are healthy. It’s been difficult with morning sickness (a real misnomer as I’ve not had this symptom in the morning, but usually in the afternoon or evening), vomiting, and food aversions to eat the very best foods for us. But I have been able to ease the effects of these by eating something, be it bran cereal, yogurt with granola, or chicken and provolone sandwich on a plain bagel heated (to kill off any potential listeria-carriyng bacteria in the deli meat), every two hours or so. I try to eat fruit that doesn’t cause indigestion, which is now limited to golden delicious apples, grapes, and canned peaches and pears. For veggies, I stay with my trifecta–corn, peas, and green beans. I eat baked chips instead of fried, air-popped popcorn instead microwaved. I haven’t had but 3-4 cups of coffee since mid-February.
Exercise is harder. Because of the randomly-occuring morning sickness, it’s hard to set a concrete exercise regime. Especially during my first trimester, queasiness and fatigue took precedence over exercise. But now that I am feeling better, I am starting to look into fitness programs like prenatal yoga and working up to longer-than-15-minute walks. Our cable provider does have a free prenatal yoga program for beginners and intermediate practitioners which I just started this morning.
In the weeks and months to come, I would like to use this blog as a sort of sounding board for my pregnancy-related issues. I’ve got loads of topics already whirling about in my blogger brain. Things to come: maternity clothes, shopping for baby (aka “nesting), dealing with weight gain, personal care during pregnancy, pregnant exercise, and more.
**Question: What other topics would you like to see presented here?**