Struggling with Weighty Issues


Welcome to Pregnancy Without a Filter, my weekly series in which I'm chronicling my life as a first-time mom-to-be. Read along for insights, outbursts, ups, downs, and the real deal about the crazy adventure of making a person.

Week 16

I'm gonna come right out and say it: I'm 16 weeks pregnant and I've gained 9 pounds. And for some reason, that terrifies me.

Weight is always something I've struggled with, even though I've never been plus-sized. But I always feel like being "skinny" is something that comes way more easily to the people I know than it does to me. My body loves to hang onto weight for dear life. And so when I found out I was pregnant, I immediately looked up "pregnancy weight gain" to see what I should expect.

Now, I know that 9 pounds in 16 weeks isn't outlandish. My doctor seems to be cool with it. But I also know that every time I look it up, I see message boards filled with tiny moms-to-be who are 16 weeks and "haven't gained any weight at all! Must be lucky, I guess!" Barf. Literally, barf. Whether it's because the only thing that made my nausea go away in the first trimester was eating, or whether I've gained muscle because I've been lifting weights more regularly, or whether it's just because my body is doing what it needs to, 9 pounds right now sounds to me like it might as well be 50. And I'm scared about what's to come.

Weight gain tends to speed up during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, so I find myself now agonizing over everything I put in my mouth. Should I get my dressing on the side? Will this sandwich go straight to my rear end like all other food does? Broccoli sounds disgusting but I guess I should eat it anyway? It's torturous, you guys!

My logical, kind, self-loving brain tells me that I'm doing a good job. I don't eat a lot of processed foods or sugars. Vegetables and fruits and proteins are my BFFs. My grains are whole wheat. I work out five or six days a week. And for crying out loud, my body is making a whole new person inside of it, and maybe I should just give it a break! So that's what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to calm the panic about how much I used to weigh or about how much other pregnant women weigh and just let my body do its thing. Easier said than done, but I know the last thing that I should be right now is hard on myself. (In the meantime, every photo that's taken of me has my hands on my tummy so that people know I'm pregnant and not just chubby. Baby steps, guys.)

So. Help me chill out. I'd love to know your pregnancy weight gain story, whether it's good bad or ugly. The more I remind myself that every pregnancy is different, the calmer I feel about whether me and my 9 extra pounds are on track.