Thursday, June 3, 2010
Working It Out
As you may have noticed from this past month's blog entries, there has not been a whole lot going on with me lately. Since my miscarriage, I have just been trying to stay busy while I wait for AF so that I can start FET. All of this waiting has made it difficult to keep my brain from doing crazy things- as you may also have noticed from this past month's blog entries- and my struggles with my body have been no exception.
I was pregnant for 8 weeks. It wasn't long but in that short time my body began responding the way a pregnant body should. I was fatigued, bloated, and my breasts became very large and sore. It was all in the name of baby so it didn't matter, actually it was a good thing! But then came getting un-pregnant. A week or so after the D&C my breasts didn't hurt and I could easily make through the day without needing a nap (so long as I hadn't been up too late crying the night before) but 5 weeks later and my body hasn't bounced back quite so well.
I will be honest, I, like many women, have been carrying around negative body image issues for years. I don't want to be "that girl" but I can't help comparing myself to what I used to look like when I was 22 and wondering if I "look fat in this". It's awful and my goal for many years has been to develop a healthier body image and learn to stop chastising myself. I do not want my kids to learn this mindset and continue the negative cycle. I know that a lot of my predilection toward negativity is learned. It's as if we are taught not be happy with how we look and we pass that on to the next generation. I know hearing my mom call herself fat definitely didn't keep me from feeling inclined to do it to myself. I've been trying for years to be happy with me and I can't say that I've completely undone my negative body issues, but I've made progress.
But this past month has been different, it's been worse. I have truly hated seeing myself in the mirror and even more so in pictures. I can see every flaw, every extra ounce as if I were under a microscope. I am healthy and while my body is not perfect, I know logically that I am ok, I look ok. But every time I see myself I see the changes. I see my slightly pudgier tummy, my fuller breasts and my rounder face and I can't stand it. Every extra bit of softness that came after I got pregnant is an awful physical reminder of what my body was doing, should still be doing, but isn't. It just feels so unfair to have gone through all of these physical changes without anything to show for it. The extra pounds would be fine with me if it meant my child was healthy and alive inside of me. Even though I know it wasn't mine or my body's fault that I miscarried, I still sometimes feel like it betrayed me. I have been dealing with anger toward my body because I can't get pregnant on my own for a long time already so adding the miscarriage just made it easy to hate my body even more.
But the good news is, my desire to get the 5 pounds I gained while pregnant off before trying FET, has given me an unexpected emotional outlet. I have always tried to exercise at least a few times a week. I drag Chad on walks after dinner as often as possible and always try to do some sort of workout in the morning. But this week I have a new found love for breaking a sweat. I have been hitting the elliptical every day as well as tossing in cardio sculpt dvds each morning and keeping up our evening walks. Don't worry I'm not going crazy and over-exerting my body. I keep my heart rate in check and stick to a half hour to 45 minutes for each workout, but it really has helped my mental state. Not only am I getting the endorphin exercise high, I am also feeling better about myself, little by little. The scale hasn't changed yet and my clothes still fit pretty much the same (although a wee bit better), but I hate myself and my body a lot less and that matters more.