Perception and Reality

Right now, at 33 weeks, I feel like I look like I did when I was nine months pregnant with Maya. I’ve already gained above the 25 pounds I gained with her. I’m waddling. Wearing heels hurts. And my spine is all out of whack from having a giant basketball in front. I feel like a human teapot, about to tip over at any given moment. And on top of all that awesomeness, I’m pretty much a forgetful, anxious hot mess these days.

So it came as quite a surprise when, on two separate occasions in the past week, people paid me compliments that totally didn’t jive with how I have been feeling … but made me feel great regardless.

A woman who usually comes to Zumba on Saturdays but hasn’t been around the past few weeks commented on my growing belly and how “cute” I look and said, “Don’t you love that second trimester when you feel like you’re glowing and looking really pregnant but not uncomfortable?”

There was something cool about telling her I’m already well into the third trimester; as of Saturday, I was nearly 33 weeks along!

Then last night, an older woman who sits with Luis on a local environmental board came over to tackle some paperwork for their next meeting. When she found out when I was due, she said, “Oh my goodness! October 3? You’re so small!”

Given how I FEEL right now, these comments were totally taken as compliments. The only thing feeling “small” on me right now is my pinky toe … but maybe much of it is in my head. I mean, the weight is there, for sure … but maybe I “feel” enormous because I know how much I’ve gained? It’s a pretty interesting phenomenon. When I was up 15 pounds, I didn’t “feel” up 15 pounds. It seemed like a lot. Now I’ve gained almost twice that and feel enormous … but apparently others don’t see me that way. Go figure.

Of course, none of this really matters — growing a healthy baby matters most of all and at whatever weight gain expense. I just find it fascinating how my mind is still somewhat tied to the scale, in spite of how much progress I’ve made over the years.

Like last time, my body will gain what it needs to gain for a healthy baby to thrive. And when I look at comparison shots between my pregnancies (the Bump pages here on my blog), I (personally) think I look more fit this go around — probably thanks to weight training in addition to cardio — in spite of carrying lower and bigger and weighing more already now than I did at full-term with Maya.

I am grateful to be here, in this moment … and even though I might feel one way about myself, it’s nice to know that there’s a good chance some of it is just in my head.

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