the hard truth about being skinny

When I was 18, I had issues with eating… or not eating, I suppose. I was excited but not really that I could fit into my old size 5 jeans from my post-Army days. The difference between my Army days vs. then was that the Army got me in shape, healthfully. When I was 18 and wearing size 5 jeans it was because I was working 60+ hours a week and had conveniently forgot where the grocery store was at.

That was then. This is now.

I got healthy and I got in shape the right way. I go to the gym every day I don’t work for both me and for the kids. They love the gym day care and I love that I can do something good for myself. The benefits of exercise are so numerous in my mind that it makes me think to myself, “Why not?” Especially during pregnancy. I mean, I sleep better at night, have an easier pregnancy in general, have more energy and actually want to…you know…*cough*. ALL GOOD THINGS!

Now, imagine you didn’t know that I used to starve myself. And then imagine how I felt when someone said to me a few days ago, “Hey, I heard you were 5 months pregnant. There’s no way you’re that pregnant. And if you are, then you’re starving your baby you stupid, skinny bitch.”

…breathe…

Why is it now the misconception for women to look 9 months pregnant when they’re only 5 months along? When did it become taboo to workout consistently during pregnancy? When did it become OK to gain 80 pounds during pregnancy and wrong to only gain 25? And why is it called eating for two when the increased calorie requirement is only 400-600 more a day than the normal intake?

When I was pregnant with Claire, I gained 18 pounds and was 20 pounds heavier at the start of that pregnancy vs this one. Even then, with those extra pounds, I never got huge. Why? I don’t know. It’s just who I am, I suppose. I think it also helps that I’m “top-tall.” I’m 5’8″ and I have a Tara Reid-like torso. Top-tall. That’s me.

Usually, I don’t let people’s comments get to me, but this time I was a bit put off. Sure, the comment was completely unnecessary and extremely rude and uncalled for, but it got me thinking. Is Drunk-Girl’s comment what a lot of people think when they see me and just never say it?

And for the record, I could give a shit what others think of me. Unless I’m wrong or being an ass, I really don’t care.

BUT when people look at me and think that I’m neglecting my baby, I stress. It’s not just about me at that point. It’s about me and another living creature. I’m not a neglectful person. I don’t do things to hurt my baby. But why would anyone ever think I would?

It’s the same idea as when people look at me and say, “You’re only 25? And you have 2 kids? Oh – and you’re pregnant again? Wow. Um, good luck?” To me, what I’m hear is: It screams trailer trash. It screams devout Catholic. It screams welfare.

None of which I am. (And seriously, with the Catholic comment, it came from people who say, “Wow, are you Catholic?” You know, because they’re supposed to be against birth control. Relax now.)

Matt and I have said from the beginning that we’d have as many kids as we wanted as long as we could take care of them emotionally and financially. We’d never put a kid on the Earth if we couldn’t care for them. So monetarily, obviously, we’re doing fine since I’m on kid number 3. Emotionally, I’ve never been better. My struggles with PPD have taught me to really look at life from all angles and never take anything for granted.

So why on Earth would I starve my baby?

As Matt said, “Do these people go with you to your doctor’s appointments? Do they hear her tell you that you are perfectly healthy? Did they see your ultrasound? Did Claire and Luca suffer during their times in utero?”

Of course not. And of course I’m doing everything right.

I guess what got my panties in such a twist is that I’m not considered the norm anymore. Obesity is HUGE these days. Women having babies who can barely take care of themselves is even bigger.

It makes me sad to think that people question my ethics and health when I’m doing everything right. It isn’t the ’70’s anymore. Women aren’t told to “Eat, eat, eat!” In fact, exercising during pregnancy is pushed even when the woman isn’t a novice. Start slow, go for walks, listen to your body. It’s that simple.

So while to the naked eye, I may not look pregnant, I am. I’m a happy 23 weeks and counting. Yes, my regular every day jeans still fit me. Sure, I’ve only gained 10 pounds. OK, I understand that I just look bloated. And no, it’s not a tumor. It’s my body and how my body reacts to being pregnant. I’m tall. I’m in shape. I’m healthy.

So. When I’m 9 months pregnant and the baby is sitting so low that I still can’t believe my uterus is not in fact to my knees, yet I’m still on the treadmill, you can gawk. And you can ask me how far along I am. But when I tell you that I’m 38 weeks along, the next phrase out of your mouth better not be, ” You’re only what?!” because pregnancy hormones are hard to control and I may smack you.

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About Cassie

Two sisters from two misters. What could be more fun?

Posted on October 13, 2010, in Cassie and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. I’m glad you wrote this. I’m only 15 weeks along and I can’t tell you how many people have looked at me skeptically and said “You don’t even look pregnant.” (And I’m not talking about the nice comments like yours. I’m talking about people who use that tone).

    It makes me feel insecure, like I’m not doing something right. Like you I’m exercising a lot though and my doc told me to keep my weight gain between 20 and 30 lbs, erring on the side of 20.

    I used to think being pregnant was an eating free-for-all, but it turns out I have to be more conscious than ever of what I’m putting into my mouth.

    For the record, I think you look great!

    • And good for you to take good care of yourself. It’s sad that it’s the understanding of most people that they can eat whatever they want during pregnancy. Do people not realize that what you eat, baby eats? So just because it’s fried, hot and delicious, does not mean it’s what’s right for you.

      You’re doing a great job, Jess. I’m so proud of you!

  2. You both need to remember the high amount of BS that comes out of people’s mouths. Just because they speak it does not mean it has validity. You could have ended this post right after, “I could give a shit what others think of me,” and it would have been perfectly fine.

    Do what you do, and don’t let anyone tell you different.

    And you both look fabulous.

  3. WHO THE F SAID THAT TO YOU? Are you freaking kidding me?! What a bitch. I would have delivered a roundhouse kick to her face. The nerve of some people….grrrrrr….

    Okay, breathing now. I just can’t even believe that people feel like they have the right to judge you. We need MORE care and understanding in this world of ours, not less.

    You rock. And your baby rocks and I hope your new baby comes out of the womb ready to kick ass.

  4. It’s really sad that people look at normal, healthy (but not grossly overweight or huge) pregnant women and immediately assume they’re vain bitches who are starving their babies. That makes me so mad my ears ring.

    Whoever said that is a complete and utter douche nozzle.

    • What makes me the most upset about it all is that they are most likely jealous or vain themselves and find it necessary to make me feel horrible because I’m the way I am. I can’t help it if that’s the way my body reacts. So I say : Well, mission accomplished jerk-face. I felt horrible.

  5. I almost said unbelievable but then I stopped. Pregnancy, above all else, seems to warrant comments from everyone. I showed fast & big, all out in front & got the “you’re so having twins” quite a few times. People have nerve, that’s all I can say.
    I’ve seen your cute little pg body all 3 times. Never once did I think you were too skinny. You’re just right. 🙂
    For the record, I gained 60, 57 & 50 pounds with my 3. I didn’t pig out. That’s just how preggos in my family get. I wish more people would realize that 1. Its nunya. 2. Everyone is different and 3. Its nunya.

    • And what kills me, Kel, is that AFTER I have a baby is when it gets worse. Because I exercise regularly and am top-tall, my belly shrinks rather quickly and I’m back in normal jeans within a few weeks. But it’s JUST ME, that’s how I am. I can’t help it! So sue me, you know?

      And it IS none of their business.

  6. People say the stupidest things… even women. I don’t know why when I read that I just assumed it was a a man who said it. But then, I think men tend to stay away from commenting in any way whatsoever about pregnency things. Smart men, anyway. Treadmill on, girl.

  7. I’m with Carly. I’m ready to rip that judgmental bitch’s face off. *deep breath* As always, pregnancies between women are different. Yours isn’t the same as mine, mine isn’t the same as someone else’s. Pregnancies are also different from pregnancy to pregnancy. During my last pregnancy (number EIGHT, btw) I had things going on I had no experience with. People treated me like I was mentally incapacitated because I didn’t know what was going on. “You’ve done this before.” Yes, but never with THIS baby.

    I hate people. Just sayin. 🙂

    With my first baby I didn’t show until 6 months. In fact, a friend of mine thought I’d had a miscarriage because I “should have been bigger”. With a later pregnancy I showed at 5 weeks. (UGH). With the last baby I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight at 2 weeks.

    Stuff happens. You’re doing what you know to be right. Next time someone swears at you in your face let me at ’em. I would have said, “I’M not the stupid bitch in this conversation.”

    Grrr

  8. People are so judgmental it makes me sick. Have as many children as you want. The world is a better place for the children you and Matt bring. All our bodies are different. I gained 60 pounds with each of my 3 pregnancies, was healthy and lost it all in eight weeks. One thing about aging(and you have a long way to go on this..:), you stop caring what people think. I love this part!

    • See, and that’s what kills me. You gained 60 pounds AND LOST IT ALL. Most women aren’t so lucky. But like you said, you’re healthy. So when I gain 20 pounds, and I’m healthy, they think I’ve starved my kid. Every woman is different!

  9. I, too, am super skinny and tall. I look like a freaking telephone pole with a basketball duct taped to it (in the infamous words of my husband) when I’m knocked up. I HATED the “you’re so small!” comments I got. But you saw that post. I can’t believe someone said that to you. Really. I would’ve clocked her.

    I think I’ve gained the least this time around, and I’m not sure why. (I gained 40 pounds each time; right now I’m only up to 25.) But the baby is growing well, and I’m in the homestretch, so I’ll take it!

    It constantly amazes me the judgmental sh*$ that comes out of people’s mouth. I would never, ever say the crap I hear because it’s none of my flipping business. I think my mama raised me right — with manners.

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