Hold your judgment.
Before you assume I’m some kind of vain monster that cares nothing about the health of my unborn child and only about my appearance, let me let you in on a little history.
I developed anorexia when I was 14. I was down to 36kgs and was hospitalised. I nearly died. It took over 10 years for me to develop a reasonably ‘normal’ eating system that didn’t include laxative abuse, bringing or purging. But, as anyone who has suffered with an eating disorder will tell you, you’re never really cured – you just learn to live with it.
That little voice telling you how worthless you are, how fat you are, how wrong you are to eat that extra piece of cheese or cake or whatever, that little voice never. goes. away. All that happens is you get better at blocking it out. But when you’re sad or depressed, that’s when that voice comes creeping back – louder and louder – reminding you that you really are worthless.
This is why I’m terrified of gaining weight.
I’m scared that if I put on an excessive amount I’ll end up resenting my child: “You did this to me. You ruined my body”, and so on.
I know everyone says that when you have a child you don’t even think about your weight or your looks – I hope that’s true. But is that still the case for people who have a predisposition to an eating disorder? Do we still not care? Or does our disorder kick in full swing after birth?
Then there are those people who talk about how “amazing” their pregnant friend looks because she doesn’t look pregnant.
“If you saw her from behind you would never know!” – OH MY GOD.
Is the small pudge of my lower belly now another example of how less of a woman I am? They didn’t show that early – why do you? Maybe I need help.
I’m still exercising daily. Sometimes just 30 minutes on an exercise bike or walking. I eat pretty well. Actually, scrap that. I eat very well: whole grains, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, proteins. I have a weakness for sweets at night but in my mind I’m leveling it out because I’m no longer drinking so a candy here and there is probably OK.
I don’t know if other mothers-to-be go through this. I feel ashamed and embarrassed to talk about it.