Are You Afraid of Being an Overweight Mother? Tips on Reframing
Now more than ever before I am aware of my desire to be a mother………..soon. And that desire brings me face to face with my looming fear of not losing this weight before I become pregnant.
I’ve made no secret that I am afraid of not conquering my emotional eating before I start a family. That said, I do believe in my heart that this is my year to start trying to get pregnant. In my life, I have learned to trust my gut and to know when the timing is right for the important things and that feeling I usually get – I am getting now. So that means no matter where I am with my weight, it’s go time.
So how do I marry these two feelings? These feelings of both surety and doubt? How do I reconcile a failed goal with a new one? I think the answer lies in one magnificent word: Reframe. I wrote a while back about changing your story and how you control the thoughts you tell yourself that may be hurting or helping you lose weight so choose to tell yourself the right stories. Much the same way, reframing can help us to face our fears and turn them into challenges that you can overcome.
I’m reframing my thoughts about pregnancy, about weight loss, and about my journey so far. I hope these ideas can help you if you are struggling with the same issue.
Here are five different fears I’ve had about being overweight and trying to get pregnant and after each thought I’ve written how I’m now reframing that thought:
- If I don’t lose the weight now, then I never will because I won’t have the memory of how it was to feel thin so I won’t know how to go back to that because “back to” never really existed.
My goal to be at a healthy weight is alive and well. That desire does not go away because I get pregnant.
If ever there was time when I cared the most about my health and my weight, it’s now when someone else (baby) will be dependent on my healthy body. This new era will produce even greater strength and motivation and I will not deter from losing unhealthy weight to make room to take care of a new life.
- I will gain even more weight during the pregnancy and in fact go from overweight to obese.
My Nutritionist has spent a lot of time reassuring me that this is not the way it works. A friend of mine blogged about her weight gain on her blog here. In her post she provides a very helpful chart about all of the “healthy weight” you are supposed to gain to support the growth of the baby.
Pregnancy Weight Gain: Average Distribution
7 1/2 pounds is about how much the baby will weigh by the end of pregnancy.
1 1/2 pounds is how much the placenta weighs.
4 pounds is attributed to increased fluid volume.
2 pounds is the weight of the uterus.
2 pounds is the weight of breast tissue.
4 pounds is because of increased blood volume.
7 pounds is attributed to maternal stores of fat, protein and other nutrients.
2 pounds for the amniotic fluid.
Total: 30 pounds
This is “healthy weight”. It’s expected. My nutritionist explained to me that the baby will take what they need regardless of what you’re doing. So in fact, sometimes people lose weight in the beginning stages of pregnancy. You can still eat healthy, and lose weight in the beginning stages of the pregnancy and if you’re eating a normal amount, the only weight you will gain is exactly what you need. Which means you’ll lose that weight fairly quickly after the pregnancy – aka – after you no longer need it. So I’m focusing on continuing to eat normal and healthy and within my daily calorie goal because every day that I succeed is one more day that I’m closer to making it a permanent habit of my life. The more that I can make portion control a habit, the more likely I am to keep it in place during and after the pregnancy.
- I will not have time to lose weight because I will have bigger priorities – being a mom.
What I was really saying was that I wouldn’t have time to exercise like a maniac and think about overeating and then think about how I was going to “work that off” – and on and on and on. But now I realize that weight loss is all about nutrition and very little about exercise and so my focus is on eating the right amount of food the first time around so there is no need to “work it off”. I’m writing a very important post on exercise next week on this topic, please look out for that.
- I didn’t lose the weight last year and now it’s too late for me to lose weight
At the end of 2015 I wrote a post about how I didn’t lose the weight last year but I did something much more important. I worked on my emotional relationship to eating. I did the real work. I didn’t lose weight but I laid the foundation for changing my thoughts and my habits and that work will last a lifetime. The weight loss will come but more importantly, unlike in the past, because of the work I did in 2015. I will now be better prepared to keep the weight off for good.
- If I don’t lose weight before I become a mother then I will pass on my bad habits to my child and create an unhealthy family.
Once again, never before have I had a better reason to be healthy and to be a role model. My child’s health will naturally mean more to me than my own and so I will have no option but to lead by example. I will be healthy simply because I will want my child to be healthy. It will be a very easy choice.
This is the way that I am now choosing to think about these ideas that have kept me up many a night. We can choose how we think about things. One of the most important lessons I learned from A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever
was this: In this world, there is fear and there is love and your heart can only have room for one of the other. So choose love. We can look fears straight in the eye and replace them with love by choosing to tell ourselves a different story. I can continue to work on my weight loss and it doesn’t have to stop me from trying to start a family, the two are not mutually exclusive. Life happens, goals change, it’s okay. I will keep reminding myself of this and repeating these reframing thoughts whenever I feel the fears trying to creep back in. As I say to myself everyday during my Daily Affirmations, “With angels by my side, and God in my heart, I have no room for fear”.
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