Belly Diaries: Feeling Frumpy


I am convinced that there are two types of ladies in the world. Ladies that LOVVVVVVE being pregnant and ladies that don’t. Usually those in the former camp imagined they’d like it before it happened, but then realized really quickly, “Um. No. This isn’t what I thought.”

I used to daydream of being pregnant and how wonderful it would be to let my belly hang over my jeans with no judgment. (My belly has always been my “problem spot,” so I was looking forward to having an excuse to let it be).

Then I got  pregnant, and that’s when I found out that normal gals like you and me don’t look like Jennifer Aniston on Friends because, well . . . SHE WAS WEARING A PROSTHETIC BELLY! I did not know that I would get big everywhere. Like. Everywhere. I didn’t know my ankles would disappear, or my face would swell, or that I’d get pregnancy nose. I didn’t even know what pregnancy nose was.

Me in the college costume studio with a prosthetic bump...clearly believing I'd someday enjoy pregnancy circa 1999.
Me, circa 1999, in the college costume studio with a prosthetic bump…clearly believing I’d someday enjoy pregnancy.

Now moms, let’s be real for a second here. We have been trained brainwashed by our culture that weight gain is BAD and weight loss is GOOD. While some moms have an easy time with increasing numbers on a scale during pregnancy, I have always struggled. And I think a lot of us do, but we all feel too guilty to admit it. So, I’m here to say: I don’t like getting bigger.


Something clicked with me two weeks ago while I was at a fitness training. I was huffing and puffing behind a bunch of other fitness instructors, none of whom were pregnant. And even though I was far (LIKE SO FAR) behind and modified almost everything, I thought, I AM STRONG! And I am HEALTHY.”  And then I remembered that FEELING good trumps skinny, and I felt relieved.

Have you ever noticed that when you are confident in your strength and health as a woman, that looks stop mattering quite so much?

Have you ever noticed that when you like YOU–who you ARE–you are captivating to people . . . no matter what you look like or what weight you are?

Have you noticed that when you are active and outside (despite this SUMMER THAT WON’T END), how much less time you have to check out yourself in the mirror?

Have you noticed that your kids (and hopefully spouse) seem to find that you are lovely at any weight, pregnant or not?

Have you noticed that you ache less when you move?

All of these things are truths I’m reminding myself of every time I start to feel frumpy.

And I’m reminding myself (sometimes daily):

  • That there is time to fit into my old jeans
  • There is a time to count calories and eat less
  • There’s time to run 5ks and do H.I.I.T.

But now is not it.

Now is a time for growing babies and getting bigger and dealing with it like a boss. Now is a time for workout clothes all day and elastic waist bands. Now is a time for long walks and swims and a little weight training to help me feel good (because it really makes all the difference). But is also a time for putting my feet up and slowing down. Now is a time for being strong in who I AM and not what I LOOK like. Because let me tell me and you–over and over and over–looks are fleeting. They are fleeting F-A-S-T. But who I am on the inside is just revving up.

How do you deal with pregnancy weight gain? Is it easy or hard for you?


  1. I just KNEW I would feel beautiful as a pregnant woman. But instead, I was just huge, and pale, and sickly. But those wise words you shared were my mantra during those months after the baby came when I was still 15 pounds heavier than I wanted to be. I kept reminding myself that I was strong, that I birthed a baby, nursed a baby, and loving my family sacrificially was what made me beautiful, no matter my weight, or all that hair that was falling out.


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