November 23, 2012

Perfect fit

What a week this has been! We flew out of O'Hare on Sunday morning for our first babymoon: this one, to Minnesota.

A few folks marveled at the term "babymoon," saying they'd never heard it. A babymoon is like a honeymoon - a trip for the parents-to-be before the baby arrives. We'll be taking two - both to visit our families since they're all out of state. We're hoping to get to Connecticut in January or February, once work slows down a bit for both of us. First, up, though was Minnesota. Meeting some of Matt's family was wonderful, as was seeing where he grew up.

We had a really wonderful few days, and I came home only one pound heavier, which I am pleased with, considering every meal was eaten at a restaurant - and it was my birthday! I think staying hydrated helped, plus we did a fair bit of walking around the Twin Cities and the Mall of America. Tuesday, for my birthday, we went out to dinner with Matt's mom, his grandmother, one of his brothers, an uncle, an aunt, and two cousins. It was lovely, and I definitely cried when his mother and grandmother gave me such thoughtful birthday presents. The best, though, was from his mom: two adorable maternity dresses.

In an attempt to (a) avoid regaining weight and (b) save suitcase space, I got rid of anything that wasn't a size  medium when I left California. Two months later, though, we found out we were going to have a baby, and suddenly I wished I hadn't dropped off those jeans and tee shirts at the thrift store. Since we're definitely in transition right now and unsure about our work/living situations when the baby gets here, I have been trying to stick to a budget and avoid unnecessary expenses. One way that we've done this is that I've been wearing Matt's hand-me-downs.

Matt has also lost nearly 100 pounds, a good portion of it this year. So, all his winter things from last fall/winter are too big for him. Instead of buying a brand new winter coat in a size I don't plan on fitting in next winter, I'm wearing his from last year. It's quite big still, but as my belly grows, I'm sure it will work out just fine. For shirts, I've done the same. Almost every shirt I wear these days is a Wisconsin Badgers tee, because Matt went to school there and loves wearing Wisconsin clothes. I don't mind it most days, because I'd rather spend the money on things we really need, like a crib and clothes and a million other things for Nugget. But some days, especially the days when I get self-conscious about my body, I get a little sad.

I can say with certainty that a lot of it has to do with the three other ladies I know who are pregnant right now: girls from high school and college, all stick thin with adorable little baby bumps. We're all due within a few weeks of each other, but I see their pictures and feel like an outcast. In an oversized tee shirt and jeans, I feel just big, and not so visibly pregnant. I get upset, frustrated, and feel unattractive. My body isn't even huge yet, but already feels cumbersome compared to the lighter version of myself I was 18 weeks ago. Remembering how liberating the break up felt, I cried on the train after making my first purchase at Lane Bryant in nearly a year and a half.

"Have you shopped here before, Miss?"

Lady, you have no idea.

It was a new bra, which I should have bought months ago because my chest is growing with incredible speed and can no longer fit in the largest cup size at Victoria's Secret. But I resisted. Walking back in there felt like failure, and I felt, once again, like the 345 pound version of myself, hoping to get in, get out, and go home with minimal self-loathing at the condition of my body.

It's not right, and it's not fair to myself. In all my months of active weight loss, I never once coveted someone else's body. I never wished for so-and-so's arms or his-or-her flat stomach. I was self-conscious about loose skin, but the skin was mine, and the stretch marks were my history, and I owned the situation. I was in love with my body and all it could do. I'm not sure why I'm struggling so much with it now, especially since what my body is doing is nothing short of miraculous and incredible.

In only a few months, I seem to have forgotten one of the most important things about weight/body confidence: dress for the size you are. You not only look better while wearing clothes that fit properly, but you feel better. By wearing your old, too big clothes, it's almost as if you're still trying to inhabit a past version of yourself. Be present. Enjoy your current state, and work towards whatever you'd like to come next.

In preparation for the trip and for Thanksgiving, I bought a couple of new dresses at a clearance sale. In the dressing room, I found myself sincerely shocked that the best fit was only one size up from where I was in August, not two or three. And wouldn't you know, the simple act of putting on something that fit properly changed my attitude incredibly. I spent my birthday and Thanksgiving in lovely outfits, feeling feminine and genuinely cheerful and content with my body. Looking in the mirror, I finally saw in myself the glowing happiness I've seen on my other friends.

P.S. With this post, I should hit 300,000 page views on this little blog. Thank you so much, always, for reading along and following my journey! I owe so much of my success with weight loss and finding happiness with myself to you, the community I've found here.


Anna said...

You look amazing!!!! On the budget note I know our thrift stores have a maternity section :) and target clearance <3

ikylilcrafter said...

I also suggest checking out Old Navy for cheap, cute, maternity clothes. Just picking up a few easy to mix and match pieces will make you feel so much better. (I LIVED in my maternity yoga pants.) And at the risk of TMI, get yourself a few pairs of maternity underpants. The ridiculous ones that cover your whole belly. That last month and a half or so, is just UNCOMFORTABLE. The last thing you need is undies that don't fit right.

Bariatric Blogger said...

You look fantastic! Don't worry too much about your body right now, enjoy the miraculous changes and all of the amazing pregnancy experiences. Getting caught up in feeling bad about yourself will only make you revert to unhappy practices. You look wonderful and obviously pregnant in that cute outfit!

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

Aw... you wouldn't be so harsh on yourself if you went into Motherhood Maternity for a new bra, would you? So you got a bra in Lane Bryant. You need to take care of the girls if they become Nugget's lifeline, no matter where you get the bra!

P.S. I love how you call him/her Nugget, and you are SO lucky you're pregnant now! There's so many fun places for ideas (Pinterest) that you can take advantage of. We had nothing like that when I was pregnant and my kids were little!

Bethie boops said...

You look AMAZING! Your bump is just lovely. I'm sorry that you had so much sadness about your lovely body- it truly is just wonderful.

Bailey @ Onederland or Bust! said...

You look great and so happy in that picture!

I know what you mean about envying pregnant friends on facebook that are stick thin. My sister just had a baby girl 2 weeks ago and you would never guess that she even had a baby. It's great for her, but It makes me jealous because I know when I get pregnant I'll have to watch my weight the entire time.

Spoonful of Me said...

You look beautiful, and you can tell that you have a baby bump.

Anonymous said...

You look great! Also, the bra thing is so critical. When the girls are where they're supposed to be, you always feel better :o)

Shannon said...

You are beautiful, Mary! :)

Margot said...

Thank you for sharing. I had my girls between weight loss attempts and had two very different pregnancies, gaining 50 pounds during the first (who I called Nougat before I knew her - your term Nugget brings back memories) and only 12 during the second. I really did miss having the cute baby bump that I could show off to everyone.

However, I loved the Maternity clothes because for the first time I got to dress to show my condition at its best, not to try hide my body (I was always so afraid that anyone would know that I was fat... Like it was a secret. *sigh*). Those two little babies changed my life and my perception in more ways than I ever guessed they could. I wish you the best in growing with your little game changer as well!

Tammy said...

As everyone here has look amazing!!:) You can see your baby no worries!!:) I was bigger when I was pregnant with all 3 of mine...and never really had a "bump." I just got a bit bigger all over...hips, butt, etc. Enjoy this time!!:)

marisol said...

You & Nugget look adorable :)

Unknown said...

This post brought back so many memories. My (then) boyfriend and I had both lost significant weight when I found myself miraculously pregnant (at the age of 38 after trying since I was 19)... I too had gotten rid of my larger sized clothes and ended up wearing my boyfriend's clothes through my entire pregnancy. I owned one maternity dress, which I wore to a Christmas part, and one maternity outfit (pants/top) that I bought near the end, when I just really NEEDED to feel pretty again.