What's Happening to My Body? My Life?
Nobody likes change. Sure, you say you’re ready for the ride, but let’s face it, darling, pregnancy is all about change. Your body will change, your mind will change (ever heard of pregnancy brain?) and your eating habits probably must change.
Get this: the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, recommends that pregnant women eat at least an extra three hundred calories each day—the basic equivalent of about two and a half cups of low-fat milk—for a daily total of between 2,100 and 2,500 calories. This doesn’t sound too bad until you realize your regular recommended pregnancy diet is supposed to include ten extra grams of protein, nine servings of grains, three servings of fruit and four servings of vegetables each day. When’s the last time you had four servings of vegetables in one day?
Heck, there was a time in my life when a bag of microwave popcorn passed as dinner. But in pregnancy, the eating rules change big time. You should eat small meals frequently throughout the day, and try to eat organic foods whenever possible to prevent toxic chemicals from entering your system. Try to avoid sodium-laden processed and canned foods (sure, it sounds nasty but it can taste so good!) and salty foods. And be sure to wash all fruits and veggies thoroughly.
The eating changes make you feel empowered, like a super mama doing your best for a healthy baby. The body changes are often, well, a little less fulfilling. Point number one, say goodbye to your body as you know it. If I had a dollar for every woman interviewed for my book who said they thought they would only get bigger in the stomach area, I’d have already bought my private island off the coast of Fiji. Your body will no longer behave the way it used to and it won’t look the same either. Even you super exercising, Pilates, kick boxing, spinning and Wii-fit junkie types should brace yourselves. But here’s the great news. The most liberating (or pretty darn close) thing about pregnancy is that it is finally OK for your tummy to bulge. Whoo hoo! Liberate yourself from sucking it in all day. Get rid of the tummy-control-this, and spandex micro-fiber panel that. Go on, stick it out.
Pregnancy, my dear, is a total-body experience. Most women blow up all over, from those chubby cheeks to the water-retaining ankles. Those toned arms may fill out a bit, and those once-tight thighs could start to do a little jello jiggle. And then there’s the dreaded and inevitable nose spreading and face ballooning. I’d be willing to testify in a court of law that somewhere around the end of my seventh month, some cruel yet stealth intruder popped a needle into my face and hooked me up to a high pressure air system. Move over P. Diddy, I was the new Puffy!
The thing is, if you can manage to change your thinking about making yourself a priority, eating healthfully, and being cool with your new voluptuousness then you’re bound to have a fabulous forty weeks. (Up next, dealing with those pesky emotional changes.)