I went to the doctor recently and they weighed me, an impressive number I might add, one that I had never seen on the scale so close to my line of vision. As the doctor scribbled it into my file, I managed a weak, “Am I gaining weight too fast?” She didn’t answer at first, just looked at the number, paused and said, “Just keep doing your yoga and your walking.
As I left her office, got home and did my ritual bi-hourly browse through the fridge, an old familiar shame gripped me again. No self-control, are you sure you want to eat that? too many pounds, too fast…
In pregnancy, perhaps for the first time in my life, I felt safe. Safe from all the sucking in, the watching, the measuring, the checking, the trimming, the perfect perfect… For the first time in my life, my belly is relaxed, proud to be growing and stretching and becoming more visible. I want everyone to know, to see that there is a babe growing inside of me. Sometimes I don’t even think it is big enough.
And then this number appears and the judgment follows and all that innocence is crushed. The joy I felt all those weeks on my trips to the Berkeley Bowl market, the peaches I’ve devoured, the strawberries and whipped cream, the chocolate ice cream. All this food has never actually tasted so good, which could be part hormones and partly the fact that I’ve never let myself dive in and enjoy it all.
I don’t mean to make this dramatic. I’m really not all that worried, but a little angry that someone disturbed my food reverie. That even at this precious time, this sacred time of feeding my body and indulging it with exactly what it is craving, that this old voice is so loud.
So I’m letting it go, letting the numbers go, and trusting my body is doing all the right things. And dammit, I’m proud of that big ol’ belly I’m growing.