Follow Friday + Nicki’s Personal Updates: The Struggle with My Body, Pregnancy, and Weight Gain

Follow Friday Nicki

I’ll cut to the chase.

Like many women in America, I’ve been plagued with concerns about my weight from quite a young age, probably 10 years old or so. It’s just everywhere — and for a type A person like myself, it’s been a major stressor. I’ve been every weight under the sun in the past 15 years:

  • 2003 — Graduated high school. 104 pounds. Size 0.
  • 2008 — Started medical school. 108 pounds. Size 0/2.
  • 2012 — Saw myself start to balloon up. 118 pounds. Couldn’t understand why. Size 2/4.
  • 2013 — Got diagnosed with a thyroid disorder (Hashimoto’s). Ballooned up 30 pounds over the course of a year. 144 pounds at my highest. Size 6/8, except at H&M, where I was a size 10 in 2015 and literally cried in a dressing room once. (Also known as the “turning point.”)
  • 2015 — Had enough. Saw a dietitian. Started tracking calories, running daily. 123-128 pounds, fluctuated, over the next few years. Size 2/4.
  • 2017 — Got pregnant. I am currently 136 pounds @ 21 weeks. (21 weeks as of tomorrow, btw, for anyone who cares that much).

Weight has always been a struggle for me, though probably more mentally so than anything else. While consciously I know that I’m not fat and never have been more than a tad, let’s say, curvy at times, so much of my self-esteem, self-image, and confidence has stemmed from fitting into a certain size that losing control during pregnancy has been especially difficult.

On the one hand, other people have made this terrible. Although I’ve only gained eight pounds, I’m only 5’4″, and every ounce shows. Being Asian, I’ve had no less than three Asian people come up to me and say things like, “Oh my, you’ve got fat,” or, “Wow, you so round now — round face, round belly, round legs! Ahahahaha!”  I’ve also had non-Asian friends and acquaintances come up to me and say things like, “Well, just remember, the baby is only one pound at this point.” Makes me want to scream! The worst is when seemingly well-meaning people send me photos of Sarah Stage or other “fitness pregnancy” bloggers. I’m not comfortable with the idea of doing sit-ups and stomach exercises during pregnancy. It might work for them, but I am not comfortable with this personally. Sometimes I wish that I could around in a caftan and hide my body and just tell people to leave me the hell alone, at least when it comes to commenting on my body.

On the other hand, I also understand that people mean well. I’ve known people who have gained 50, 60, or 70 pounds in a pregnancy, and I understand that well-meaning friends and acquaintances don’t want for me to fall into this pattern. I get it. But I’m writing down literally everything I eat and drink, keeping it to 2000 calories or less per day, and exercising 3-4 times a week. I’m doing the best that I can with a full schedule at work and while evaluating child care options, figuring out a baby registry and a nursery, and other activities in preparing for baby at home.

At the end of the day, I’ll probably end up 15-20 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. More importantly, I’m willing to gain 25-30 if it means that’s what I need to do to have a healthy baby and delivery. While the final numbers on the scale will seem a bit scary, I have to keep in mind that having a healthy baby is the most important thing at the end of the day. I’ve lost 20-plus pounds before, and I can do it again. In the meantime, though, if you are reading this and see me on the street, please refrain from telling me that I’m so round or got so fat. You might just have a grumpy pregnant woman on your hands after 😉

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