First, before I start blogging about my feelings here for the internet to see, I want to share a bit about my life. I have struggled with anorexia since the age of 17, had years of freedom, a few relapses here and there, and have found lots of victory and grace and love by running after God and learning to hear Him instead of ED (my eating disorder, or Satan, whatever you want to call him).
I knew being pregnant would be difficult for me, but I also thought it would be ok because I had to eat for the good of someone else, not just me, but it’s been difficult. I am getting enough calories each day, eating healthy, drinking my milk, taking my vitamins, resting, so there’s no need to worry about that stuff. I have had the thoughts of restricting, and not eating, but I have been able to stop those thoughts and see them for what they are. Utter bullsh*t. And, honestly, I can’t imagine harming my child to get the coveted “thigh gap” I used to have. So, I eat, and I’m gaining weight, and I eat when I don’t want to and when I do want to, and I avoid over-exercising, and I snack and snack and snack. Because I would like my child to be healthy, and I can’t control that, of course, but I can play my part well. I’m hosting another person, and I want to feed them well.
But the thing I struggle with is the same thing I’ve always struggled with, comparison. I mean, now, of course, it’s comparing myself with pregnant mommas and how much they are running and working out and what they look like. And it’s so hard. There’s this new phenomenon of “Fit Mommy” instagrams and blogs running around out there, full of pictures of this lady power lifting at 38 weeks and this mom who is ripped at 35 weeks, and this lady who ran a marathon at 25 weeks (which, I’m going say this, and get pissed if you want, but that’s not ok. As a marathon runner, I am aware of the toll that running a marathon takes on the body, and pregnancy is no time to do that to your body, and that’s my two cents about it). I find myself wanting to google images of women who are 17 weeks pregnant, just to see how I compare, how I measure up, if I’m ok. It’s the same battle I’ve fought for years, on and off, but I am finding victory.
It’s just hard to see my body change. It’s the thing I’ve been able to control for all these years. I can’t fix you, but I can starve myself and fix these legs. I can’t control how lonely I feel, but I can workout until you see my ribs. It’s what I’ve run to. Control. And now, I have none.
My friend, who is also pregnant, said to me on Sunday that she realized she’s not getting out of this without gaining weight. And neither am I. And it’s a hard, embarrassing thing to talk about because it feels so superficial. There are women I love and know well who cannot have children, there are women I know who would gain 80 pounds to have a baby, and here I am complaining because I’m almost halfway there, and I am just now not able to button my pants comfortably.
But the struggle isn’t really weight gain. It’s not feeling good enough. And I think all women struggle with that. They feel too tall, too fat, too skinny, not rich enough, not crafty enough, ect. They feel not good enough because their kid didn’t breast feed or because they let their kid watch TV. They feel not good enough because they didn’t read their bible, take an instagram of their coffee, sew something, make homemade hummus for lunch, and have a perfect home, all before hubby came home and they went on a super fun #datenight.
We all, regardless of stage of life, at some point or another, don’t feel good enough. And my prayer is that I will start to feel good enough. Because of the fact that I am smart, I am capable, I am loved, I am a daughter of the King. I want that for my child. I want them to come out of that womb into a home that tells them they are delighted in, they are enough, they have what it takes, and they are noticed. I want them to know that God loves them in a way no one else can, and He says “You are good enough, no more striving, I love you. I’ve known you since before your parents even knew their parents. I know the hairs on your head, and I put that sparkle in your eye. You are enough because I don’t make junk.”
Because, ladies and gentlemen, when we have Christ in us, we have what it takes. We are good enough. I don’t have to prove that by running 26.2 miles while holding a barbell and being pregnant. You don’t have to prove that by working yourself to the bone at your job, or worrying about your body/looks/hair/clothes, ect. We have nothing to prove. I don’t have to prove that I have brown hair. I just do. And in the same way, I don’t have to prove I’m good enough, I just am. And I pray that I can stop trying to prove it to myself and rest in what I know to be true. I am loved, God has a plan for this, and regardless of cellulite and saddle-bags, I’m still good enough. And so are you.