Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you have to talk about your body size.
Being in my third trimester, I find myself talking about it right now, because my changing body, especially my midsection, has become such a focal point. I mean, it’s a protruding round bump it’s hard to avoid seeing it — let alone engaging in conversation about it.
Side note: I’m in recovery from eating disorders, so my subconscious seems to stupidly think that if I bring “the whole bump thing” up as a joke — like I’m SO beyond it — then it will go away. Well, newsflash: it has the opposite impact.
It begins when a person will say something innocuous like “your bump looks so cute.”
And me, I’ll go right for the self-deprecating jugular response because OF COURSE, I DO. Like “Yeah, I carry like a pot belly pig, very side to side,” (which I kind of do, but that’s not the point) and then a common response will be them stating their own opinion on how they think I carry because I just gave them permission to comment on my size. I mean, I opened Pandora’s box, like I’m so overly okay with them talking about my shape in any way they see fit because I just spoke about it.
They may say:
“Yeah, you carry in your butt, I carried in…” And then my mind will start spiraling, “What? my butt got big?” Then I’ll probably text my mom or husband about my apparent butt-baby. “DID MY BUTT GET BIG? WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME?”
Why do I let comments bother me, especially when I am creating the most beautiful gift anyone could give me? Because I’m human, and humans aren’t immune when it comes to their body image insecurities whether they are in eating disorder recovery or not. And when it came down to it, my eating disorder wasn’t even completely about my body, it was more about control and how I coped — but I still struggle at times with that body like anyone else.
We live in a society where bodies are constantly under scrutiny. I mean look at Megan Markle, the tabloids have had a free-for-all talking about her royal bump ever since she announced her pregnancy. From now on, I’m not going to feed that beast by refraining from starting that negative self-talk myself, therefore, eliminating the conversation. There are enough critics out there, and people who wrongly think it’s okay to comment on others’ bodies because society does. I don’t have to be one of them.
The only comments we should be making to each other should be not about the physical but the gift pregnancy bestows upon us, a beautiful child. Comments like, “You’re going to be a great mom!” or “I’m so excited for your growing family,” are welcomed.
And from now on, I will not fall into that societal trap of making it okay for anyone to ever comment on my body size—
Besides, sometimes not saying anything at all or a simple thank you is the best way to shut down the unwelcomed “sizeism” noise.
This story originally appeared on Living A FULL Life