Please note my precise words.
I said: I feel fat.
Not: I am fat.
Or even: I look fat.
This is a tricky post to write. I know that. But here I go. Here's the deal: I am pregnant. I look pregnant. And these are indeed glorious facts. I am excited to be expanding with purpose. I am willing to put on pounds because that is what I am supposed to do.
But still. I feel fat. The scale is doing its thing, creeping up at the appropriate rate, and intellectually I'm okay with this. But emotionally? It's hard. My jeans are getting snug. Philosophically, this is a wonderful sign of evolution. Psychically, it's messing with me.
Honestly, I didn't think this would happen this time around. I have had practice with this. This is my third pregnancy. I know that it is both sublime and unsettling to feel my body morph into a vessel for life. I know that I need to pack on twenty-plus pounds in order to produce a healthy seven-pounder. I also know that these extra pounds tend to slide from me once my forty weeks are up. So. I know these things. And I always assumed that this knowledge, this experience, would serve me well down the line. And by down the line I mean now. Now that I am expecting again.
Alas, no. I am here. In this very same place, a happy hybrid of stress and surrender, of celebration and criticism. In this very same place, spending precious moments of what is likely my final pregnancy fretting over a number no one but me knows, a feeling that no one but me feels. I don't like this. I wish things were different.
If I'm honest though this is only partially about pregnancy. Historically, I have been known to feel fat, to conjure visions of physical perfection in my mind and then feel bad when those visions don't materialize. Historically, I have been known to equate the perfect body with the perfect life.
All of this is bogus.
I am realizing as I write this that this post, this place, has little to do with fat. It does have everything to do with feeling though. Feeling uncertain and overwhelmed and out of control. Feeling divine anticipation and profound hope. Feeling like I can do it all and none of it. Feeling dizzy with change.
But still. I end where I began. With three little words: I feel fat.
Now I just need to figure out what "fat" really means.
- Do you ever feel fat?
- Did you have a hard time gaining weight during pregnancy even though you knew you had to?
- Why do so many of us align physical appearance with personal happiness?
- Do you think we unwittingly explain existential unrest in physical terms?