Thursday, March 17, 2011

Three Things Thursday: Preggo self-esteem edition

Workout: 3.7-mile run

You guys rock! It was such a great boost to my ego to read positive comments about my new hair cut. I feel like a new woman, a feeling worth its weight in gold-dusted cupcakes.

You see, being pregnant doesn't feel as cute as I thought it would be. In fact, most days I feel like a cow. It's not a nice thing to say but it's the truth. My body is changing in ways I didn't anticipate, I don't feel this pregnant glow people tout and the things that I used as indicators for my self worth are now null.

Before you tell me how cute and awesome I am, let me explain.

Self-esteem issue No. 1: As I lost weight, I took such joy in being able to buy clothes in the misses department and then buy styles that I once ruled out (hello, jeggings!) and then buy sizes I said I would never wear. It made me feel good about myself that my Old Navy skinny jeans were a size 2 and the tunic from Kohl's only looked good in an XS. Obviously, when I got pregnant, I knew that my belly would get bigger and my size 2 jeans wouldn't fit. What I didn't know was how hard it would be to find equally cute jeans to wear. I hate about 90 percent of the maternity clothes I see, and many of the styles I like to wear aren't made in maternity styles that I can afford. I feel blah in the simple styles I've reverted to wearing.

Solution: I am now wearing jewelry more than ever, trying to pump up the style factor of a simple knit shirt, and I found some dresses from my heavier days that are translating well to pregnancy. Cute shoes help, too. (Hint, hint, Mark. I could use some new flats.)

Self-esteem issue No. 2: As I ran deeper and deeper into racing, I made gains that I never thought possible. I ran a 10-minute mile ... and then a 9-minute mile ... and then I ran a sub-2:00 half-marathon. In October, the month I conceived, my average pace was between 8:30 and 9:01 and that 9:01 was a one-time deal. And I can tell you something about that day - I'm sure I didn't feel good about myself and made myself worker harder during the next run to make up for it. Fast forward to today, my average pace was in the 10:10-10:15 range. I'd be more accurate but there was some stop-start issues when I went to tie my shoes (read: user fail). On the treadmill yesterday, my pace was a flat 11:00 (I always did run faster outside). There's no way I could run a 9:01 over one mile much less 7.

Solution: I stop taking the Garmin and I stopped charting my pace in my running log. I don't worry about how fast I'm going or whether people perceive my pace as sloth-like. If I run, it's a victory. And, to be honest, I wish I would have seen every run pre-pregnancy like that.

Self-esteem issue No. 3: Your body changes with pregnancy ... duh. I expected my belly and my hips to get bigger. Maybe even my butt. What I didn't expect was for my face to fill out a bit or my legs to feel heavier, my Tempo shorts to feel different on the leg. I sometimes freak out that I'm not gaining the way I should or I should run more or I shouldn't have eaten that cupcake my Realtor brought me.

Solution: My legs are bigger ... duh. I'm not running 25-, 30-mile weeks anymore. I'm not doing tempo runs or mile repeats. What did I expect? I also look at old photos and realize that though my face is rounder, it's not as round as it used to be and my butt is certainly not as big. I also look at my food diary and realize that I'm not eating Wendy's twice a day or a pint of Ben & Jerry's. I'm doing my best and that's all I can do.

Do you ever struggle with self esteem? How do you talk yourself away from negative thoughts?


  1. Thanks, Kim. This was really really good for me to read, too!

  2. Awesome post! I feel you on those same issues. You look adorable and your attitude towards the changes is awesome. I need to take note on the jewelry thing...

  3. You ROCK. And your hair does look awesome.

    I struggle with self-esteem and I'm not pregnant. I've been at goal for 2 years now and there are days when I still feel like/see the old me. It's troublesome. When will that ever change?

    How do I get past the negative thoughts? I do my best to stop them in their tracks. And immediately say something positive about myself.

    In your situation, you can talk about how while you are still living a healthy lifestyle while pregnant... while there are some people who go no holds barred and eat everything in sight (and gain 100 pounds).

    You're still being healthy. You're still taking care of you.. and great care of the little bean. And I have no doubt that once the bean arrives (in style) that you will continue to live a healthy lifestyle, thus raising a child who won't have to deal with a weight problem.

    Keep your chin up... I hope that when I do get pregnant, that I'm half as good at it as you! :D

  4. First of all, you are too cute! Plus, you're awesome ;)

    I know that being pregnant totally throws you for a loop. I mean, all my adult life I've either been trying to loose or not gain weight. Then you get pregnant and it all goes out the window because it's no longer about you. What? It's not all about me anymore? What?

    I think you're handling it the right way.

    I try to look at the big picture. Things not being all about me is somehow empowering. Trying to provide the best future for my baby (which by default includes taking care of me) and enjoying the time I'm given with my family is what I try to focus on now. Can't say I do this all the time, but I really really try.

    Plus, time flies after you give birth. Seriously! You'll be out pounding the pavement in no time :)

  5. I love this post so much because I'm struggling with the same things! I worked hard to run a 5k and my thighs toned up, but now that I'm 15 weeks, my clothes are tight, my legs are plumping up and I feel fat, not glowing. I'm working on embracing it because I know it will get worse before it gets better and when I hood my little one, it will all be worth it!

  6. Very insightful post. Love your honesty!

  7. Great post - love that you identified the issue and submitted your solution.
    Just as a side note - your "SLOW" is still 3 minutes faster than my "FAST".
    Self-esteem suffering - yep, I used to be 100 pounds less! 'nuf said!
    Hag in there - pregnancy is temporary!!!!

  8. I also HATE most maternity clothes. I found a super stellar deal on some forgiving styles in a size or two bigger than I normally wear. Good luck!