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FITori Body Image during Pregnancy | Maternity Photos Part 2

A few weeks ago I posted the first part to this post, showing you the photos that styleberry (my BFF) took of just me for my maternity shoot.  Here are the rest of the pics….these have FIThubby in there too!  These are two of our favorites. The one on the right is MY ALL. TIME. FAVORITE. PHOTO OF MY HUSBAND. EVER. EVER. EVER. His true smile has never been captured on film. I am so blessed to have this photo! I love it! I can’t wait….CAN’T WAIT…..til our newborn shoot!!!!

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I’ve been asked often about how I feel about my body being pregnant. I think people assume that since I was in the best shape of my life last year and now I’m pregnant that I should be or am struggling with that.

Body image during pregnancy is an interesting subject!  We are all different regarding how we feel about our bodies when we feel like we CAN control what we look like.  Now, add in pregnancy and it complicates things even more.

This time last year I was in the best shape of my life. Now, I’m heavier than I’ve ever been! So, how do I feel about it??…..GREAT!!!! My body is performing it’s function. It was meant to do this. I have always wanted to do this. I will not watch the changes occurring to my body and panic or hate my body. I will not look in the mirror in disgust, instead I look in awe. I am amazed that our bodies were created to do this. It’s amazing. I do feel like a freak show at this point with this HUGE belly that cannot be hidden. It’s weird. There’s a huge baby in my belly! But what a blessing! And, the body was meant to do this and to go back (kinda! ha!)

I am totally confident I will lose the weight and quickly. (Maybe I’m naive. Maybe I’m just being positive.  Maybe that positive attitude is helping me now and will help me in the future though! 🙂 )  Who knows! I will not worry about it because worry will not fix it. I will not panic. I will wear my belly band to hold in the loose skin until it tightens back. I will wear comfy, loose dresses until I’ve lost the weight. I will work hard at eating right and working out both so that my body can function and nurse as it was intended to and also so that I can teach my FITbaby girl about health, nutrition and fitness and lead by example. I will take care of my body so that I can hopefully do this again one day.  And, I will be a STRONG & FIT mommy.  I may have stretch marks (none yet, thank Goodness!); I may have loose skin; I may never look the way I did this time last year, but I promise you…..the one thing I learned working as hard as I did last year to LOOK GOOD, is that life is not about LOOKING good, it’s about FEELING good!!!! I cannot live the life I want without FEELING good!

BTW, last year I lost all that weight with the express intention to get into the best shape of my life before pregnancy. That was the plan. I wanted to compete before we had kids.  I didn’t lose it with the intention to keep it off and look that way forever.  I believe in muscle memory and that our bodies and our muscles remember and if you’ve done it once, you can do it again!  I knew that if I started smaller that the weight gain during pregnancy wouldn’t be as hard on my body or on my body image….and I was right (though I was 5-10 pounds heavier than my “ideal” weight getting pregnant.)

I am excited about the next chapter of my life….starting any day now!!! I am excited about training for FUNCTIONAL FITNESS (we are putting a Crossfit gym in our new basement!).  I’ve been saying my next “fitness challenge” will probably be a Crossfit competition. I have no desire to run races (not right now…maybe later) and no desire to compete again in a “Figure” or “Bikini” contest that focuses on looks. But I value strength and truly enjoy lifting and getting stronger. I love the way that feels and the bonus is that if you eat right along with Crossfit, you can achieve the look you want as well.

I am excited to get my “new” body “back”…whatever that is!!! I’m really excited to be able to MOVE again…with ease!!! I think that’s been the hardest part about pregnancy for me!

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MY ADVICE TO PREGGO MOMMAS!!!!!

With ANY figure it’s all about dressing for YOUR best and worst parts!  I promise you, the women about to step on stage HATE things about their bodies (that was a huge awakening for me….if THEY’RE not happy with their bodies…come on! what are we working so hard for then?!  I just want to be at peace with my body and myself and not obsess over losing weight or changing my body! What Freedom!!! Anyway, we all have to dress for our bodies!  Don’t hate yourself in the fitting room. Hate that dress that wasn’t made for you. Ugh! Go get a different cut dress!

What about FITori’s body?!

  • Everyone says I’m “all belly.” My friends, I am not. EVERYTHING has gotten bigger. Luckily, there is a fantastic optical illusion that occurs. When your belly gets huge, it makes the rest of you look smaller….whether it is or not. It’s lovely. I also started wearing A-line dresses/skirts months ago to hide what’s happening to my butt and thighs. It’s much more flattering to draw attention to the belly than to the other parts that are getting bigger.
  • I promise you….I do NOT look in the mirror at the changes that are happening except to marvel at how amazing the human body is!!!! I really do think it’s beautiful! If I could have had some boudoir photos taken pregnant, I totally would have! I think it’s amazing and beautiful….yes, the huge thighs and butt, the cellulite, the streeeeetching belly, the lack of toned arms, the huge rack! 🙂 All of it!  I don’t look in the mirror to judge and if I catch a glimpse of myself in a reflection somewhere that is unflattering I look away and think “I’m sure that’s not how I really look!”
  • Also, I have to reiterate….it’s SO important to pick outfits that are flattering. I have been the QUEEN of skirts these days. There is no need to accentuate that my butt and thighs have gotten bigger! 🙂 I just drawing attention to the belly! And, try to flatter what I’ve got right now.
  • My arms are not svelt like they were last year. They will be again. Soon. But, now, they are what they are. SO WHAT?! I’m pregnant. I don’t need to have buff arms right now. My baby is healthy. That is the important thing. My arms will rock again. Soon. Promise.
  • Regarding weight gain…I do recommend not gaining too much weight. I have gained 30 lbs I think (I stopped caring a few weeks ago. I realized I was eating healthy and the right portions and that I was listening to my body and that’s all that mattered so I wasn’t going to worry about it!).
  • I also have to say I AM BLESSED with good genes. I think being tall helps. I really do. I think I’m more “comfortable” having the few extra inches in my torso for the baby to stretch up and down versus straight out. That may be the reason for no stretch marks yet also! And, I haven’t been swollen but a few days here and there from sodium, carbs or this heat. I am still wearing my rings, my ankles/feet aren’t swollen and my face isn’t too fat (or swollen) yet! 🙂 (HUGE PREGGO TIP: PROTEIN SUPPOSEDLY KEEPS YOU FROM SWELLING…I BELIEVE IT!!!)

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So in closing, that’s how I feel about my body right now. Great!  I hope that you all feel good about your bodies too, no matter what stage in life or fitness you are in!  Don’t wait til you’ve lost that next 5 pounds to dress, look and feel fabulous! Dress for your body now and do what it takes to get the body you want that makes you both LOOK AND FEEL good.  [Stepping down off soap box.]

How did you feel about your body image during pregnancy? And after?

Or, was there a time you felt horrible or great about your body? How did you work through that? What have you learned?

 

Nicole D - What a great message Tori! I can relate so much to what you are saying…..but I have to agree-it will totally melt off you with breastfeeding!!!! You look gorgeous!

Nic

tori - Thanks girl! I love all the positive encouragement from my awesome friends! It means the world!

Michele @ Healthy Cultivations - First, these pictures are truly beautiful. You’re very fortunate to have such wonderful mementos of this awe-inspiring period of your life.

Second, your thoughts on pregnancy body image are so perfectly healthy. It really just reiterates your entire message. I also think the awe and amazement you feel over your pregnancy body can extend to any time our body is not “in perfect shape.” We put our bodies through so much. Overeating has been my issue, and I never sit or stand around thinking of how much I detest the way my body looks. Instead, I think of how amazing it is that my body was able to accommodate and adapt to the excess food I ate. And now as I am losing weight and eating well (though I often think I don’t get enough protein), I am amazed again at how responsive my body is. Our bodies WANT to perform well and do so in direct response to how we treat them.

Jess@atasteofconfidence - I think you look amazing, and I admire you for your confidence and positive attitdue!!

Roz - Hi Tori, what lovely shots!!!!! You both look wonderful. (has anyone told you you look like Amy Grant? Gorgeous!) I can’t wait to see your post where we meet Baby!! Take care!!!

sandi - this post makes me think of how much i hated my belly when i was preggo. i always tried to hide it and NEVER let anyone rub or talk to the belly. i don’t think my husband ever saw it unclothed during that whole time. I had a very hard time adjusting from being a tiny 105lbs to suddendly being 140lbs. i hope that next time (if there is a next time) i can take your advice from this post to heart and embrace the belly.

tori - Well, on your next pg, I’ll be sure to tell you how much I love your belly! 🙂 And, I’ll help you in any way I can! I can’t wait to have my old belly back though! I CAN.NOT. MOVE THESE DAYS!!!

tori - You are so sweet!!! Thanks for the compliment!!! I do get told I look like a lot of actresses that have curly hair – Juliana Marguiles is another. I’m not sure Amy Grant has been mentioned but what a compliment!!! Thank you!!! I can’t wait to meet our girl! 🙂

tori - You are soo sweet! Thank you!!! I am really excited about losing the weight though. I must admit! 🙂 Can’t wait to be able to bend at the waist and move quickly w/o waddling! 🙂

tori - Thank you Michele! I do feel soooo blessed to have these amazing memories captured in such a beautiful way!!! GREAT GREAT GREAT point Michele about saying “Thank You” to your body for adapting to all the hell you (and I) put it through. I do count my blessings often that I didn’t do more LONG term damage – all my years of abusing my body (with diet pills and undereating)! What a great idea though…Thank God always, but also Thank your body and promise to never do it again….or at least do better!!! Our bodies do WANT to be healthy and fit and functional! You’re so right! AND, muscle memory is a real thing! What a great message! I love it! Thank you! I’m saving your comment! 🙂

Em - WHAT AN AWESOME POST!!!!!!!!!
I am so glad to read this, as I’m almost 4 months into my pregnancy!! I agree that pregnancy is so wonderful. Every single change my body goes thru, while not entirely comfortable for me, WILL be worth it. And like you, I’m trying to not stress, knowing that my body is also capable of finding normalcy after baby!! 🙂
My hardest time right now is that I’m a personal trainer and I want to be a super healthy vision on pregnancy for my clients–even though right now I feel bloated & very lacking in muscle tone, esp. in the upper body! What is the DEAL?!?
I want to show that you CAN workout and eat well (most of the time) during PG. Another hard thing is that April 2010 I was on stage for a fitness show, and April 2011 I was pregnant (Glory To GOD) But ohhhh what a change!
Ok, I’m rambling now, but thanks for such an insightful post. I am going to print it off. I may also link back to it from my blog if thats ok!?
Oh, one more thing, YOU LOOK AMAZING and by now you may have had your baby?? Best wishes to you and your hubs!
Warmest Regards,
EM 🙂

Nelle - Love all the pictures! 🙂 I had forgotten that I bookmarked your blog back in March or so. I was a couple months pregnant and googling good fitness/pregnancy blogs… now I am 32 wk pregnant and looking forward to meeting my little boy. 🙂 I’m really glad I “re-found” your blog!! I have been getting really nervous about the weight I have gained and how I am going to retone and strengthen my body. Your post put a lot of things back in the right perspective for me. Thanks! 🙂 I hope everything goes well for you and that you have a safe and health delivery! Can’t wait to see pictures! 🙂

tori - Nice to “meet’ you! I’m so glad you re-found me too and I can’t wait to follow along in your experience also!!! I hope I can help you get your body back after Baby Boy arrives!!!

tori - testing.

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