Combating Negativity and Staying Positive During Pregnancy

Combating Negativity and Staying Positive During Pregnancy | KeatingBartlett.com

Good morning and happy Monday lovelies! This morning I really wanted to take a moment to talk to you all about something that’s been bothering me a lot lately. This isn’t going to be a rant, but I’m hoping it can be a bit motivational for those of you who are pregnant or are planning to have kids at some point in your life. Even those of you who have kids already!
Anyone who’s been pregnant has probably received a few too many negative comments here and there about their body. I started hearing them even before I became pregnant.

The big one that bothers me is  “you’ll never get that body back” (or comments along those lines).

I hear it constantly from friends, family, and even complete strangers. I’ve even been told that it’s a “waste of time” to work out while pregnant. Yup. As if that makes sense.

If you’ve been following along for a while now, then you know these three things about me: one, I love health and fitness; two, I struggle with my mental health; three, I struggle with accepting my body “as is” (hence one of the many reasons why I love health and fitness as much as I do).

Related: My Fitness Journey (So Far)

Now I’m in no way unhealthy in my health and fitness journey or anything like that. Sometimes I feel like I word my issues with body image super poorly. It’s just very important to me that I keep myself in shape and looking and feeling good. Like many, I instantly feel so much better when I’m eating healthy and working out. So it’s a big part of my life and I love to promote healthy living to others as well.

Because of this, I went into pregnancy determined to rock it regardless of how hard it would be for me mentally. Not only that, but I was determined to have minimal weight gain (as in no unnecessary/unhealthy weight gain), no stretch marks, and to keep myself toned up and in shape so that my body could bounce back once the baby was born.

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Now some of you are probably thinking these are unrealistic goals while others may be on my side and feel that it’s totally doable. Well the amount of negativity I got surrounding this mindset has just been insane to me. If one more person tells me I’m being “unrealistic”, I swear I’ll scream. Seriously. That kind of negativity just isn’t needed here.

But after a while, I started to wonder if they were right and instantly felt completely miserable (one of the many reasons you should rid your life of negativity).

I just didn’t want to believe that my body would “never” bounce back or that I’d suffer from weight gain afterwards or anything along those lines. So I went through a period where I was just plain depressed listening to everyone’s negative comments regarding pregnancy and my body.

These past few weeks, I got myself fully back on track and in a better, more positive mindset and then over the weekend, I came across a life-changing blog: Michelle Marie Fit.

It was 5 o’clock in the morning and I couldn’t sleep after Zack left for work. So like most mornings, I found myself browsing social media and Pinterest. While on Pinterest, I came across a post on how to prevent stretch marks so I saved it to my pregnancy board and then clicked on the pinner to check out their profile. I rarely feel inclined to check out the pinner, but for some reason, I felt the need to do it in this case. From there, I clicked through to her actual blog.

Just from watching this 20-minute video on stretch marks, I started that day feeling better than I had felt in months. Why? Because it was positive and inspirational and it confirmed that my mindset wasn’t unrealistic. I wasn’t crazy to think that at 24 years old, I could get my body back by living a healthy lifestyle. And so far, I’m proving that you can avoid stretch marks using Michelle’s top three tips: staying hydrated, eating we well, and staying in shape.

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At this point, I’m done listening to the negativity I get on a daily basis regarding the future of my body. I’m 24, I work out 5 days a week, I eat healthy, and I take care of myself. I’m currently 6 1/2 months pregnant, have only gained 7 pounds in this pregnancy, and still don’t have stretch marks. I’m looking and feeling fantastic. And you can too! Not all pregnancies are the same. Your pregnancy isn’t going to be the same as everyone else’s and theirs wont be like yours either.

Regardless of what anyone says, it’s not impossible to get your body back after having a baby.

Don’t listen to those who insist your body will be completely ruined. It wont be. BUT you have to be willing to work for it a bit (I know, I know. There are strings attached to everything these days. But that’s life!).

If you’re sitting on the couch your entire pregnancy, eating whatever you want then yeah, you’re going to have some issues bouncing back. Let’s be realistic here. You cannot expect to bounce back when you’re not doing anything to keep yourself healthy. Pregnancy is not the time to eat everything under the sun. If anything, it’s the best time to reevaluate your choices in life regarding your health and start creating healthier habits.

I know pregnancy makes you tired. I get that. I’ve had so many days where the last thing I want to do is go to the gym. It’s a 20-minute drive and it’s just not appealing to me some days. I have days where it’s hard to me to even get out of bed let alone go to the gym. But I go. I also have plenty of days where I’d love a Big Mac from McDonald’s or some Chef Boyardee for dinner. But I don’t allow myself to cave in every time I’m wanting these things. Why? Because I’d regret it later once that baby’s born and I’m sitting here with a whole bunch of extra weight that I can’t get rid of. I’d be upset to have a stomach full of stretch marks that I then have to live with for the rest of my life.

While some look at these things as “rewards” for going through pregnancy and becoming a mom, they’re just not things I want for my own body.  That’s just not appealing to me by any means. And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. Women love to feel sexy and attractive. It’s natural and I see nothing wrong with that at all. Being pregnant and being a mom doesn’t mean you have to give up on yourself. In fact, you should focus on yourself even more!

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I guess what I’m trying to say in this never-ending post is that you don’t have to sacrifice your body to have a baby.

I don’t care what anyone says. If you’re healthy and taking care of yourself, I promise you’ll be able to bounce back after having your baby. I promise you it’s still possible to lose weight or get toned or whatever it may be that you want for your body and your life. And you don’t have to be someone who spends every day at the gym or count calories or go on these crazy diets. I completely hate diets. I’d never tell you all to diet. But you do have to make healthier choices in your life!

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If you ask me, I’m rocking this pregnancy so far just like I planned to. I’m now able to look at my body in the mirror and like what I see because I’m continuing all the healthy habits I had pre-pregnancy. I have zero doubts that my body will be just fine after having our baby and already look forward to being able to prove people wrong.

So today, I’m challenging you to make one lifestyle change to start living a healthier life. And if you’re pregnant and are constantly hearing these negative comments, I want you to know that you’re beautiful and are more than capable of kicking pregnancy’s ass and taking charge of your body.

You are strong and you are amazing!

Did you get negative comments like these during your pregnancy? How did you handle them?

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  • Jen

    I will say this being someone who has struggled with my body, got it to where I wanted it, got pregnant and had a baby. While I may be close to getting my pre-baby body back I will say it’s different, my hips are wider (so previous clothes don’t fit the same) and the overall composition of my body is different. So it is possible to get your body back and I know you are working hard for that to happen, don’t let what others say get you down. I’ve noticed that some people just talk to hear themselves.

    • I would love to have some hips! haha I feel like I’ve been pretty straight in that area. It’s kind of boring. But as of now, I’m still in my normal jeans so I’m not sure if hips are in my future lol I hope so though. And I’d love to keep the boobs. But I am overall really impressed and happy with where my body is right now. It’s definitely been a challenge as I’m SO exhausted most days, but it’s definitely going to be worth it in the end.

  • I’m totally on your side with this one. Before my brother was diagnosed with autism, my Mom worked as a personal trainer. She had three kids and was in FANTASTIC shape (and still is)! Yes, some things will be different, like wider hips, etc. but as far as having a fit body, it’s absolutely doable. The people saying these things to you are probably the people who didn’t put in the work and ate whatever they wanted, and just want to blame their dissatisfaction with their body on pregnancy. You do you, girl. I have no doubt that you’ll be able to achieve your goals.

    • Thanks so much Jenn! That’s exactly how I feel about it. I see so many women who use pregnancy as an excuse to relax 24/7 and eat whatever they want and that’s when you start you have real issues with weight gain and your health. I listen to my body a lot nowadays and have no problems taking a day off from the gym when I’m feeling a little extra tired. But you better believe I’m still exercising and eating right haha and I’m so lucky to have a husband that doesn’t baby me either. He’s all for me continuing my normal everyday routines as long as I’m feeling up to it and when I need help with something, he’s there to help me. But there’s no way I’ll ever regret keeping up these habits throughout my pregnancy. At this point, I’m feeling and looking fantastic 🙂

  • Keep living the healthy lifestyle – THAT’S what matters most! Working out while preggers most definitely is worth it for you AND the baby – it leads to an overall healthier body! You’re going to look great no matter what, Keating, and it’s most important that you FEEL amazing.

    Coming Up Roses

    • Thanks so much Erica! I’m definitely feeling a million times better than I did at the start of my pregnancy. If I wasn’t working out and continuing my healthy habits, there’s no way I’d feel this good. I’d be sitting on the couch all day, feeling gross and miserable lol and my mental health couldn’t handle that. I’m so thankful that my pregnancy as been smooth sailing 🙂

  • Heather Gullett Denniston

    Oh, this one depends on so many factors! Previous history of children, skin genetics, diet, but I get where you’re going, there are so many options to get back on track after having a baby. Sometimes you have to think a little outside the box.

    • To me, it’s not getting BACK on track after having the baby, it’s continuing to stay ON track throughout your pregnancy. Pregnancy shouldn’t be a 9 month break from being healthy. And while there are so many things that can affect it, I believe 100% that your health and habits are something you have full control over. My mother has horrible stretch marks from having three kids and dealt with bad weight gain as well. So did her mom and her sister. It runs in the family. BUT not a single one of them took care of themselves and their health the way I do. None of them ever went to a gym or made healthy food choices. My mom also smokes and drinks way too much. Those were her choices and her body is the way that it is because of them. So I find it super important to know your body and make those healthy choices every single day.