Catherine Gracey

Living Life, One Misadventure At A Time.

I’m So Fat

on August 5, 2013

I am currently 24 weeks pregnant. I weigh more than I ever have in my life, my belly is the first thing my partner sees when I enter the room, and my wardrobe has evolved to consist almost entirely of stretchy fabrics that have a lot of expansion room.

I’m so fat.

I love it.

My belly has become the centre of my body image. Every morning I wake up and run my hand over it. I feel the wriggly lump that is my baby, and I marvel at how much it seems to have grown overnight. Each glance in the bathroom mirror is a surprise, and I preen and pose as I admire the roundness that I have grown.

Feminism might try teaching me that I am more than my reproductive capacity. At this point in my pregnancy, I couldn’t give two hoots about all the other things I am ‘supposed’ to be and do. I’m in the middle of growing a baby, and I don’t see too many men able to do what I’m rocking at.

This is the fat club; no boys allowed. Sorry.

A few friends have tried to rob me of my fatness. They come up with statements that are intended to be supportive, to bolster my self-esteem. I am surrounded by an anxious litany of “you’re not fat” and “don’t say things like that about yourself”.  It’s ok, and I understand; they’re just jealous that I get to be so super fat, and they don’t.

Being fat is fabulous. I get a thrill out of measuring my waist. It’s a bit of a challenge to measure anything lower than that, because I can’t see the tape anymore, so I have to make do with just the upper half of my torso. But that’s ok, because I can still see how much progress I am making in growing my baby. I don’t need a full body set of measurements to chortle to myself. I doubt there are many body builders who can keep up with the numbers I’m building on my baby’s body.

Tucked away in my baby bubble, I get to sing to my belly about how fat we are. Sometimes this happens while dancing around the kitchen preparing to eat something. The baby seems to enjoy it, and will happily kick along. I don’t have to feel any guilt about how much food I eat, because guilt doesn’t get membership to this fat club.

It would be easy to write thousands of words about a hypothetical woman’s self-esteem during pregnancy, how her perception of herself has been shaped by the cultural norms that dictate a woman must be thin. It would be easy to buy into the discourse that a woman will be automatically distressed by the changes in her body, and to use this as a basis for rising above cultural conditioning to learn to embrace this temporary reality. I could discuss my decision to embrace every element of this pregnancy, and explain it through technical psychological language.

Or… I could go and dance to She Bangs while jiggling my belly and giggling to myself as I imagine that song being dedicated to all the pregnant girls out there.

Hmm. Looks like Ricky Martin is going to win this time. Again.

5 responses to “I’m So Fat

  1. I’d say “you’re not fat, you’re pregnant” which isn’t the same thing. Because I’m fat, and the first thing you see when I walk in a room is my stomach… the difference, though, is that I’m not rocking a baby bundle. Just a love for chocolate and a bit too much cheese. But I understand what you’re saying.

  2. mattfarmer says:

    Did you see all the focus on Kate’s baby belly, and how marvellous it was for her to still show it off? The woman just gave birth, and they’re already going- oh isn’t it nice to see she is showing the baby bump. She shouldn’t get rid of it until at lest 6 weeks.
    It is good to see someone revel in the shape of a pregnant body. You would be quite surprised by how men actually quite LIKE the shape of a pregnant woman….

    • Kate looks fabulous. It was encouraging to see that bump, because it gives me an idea of what I can look forward to. So many women hide at home for those first weeks under so many layers of clothes that the reality of a new mother’s body has been a bit mysterious to me. I hope a lot of women follow her example and rock it hard in the future.

  3. Dreams says:

    “Feminism might try teaching me that I am more than my reproductive capacity. At this point in my pregnancy, I couldn’t give two hoots about all the other things I am ‘supposed’ to be and do. I’m in the middle of growing a baby, and I don’t see too many men able to do what I’m rocking at.” – I love love love this paragraph. I can relate to everything you mention especially the part about the bathroom mirror. Looking at that round belly growing makes me swell with happiness and awe. All the years of conditioning to be skinny with a corporate career simply melt away in that moment. Being a mom is THE purpose and it is more than enough if that’s what we want.

    • If becoming someone’s mother only gave me that feeling of all the other rubbish melting away, it would be worth it a hundred times over. But all of the other benefits as well? That’s a crazy good deal.

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