Big, Maybe; Beautiful, Definitely!
Let’s be honest: the first thing people have a natural tendency to do, upon seeing a pregnant woman, is to rate her size. Maybe it’s a 1-to-10 scale or even something as simple as “not so big,” “big,” pretty big,” and, “I didn’t know a person could get that big.” Sure, these people are quick to tell you how beautiful or magical it is that you are pregnant, but somewhere in your head you cannot help but think about what you think they are really thinking about.
Embrace the experience
While it is, indeed, true that your pregnancy is special and that “being big” is part of that experience, many women begin to believe that “being big” is a real downer. Whether the words come from yourself or from others, what happens is that you start listening to that little repeating voice in your head. The voice ultimately leads you to act or behave in a certain way. The voice may, in fact, lead you to have as difficult a time embracing your new body image.
Now that you’re aware that other women battle this problem, as well, you can do something about it. To combat this line of thinking, understand that many people perceive things in an aggressive, negative light. People, including pregnant women, have beliefs about events in their lives. These beliefs influence how you feel and act, perceive and experience. So, it is not the event that creates your feeling, but beliefs about the event that inevitably contribute to your emotions. These beliefs may be rational ones that result in modest, healthy emotions, or irrational beliefs that lead to disturbed emotions that inhibit the way you live your life.
You’re in control
The psychologist Albert Ellis suggests that these irrational beliefs derive from a basic “must.” These “musts” represent demanding and unrealistic perceptions of how things “should” be. For example, the little voice I mentioned before tells you, “Hey, she shouldn’t have said that to me.” You, the aggravated person, direct blame at yourself and at others by then “awfulizing” remarks that exaggerate the event. The “Hey, she shouldn’t have said that,” becomes partnered with “That is the most terrible thing anyone has ever said to me,” and “She is right about me anyway and I can’t handle that.”
Soon, you’ll realize that this thinking often leaves you frustrated. To eliminate these poor thinking patterns, you have to learn to dispute the little voice when it tells you things you know will ruin your day.
First, understand that your body is telling you to slow down, to move with more care than you used to. But (and this is a “big but”), your body does still want to move. So how does a mom embrace her “bigness” and still find the impetus to exercise? The answer lies in reevaluating the way and the why she works out. As you’ll learn in the second part of this article, you’ll need to learn to re-focus your thoughts about exercise–toward enhanced health and lifestyle, and away from aesthetics.
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