I went to see my midwife, Danielle, today for my 32 week OB appointment.  She told me I’ve gained 21 pounds; 5 of them in the last 2 weeks!  Yikes!  I forgot to tell her that I don’t want to know.  I always get on the scale backwards when the nurse weighs me.  The nurse knows I don’t want to know.  I told Danielle “I wish you wouldn’t have told me!”  She reminded me that 21 pounds is perfectly normal and healthy.  For me, hearing a number really threw me for a loop. 

A year and a half ago I did a whole body and mind cleanse with health coach, Amanda Moxley.  In this cleanse we consumed organic, whole foods from the Earth for 30 days.  Our group met on a weekly conference call to discuss our successes and struggles.  After 2 weeks the emotions were starting to come out as we all presented body image issues.  One of my issues was that I had been eating perfectly for 2 weeks, stepped on the scale one day and hadn’t lost a pound.  It ruined my day!  I had a fight with my husband, had some other unexpected issues and was late for work.  Amanda challenged me to stop weighing myself since I was basing my self-worth on a number from the scale.  I haven’t weighed myself since.

Since this cleanse I have worked really hard on ways to love myself, just the way I am.  Not the easiest accomplishment since I started bulimia in 9th grade and continued until I met my former husband my senior year of high school.  I always based my worthiness of attracting a man on how large or small my body was.  I ballooned after my former husband and I moved in together and then married.  We were only married for a year and as soon as we divorced I shed the weight immediately.  When I married my current husband four years later I quickly began to gain weight once again.  After I gave birth to my daughter at age 27 I struggled to lose the pregnancy weight.  I beat myself up relentlessly about it and even resorted to purging a few times.  The shame, guilt and self-loathing was more than I could take.  By the time my daughter was two years old I weighed 205 lbs. 

So, back to the baby weight triggering me.  When Danielle told how much I’ve gained this pregnancy my self worth was obviously in question.  On the drive home from her office in Park City, I asked myself “am I any different because I weigh 21 lbs more than I did in December?”  “Am I any more or less valuable than I was before my appointment with Danielle today?”  The answer to both questions is “Absolutely NOT!” 

I still have the same message for the world and my purpose hasn’t changed.  I still have a tender, vulnerable place inside of me:  the little 3 year old Erika who experienced sexual abuse and for the first time in her life didn’t feel loved.  She used food to fill the love void and protect herself at the same time, clear into adulthood.  The adult Erika reminds her that she is safe and protected now and loved beyond measure. 

When Baby Boo arrives in eight weeks I know the pregnancy weight will melt off.  I will hold my baby girl in my arms and love her and keep her safe the way I’ve learned to do for myself.  I commit to continue loving myself, especially for the little miracle my body worked so hard to create.  I commit to loving my post-partum body as much as I love my beautiful pregnant body.  I will continue to nourish myself with whole foods from the earth and especially nourish myself with love.  Eight, twelve or even twenty weeks from now, twenty-one pounds will be a non-issue!

 I would love to hear your comments about your journey with self-love or what you think about this article.  Thanks for reading.  Also, please feel free to share this article on your blog or website, as long as my name is included and linked back to me.  Thank you!