Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat?


How did you feel when you were pregnant? Did you have "the glow" and feel sexy and powerful and more womanly than ever? Or did you feel like you were huge, a fat, unattractive blob, a whale, a submarine, etc? I had a very easy pregnancy and for the most part, I enjoyed being pregnant. The first time I went into my closet and didn't fit into any of my clothes, I had a mini breakdown and crumbled to the floor crying. I knew I would gain weight and I thought I was mentally prepared, but to no longer be able to wear anything in my wardrobe WEEKS before the books said this would happen was demoralizing. I felt like I was a pig and already "letting myself go" before the baby even got here. As the weeks went on and I got bigger and bigger, I did embrace my pregnant body....until I got stretch marks at week 39. I was so disappointed in myself. I had managed to get through almost the entire pregnancy without them and now I was scarred for life. And since my pregnancy went to 42 weeks plus, they only got worse as the days went by.

Of course my experience and the range of emotions that came with it are not unique to me. Pregnant women the world over (and particularly in the US, I'm sure) experience body & self-esteem issues. These don't end with the pregnancy, when women are then expected to drop the baby weight quickly and look like they never were pregnant at all. There's so much unrealistic pressure on women to always look good and be thin and it seems to get even worse after pregnancy.

That's why I loved the new book Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? by Claire Mysko and Magali Amadei (full disclosure: I was interviewed by Claire and my quotes appear in the book and my blog, Blacktating, is listed as a resource for breastfeeding information). Claire, a beauty activist, and Magali, a former model and ED sufferer) interviewed over 400 women and men about the effects of pregnancy and motherhood on a woman's body and self-esteem. The book aims to show:

- How you can learn to trust your changing body, appreciate it, and yes…even work it!
- Why you should be wary of the Hollywood "bump watch" and post-baby weight loss stories– and how to take the focus off the scale
- How to deal with your raging hormones—in the bedroom and beyond
- How to recognize when your body issues get extreme—and how to get help

I was sent an Advanced Readers Copy to review and I really enjoyed the book. I saw myself in so much of the anecdotes in the book, particularly with regard to weight gain. I'm still working on losing the baby weight and my self-esteem and this book was a welcome reality check for me.

I'm pleased to offer a copy of the book to one of my readers. Simply leave me a comment telling me why you'd like the book.

I'll draw a winner using next Wednesday, November 18th at 11:59 PM EST. Contest is open to residents of US & Canada. The winner will be emailed and posted here and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. Please be sure to leave me a way to contact you.

Never want to miss an update of the Blacktating Blog? Subscribe here.
Twitter me- I'm blacktating