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Pregnancy Weight Gain: My 80/20 Rule

Oh, pregnancy weight gain. This is a tricky topic to write about, because, in my non-doctor, non-even-remotely-medically-minded opinion, there is no such thing as normal pregnancy weight gain. Our bodies are crazy different and full of weird factors that determine whether pregnancy will make us feel a tad extra doughy around the edges or beached whale-massive. (The scientific description, I’m sure.)

normal-pregnancy-weight-gain-chart

Me? According to the charts, I’m on the high end of what I should be gaining, teetering on the edge of “normal.” And here is what I’d like to say to those charts:

Dear “Normal Healthy Pregnancy Weight Chart“:

I understand that I have gained more than you’d like me to. I understand that you have a very strict policy against Skittles and french fries, and I also understand that  you think the 20+ pounds I’ve gained in 30 weeks is “excessive.”

Yet, dear Charts, I think I’m fooling you. Yes, I have a handful of Skittles three times a week, and yes, I am indulging in an order of french fries near-weekly (because I love them and I hate you). Yet those 20 pounds you’re speaking of? I gained those the healthy way. Scout’s honor.

Other than the aforementioned treats above, my diet consists of lean meats, proteins, fruits, veggies, good carbs and tons of water. I like to call this the 80/20 rule: Eat super healthy 80% of the time, and the other 20%? Do what you will.

I’m sure your charts don’t account for this 20%, and I’m sure you see this as a weakened self-control that can only be rectified by a good, quality lecture from a doctor. Yet can I tell you a secret?

I feel fantastic. I know you don’t agree, but I’m going to listen to myself on this one. Because although I have a few more pounds on my body, I’m eating better than I ever have in my life. And you know what else? I take daily walks. Me! The girl who led such a sedentary life pre-baby that I’m not quite sure she had ever walked to the end of the street, let alone a 1.5 mile loop around the neighborhood each evening.

You should be proud of me, Chart. You should pat me on the back and say “Well done! It doesn’t matter how much weight you gain; it’s how you’re taking care of your body. It’s a mix of nutrition and exercise, and you’re doing the right things. Treat yourself every now and then; you deserve it.”

Instead, you’re chastising me with a little green dot that keeps peaking higher out of the “normal” range for my body. And to that? I think you are mean. I think you’re mean and ugly and I hope that when you have babies, you will creep even further out of the normal zone and wonder why.

And then you’ll see what the rest of us pregnant mamas see: that normalcy? It just doesn’t exist.

Sincerely,

Erin Loechner, More Than a Green Dot

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