One of the fun things (at least in my opinion) about working in a small office is that every employee gets to be involved - at least a little bit - in all the parts of the work we do*. Right now we're gearing up for a new exam phase for our diabetes study, and as part of our quality control processes, our study examiners take practice measurements on practice participants (read: other employees) to ensure they are doing things in a standard way.
Last Tuesday it was my turn to go in to have my height, weight, waist-hip ratio, blood pressure, and grip strength measured. The examiners, who are all women so they are attuned to body-image type things, told me that it was perfectly fine if, because I was pregnant, I didn't want to be weighed or have waist and hip measurements done. If for some reason knowing how "big" I was (or maybe more importantly having other people know how "big" I am) would make me feel self conscious.
Actually, I think the opposite has been true. While I felt somewhat self-conscious during the early weeks when no one knew I was pregnant and I really did just look chunky, for the most part I've felt that being pregnant has been very liberating from body image issues. Sure I didn't want to gain a zillion pounds, and I know eating a healthy diet is the best thing for both me and the baby, but as far as what I look like goes, I haven't really cared that much.
So I weigh a hundred and forty (cough, cough) pounds? I'm supposed to gain weight. So my waist to hip ratio is 2 - 1? That space is being rented out though December (but not after, my darling little tax deduction). I would have cared way more about how much I weighed before I got pregnant, and you better believe I'd have been mentally converting those waist and hip measurements from cm to inches. Tuesday I didn't even try to look at the forms. The number was what it was, and that was fine. In fact I find it novel to see how much my body can/will grow.
The other thing about pregnancy weight gain is that, maybe I have gained some extra squish on my legs and behind, but my body shape is so different and my clothes are so fabulously comfortable and stretchy that I honestly can't tell. All secrets will come to light in January, and I do want to get in shape again after the baby is delivered, but I have to say, it's been nice to take a multiple month break from the body drama we all experience from oh... middle school on.
And that is worth a lot of heartburn and midnight trips to the bathroom.
*We run two population studies on eye disease.