This is the question I got asked last week from a client I was training at the gym.
No, I am not pregnant.
So, why would this woman, who has only met me two other times, ask me if I am pregnant?
That is the question I am asking you, my lovely readers.
When I heard this question come out of her mouth, I thought, "Did she really say that?" It seemed surreal. Sure, I have heard of other people asking other non-pregnant women this question. But, me? No.
I am a mother of three children. I am still currently breastfeeding my youngest, who is 17 months old. I don't count each calorie that goes into my mouth. I eat chocolate every day. Maybe I have gained a pound or two during this horrendously long, agonizing winter. I really don't know, because I am not a slave to my scale anymore. Is this why someone thinks I look pregnant again?
Years ago, this kind of question would have killed me. Years ago, I was a slave to my scale. Years ago, I was obsessed with having the perfect body. But, since being a mother and maturing as a woman, I was feeling pretty darn good about making strides in accepting my flaws and giving my body a break for having a few curves.
And then bam! Out of nowhere I got this question.
Forget all progress. I feel like I have backslid all the way to teenage years and insecurities all over again. How can one little question send me so far over the edge? I didn't plan on writing a blog post about one silly little question, but after freaking out about it to my parents, my dad said, "Blog about it." After hearing a few really good points from him, (You're so smart, Dad!) I realized that maybe I did need to vent about this online to thousands of other people who might be feeling the same way.
What I can't get past in my head is why would any woman ask another woman if she is pregnant unless it is BLATANTLY obvious?
Sure, maybe I wasn't having a super skinny day. I felt a little bloated and not my very best. But am I not allowed to have a fat day? I know I am a personal trainer, but does that mean that I have to look like a supermodel who has never had a baby?
Now, I know that the client who asked me this question didn't mean to hurt me or cause me to go into such a conniption as this. But, that is what happened. After thinking about this way too many hours, I have come up with a theory as to why this question ever gets asked of unsuspecting women everywhere.
Think Mean Girls.
Unfortunately, I think there are a few really ugly reasons behind this question. And I am not pointing fingers here either, because I am guilty of all the things I am about to describe.
While some of you may argue that this woman was just being curious, just trying to make conversation, just being hopeful of another little baby on its way, I disagree. Sadly, I think there is too much jealousy, too much cattiness, too much competitiveness, and just too much meanness between women these days.
At the heart of this little question is an accusation that I look fat/abnormal/chunky. We think these things of other women to make ourselves feel better about our own insecurities. Because face it - we are all insecure. Whether you are the one asking/thinking the question or receiving the verbal slap in the face, we are all feeling insecure. Instead of encouraging and loving each other, what do we do? We ask questions that hurt. We compare to make ourselves feel better. We work harder to look better than the girl next to us in class. We talk about this or that person's eensy weensy tiny flaw to make our big flaws seem smaller.
And that is just not cool.
So, here is my plea to ALL of you (and me)!
- Instead of looking for ways to put others down, let's look for ways to encourage them.
- Instead of working hard to look better than so and so, let's work hard with that person to both feel our best.
- Instead of leafing through the latest magazine thinking about who looks fat in what dress, let's go and teach our daughters that they are wonderfully and beautifully made, miracles of God.
And, unless you see a baby foot imprint sticking out of another woman's tummy, do NOT ask her if she is pregnant. Be kind rather than sorry.
Look for Part 2 of this post - Is That a Baby Bump - How To Deal? coming tomorrow!