Yesterday was a landmark in my pregnancy.  It was the first time a complete stranger – two in fact – commented on my bump.  The first was in a restaurant where the waiter simply asked if I knew if I was having a boy or a girl (I don’t, incidentally), and the second was in a clothes shop where the assistant squealed “ooh, baby” when I took my coat off.

Now I didn’t mind these comments at all.  They were neither offensive nor rude, but it is bizarre how people feel it’s OK to comment on somebody else’s body.  You wouldn’t go up to somebody and say “Ooh, beer belly” or “Wow, skinny arse”, would you?  But the rules seems to change during pregnancy.  Two of my friends have had some notable experiences in recent weeks.

One of them was 33 weeks pregnant when somebody said to her “Oh! You will be an elephant. Are you sure it’s not twins?”  Nice.

The other is not pregnant and had a new colleague ask her when she was due.  Ouch.  But it gets worse:  Upon laughing it off and exclaiming “I’m not pregnant, luv, just fat” the other person continued, “Seriously, when are you due?”  This carried on for several exchanges before the offending party finally relented (and probably felt rather sheepish)!  Sometimes people just don’t know when to stop!

This kind of reminds me of people’s approach to health and fitness actually.

– In the same way that you need to be careful what you say to people, you also need to approach your exercise and nutrition with care.  Respect your body as you would do somebody else’s.

– Just as every body is different, so too are your exercise and dietary requirements.  A one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t cut it.  Horses for courses and all that.  I have written about this numerous times, but the bottom line is to find something that a) works for you, b) you enjoy and c) is sustainable.

– Sometimes you need to accept when to stop.  Yes, stopping can be associated with giving up or “falling off the wagon” (like 80% of people already have done with their new year’s resolutions).  On occasion, however,  stopping is the right thing to do (like insisting someone is pregnant when they’re not)!  For example, there are times when exercise and diet can become obsessive and consequently dangerous.  I’ll save the details for my next post, but guilt is the thing to watch out for:

Guilt for missing a workout.  Guilt for eating something.  Guilt that you didn’t get a PB.

Fundamentally, your focus should always be achieving optimal health.  And good health is associated first and foremost with happiness.  IF IT DOESN’T MAKE YOU HAPPY, STOP DOING IT.  Write that down and apply it to every aspect of your life.

Knowing when to stop is key 🙂