Anita had always been an athlete. She was known in all her different circles as a fit, athletic person. Even people she’d meet for the first time would comment that she looked like she was in great shape or really strong. She’d get an occasional, “Wow, I think you could take my husband!” Anita enjoyed this persona. When she became pregnant she worried that she’d lose this part of who she was. She didn’t think she’d be viewed in the same way. It distressed to her to think that she’d lose a part of her identity for a number of months.
When Anita became fully cognizant of these concerns, she considered what she wanted to do about them and came up with a couple of options. She could prepare herself for the idea that she wouldn’t be viewed as athletic for a period of time. She could look forward to fully reinstating her athletic image post-pregnancy. She could make a point of talking more about the sports and physical activities she was involved in so people would continue to realize that she was an active athlete.
Yet, what Anita realized she needed to do more than anything else was to change her own view that a pregnant body couldn’t be an athletic body. She was an athlete, right? She’d continue to be one during her pregnancy. Her body, by definition, was going to be an athletic one throughout her pregnancy. She started to look forward to observing the changes in her body. Her “everyday” body looked different than others. Her pregnant body would, too. She got excited about creating a new pregnancy image, and was able to achieve what was most desirable to her: a muscular, fit, pregnant body that people continued to notice.