• Tue, Apr 10 2012

What Exactly About My Pregnant Belly Makes My Partners Want To Diet?

husband dietI’m right on track to gain 47 pounds with my second child (this, amazingly, is the exact same amount I gained during my first pregnancy.) I’m pretty bitter these days, and it has more than just to do with the fact I’m getting super uncomfortable (my back has started to ache, it’s hard to put on my shoes, I can’t see my vagina.) I’m bitter because five days ago, my fiancé announced that he was going to “start eating healthy” immediately and not eat another “cookie” forever. Your partner telling you they are essentially going on a health kick, when you are feeling like a bloated whale, is possibly the worst thing one can announce to a very pregnant woman aside from, “You are right. You are fat, not just pregnant.”

I don’t know what it is about me. But this is not the first time my partner has decided to go on a diet when I’m pregnant.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, nine years ago, I remember that her father announced he was going on a diet. He went on one of those trendy diets and began eating only bacon and eggs. Unfortunately, for me, bacon and eggs were not my craving food. What WERE my craving foods were Big Macs and French fries. I watched him lose an alarmingly amount of weight fast (though he also was super cranky and often thought he’d faint.)

The problem with people going on diets, or health kicks is that they talk non-stop about their dieting and health kicks. When my fiancé announced that he was off cookies and was only going to eat salads I was like, “Why do you have to do that NOW? Can’t you just wait eight more weeks?” So, it’s definitely something about me that when I’m pregnant, the men around me want to diet. Possibly, this has to do with the fact that I’m constantly moaning about my weight gain. I know I’m pregnant, but when none of your bras fit, you’re wearing your spouse’s extra-large t-shirts, and your inner thighs start to chafe because your legs are not used to rubbing up against each other when you walk, what else is there to do BUT complain?

I mentioned to a friend that I had run into a mutual woman we know at the grocery store (I was shoving down cookies in the aisle as I walked.) I told my friend that this woman looked like she had lost a lot of weight and was looking really good. My friend laughed and said, “When I was pregnant, everybody looked skinny to me.” It’s kind of true. Everywhere I look, there are skinny people. And skinny people right now make me want to do one of two things. Either get into bed and throw the comforter over my head and not come out for the next two months, or make me want to eat.

The other night, my fiancé made me a salad for dinner. “See? It’s not so bad,” he said. I’m not sure if he was trying to talk himself into it, or trying to talk me into it. I diligently ate my salad and wondered where I could get poutine (that’s French fries with cheese and gravy on them.)

Many men do talk about the “baby weight” they gain when their wives are pregnant. There is something to be said about this. I think both of my children’s fathers DID gain weight with me being pregnant. I am slightly to blame, I suppose. It’s hard to watch someone delve into a plate of cookies, or eat French fries, without wanting to get in on THAT party. Yes, I will admit that my bad eating habits during pregnancy probably affected the fathers. And I KNOW I should be supportive of my fiancé’s desire to eat healthy, but like I said, why the heck does he have to start eating healthy when I’m feeling at my most un-fit?

I finally told him that he had to “shut the hell up” when he started talking about how bad pastries are for you. (Like, duh.) I think we almost got into our first serious fight over his desire to eat healthy. Uncharacteristically of me, I sent him a text that said, “If you can’t understand where I’m coming from, and how I don’t want to hear about your new diet, then YOU have a real problem. Put yourself in my shoes.” We made up and he promised not to talk non-stop about eating only salads and fruits, and I made a promise that I would stop complaining about my weight gain.

After less than a week of stopping eating junk foods, my fiancé is looking good (though, really, he never had to lose weight.) I’m still left feeling, “What is it about me that drives men to start to diet at the worst time possible in my life?” And isn’t there something nice, even romantic, about men who gain weight with you while you’re pregnant? Like they’re really on this ride with you?

I’ll be pondering that for the next few weeks, over pancakes and poutine.

(photo: Gts/Shutterstock)

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  • bl

    Seems like the problem is that you need someone telling you it’s OK to eat endless junk food when pregnant, when really if that’s your choice, own it and do it without seeking validation/an eating buddy. Look at it from your partner’s point of view; he’s eating crappier than usual and he won’t even have a baby to show for it in a couple months. Excuse him for wanting to nip it in the bud. I don’t think you’d need him to eat like you unless you felt bad about your diet, because really it’s not required to eat fries or whatever while pregnant.

    I’m not saying your diet is wrong in any way. To each her own. I just don’t think you’re the only one who deserves support just because you’re the pregnant one. Everyone is annoying when they start a new thing (diet, hobby, whatever); I say be patient and supportive like he’s probably been to you.

  • Mrs.Lynn

    I do agree about people on diets who can’t stop talking about it. I have a friend who is on a trend diet right now and can’t stop going on about it. She’s getting married in a month and is in complete Bridezilla mode. She has told me that when SHE is pregnant, that SHE plans to eat very healthy. I told her I said the same thing. For the most part, I do eat well, but I don’t turn down brownies or pizza and I do take a second scoop of ice cream, thank you. I’m 9 months right now. It makes me feel judged by someone who is supposed to be a good friend and I don’t feel like I need to justify my eating habits to ANYONE. And I won’t. It’s my business and people can stay out of it.

    However, I do not feel that my husband needs to gain weight with me. I don’t find it romantic at all, in fact, I’m really glad my handsome hubby still has those washboard abs. What can I say, he’s a hottie! I don’t even think he should have to eat what I eat. Again, it goes back to me not feeling I have to justify or feel better about eating junk food by having someone else indulge with me, hell, more for me!