The Longest Pregnancy (Ever): Emotions, 35 Extra Pounds…and Letting Go

Jun 26, 2019

Photograph by Kristen Noel

A personal share (and slightly cringeworthy story) of emotional and physical healing


First off…don’t plan a baby shower. I’m not pregnant (and haven’t been since I gave birth to my baby girl nearly 14 years ago!). But I am ready to share a story with you — which I think is a testament to how the past 2 years have given me so many blessings physically, spiritually and emotionally…and so many growth opportunities.

However, sometimes we can’t attend to it all at the same time. Sometimes life pulls us in one direction then another. Sometimes we have to put out fires here and there before finding that place of balance.

I’m finally finding it.

After 2 years of full-on life changes both personally and professionally — I’m picking up the pieces of that last unattended aspect of myself: my physical self.

Oh how we take that for granted and can push that to the bottom of the list!

I’m trying to take charge of that and reroute that pattern…which brings me back to my story.

Little by little during my bypassing of self, I packed on 35 pounds over the last 2 years. I thought I hid it fairly well under my cheery patterned dresses…but, apparently not.

Customers began to regularly put their hands on my belly or told me how excited they were for me.

I knew they were genuinely happy. Depending upon the day my response varied:

  1. Thank you (too busy to explain)
  2. I’m not pregnant (delivered with a smile, but I’ve never met you before)
  3. Oh, I’m just fat! (feeling sassy)

I would laugh, brush it off and let it roll off my back. Then to add insult to injury, I’d fall into exerting energy trying to make them feel better after their faux pas. I could see the look of horror in their eyes. It’s an autopilot setting for me: I want to make people feel better. And hey, at least they thought I was young enough to have a baby! I took my compliments where I could find them.

That said, my daughter, True, begged me to stop joking about it, people are going to expect a baby. She was right of course, but it honestly had become a regular occurrence and quite exhausting.

What was really exhausting was the denial of my physical body.

I couldn’t pretend any longer and it was time to do something about it. I’ve recommitted to me — perhaps I’ve saved the best for last. It’s my time.

And after 2 years of carrying this ‘baby’ while trying to embrace all aspects of menopause with its nice little streaks of grey popping up and hot flashes (which I actually like because they feel like my body is purging) — I’m declaring that the weight has got to go. It has literally been weighing me down and feels like I’ve been carrying two bags of groceries up six flights of stairs. Enough.

But before you get worried that this is leading into a series of depriving diets and restrictions — I want to assure you that caring for our physical selves can be nourishing, loving and kind (and needs to be).

Of course I have access to the most amazing organic and beautiful food, but this was not all about food. This isn’t about blaming or shaming my body. It’s actually about connecting it to my emotions; all the emotions I had tightly bottled up so I could create a new life, get my daughter settled, build a business, etc.

Those emotions needed some tending — and I needed to recognize how they were all connected to my physical self. My body had actually been protecting me when I needed it most, it was literally ‘cushioning’ me.

But I no longer need cushioning. So what was the first step?

I congratulated myself and recognized all that I had been through and all that I had accomplished. And I thanked it for being so formidable through all of these versions of me.

Now what?

Next chapter: clean up. And I’m doing a lot and seeing all kinds of practitioners who are helping me connect the dots — from Holistic Life Navigation and Pilates to faschial massages. I’m not depriving my body, I’m feeding it and creating ritual for myself with every herbal tea concoction or celery juice I drink. I’m taking steps to address my liver and adrenals.

While I truly believe we each need to find our own path — and what is needed for me, may not be needed for you — there are so many ways to nurse our own healing. I’ve been incorporating the Medical Medium’s 3/6/9 Liver Cleanse that incorporates an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet to cleanse slowly and safely.

And I even think my adrenals are releasing a sigh of relief as if to say, finally.

Our poor adrenals. They get depleted so easily and yet, we just keep on relying on them. It’s so important to give them a break and save them for a rainy day. The adrenals need to be prepared for emergencies, not overworked on a daily basis.

While this is all a work in progress — I’m feeling so good. I’m inspired, motivated and energized. I’m sleeping and feeling nurtured. Most of all, I want more of this. There really is something to this self-care / self-love thing. Best yet, the proof is in the pudding — after week 1 of the cleanse several people excitedly asked, “So, was it a girl or a boy?” I now look like I just had the baby (wink wink). #progress

—Lea Haas, Owner, The Garden Cafe Woodstock

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