running out of control.

There are 140 calories in 16 Wheat Thins, which is the serving size on the side of the box.

I still remember this from freshman year of high school. I counted calories and then would do the math-- how many miles or minutes of running would burn off that handful of M&M’s. And then I would run. Somehow, in the midst of a mess of self-sabotage, I fell in love with running and somehow it saved me-- but not from calories. First, I had to learn to stop counting those. And while it only took about a year and a half for me to hit the bottom and realize that no matter how much weight you lose, the frame of your body remains the same-- one aspect of running stayed with me-- control.

Exactly four years later, another freshman year, I ran too much and cracked a bone-- fractured my femoral neck, which connects your femur to your hip. I couldn’t run for months-- spent weeks on crutches and the same amount of time being an absolute nightmare to the people around me.

And again-- my favorite activity proved a mirror to show me that the real issue was with myself-- and a need for control-- specifically over my body.

It’s always been about my body-- and while I know it’s ridiculous and shallow and horrible-- I’ve always been afraid of being fat. I hate that about myself, but it’s true.

And so when I thought about pregnancy-- I always thought- no way, you just get fat. (Yes, I know it's not actually fat! It's a baby! But it's still getting bigger!) You lose control over your body and get bigger and bigger and bigger.

And you do.

People have asked me what the hardest part about being pregnant and it’s exactly what I've always, always, always come back to-- I have no control. And I hate it. Running gets harder and so my runs grow shorter and slower every single day. I have to pee every mile and I can feel the heaviness in my legs. My once diligent workout routine, still there, but simpler, modified. And my body-- bigger and bigger and bigger.

I expected all of this. I knew this would be what I hated the most and it is--
But what I didn’t expect (because my heart is still learning to be less self-absorbed) is that the lack of control would start to turn away from me-- and start to be about her.

Where I didn’t want a stomach, I want growth to know she’s okay.
Where I didn’t want to stop running, I want to slow down to make sure she’s okay.
Where I didn’t want to eat for my own sake, I want to make sure she has enough, that she’s okay.

The Lord is refining me and teaching me what it looks like to let go-- to lose a little control. My body, yes of course, but it’s really just a metaphor for the control I’m having to cede and will continue to hand over for the rest of her life.

But if you could still not tell me I’m “huge” or look “so pregnant”, that would be nice. I’m working on it, but you don’t just change overnight and think it’s cool when someone calls your stomach your “pooch”, please and thank you. 

I’m really excited to meet my daughter, a feeling that grows week by week. But heck, I’d be lying if I wasn’t also stoked to hit the pavement hard and fast again. I'm not the mess I was at 15 and 19, but I'll sure be glad to gain one aspect of control back in a new life that will have plenty of new lessons about "letting go" come along with it.