125. PREGNANCY SERIES | Body Image Struggles & Handling Weight Gain

Written By:


Ryann Nicole

Episode Transcript

Hello, my name is Ryann, and I am the host of the Food Freedom Lab. In this episode, I’m going to share my personal experience with body image struggles during pregnancy. As a licensed therapist, certified nutritionist, and a recovered binge eater, I want to be real and authentic about my journey.

Early Pregnancy Challenges

When I found out I was pregnant, I experienced rapid changes in my body. Clothes stopped fitting, and I felt ravenous. At my first OB appointment, the scale showed a higher weight than expected, triggering anxiety about weight gain.

External Pressures and Self-Judgment

Facing societal expectations and my own professional role, I worried about what people would think. Negative thoughts resurfaced, and I struggled with the idea of gaining weight during pregnancy. It was a vulnerable position, and I compared myself to pregnancy books’ guidelines.

Moving and Wardrobe Challenges

We decided to move closer to family, adding stress to an already challenging time. I resisted buying new clothes due to the move, triggering memories of past struggles with body image. The change in location and wardrobe compounded the emotional turmoil.

Hunger and Weight Gain Concerns

My OB’s advice on hunger conflicted with societal norms. I felt pressured to control weight gain, and the fear of judgment loomed. The experience became overwhelming, and I began questioning my body and its changes.

Emotional Toll and Anger

Around 14 weeks, a miscarriage scare shifted my perspective. I realized the priority was a healthy baby, not my body’s appearance. I confronted my anger about the physical changes, acknowledging it without judgment. This marked a turning point.

Coping Strategies

  1. Getting Clothes That Fit: Renting maternity clothes reduced stress about a changing wardrobe.
  2. Avoiding Monthly Weigh-Ins: I stopped looking at the scale monthly to minimize stress and unnecessary worry.
  3. Filtering Content: Marking “not interested” on pregnancy-related content helped avoid triggering comparisons.
  4. Making Other Things Matter More: Focusing on health, relationships, and self-care helped shift the focus away from body image.
  5. Reaching Out for Support: Communicating with friends, my partner, or online communities provided emotional support during tough times.
  6. Practicing Radical Acceptance: Regularly reminding myself that I don’t have to love the changes but can still appreciate and nourish my body.
  7. Taking One Day at a Time: Instead of projecting future worries, I focused on the present, making each day a manageable step.
  8. Reducing the Meaning Attached to Body Changes: I stopped letting my changing body define my self-worth, professional credibility, or societal acceptance.


Pregnancy is a unique and transformative experience, and navigating body image challenges is a part of that journey. By sharing my struggles and coping strategies, I hope to reassure others that they are not alone and that it’s okay to embrace the complexities of pregnancy. Remember, self-compassion and redirecting focus to what truly matters can make the journey more manageable.

Closing Note

I appreciate you joining me on this episode of the Food Freedom Lab. If you’re seeking more support, connect with me on Instagram @itsryannnicole or join my free Facebook group at facebook.com/group/itsryannnicole.

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Ryann Nicole

Licensed Therapist, Certified Nutritionist, and Virtual Wellness Coach

Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.

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Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.