Gaining Weight On Television

One of the more stressful things about working in this industry is the natural focus on appearance. The hard realities of television (High Definition, added weight and fullness just from cameras) make staying fit and healthy essential for anyone looking to have a long career.

On top of that, we anchors spend ages searching for clothing with the right color and fit – since not all designs/cuts flatter all body types equally on camera. We’re also always striving for the right haircut (flattering, easy to style, yet modern) and the right makeup (including proper application techniques for various face shapes.)

In pre-pregnancy days...

In pre-pregnancy days…

Unlike the mega-star anchors at the big networks, those of us working in local news have to try to master this “imaging” all on our own. It isn’t easy. Most of us have several “What was she thinking?” moments that stand out with hair and wardrobe. If we’re really lucky we get some support and guidance from consultants and news managers – as we do here at WHNT News 19.

All of those pressures considered, you can see why one of my first thoughts after the initial joy of finding out I was pregnant was, “Oh my gosh. I’m going to gain weight on TV.” Then a moment of panic set in.

Unlike a lot of people working on-air in television news, I don’t have the super skinny model build. I’m just sort of… average, with a more athletic build, fluctuating between sizes 4-8 over the years depending on my commitment to healthy food and fitness. On television though, even a size 8 can look well – round. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met someone in person and their reaction is, “Wow, you’re actually pretty slim. You look so much rounder on television.” lol.

Thankfully my employers at WHNT News 19 have been wonderfully gracious and supportive throughout my pregnancy. I have some horror stories from friends in the industry who were treated in, shall we say, a less than appropriate way during pregnancy. I know a woman whose boss told her (she is short and carried high) she looked like “a whale” on television. Talk about a crushing blow in an already image-obsessed industry.

At 25 weeks, I’ve gained about 18 pounds. I think that’s pretty good. I’m trying hard to walk as much as possible and not go crazy with the cravings. Ladies, how much weight did you all gain during pregnancy? Did you try to manage your diet and exercise? How did you feel about your changing body? Were people around you supportive?

Share your thoughts here. Can’t wait to hear from you all!


3 thoughts on “Gaining Weight On Television

  1. Michelle, I think you are doing very well! It is great that so many people are supportive of you and baby. It’s okay, we all know you are expecting and won’t criticize you if you splurge on an extra piece of hot fudge cake. 😉 The only down side for you is that you probably have to purchase nice and sometimes expensive maternity clothes, but they are so cute! I have been getting away with buying off craigslist and from conisgnment stores. I am 29 weeks and have gained 16 lbs! My little boy has put my weight all up front, right in the middle! I have just been working, eating normal sized, healthy meals, and snacking on cheese, yogurt, etc. inbetween if I get hungry. So far, I am feeling pretty good about my developing baby body! You should, too! 🙂

  2. I’m 25 weeks today too! This is our 6th baby though (and another home birth)… and with each baby you always anticipate the “well surely THIS will be the time where I lose it” <– meaning… lose control of my figure and really balloon out. Now, I normally stay sick the entire pregnancy and in some cases I never gained any weight above my pre-pregnant weight at all. My home birth (she is now 6) I actually gained for the first time (8 lbs I think)! I have been afraid to step on the scale this time around as I had been running some 5k's right before I got pregnant and was in pretty decent shape. The last 5k I ran was on my birthday in July and I was 5 weeks and a few days. That following week the morning sickness and energy sapping began. I am still plagued by this off and on so no running for me! :o( If I had to guess though, I'd say I've probably gained 10 lbs or more. I'm supposed to have an appt with my midwife tomorrow and I'll be honest… I'm not excited about getting on the scale… but it has to be done.

    Just remember that you're growing a little bitty human in your belly and all that takes food. We're actually supposed to increase our fat storage and even our blood volume goes WAAAAY up… that's gotta weigh something. Don't worry about it. Just tell everyone that you're more interested in the health of you and your baby than the image on the t.v. If your viewers think bad of you because you've gotten a bit round in the face or whatever then THEY are too focused on the image and not the fact that HEY… she's growing a HUMAN BEING!

    Good luck to you!

  3. Michelle – your body is working harder while you’re resting than someone who is climbing Mt Everestt!! People are going to be mean – unfortantely – who cares!! Pregnancy is the only time in your life that you are assisting God in a miracle. Don’t worry about the weight gain. Enjoy every single second!!!

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