Friday, April 5, 2013

My Thoughts on Food and Pregnancy

Alright folks. As a fair warning, things are about to get real. I'm going to talk about some of my issues with food.

I've eluded a few times on my Facebook page that I have had my previous battles with food. I was in college and I didn't "technically" have an "eating disorder" but I definitely had an unhealthy relationship with food. I was going through some things in my personal life so food became something that I obsessed over. It was a major control thing. I had to have total control over my body and what I was eating. It was something that was starting to spiral completely out of control. There is one photo that I saw, of me at my thinnest, that really scared me and helped me realize that I had a problem. I also had some friends at the time that helped open my eyes to my issues (they actually talked to me frankly about it). I was able to retake control of myself and my eating and figure out the balance that I like to talk about from time to time. I added cheese and butter back into my diet and allowed myself to indulge in french fries occasionally. (I also found out how easy it is to gain weight. I ate a hot dog before bed every night for a week and that helped out a lot.) I also re-discovered running around that to help with that balance as well. I no longer worried about the number on the scale, but it was more about how I felt. It was about how I felt in my clothes and how they fit as opposed to how I looked when I didn't have any clothes on. I had a few points here and there over the next few years where I would catch myself starting to do some of the same things or obsess over something. But I was able to recognize the symptoms and make adjustments accordingly. I felt like I finally had everything under control, consistently, for years. I got married, ran a marathon, and did lots of other stressful things without falling into the same old habits.

And then I got pregnant

All over the baby books, websites, and everything else is all about eating. What foods you need to eat, how much of this vitamin you need, how much of this vitamin you need to avoid, eat this, don't eat that, listen to your cravings... all the while you have to only gain this much weight, stay within this range, this many weeks along you should only gain this many pounds... IT IS EXHAUSTING!! I am constantly thinking about food. Am I eating the right things? Am I eating too much? Am I eating enough? I ate some unhealthy things the other day(s), am I outside the normal weight gain range? I have little to no self control anymore; I am almost always clearing my plate. And I'm not even halfway through the pregnancy yet. I know all the stress I put on myself isn't good, so I try not to stress myself out. But then I'll weigh myself and see a number 1 pound outside the "normal" weight gain range for my pre-pregnancy weight, and that sends me into an emotional state that I'm not doing this right, etc. etc... I have a calorie counter app that I try to only half-heartedly use (to not become too obsessed) but then I still end up obsessing over it when I'm not using it.

The whole "balance" thing while pregnant is much more difficult than I ever imagined.

I keep reminding myself that I just have to try my best--that's all I can do! Many women go outside the normal pregnancy weight gain range and still have perfectly healthy babies (and also lose the weight post-pregnancy). I just need to not stress about the small stuff (1 pound, really?) and just try to have some fun. It isn't just about me anymore! I have to put my own issues aside and think about what is best for Baby Wilson! I want nothing but the best for this little bundle of joy, and I just have to try my best in doing so. :)

I guess this post is really just me venting about something that I've been thinking about and struggling with A LOT lately. As women (and human beings), I'm sure we all struggle or have our own relationship with food and every person's experience is different. I guess, I never thought I would be running into these feelings all over again. I'm lucky to have a supportive husband who never ever makes comments about what I'm eating or how something fits (in a negative way). This pregnancy stuff is hard work! But I hear it is all worth it in the end!

I feel a little better having just shared my thoughts with all of you. Thanks for reading/listening. :)

And in case you were wondering, here is what the bump looks like these days. I can barely notice a difference from week to week in these photos, but from my view, looking down... things have definitely gotten bigger. Also, all my dress pants fit terribly and I'm starting to venture into a few maternity things here and there. I'm open to suggestions on where to shop if you have some. I'll be putting a post together about my maternity clothes experience in the weeks to come!

22 comments:

  1. I appreciate your honesty, and I wish you lots of luck. My advice would be don't read the books/blogs!!! Listen to your doctor and when you have questions, ask your doctor or your parents or friends with kids. If you think you're doing something wrong, the internet will confirm that it is wrong, even if it really isn't. Women have been having babies for thousands and thousands of years. You'll be fine.

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  2. J (Morning Runner)April 5, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    My best friend is pregnant and I know she has had some of the same thoughts/issues during the early weeks of her pregnancy. Honestly, every woman is different so I hate that the drs tell you a "normal" weight gain! No pregnancy is the same and there is no NORMAL range for all women! Keep doing what you are doing - you look great and don;t look like you have gained that much weight at all! You are growing a baby in there and that is what matters! Growing a strong, healthy baby!

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  3. Yes, you're totally right about the internet! There is so much out there it is easy to get paranoid. My husband keeps reminding me that thing about women having babies for thousands of years... I just have to remember it myself.

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  4. My doctor hasn't been saying anything about my weight range... that is more of me finding ranges in the baby books/internet. You are right about the baby part. That is what I'm trying to stay focused on, to keep the positive things going. It is all about the baby being healthy!

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  5. What a great post Kelly! So open and honest- I always wonder how pregnant women deal with the weight issue and the fact that pretty much everything regarding pregnancy revolves around food. I think you're doing an incredible job and need to keep taking it day by day. I can't wait to continue to read about your journey!


    xoxo

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  6. I have a friend who is due in June and has been having some of the same feelings.. She's very concerned about gaining too much weight, but I think she's finally gotten to a point that she's okay with it as long as her doctor says she and the baby are both doing fine. On the other end of the spectrum, I worked with a gal who was so obsessive about it she had slim-fasts for lunch while pregnant, and her baby was very premature. I think there's a fine line between a healthy amount of worrying and keeping your weight in check, and obsessing to an unhealthy degree. And not sure if I mentioned this, but a friend of mine is shuffling with us on Sunday, and she's had 2 kids so she may have some insight too.


    I think about this myself, because I want to start having kids in the next few years, but I just worked so hard to lose all this weight. I think I need to mentally prepare myself to gain weight again and know the difference between gaining weight because I'm not eating healthy/not exercising and gaining weight because I'm growing a baby. I know in the long run it's worth it to have a healthy baby, but it'll be a huge adjustment to my current way of thinking. I hope you'll continue to share your thoughts on this throughout the rest of your pregnancy, because I bet it's pretty common.

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  7. I think you hit it right on the head about the stress component. Having a healthy baby is the big end goal, regardless of how you get to that point. Those healthy range things are total crap - I think you have to do what's going to work for you. The pendulum swings with changing cultural norms. In the '50s, women drank and smoked and were told not to gain more than eight pounds (which I could gain in a weekend if I was really gluttonous). When our moms had us, the sentiment was "eating for two" and my mom passed on the drugs at the hospital because she didn't want my dad to know she weighed more than him.


    You're going to be a great mom. Just remember that this is only temporary and try to enjoy being pregnant :)

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  8. Thanks Kelsey! When I was thinking about putting this post together, I was thinking that I can't be the only human pregnant woman to be going through this and having some of these issues/thoughts. Dealing with it internally is a lot harder than having another ear to listen. I already feel so much better having put all of this out there!

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  9. I think talking about it with some folks and hearing things from someone other than my own head (and the internet) has made me feel better about these things and less worrisome.

    Slim fast while pregnant? That doesn't sound like a great idea. I hope everything worked out for her baby though!

    Thanks for being honest also about your own fears. I don't know why I never thought about this stuff when I got pregnant until I actually started showing a little bit and the number on the scale started to increase (modestly at this point, but still increasing). It will be an interesting journey in the weeks to come, that's for sure. I just hope I can do what's necessary to have a healthy baby!! As that is the end goal.



    And I love meeting other running moms. Looking forward to Sunday in more ways than 1 :)

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  10. I didn't think about the way things have evolved over time. I guess by default we always assume that things now are the right/best way to do things.


    Thanks Kelly! I appreciate your support :)

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  11. I know nothing on the topic of nutrition and pregnancy, but I've always thought that being pregnant a "free pass" for eating whatever you like. Okay, now I realize it's not that simple and such a plan can lead to problems! Good luck in finding what works for you!

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  12. Having never been pregnant myself, I can only think about the experiences of my friends and the one thing I've learned is that there is no "normal" when it comes to pregnancy. I mean there is what's healthy and what's high-risk and all the medical stuff, but when it comes to your own experience - how you feel, how your body reacts, etc, every pregnancy is SO different. So, I would take whatever you read on the internet with a grain of salt. I think you are taking a very healthy approach to pregnancy - trying to stay active but not overdoing it, listening to your body, working with your doctor, etc. Baby Wilson is very lucky to have such a great mom!!

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  13. OK...I've done pregnant many times and here's what I can tell you. Your body is going to do pregnant however the EFF it wants to, and as long as you are eating reasonably there is nothing you can do to change it. For real. Eat the same way you've always eaten. Indulge occasionally. And then let the rest go. Stay off the scale. I know women who'd weigh themselves at the docs with their backs to the scale. I promise you your doctor will let you know if there is something to worry about.

    And don't be surprised if there's a month (for me it was month 5 or 6) when you gain an ass ton of weight all at once. It's all good. Holler if you ever need to chat. I'm a wealth of info on what no one ever tells you about pregnancy :)

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  14. Thanks Bobbi! I really love this frank advice. :) I think once I put all this out there and started talking about it, I instantly felt better. I like the idea of not knowing my weight. I haven't weighed myself but once a year previously, so there is no reason to stress about it now... As long as my doctor says things are going well! :)


    I'm looking forward to chatting you up the next time I see you... or sending you a random FB message. Thanks so much!

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  15. Thanks Maggie! I would like to think I'm doing things the best way I can. :)

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  16. Thanks so much for being open and sharing this. I think a lot of us struggle with our eating and it would be so hard to get to where you feel like you are on track then to deal with it all over again. Not to make it sound like a burden, but it would be freaking stressful!

    I am soooo impressed with all your tracking, and knowledge and how hard you are working to have a good pregnancy. I bet a lot of moms don't do have the stuff you do. So I hope you give yourself a pat on the back :)

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  17. I'm so sure everyone else is going to say the same thing here...don't worry so much about it! It seems like you are doing everything right. The weight range is just really a guide and being a few pounds outside it won't really make a difference! (Take this for what it's worth, I've never been pregnant!). I think your baby bump is so cute btw!!

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  18. Katie @ Live Half FullApril 5, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    I'm really enjoying hearing all about your pregnancy. You're being so open and honest about everything and it's really refreshing!

    I think you're doing a great job of keeping the goal in mind-having a healthy baby!

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  19. I love that you talked about this, because it's such an unspoken worry we have when we're pregnant. After three kids I can tell you...don't sweat it. You're active, and not eating the left side of the drive-thru menu everyday, so it should be no big whoop. If you feel good, and baby is healthy, that's all that matters. But I totally get all that 'noise' in your head about it, because I've totally been there. And look at you rockin' that bump!

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  20. It's really aweome you are so open with this sensitive subject. I cant imagine how difficult it is to struggle with weight and then have some of those thoughts while pregnant. I am absolutely terrified about gaining too much if I am ever pregnant it seems like the books with all their "expert" opinions makes it really tough for mothers to be. You have so much knowledge and are using it to your benefit (and your bebe). You and your bump are just too cute!

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  21. Honestly, after talking about this on here, I feel worlds better. It was like a weight has been lifted this weekend. I have always been terrified of gaining a bunch of weight while pregnant too. But, at this point, I can just try my best because there are too many other things to be terrified about... like the little baby itself! Lol.


    It is a 9 month long journey so the sooner I can be comfortable with with what's going on, the less stress I will be putting on myself and little baby. Growing a baby is hard work, not only physically but mentally as well! I'm at 4 months now...not yet half way there! I still have a long road ahead.

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