Immediately after finding out I was pregnant, I began eating like a rock star. Breakfasts were jam packed with veggies, chia seeds, and berries. Lunches were eggs and meat and veggies and yam. I started making bone broths every Sunday for baby's growing bones. Dinners were usually chicken and veggies. I was drinking a ton of water, I was SO THIRSTY, and I literally had no problem ditching coffee, sugar and alcohol (alcohol is easiest for me, don't drink that much anyway). I was maintaining my gym routine, although definitely moving slower and getting winded so easily. So far, gym buddies seem to not have noticed.
Enter week six. Holy nauseous. Suddenly I could smell everything. I could smell smoke on my husbands hair, he doesn't smoke so that means he probably walked by someone smoking hours before, and it made me want to puke. I opened the fridge and smelled the perfectly cooked chicken I made the night before and I wanted to puke. I could smell the dog's paws near my face (although they weren't) and it didn't make me want to puke, but it was weird. The thought of any food turned my stomach. The longer I went without eating, the more my stomach hurt. I wasn't sure if I was feeling hungry or nauseous, it didn't matter.
All of a sudden something would flash through my head. It was the only thing I wanted. The only thing that would make me feel better. I needed something in my belly. Starbucks breakfast sandwich. Once my mind was set on that, I could think of nothing else. I grabbed my purse and walked down the street to Starbucks. Seriously, it was the best thing I've ever eaten. I ate it slow, savored each bite, and pacified my growling stomach.
However, it was not long before the nausea returned. A few hours later, we had a catered lunch at work. We have catered lunches a lot. Normally, if there are choices I can eat, I make my plate before the gym, go workout, and then eat the goods when I return. I was feeling so sluggish, and so icky all I wanted to do was eat. I skipped the gym for the fajita bar! I loaded up with beef slices, onions, peppers, lettuce, guac, and some rice and made myself an awesome salad. I was feeling better once again. No aversion to the beef, it tasted delicious! Then I got cocky. I decided it would be ok for me to have a slice of the amazing looking cheesecake set out for desert. I did all the quick fat girl now pregnant girl rationalizations- I feel like crap, it will make me feel better. I'm pregnant. I deserve it. I went to the gym yesterday. I have a 2 mile walk home from the bus. Next thing I knew, I was fork deep into a perfect creamy cheesecake. Oh, it was high quality. I ate it and smiled.
I can only describe the next few hours as ick. My head was pounding. I was so thirsty, my stomach was turning over like crazy. I knew immediately that the way I felt was a direct result of my poor choice to eat the cheesecake. I got let out of a meeting early, so I when I got home 2 hours earlier than usual, I took a 2 hour nap. I woke up without my headache, but still nauseous and no food sounded good. I forced myself to eat a few bites of kale-spinach green soup, just so I could take my pre-natals. I downed a bunch of water and realized exactly what was going on.
I was searching for comfort in food. Which in reality, is something that I've been conditioned to do and have conditioned myself to do for as long as...well forever. Right now, I don't feel like myself, in fact I feel downright awful at times, and I want to fix it. I just want something to make me feel like me again, or some sort of escape. Either consciously or unconsciously I know eating certain foods will produce good feelings in my brain...typically all the foods I need to avoid. I want the good feelings to take my mind off the discomfort. It works. But then I feel like crap afterwards. Either the foods don't agree with me, or I get my head so worked up that I made a bad decision, I feel like crap. I'm trying not to be to hard on myself because if there was ever a time for excuses, well, this is it. I made a point to go to the gym the following day, and it felt so great to get some air pumping through my body.
I wish I could say that in the weeks that followed I began making better food choices and continued with my gym routine. Sadly, that was not the case. Weeks 6-9 were really rough for me and I continued to self-soothe with food, although I severely limited the sugar, I continued to eat bread/grains, drink juice, and eat fruit with reckless abandon- all things that I know I just can't do under normal circumstances. Often at lunchtime I couldn't find the motivation to go to the gym, so I would either do an abrieviated workout in our gym at the office, or I would just depend on the 2-3 miles/day I was walking due to taking the bus. It was beginning to take a toll on me.
At the start of week 10, I was craving a salad. I ate salads for lunches the next 6 days in a row. I was feeling so much better. I believe this was the turning point where I began to get my energy back. In conjunction with feeling better and having more energy, my bus riding days came to and end, meaning I no longer had to jog 0.5 miles each way to the gym (I think that was a big factor in me skipping when I was just the slightest bit nauseous). Also, my work traveling schedule calmed down, and I was back in my normal routine. Since week 10, I've been eating so much better (Starbucks breakfast sandwiches gross me out again) and have resumed my gym schedule (all the gym buddies are in the know now). It was just a temporary phase, and I realize that now. I had my weeks to let myself give into my cravings, and now moving forward I will resume a diet that is focused on nutrient density. I've got 6 months to ensure my own diet is dialed in so I can be the best example I can to our little one.