Saturday, July 28, 2012

Food fight

I am in a perfectly vile mood today (methinks PMS, which I rarely encounter, is kicking my ass), so rather than let go that which seeths in my head, I'll instead write a post I've been cooking - pun intended - for many months.

I used to love food. I've never been a picky eater, although there have always been a few things I haven't enjoyed and/or have avoided like the plague (including bologna, liver or other organ meats, veal (on principle - this has been true since junior high or high school), Brussels sprouts (except with bacon!), and pan fried oysters, ew!). I like to cook, I like others to cook for me, I like to dine out...I'm pretty easy.

And then I got pregnant.

And plagued with all-day morning sickness, from 5 weeks 2 days pregnant through nearly the end of my pregnancy.

And (as I've mentioned before)...I started puking. This escalated from puking maybe once every two or three days to puking once a day to puking twice a day, usually right before (but sometimes after) a meal.

Fun? Hell no. I was miserable. Miserable, miserable, miserable. I once, at work, while sitting on the toilet peeing, got the very sudden urge to puke and congratulated myself all day for making it right between my legs into the toilet bowl without getting any on me or anything else. That only worked one time. I did plenty of puking at work. (Paul didn't catch me until the last week of the pregnancy...but he heard about it plenty!)

With my misery, nausea and puking came a total lack of appetite. This was problematic, because with twins, you're supposed to gain 50 (!) pounds during the pregnancy, ideally the first 24 during the first 24 weeks of gestation. To do that, I was supposed to consume 100 grams of protein per day. Obviously, this was a big problem. By the time I delivered, I had just made it back to my pre-pregnancy weight.

In time, the only things I could stomach (literally) with any regularity were lemonade (lots), ginger ale, Saltines, Marie Callender's frozen chicken pot pies (once or twice per day, no joke!), some soup, milk occasionally, and chocolate Ensure Plus bottled shakes (my main source of protein). (A note on the Ensure Plus...vanilla is pretty gag worthy, but I once barfed up an entire strawberry Ensure moments after finishing it, and now strawberry-flavored, milk-textured beverages are forever out for me. It nearly came out my nose.) Cold foods really soothed my tummy more than hot, and to this day, they still do. Weird.

In the wee hours of the morning of August 5, 2011, before I delivered our babies in the hospital, I was famished and attempted to eat a sandwich and yogurt from the nurse's station. I gagged on the sandwich, but kept the yogurt down. (Good thing, too...it didn't count against me for anesthesia during my D&C seven hours later.)

Once I'd recovered enough from my delivery and D&C, I realized I was starving, really, really starving. We ordered food from the menu provided, and I ate like it was my last meal. Yep, morning sickness was gone, gone, gone.

That was one of the few meals I actually enjoyed for the next 8 or 9 months. I ate because I had to in the first three or four weeks of grieving, whatever was available and easy. Paul was the same. (The babylost tend to lack the energy or motivation to prepare meals, let alone eat them. Plus, it's hard to care about nutrition when you'd much rather die.) Later, we started eating the majority of our meals out, as is common for grieving parents (who have the means to do so). We would have frequent standoffs over dinner (we would switch parts about every other day):

P: "What sounds good for dinner?"

A: "Nothing. I don't know."

P: "Any ideas?"

*crickets*

P: "How about x, y, z, 1, 2..."

A: "No..."

This could interaction could last an hour or more, by which time we were truly eating our own stomachs and really crabby. I hated dinner time during those months.

Thankfully, that has mostly passed now. A few months ago I discovered Pinterest, and started pinning jillions of recipes that looked yummy, and that got me off my duff and cooking for us. Paul, too. We're doing much better in that department now.

But...

During the last year, we've also both been doing terrible things to our bodies with our eating. Way too much fast food, too often, mindless, emotions-numbing snacking, overeating, etc. It's not been good. I saw a picture of myself recently that really disgusted me, as if I wasn't already disgusted enough. That was it, the final motivation.

I joined Weight Watchers Online six weeks ago, and have lost 12 pounds. (This puts me at 6 pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight, for reference.) My goal is to get back to what I weighed when I met Paul...7 years and (now, yay, me!) 18 pounds ago. So far I love it. I'm starting to feel good about myself and my body again. I've stopped punishing my body - and myself - for the last 11 months, for my body's failure of our greatest wish, and for my inability to conceive since. Monday I will go to work without the Bella Band that has been a fixture of my wardrobe since May 2011, the month I conceived. That in and of itself is freaking amazing.

I'm certainly not bikini-ready (that would require me to shave my legs, anyway, and anyone who knows me well knows there's about a snowball's chance in Hell of that happening), but I think I'll be able to walk into my 20-year high school reunion in a couple of weeks without the shame and self-loathing I've been carrying around the last year. *That* is an accomplishment.

3 comments:

  1. It is so weird how different food becomes after pregnancy and then after loss. I did WW before getting pregnant with Addi and loved it! Then I ate my feelings after losing her and continued to eat through my pregnancy with M. I really need to get back to it, I really believe it's the best system out there! Congrats on your accomplishment and saying goodbye to the bella band...although I hope you need it soon for other reasons! ;)

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  2. That is indeed an accomplishment, Amy. Kudos to you for feeling good about yourself. When our bodies grow things they're not supposed to and don't grow thing they are, it's hard. But we've only been given this one and so it's important to take care of it. A cycling instructor of mine often said: Take care of yourself first, so you can take care of others. So true.

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  3. I do WW too!! I still have 26 lbs left from my pregnancy (I've lost 24 in the 12 weeks I've been back on WW--yes, do the math, I gained a TON!!) it is just the best plan since u don't have to eliminate any foods. I love it!! Good luck to you!

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