December 11, 2013

You can eat anything you want!

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me I could eat anything whilst being pregnant, I would have like a million dollars. Well, maybe more like seventeen dollars. But, still, it didn't take much convincing to get sucked into the eat as much as you can, as fast as you can vortex. I ate, and I ate, and I ate until I had ballooned into an edemic mess. 

By week 34 of my pregnancy, I weighed fifty pounds more than I had started! Aside from my feet having edema, somehow, my face had it too. It had become puffy, and sallow. Luckily, I had just started my maternity leave, so I was able to lounge around all day in my pajamas. I wouldn't have to lug myself around work all day. I spent the rest of my days watching Netflix, and eating Swiss rolls on my sofa. I certainly had lost that pregnancy glow, and had turned it to pregnancy slow. 

 At this point, I had no idea of the amount of calories I was consuming. I figured, I can eat anything I want since I am pregnant.

I was so wrong. 

All this statement provides is a sense of false entitlement. It says I can throw my understanding of nutrition, health, and caloric consumption out the window. I can eat with wild abandon. I thought there was a direct correlation between food consumption and baby birth weight.  I justified my actions by telling myself that my baby would grow more if I grew more. My doctor even clarified, that we only need to consume anywhere from 150-500 calories extra per day throughout the pregnancy. If I was to guess, I think I was taking in an extra 1,000 calories a day. Now, I am talking about myself here, so ask your doctor about your caloric needs during pregnancy. Heck, you might need a 1,000 extra calories depending on your current health. 

I have since given birth, and can now postulate the reasons for my digressions. I think I can understand what happened.  I was trekking through unknown territory. I had first time mom anxiety. I don't know if there is such a thing, but I had it. I was worried about the baby, about my health, labor, about whether or not I would be good parent. Just everything. I used food as comfort. I would feel better after some gooey, fudgey brownies, or some delicious rocky road ice cream. 

I can tell you from experience, it all works it self out. 

Ultimately, it's about balance. 
I think we should shy away from encouraging pregnant women to just eat, but rather, focus on healthy weight gain. Gaining sustenance from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables rather than hot cheetos, twinkies, and fries. Maybe, not all moms-to-be approach their pregnancy this way, but for me, it was an excuse; to eat what I wanted. It took me a while to get back on track with exercising regularly, and eating right. I'll share with you how.I have since lost most of the weight I put on, I am just seven pounds away from my starting weight. I am hoping this time around I can eat for health, and not for comfort. I'll keep you updated...

I would love to hear your stories about pregnancy weight gain

1 comment:

Jhanis V. said...

I did gain a lot of weight when I was pregnant! I remember when I was about 2-9 months pregnant with my youngest, there would be nights when I would cry in front of my husband telling him I was hungry. I was just hungry all the time but I was puking a lot too. Thankfully the puking abated after the first trimester. Which means I really ballooned up!
Thanks for sharing this at the Whatever Wednesday linkup! Enjoy the rest of the week!

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