Monday, May 21, 2012

Heading into week 9 of pregnancy, and thinking about multi-generational food abuse

Everything is fine, as far as I know.  I had a checkup last Friday that went well.  Unless there is a problem, I won't have another checkup or ultrasound for another 4 weeks.  Seems like a long time to wait!  I'm so anxious and impatient.

Queasiness keeps me from having too much interest in food, but I am so very grateful I am not vomiting.  I focus on my water intake.  My weight is stable at 250.  I take walks, have slowly started up the strength training again, and I do a bit of yoga each day to ease my lower back pain.  A quick session of child's pose, cat/cow, and downward facing dog actually alleviates pain for a couple of hours.  My meditation practice is non-existent and I want to change that.

Even though I'm not terribly interested in food these days, guess what tastes the best and sits very well with me?  Ice cream.  Honey nut Cheerios.  Lassi.  Toast with jam.  Yep, sugar, dairy, and refined carbs.  I eat salads and fruit and lean meat and hummus and other stuff too, but it doesn't go down as easily.  Binging hasn't been a big problem, but I overeat the hyperpalatable stuff regularly and want to stop.  I haven't forgotten about Brain over Binge or ditched it in favor of some other philosophy...I'm simply tired and out of sorts.  I've started thinking about binge eating recovery more the past couple of days, though.

 I sat down and made a list of things I want to teach my child about food and eating.  What kind of behavior do I want to model?  What kind of household do I want them to grow up in?  Surely not the unstructured kind that I experienced, where the parents hide their special junk food from the kids, the kids are left to grab peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or bowls of cereal by themselves throughout the day...except for dinner, where we would all sit down to Hamburger Helper and canned vegetables and fruit.  I don't want them to binge like me; I don't want them to insist on pairing meals with TV, like my husband does.  So many things need to change.  I'm the fifth generation of obese, food abusing women in my family.  I have verbal accounts and photographic evidence going back to my great-great grandma, who happened to be very large before there were drive-thrus and 1,700 flavors of Ben & Jerry's at the local grocery store and buffets in each town, and I would not be surprised if the problem goes several generations back further than that. 

As much as I don't want to be sloppy and lazy when it comes to the family's nutrition, I also don't want to be shrill, dogmatic, unkind, dramatic--putting kids on diets, making them scared of food or of ever gaining weight, teaching them to look down on others that don't eat like we do.  I know there is a middle ground, but I don't have firsthand experience with it.  My mom managed to cover both extremes: she was not interested in cooking for us at all, but she took my older brother to Weight Watchers with her when he was a boy so HE would learn to eat more intelligently.  He was like 8 or 9, surrounded by crappy processed food at home that he mostly had to prepare himself, with an obese mom and a sugar-loving, chain-smoking dad...and the problem was thought to be HIS lack of self-control?!?!  He found the experience of attending a diet club populated by middle aged women mortifying.  I can't imagine the public weekly weigh-ins and the comments these adults probably made about the one child (probably also the one male; it was the 80's) in attendance!   Today, he is an obese adult with real hostility towards any discussion of eating healthfully or losing weight. 

Bottom line--I'm simultaneously scared about screwing things up for yet another generation, and excited and hopeful that parenting might be that final push I require to nail various behavioral problems and become the person I've always wanted to be. Do any of you know people that re-invented themselves via parenthood, especially in terms of food/eating/weight/addiction?  I'd love to hear about it.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Week 7 update

I had a little scare this week--some light spotting Thursday night that resulted in an early, unscheduled ultrasound on Friday morning.  The doctor said everything looked ok and confirmed the presence of a heartbeat.  Such relief.  I have a regular checkup and scheduled ultrasound this coming Friday and was assured that at this stage, the embryo grows so quickly that even one week will make a difference in terms of what we can see on the screen.   This experience only confirmed it's best not to share too much until the first trimester is complete!

Really fatigued and only the last few days, rather queasy.  I don't feel like eating much and when I do have an appetite, I can hardly stand the idea of vegetables.  I'm too tired to prep them and the thought of eating them...well, makes me not want to eat at all.  I'd been feeling a lot of guilt about this.  I wanted to be "perfect" from day 1 in my pregnancy, of course, and drink tons of water and eat tons of vegetables and fruits and have this balanced exercise regimen...and my all-or-nothing thinking is creating misery yet again.  I'm ready to chuck it to the curb and be realistic: eating a serving of fresh vegetables most days--perhaps in a salad, or a veggie frittata, or whatever--is better than nothing.  It's fine.  Fruit is easier to get down right now and do I really have to hate myself for not eating vegetables at every meal?

I've been taking walks and when this fatigue lets up a bit, I will slowly expand into other activities.  I really wasn't anticipating this level of fatigue!  Also, for some illogical reason, I didn't expect sore breasts or cramping to be an issue for me because they never have been before with my menstrual cycle.  And now I'm uncomfortable due to both, every day.  Not to sound too whiny; I'm actually happy!  But looking forward to things getting a bit easier in the second trimester, like everyone promises they will.