The Calm Before the Storm

It’s an addiction. I know I have an addictive personality. I know I have to be careful. I know I think in black and white terms. And yet I still think about it. Dieting. Weight loss. The control. The restriction. The beauty of it all. I miss my spreadsheets. I miss the scale going down. I miss the feeling of being hungry and the pride that comes with saying no to myself. I miss ED. There, I said it, I miss ED. I didn’t miss him while we were TTC because I could then fixate on that. Now that I’m pregnant I don’t have anything to fixate on. I’m bored, so ED is rearing his ugly head.

It’s hard. Really hard. It’s my rabbit hole.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I love my current body. I don’t hate this body by any stretch of the imagination.  I love watching it grow and change. I love feeling the baby grow and feeling her inside of me. I love my little bump. I love what’s happening. I think it’s amazing. I just…miss the control. My doctor’s scale has me at gaining 12lbs so far. I’ve stopped weighing in at home. It makes me count calories. It makes me want to restrict. It fuels my crazy. And no worries – I will not do ANYTHING to jeopardize my health or the baby’s health. I will not give into temptation.

The biggest thing I’m struggling with is the guilt I have when eating now. I feel like people are judging me. Before I felt like I was the fat girl dieting. Go be sad and eat your lettuce, fat lady. Now I feel the need to tell people I’m pregnant when I have something terribly slutty. I want to justify and explain why I feel like it’s okay to eat the shit I’m eating. That was a very subjective, anti Intuitive Eating sentence, and I know this. In non judgemental terms, I’m eating what I want to eat and currently it’s not very nutritious. That statement alone is nothing more than a fact, but re-reading it to myself I feel riddled with guilt for choosing non nutritious foods. Part of me wonders if I’m making up for the last 6 years of saying no by now saying yes to everything. Regardless, it perpetuates the cycle of guilt and the desire to restrict. The instant I cave to a craving I suddenly feel the desire to restrict.

I was a weight loss professional before my first miscarriage. Eat like an idiot around people and then restrict when alone. My spreadsheets were an obvious indicator of how “successful” that was. I’d spike every Monday between 5-7lbs, take it all off by Thursday and see a loss by Saturday morning. Saturday night and Sunday were my binge days, but I still worked out one of those days. None the wiser at what Mon-Fri looked like: 5-6am workout burning around 1,000kcal and only eat 1300’ish all day. Clearly it worked, I lost 125lbs. Just not in the healthiest of ways. And while I know that, I miss it. I actually miss it. How fucked up is that?

I feel out of control right now. I find myself day dreaming about my spreadsheets, workouts and meals after the baby is born. I find myself day dreaming about that sense of control again. Taking before pictures and being that after again. Training. Pushing my body to the limit and making it do what I want because I can. I went to lunch with friends yesterday and one is Tri Training. I instantly felt that rush. That need. That desire.

I want to run. No, I want to run hard. The kind of run that leaves you puking in the grass after. The kind of run that makes you feel alive. I want to ride. Climb the hills and feel the wind slap my face on my way down. Feel my thighs come alive as I push through my big gear. What I want to do, I currently cannot do. I’m walking and doing the “pregnancy safe” exercises, but it’s not what I crave. What I’m doing is boring. It’s not that heart racing, dry heaving, sore for days feeling that my body so desperately wants to feel again. And that’s hard.

I think don’t fat is bad, or unsexy or anything of the sort . I believe you can be fat and healthy – I am. My problem is that I have an ideal way I’d like my body to look and respond. I have a performance level I’d like my body at. My body is a machine. I have a pace I’d like to run and need a body that’ll do it. The only thing I know for sure is that I will get my body to that performance level before my daughter is old enough to remember anything else. I don’t want her to have the same demons I do. I don’t want her to see my struggle and think it’s acceptable. I don’t want her to ever look in the mirror and think she’s less than. My end game is to be a mother that doesn’t diet or criticize herself. My end game is to exude confidence so that my kid(s) believes that’s the only option for her. To exercise normally, not excessively. To eat 80/20 and it not even be a talking point.

And if that means I work my body to the bone and keep spreadsheets to achieve that all before she remembers, then so be it.

2016 will be a year of transformation.

I guess we’ll consider this the calm before the storm.


5 thoughts on “The Calm Before the Storm

  1. I missed this post somehow.

    I hate this. That’s my reaction. I just hate this.

    1. Of course I support you and I can see that right now can be a hard time. And it should be. And I in no way judge that.

    2. My concern is your end note – about after she’s born. Please don’t work yourself to the bone to “get” somewhere before your child builds memories. That’s not it. Live a healthy lifestyle. Period. If you have to do anything extreme to get to a place where you can just be healthy – I mean – you do hear how bad that sounds, right?

    Work out, enjoy the things your body is capable of. Strengthen your heart. Walk the dog. Use your bike trainer. Be active in a million ways. Get your heart rate up sometimes. Do not overtrain and overdiet for a year, only to cut back later and feel horrible guilt that you’re not doing as much as you used to.

    You wouldn’t treat any other aspect of life this way. You wouldn’t work 90 hours a week for 6 months to save up money so by the time your child builds memories, she won’t know you weren’t there for 6 months.

    Just be you. Be healthy. Fall off the wagon sometimes. Run after the wagon. Don’t sprint to the wagon!

  2. Pingback: Fat Bias | Damn girl, that's a lot of fattitude

  3. I hit 24 weeks pregnant today, and I have been thinking a lot about your weight loss/pregnancy journey since finding out I was pregnant back in August. Through the haze of excitement/exhaustion/sheer laziness, it took me until today to come seek you out! I’ve definitely let my blog (and reading of others’ blogs!) fall to the wayside, as I feel that I don’t know that I’m ready to share that side of my life with the blogosphere.

    I’m so glad that you’ve so fully documented your pregnancy here. I went back through and read a good bit tonight, and I definitely appreciate that you’ve laid it all out there. I need to do some more catching up, but I wanted you to know that I’m thankful to have your experiences at my disposal.

    I was really curious if you also struggled with binge eating, if I’m being totally honest. My highest weight was 353, and I was down to 219 the morning I found out I was pregnant. I weighed in at 246 this week, up 13 pounds since the week before Christmas, because I am on the strugglebus hardcore. This is by no means strictly about whether or not I’m obese or whatever; it’s to do with the scary addictive behaviors that are in danger of taking over my life again. I wasn’t crazy enough to think that the binging was gone forever, but I had gone over a year without any major binges. In my first trimester, I was so sick and had about 3 weeks where I was literally sick UNLESS I was eating, so that brought back all those old cravings and urges. How did you cope? I know the binging is bad for both baby and me, but I have been having the worst time curbing those impulses for more than a week at a time.

    Anyway, sincere congratulations on the long-awaited arrival of your little sweetheart. She’s so darling, and I’m so happy for you!

  4. Hi Alison,
    Sorry it took me a minute to get back to you. Life’s a little crazy right now.  First of all, congrats on your pregnancy!!! I’m so glad my experiences have helped you. That’s pretty much why I share them. I figure someone, somewhere, needs something they can relate to so they don’t feel quite so alone. Binge eating in what sense? I’ve never truly binged in the way that say bulimics do, as in say eating a whole cake, 7 cheeseburgers, a bag of chips and a 2liter of soda only to make myself so sick I have to puke it up. Not like that, but I absolutely 100% struggle with over eating and portion control. I can and have and occasionally do eat to the point of discomfort and gluttony, simply because it tastes good. I’m an emotional eater, as well. I definitely struggled with my weight initially in my pregnancy and was extremely frustrated. I’d cut back (probably too much), feel pride in not gaining any weight that week and then be really upset with myself for restricting. I was super lucky in that I craved LOTS of fruit my entire pregnancy. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much fruit! Most of my cravings were all sweet, which was a total change for me. I’ve always preferred savory to sweet, but during my pregnancy, and even now, I’ve wanted lots of sweets. I certainly indulged more in my pregnancy than I had in YEARS, but I’ll never forget a comment someone left on my blog once. They told me that I’d lost 125lbs. I know how to lose weight. I’d done it before and I could do it again. For some reason, that has stuck with me. We know how to lose weight. Honestly, 2 things in your situation. 1. You’re pregnant. Enjoy a little and it’s okay to occasionally have too much. Not every meal, but some. Denying your cravings will only make them worse. 2. When you hit around 30-32 weeks you’re going to run out of room to eat and your tummy will fill up quickly when you do eat. Most weights plateau the last month or so of pregnancy. I was nervous that I’d never find my “healthy” groove again, but now at 5 weeks postpartum, I’m definitely feeling that itch to meal plan and exercise. Please, feel free to reach out again. I respond a lot more quickly (and often) on Instagram, if you have that. 

  5. Thanks for taking time to respond! I don’t often use my WordPress anymore either, but I think I use Instagram even less. I’m terrible with social media, haha.

    As for the binge eating, I have a binge eating disorder… So eating more than normal amounts of food in one sitting without the purging aspect of it. The craving isn’t so much one food as it is to just EAT (and eat and eat until I feel horrible enough about myself or I’m uncomfortably full… Whichever happens first). I agree with the knowing how to lose weight portion. I just guess that I’m so afraid that if I get off track, it will total spiral out of control and I’ll be back where I started because THAT’S happened before too. It’s like this constant, horrible battle for control! I also crave sweet more than savory these days, but more in the form of peanut butter milkshakes, haha.

    Lately, I’ve been taking the approach of planning good choices, but allowing the indulgences and just focusing on NOT BINGING. We’ll see how that tactic goes.

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