Sometimes, I surprise myself. If you know me, then you know I have a penchant for food and a big appetite. Delicious food, unhealthy food. Cheesecake, chocolate, french fries, melted cheese, oh, and bacon, a thousand times bacon. I also happen to be not very fond of exercise, and relatively short, which means I am in a constant battle not to lose control of my weight. I try to strike a balance from meal to meal and day to day, and I’m really about 20-30 pounds overweight but not too, too bad, and I just try to accept this about myself.
But I always said, “if I ever get pregnant…” If I ever got pregnant, oh boy did I plan to indulge. Not because I thought I needed to – I am aware, 300 extra calories per day, and all that – but because if I was going to get as big as a house anyway, what’s a few more pounds and a lot more cheesecake? I was giving myself a once in a lifetime free pass.
And then the moment was upon us, and even in the months before we started trying, I realized it was healthier for me and for the baby if I ate better. Weighed less. Exercised more. So instead of cheesecake and nachos, it was fruit salad and half a sandwich and working out religiously while taking my prenatals. And once I was pregnant, of course, I worked out less and I ate my share of fast food, but by and large I restrained myself and ate well and gained very little weight at all.
And then we lost the baby. And I have always been one to console myself with food. Cheesecake, again (can you tell I love the cheesecake?). Chick-Fil-A milkshakes. They’re 800 calories and I only let myself have one on really, really bad days, maybe once or twice a year. Stuck in the hospital unable to eat, and then losing our baby? I think that counts. I got one every day I was in the hospital. And, I’ll be honest, I ate horribly the few days after, too.
But then, again, surprise. I want to be healthier. We might do this again, and I don’t want to be unhealthy, or large, and even if we don’t, I don’t want people to still think I am pregnant. So here again, when I thought I would be drowning my sorrows in cheese, I’m trying to eat better, reduce portions, work out every day, take my vitamins. I’m proud of myself for doing this, but also kind of alarmed. Who is this woman who prefers workouts to cheesecake? Where did that come from? Is this what parenting feels like, to me? Choosing the thing that gives us the best chance over cheesecake? I guess so.