Week 13: A Pregnancy Without a Scale

Happy Wednesday fighters!

Wow, thank you so so much for all your support and love from the last post. I can tell that this journey is going to really bring so many people from all walks of life all around the world together.

From people who are soon to be mamas who have struggled with an eating disorder, to those who have not, and to those who are just starting recovery from any addiction, I think our truth holds a lot of power.

So last blog I talked about my Chipotle experience and how I struggled back and forth between allowing myself to enjoy it and between my Ed voice getting mad at me for it.

This week was very different than that in two ways.

First, I was so sick this week, that I would have been extremely grateful to enjoy any bite of my food and would have driven the 45 minutes to Chipotle if I had the energy to enjoy food.

For the first time in a long time, I really missed enjoying my food.

Even being in recovery for five years, enjoying food is still such a freedom to me that I never take for granted. But this week, I was really reminded of that freedom and how grateful I am that I get to indulge in it whenever I do.

Second, this week was different because it really wasn’t about food much at all. When I blogged about a year without a scale, literally my entire life was centered around that and my recovery, as it should have been in new recovery.

But this time around, five years later into my recovery, my recovery, I am glad to say, is part of my life, but it is not my entire life-if that makes sense.

So while of course pregnancy and pregnancy without a scale is going to be a huge experience in my life and my recovery, it isn’t taking up every second of my day, which I think is a recovery victory.

For those of us in recovery, that is something that we strive for; we strive for our recovery to become part of us, not become us. 

This week was also different because it was extremely emotional.

I wasn’t worried about my food or body. I wasn’t really worried at all, actually. Worried isn’t the right word.

I was just really anxious. I think now that we are past 3 months along in the pregnancy, it is hitting my husband and I that we are going to be bringing in a human life into this world.

It is the by far the happiest we both have been about anything, other than the day we got married to each other. Yet at the same time, at least for me, it brings me so many thoughts.

Most of us who are in recovery from any addiction are type A personalities and we love, love, love planning and schedules and knowing the outcome of things.  It’s one of the reasons I went to school to become a reporter; because I love facts.

Facts are indisputable. Hard evidence. Solid information.

I love agendas, schedules and planning-I get excited just writing it! Sometimes when I talk to my sister on the phone and she asks me what my plan is for the day she will stop me half way through and say, “Shira, I didn’t mean every hour…I just meant overall.”

With pregnancy, it is hard to plan.

I got overwhelmed with what happens after our amazing little human soul is here.

How do I run my nonprofit? How do I work? How do I be a mom? How do I be a wife? How in the universe will I do all of that and still practice self -care and be sane?

It almost seems like it required a superpower.

That was pretty much a lot of my energy this week. Thinking about those questions. And I don’t have an answer to them still, which is still a very weird feeling.

The best answer I could find for myself was, “You will figure it out. Just like everyone else does, you will do. People do it all the time.”

So obviously, my type A readers are probably reading that along with me thinking, “Whatttttt, Shira, what kind of answer is that?”!!

I know. I agree. It’s unsettling. And it still makes me nervous, but that is the truth.

But that is the work I did this week.

I really had to dig deep inside myself and remind myself, that just like when I started recovery and had no idea what would happen or when I moved states away to Washington by myself at 23 years old, I had to learn how to practice living in the grey.

Not the black and white, but the grey.

I think from this point on with my life as a mama, director of my own agency, advocate, wife, daughter,sister, friend, etc, I will be living in the grey.

None of those titles seem to even hold a space in the black and white world anymore because the definition of those titles will be constantly changing as I grow and evolve and our family evolves.

So, I will figure it out. And I am already now starting to give myself the flexibility to allow myself the time to do that.

The typical black and white version of me would have expected to have it “figured out” one week after the baby is born, or even before.

But the grey version of me is telling myself, “just let it ride. don’t put a time limit.” (Which again, is pretty adventurous for us planners).

But beyond that, there is one thing I would like to mention in this week’s post about the food part of my recovery before I end this post.

I drove myself to Trader Joes on Sunday which is about an hour from my house but has food that I really love, so in hopes of trying to find a food I like, I drove down there.

I usually buy the same basic stuff every time I go. But this time, I gave myself the freedom to just browse and see what looked good to me.

I looked at food and drinks I never would have looked at before. Foods that might not have been on my “healthy” list before.

And so, I even bought some of them.

Even standing in line buying them I was thinking,”Wow…this is so different.”

But I got home and was looking at my strawberry lemonade, dried fruit and tamales and shredded wheat cereal with the sugar on it that I bought and I thought, “what in this is really that bad?”.

Nothing . Really, nothing in that was “that” bad as my Ed voice would say.

This week, that strawberry lemonade was one of the only things that made my taste buds happy. I mix it with water otherwise its too sweet and also I don’t believe in drinking my sugar all day, but it was amazing.

And none of the food I got, that was “bad” food, was anything I binged on or anything like that. I trusted my body to take what it needed. And I was proud of myself for that. That takes a lot of work to practice trusting your body.

I have been thinking, similar to the Chipotle experience, why, did I have to wait until I was pregnant to buy myself strawberry lemonade and shredded wheats and tamales?

It kind of sounds crazy now that I write it down.

Those are foods I always walked by and wouldn’t let myself buy.

I am thinking that while I was in the best place in my recovery before I got pregnant, that maybe there is this entire part of my recovery that was untapped and just waiting for me to open and explore.

Maybe I wasn’t totally 100 percent honest with myself about what freedom with food was?

Or maybe I just didn’t even know that I was depriving myself from those things that I enjoyed until now?

Either way, I am so grateful that my pregnancy is allowing me the chance to open this  totally unexplored area of freedom in my recovery that I never thought about or knew was there before.

I don’t think I want to go back to the old way of thinking.

The grey area might not be as bad of a place as I thought it would be.

Hello Life.

 

 

Advertisements

Day 39: Welcome Back Shira

Good morning everyone,

I feel like I have finally begun to taste freedom, and I am actually starting to fall in love with it.

When I first started having moments of freedom from my eating disorder, they were beautiful, but they were scary. I did not know how to navigate myself in the world without my eating disorder giving me the directions.

Over the past almost 40 days now, I have slowly been getting acquainted with freedom.  It is almost like the first time you taste a new food-for me personally, I can relate this to the first time I tried sushi.

The first time I tried sushi, I literally spit it out. Everyone told me to give it a second try, and so I did. The second time around, I still did not like it, but I was able to at least eat it.  As time went on, I began to try sushi again and again, and now I actually like it-sometimes, I even crave it.

I feel like my relationship with embracing freedom from my eating disorder is similar to that experience.  At first, I could hardly bare the idea of freedom-while I wanted to have it, I did not know how.  Day by day, meal by meal, and step by step, I have slowly begun to warm up to the idea of freedom from Ed a little bit  more.  I can now say, that after the past three days, not only am I liking freedom, I am craving it.

I woke up this morning craving for that euphoric and free feeling I had all of yesterday.

There are two things that I did to challenge my eating disorder yesterday that gave me a taste of freedom.

The first thing, was that I was five minutes late to my workout session because I stopped to take time to eat my breakfast.

I knew that my workout would only consist of stretching, and it will stay that way for quite a while.  Even though my eating disorder told me that stretching burns absolutely zero calories and therefore skipping breakfast is totally OK, I fought him back.

I was hungry, I knew I was heading to do some kind of movement with my body, and I wanted to nourish it, and so I did.

I still am in shock, that I, Shira Moskowitz, was late to a workout because I was eating.

When I was working with this trainer six months ago, she actually stopped training me because she knew I was not feeding my body properly.  To walk into that gym yesterday and tell her that I was late because I was busy eating, was such an incredible feeling and a huge blow to Ed (my eating disorder).

Later at night, I was on my way to take my little brothers to a Lakers game, and I knew it was dinner time.

I had a few options that Ed laid out for me. They were:

1) Go pick up my brothers and say that I ate dinner already (even though I did’t)

2) When my step mom asks me if I ate dinner, I could say I would eat at the Lakers game (but really not get anything).

3) Stop somewhere on the way to picking up my brothers and getting an Ed approved dinner that was definitely not on the meal plan.

I cannot lie and say that I did not think about every single one of those options thoroughly, and all throughout the day-because I did.  But in the end, I decided to listen to myself-not to Ed, and I actually asked my step mom to make me dinner at home and I ate with my family.

That moment last night-the moment where I told my step mom I wanted her to make me dinner and that I wanted to sit and eat with them, was a moment that I will never forget. I’ll never forget how my step mom cried tears of happiness as she was cooking that meal, I’ll never forget the way my little brother stood and kept me company as I was eating, and I will never forget that feeling that I had when I realized that I had just taken another leap outside of my comfort zone.

Last night, the days of my eating disorder telling me that I was only allowed to eat with my family on Friday night Shabbat dinners, officially ended.

I got ice cream with my brothers at the Lakers game-I laughed with them-I cheered with them-I was free with them,and for the first time in what feels like years, I started to feel like me again.

I felt my own laughter coming back, I could feel my soul warming itself up with the love I am starting to have for myself.  I sang as loud as I could to old 90’s songs with my sister the entire drive home–I was me and I was truly tasting freedom from Ed.

I know that this is only the beginning of me experiencing true freedom-it is only a taste, and that is good enough for me right now.

The fact that I am starting to feel my old self come back to life is the most liberating and exhilarating feeling that I have felt in a long time.

You may think I am crazy for saying what I am about to say, but last night, the last thought that went through my head as I laid down to go to sleep, was, “Welcome back Shira.”

Yup, I just welcomed myself back to my own life.

And it is a life that is no longer going to be controlled by my eating disorder-it’s a life that I am going to  take control of.

I am coming back to life, and my eating disorder is not coming with me, and to that I can genuinely say, “hello life.”