Week 14: A Pregnancy Without a Scale

Happy Wednesday fighters,

Today I am officially in the second trimester of my pregnancy, which is so exciting! I swear I literally woke up one day with this beautiful baby bump.

I didn’t think I would show this much this early, and to be honest, despite the quiet whispers of Ed in my head every now and then, I love this beautiful, beautiful bump. I love showing it off because it’s the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to my body. And I think it’s good to remind myself of that.

So last week I wrote about my shopping trip at Trader Joes and how for the first time I really let myself browse and get foods that just sounded good to me. I didn’t care as much about the nutrition label, but more of what sounded good.

I know at the end of my blog I wrote about how I wasn’t sure if I was as honest with myself about my freedom in my recovery prior to getting pregnant as I thought I was being.

I thought about that a lot of this week.

Here is my conclusion:

At the time, before I got pregnant, I was honest with myself. In my eyes, I was living in the most freedom I had ever lived in.

It is only now that I became pregnant, that my eyes have opened to something new.

I think at first I didn’t want to admit that because it was scary to me to think that I had so much left in my recovery to learn, but I am not scared anymore.

I always knew my journey would be a forever one.

This is what I observed this week:

Since I became pregnant, I have:

Allowed myself to choose foods that just sound good to me. I have not looked at the calories of them either, which is unheard of for me, even in the best times of my recovery.

I have not measured my cereal in the morning or my milk, which was something I was doing up until I got pregnant. I still do, however, measure my coffee creamer, I will admit that, otherwise I swear I will pour in the whole bottle (work in progress, right).

I got a soft taco for the first time ever at Taco Time, instead of the Salad I have always gotten there since I moved to Washington. And I didn’t look at the calories.

I ordered a veggie sandwich with mayo. With mayo! Again, totally new for me.

I haven’t been measuring food when I put it on my plate for dinner.

All of these moments have been compromised of so much freedom for me, yet I have questioned myself a lot this week as to why did I wait to explore this area of freedom until I got pregnant?

With all my heart, I don’t believe that I was denying myself anything prior to getting pregnant.

It reminded me of when I was 19 years old and I went to Guatemala on a volunteer mission to help children living in poverty.

I remember the people who ran that program tell us to please not give any gifts to the children, but one of the people in our group had given a child who was wheelchair bound an electric wheelchair instead of the regular one he had.

Of course they meant so well and they had the best of intention.

But the administrator had said, once that chair runs out of batteries and we are back in the states, how will they charge it? The boy will then have to go back to the regular wheelchair, but now he knows that he could have something better and that will devastate him.

Sometimes you don’t know there is something sweeter on the other side until someone shows you.

This kind of reminds me of that.

I didn’t know that there was this kind of freedom in my recovery yet because I hadn’t experienced it yet. I only knew the freedom that I was able to reach prior to pregnancy, if that makes any sense at all.

But now that I have experienced it, similar to the electric wheelchair, I am not sure I can go back now and I don’t really think I want to.

Unfortunately while the boy in the wheelchair might not have had a choice, and had to go back, I do have a choice.

I get to decide to stay here, in this sweeter freedom.

I have mixed emotions about that.

Part of me is excited that I have reached this new point of freedom. It’s the same part of me that is so excited that I am allowing myself the space to test these foods and new boundaries out.

Then there is the other part of me that is really scared of that.

Does that mean I will just eat whatever I want all the time? Does this mean I have lost self control? What does this mean for my body? It’s a lot of the same questions I had in my early recovery.

But I know, that in the deepest of my heart, I can’t go back to how things were before, because now that I know this new freedom exists, I would be doing myself a disservice by going back.

Maybe this is what people mean when they refer to intuitive eating.

I try to remind myself that even with these new experiences, I have always listened to my body, and that is something I am really proud of.

I have only eaten what my body wants and I stop eating when I am full.

I have never binged on anything  or restricted anything.

And at the end of the day, I feel satisfied. I feel in tune with myself. I don’t feel out of control at all, not even in the least bit way.

And for the most part, I crave wholesome foods. They are just different foods.

So what is this fear? Why is it here?

The only explanation I can think of is that because like always, it is something new and unknown.

It’s unknown territory to me.  Anything unknown can be scary.

But, the best things in my life have come from unknown.

Moving to Washington=unknown. Result= met my husband, fell in love.

Started recovery=unknown. Result= Saved my own life, started a nonprofit to help others worldwide.

And now we add to this list:

Got pregnant/explored new foods= Unknown. Result= Freedom, baby. New freedom.

And that is where I am going to leave this.

I am ready for you, unknown , new freedom. Old freedom has left and now you have arrived.

Maybe you are something I have deserved for a while.

You might be unknown, but I think I can handle you.

More than that, I appreciate the happiness you bring me and the sense of adventure you bring me.

I am not saying you don’t scare me sometimes, because you do, but I can’t go back now to the old version I thought you were.

Freedom 2.0…here we come.

Hello Life.

Advertisements

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.