Thursday, January 29, 2009

Out of my system

I've been meaning to write about the crazy food journey I've been on while pregnant, so I'll try to take the time now. I've been wide awake since 4:30am, so I figured I'm due for my first nap around 8:30am, which gives me at least a half an hour.

As was well documented on here, previous to getting myself knocked up, I cooked all the time and was becoming more and more of a health nut every week. Enter pregnancy sickness. I found a small handful of foods that I could stomach that would fill me up and not make me even more nauseous. The problem is that being hungry and nutrient-deprived made my sickness worse, so I always had to have something in my stomach, despite how horrible that sounded. I settled on a pretty steady diet of peanut butter crackers (until the recalls!), watered down cranberry juice, toast, cereal, and buttered pasta. Lots of buttered pasta.

It's a cruel joke that the most important and delicate part of the pregnancy is when you're the least able to take care of yourself. As I told Feather Nester, the Miracle of Pregnancy that everyone refers to is not that we can create life - it's that we can create life out of nothing more than buttered rigatoni and Juicy Juice.

Then came the cravings. I'll admit that I never understood pregnancy cravings. The whole thing just didn't make sense to me - I didn't really buy it. But then I started DREAMING about food. Entire dreams about ruffled potato chips with the French Onion Dip that Feather Nester's mom used to make for us. And pizza. Wonderful, cheesy pizza dreams. Normally this kind of food turns my stomach, it's just too greasy and unhealthy for me. Usually I'm one of those crazy people who actually craves healthy food for the most part. I've never once been tempted while walking down the chip aisle of the grocery store. Then there was the Popsicle Incident.

B was out of town on business and I was having an insatiable fruit craving. And when I say "craving" I don't mean that I wanted fruit, I mean that I was literally shaking out of some bizarre physiological fruit need. So despite the horrible sickness, the frigid temperatures, and the darkness, I dragged my ass to the grocery store and proceeded to buy the weirdest cart of groceries - 5 apples, a can of pineapple, 2 bottles of cranberry juice, 2 boxes of Jello, and the largest box of popsicles I could find. Once I made it to the car, the crazy was really unleashed as I dove into the popsicle box and ate one while driving home... and then proceeded to eat THREE MORE in rapid succession on the couch. I think the only reason I stopped was fatigue.

So after a few weeks the weird fruit thing was gone, but I kept wanting all of these horrible foods that I never eat. So last weekend we gave in. B NEVER turns down a chance to be unleashed into the world of unhealthy food, so when I said that I wanted a summer picnic of hot dogs, the aforementioned chips and dip, and macaroni salad, he was in the car before I could finish the sentence. Let's just say that 24 hrs. later the entire bag of chips and the entire tub of dip was gone. GONE.

I just got to the point where I figured that it was ridiculous to keep dreaming about food and thinking about dip. I don't see pregnancy as some secret way to eat what I want to or gain as much weight as I want, but I also felt like this is a journey that is totally new to me and maybe the old rules don't apply anymore. And besides, that's why they make elliptical machines. So as soon as I indulged and surrendered completely, it got out of my system!

I've gone back to actually COOKING again!! And meal planning! And eating vegetables! And I'm still eating less healthy and eating far more dessert than before, but I'm basically back to our healthy ways. I'm also thinking about starting up the elliptical again now that I could be on it without throwing up. So it's been quite a journey so far, and I'm sure it's not over, but it's nice to know that B no longer risks coming home to finding me surrounded by tubs of French Onion Dip and the cats licking the remnants off my face while I lay passed out from lard fatigue on the couch.

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