It’s no secret that one of my biggest pet peeves is fatty chat. In fact, I’ve put off writing this post for weeks now because I don’t want to be the girl who talks about her weight. I hate that girl. She is annoying and boring and makes my ears bleed with all that “my butt is too big” talk. Who cares?
However! I am also keenly aware that food issues are real and that most of us womenfolks have that annoying fat girl inside of us talking about low calorie milkshakes. So I proceed.
I used to be really fat. I also used to be really thin. Both had their pros and cons. For example, fatness makes your mouth happy. Another piece of pizza? Sure! A big bowl of ice cream? No problem! It’s really fun. The downside is that your jeans cut off your circulation in the car and you may or may not start to chafe.
Being skinny also has its perks. You can buy a bathing suit without crying and say things like “Oh I can squeeze in the backseat, I’m small.” Also very enjoyable. The problem is that when winter rolls around, it feels like you’re living in the arctic. Without that extra layer of fat, it is cold.
When I got pregnant, I was on the pendulum swing side of fatness. It was no big deal. I was working at it; reading books about dealing with weight and PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and exercising when I could. After the initial morning sickness and food-is-gross syndrome wore off in trimester one, I had a choice to make. Was I going to try to watch what I ate during the pregnancy or was I going to eat whatever I want?
Let me back up here and talk a little about my history with diets.
It all started back in high school when I went on birth control to even out my hormonal imbalance. All of a sudden my fat dropped off and I looked good. Really good. It was weird. People treated me differently, better, which was all very addicting. And so I wanted to lose more, fast.
The first thing I tried was sticking my finger down my throat, but I hate throwing up and quickly gave up. Next I decided to try the other end and bought a box of laxatives. I took two and it made me so horribly sick that I vowed never again. A few weeks later, however, I tried it again to fit into a prom dress and so began the long and arduous cycle of binge and purge. Eat too much cake? Flush it out. Stuffed on pasta? Flush it out.
Months and then years of this passed by and I got thinner and thinner. I even took a stash of pills on my cross cultural term to the Middle East. All that pita.
It was a good system, it really was, until the day I began to lose my shit. Literally.
The first time it happened I was standing in my college cafeteria talking to a boy who was most definitely trying to pick me up. I had taken about 16 pills this time (because your body builds up a tolerance), and all of a sudden I got the downtown pushdown.
I realize that for many of us, eating disorders is still a very serious and difficult issue. I get that. I’ve been there. But for me, now, it’s all very funny. I mean, what’s not funny about shitting your pants in the middle of the cafeteria? One minute I was talking about my plans for the weekend and the next–there is poo on my foot. Fortunately the guy never had a clue that my hurried “gotta go” actually meant “I just went.”
After a few more similar incidents and the realization that I might be ruining my intestinal tract, I decided to replace flushing my food with abstaining from it all together.
Let me tell you something–not eating is terrible. Once I got so hungry that I ate a cotton ball dipped in orange juice. No lie. I also tried other ridiculous weight loss methods; saunas, body cleanses, liquid diets, adderall. I even took ipecac once (I will never make that mistake again).
I wish I could say that this extreme dieting ended after college, but it didn’t. Before my wedding I was eating less than 500 calories a day to look good in my dress. It was nuts, and not just because it was bad for my health, but because it doesn’t work. It all came back (and more) after the honeymoon, and soon I was back where I started–on the yo-yo diet train, constantly worrying about every meal and how it was going to wreck my body.
All of this is to say that when I got pregnant, I decided I was going to enjoy it to its fullest and eat whatever I wanted, guilt free. I gained 55 pounds and I do not regret one.single.bite. For the first time in my life, food wasn’t scary or wrong. It was delicious and wonderful and I actually enjoyed it. What a concept!
When the baby has arrived, however, I knew my stint in foodieville would have to end. This time, however, there could be no crash diet or liquid meals. This time I needed to stay healthy for the baby, and healthy I have been. Fresh foods, small portions, and moderate exercise later and guess what? It’s working. Who knew it could be so easy?
I have a history of learning things the hard way, so I guess this is just another lesson learned. I never would have guessed that pregnancy and a baby would cure me of (some of) my crazytown. Perfecto.