About having a baby, and an eating disorder
I haven’t written anything at all, because I feel like before I can explain anything else that is going on in my fitness plight right now, that I need to write this post first, and the truth is that I have been putting it off. I have talked about having an eating disorder here before, still it sort of feels like the metaphorical elephant in the room; this thing I feel awkward to admit (even on the internet where all you people have to judge me is a one inch square headshot).This is never more true than when I am newly pregnant. I mean, who wants to admit that they have a hard time gaining weight, when it is for the baby?
I have maintained a healthy weight for six years. I have lived a healthy lifestyle for five. I have not relapsed in almost four years. Still, I never really know what to say about this.
Well, here goes – I have an eating disorder. I have an eating disorder all the time. This means I still have an eating disorder when I am pregnant. I can’t speak for other women with this issue – but for me, pregnancy does offer this sort of unexpected reprieve. I see two pink lines, and suddenly I can function in this sort of normal way – where I can eat mostly nutritionally balanced meals, and allow myself an occasional treat without wanting to shove my face into a porcelain bowl. I have talked with other women who have had similar experiences and others who haven’t – I don’t understand it, it just is.
Still, there are parts of my eating disorder that never really go away. My brain is a calorie log. I can’t help it. It’s like if it goes in my mouth, a part of my brain automatically computes how much I have consumed that day, and then files that food in a folder in my brain of serving sizes, calories, and foods. I can see the running total in my head like a check register, whether I want to or not. It is embarrassing to admit it, and I realize you are thinking I must be totally lame and neurotic. I am always like this – pregnant or not.
During pregnancy, I am able to allow my number to get bigger when I feel like it.
The weight gain, well – it is hard during the first trimester. It is hard to understand where it is going, even with those helpful emailed weekly updates. I struggle, in the beginning, to really grasp that there is a human in my abdomen, and it needs my fat to grow healthy and smart. It is hard for me not to panic. It is hard to not look pregnant, but not be able to find any pants to wear to work. I hate those weeks. This is my third go-around, I know what happens, and yet – I still get panicky when it does.
Things are going really well for me now! I am almost fourteen weeks pregnant. I am still running about fifteen miles a week broken up into one long run on the weekends, and as many shortish runs as I can reasonably fit into my already bustling schedule during the week. I am basking in the glory that is the second trimester – no nausea, no headaches, only two trips to the bathroom a night, I am almost out of the miserable, awkward belly transition period, and have managed to make it this far into pregnancy with my running schedule mostly unscathed. Success? I think so!
This running while pregnant thing is new for me, and I love it. I have been tossing the idea of running a 10K around in my brain for the last month, and was just waiting to see if I would still feel up to it when the race came around – and I think I do. It feels good to feel good, and I plan on keeping it up.