Yesterday I was getting ready to put Syd down for her nap and I had a mad craving for something very specific. Something I haven't eaten in over a year. Something I ate well too much of when I was pregnant the last time: Taco Bell. More specifically, crunchy taco supremes from Taco Bell.
Somehow I convinced my husband to go through the drive-thru window for me (he was picking something up at home real quick and there's a TB less than a mile from our house) and even though he warned "Once you start, it's going to be TACO BELL ALL THE TIME." I didn't care. I needed those tacos. While he was gone I put Sydney down for her nap and then sat on the front porch to wait for the dropoff.
People, I cannot even tell you how good those tacos tasted. I sat at the dining room table with a can of Diet Coke (something else I've had little of since I learned I was pregnant), and ate every morsel of those tacos. I enjoyed them so much I practically licked the paper. There wasn't a single shred of cheese or an errant tomato to be found when I was done.
Behold the power of junk food.
I blame the hormones. For both of these pregnancies I've been extremely sick during the first trimester (this time around was particularly bad because I was taking progesterone suppositories up until week 12). The few times I did feel like eating the only thing that really appealed to me was stuff that was high in sugar or carbs or had no nutritional value whatsoever (think ramen noodles and box macaroni and cheese). Coca-Cola Classic (preferably from a soda fountain) was the only thing that could calm my stomach down. For weeks my diet consisted solely of Honey Nut Cheerios, tortilla chips, cheese, and the occasional apple. And even then I had to force myself to just eat something, ANYTHING. I knew I needed to eat more, eat more healthily, but even taking my prenatal vitamins made me feel like dying. It was rough.
Then I finally got to stop taking my progesterone at 12 weeks. Within a matter of days I went from feeling like a hung over frat boy to the ravenous pregnant woman we all imagine ourselves to one day be. And so I ate whatever I could get my hands on, whatever I craved, whatever I saw on the shelves that I wouldn't normally allow myself. Into the grocery cart went Lucky Charms, Pop Tarts, powdered donettes, jelly beans, THE WORKS. In a perverse way I felt like I deserved it. Here I'd been sick and hadn't felt like eating anything for months, and now? I felt better. I wanted Tito's Tacos and I should get them. Why? Because I'M PREGNANT, that's why. Now get your butt in the car and let's go.
Let's back up for a moment here, shall we?
This is me, at 41 weeks pregnant with Sydney, all 204 pounds of me:
(Thanks to my sister's boyfriend for snapping this photo of me. I will get you, Mike. One day.)
When I was pregnant with Syd I ate whatever I wanted. I'm pretty sure there was one month where I was eating at Taco Bell 3 times a week on average (I wonder if that's the same month I gained 10 pounds? Hmm?). And yes, I had a 10 pound 7 ounce baby in there. Yes, I left the hospital 5 days after giving birth a whopping 20 pounds lighter. But you know what? It took me another nine months to lose twenty-five more of those pounds. And I'm pretty sure I could have done more to prevent the hugeness.
There is so much I could have done differently when I was pregnant then. I could have walked more, I could have made healthier choices, but I refused. I used pregnancy as an excuse to stretch my husband's XL t-shirts (and that is what I'm wearing in the above photo) to the max. And you know something? Big baby aside? It takes a toll on your body to weigh that much. I now have a herniated belly button (I used to have an inny. Now? It's a major outie). Not only did I get the requisite stretch marks on my belly, but I also got them all over my legs. I had crippling sciatic pain. When it was time for me to get my epidural in the hospital the anesthesiologist told me that I had slight scoliosis of the lower back. I've never had even a hint of scoliosis my entire life! And then? My epidural failed and I endured 18+ hours of induced labor (that ended up being back labor for extra fun) with no pain relief. THAT SUCKED.
I don't want to go through any of that again if I can help it. But it's hard to remember that when I'm desperate for a taco supreme. I've found little ways around getting to the things I crave, like ordering a veggie sub at Subway instead of turkey because I can't have cold cuts (Subway is where I head when a TB craving strikes hard. It's how I lost the baby weight the first time around). But I need MORE. And when we have nothing but junk in the house my family suffers … my husband burns through half a dozen Krispy Kremes in a few days and Syd ends up snacking on Fritos. It's bad for all of us.
If you have any tricks to eating more healthfully when all you want to do is shove your gob full of cheese fries, please share. My goal this pregnancy is to NOT go over 200 pounds again. Now that I'm on "restricted activity" I can't really balance out my tacos with a brisk walk around the neighborhood while pushing the stroller if you know what I mean.
And if anyone would like to pound a cheeseburger in my honor, please feel free to do so. My 30th birthday is on Monday and I plan on allowing myself one last major intentional splurge at Island's (say it with me: CHEESE FRIES WITH RANCH DRESSING). Then? It's healthy choices central around here. BLERG.