Eating disorders. This has been the hardest thing to deal with in my pregnancy so far. As a former binge eater, it was really easy to fall back into old habits. I could justify them with the idea that I’m no longer on a diet. The reality is that more than 99% of women who get pregnant will gain weight. Instead of hoping that we will be the ultra-rare exception, we need to learn to deal with it in a healthy way.
Before I found out that I was pregnant, I had gone from compulsively overeating and being more than 60 lbs overweight, to heavily restricting between binges and coming down about 20 lbs, to finally feeling like I had things under control and losing another 15 lbs through diet and exercise.
When I found out that I was pregnant, I came off some of my medication and decreased the rest. I quickly fell back into my old eating habits because I was no longer “dieting”. While a lot of it was bloating, I wound up gaining quite a bit of weight really quickly. This was not healthy pregnancy weight gain. I actually felt pretty bad about myself after all the hard work I had been putting in.
It’s not always easy to deal with weight gain when dealing with eating disorders, even when it’s because of pregnancy. I found a couple of ways to cope that made it easier for me, so I thought I’d share.
- If you feel like dieting helps you feel in control, create a “diet” plan and stick to it. But do this in a healthy way. Find out how many calories you need here, then plan something out so that you are eating enough, both calorie wise as well as nutritionally. Make sure you’re getting a good balance of carbs, protein and fats.
- Up your exercise a bit. I don’t mean go all out, but if you’re pretty sedentary, try to go for more walks. If you were going to the gym a frequently before you got pregnant, don’t stop. Building up a bit of muscle is not only healthy for you now, but having more muscle tone will make it easier to lose the weight afterwards as well.
It’s easy to fall into the idea that pregnant women shouldn’t push themselves or work too hard. This feels especially true when you’re nauseous and exhausted and the idea of exercise does absolutely nothing for you, but as long as your body is used to doing these things already, there’s no reason for you to stop. (unless your doctor tells you to. then, listen to your doctor)
- Get social. While this may not help with body IMAGE, and it won’t work for everyone, sometimes, getting out and getting lunch or a snack with friends can at least take your mind off of eating and turn it into a pleasurable experience. As a binge eater, I know that eating with someone else always kept me in check, and if the idea of eating makes you uncomfortable because of the potential weight gain, filling up an hour with something pleasurable at the same time sometimes makes eating a bit easier.
What is your big body-image struggle? Do you suffer from eating disorders? Did it get worse with pregnancy, or better? Or do you think it will? Leave me your comment down below or tag me with your stories on social media. I’m always happy to hear from you!
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