Among all the questions I have been asked about being pregnant, one that I am certain all moms out there have discussed is, “Do you have any cravings?”
There is little scientific evidence to validate whether pregnancy cravings are “real” but they are what you make of them in my opinion. Some doctors suggest we are craving certain foods due to a nutrient the food contains. Yeah, makes sense…but what did pregnant women eat before certain foods were invented (i.e. fast food, ice cream, donuts, etc.). Hence the psychology behind all of this…
My take on this topic is that I do not have any cravings – I DO have the need to find non-offensive foods to consume however. My first trimester was all about finding a fuel source that didn’t make me want to puke my brains out. Finding a food that I could actually enjoy was REALLY tough. My pallet took on a whole new life of its own and I felt like I was tossed abruptly into the “Picky Eaters Club.” The foods I could tolerate so happened to be soft proteins like milk, cottage cheese, string cheese, and yogurt – but in copious amounts. And P.S. Non-Pregnant-Aubrey was NOT a dairy person! Crackers of any kind became by BFF and pickled veggies were, and still are, good to me. I had just a few times during my first 3 months of being pregnant where I “let my hair down” and ate off track completely.
One memorable time was with Ben and Jerry. Mmmm the ice cream was pretty good on the way down but shortly after consumption I was hurled into a nasty food coma that when I woke up from it I was crying because I felt like such a pile of shit. Since I chose not to learn from that experience, my next food-confession-to-remember was when I dove headfirst into a decadent homemade dish of french toast casserole. It was OH SO GOOD and I probably would have been fine but I overate like a mofo. It was like I was a junkie – I had this huge HIGH and immediately went home to pass-out for FIVE freaking hours. And guess what, when I woke up, I was crying AGAIN because I was so physically ill.
“Hmmm,” I thought, “I am going to be able to relate to my baby after these experiences!” Eat, sleep, cry – REPEAT!
There was NOT a third time during my first trimester because I knew I couldn’t handle simple sugar at this point – Hello, McFly!
Onto the second trimester. I still do not have cravings in my opinion, but I think my subconscious mind, AKA: the lil’ food devil on my shoulder, is telling me , “Go ahead and eat that donut, you’re pregnant so who gives a rat’s fat a**?!” So now I certainly have had my treats…in moderation though because I’m terrified of the damn food coma.
Now that I am 5 months along (halfway there, woohoo!) I am still mentally struggling. Everyday when I read about pregnancy, I smile at my belly and talk to my baby. However when I am out in public or even teaching classes at my studio, I have a hard time praising my appearance. I am still extremely self-conscious and have resorted to body-shaming myself. I am choosing to address this however and quickly. I refuse to look back on my pregnancy with regret on who I turned myself into – it’s not fair to me or my baby.
The other day I had a good breakthrough moment while practicing yoga. During my practice I envisioned my child at different stages of his life. I imagined him as a beautiful toddler, as a confident teenager, and as a successful adult. It made me happy because I saw him so happy! Realizing that the big picture is way more important than how big my ass is right now, does make it easier.
Still at times my self-conscious feelings get the best of me and I let them drag me down to an ugly place full of shame and self-pity. But all of these things I can continue to stress about, or I can rise above them and get my head out of my ass! What IS real to me are my emotions, not the cravings. Many people have been very supportive by consoling me when I am honest about how I feel about myself. Choosing to listen to them is up to me. Taking charge of my thoughts is something I vow to do for my health and well-being. Everyday I may struggle, but I am OK if I do because it will only force me to meditate more, learn more, and love more. This entire experience will make me stronger and I plan to use it as a way to help coach my clients better.
I truly believe that my child has been given to me to teach me many life lessons…and they have already begun.