I read Frank Bruni’s Born Round, because I was drawn to the story of a guy who struggles with his weight. Bruni was chubby from babyhood, ate more than his siblings, and always held his baby sister for the annual Christmas family pic to hide his middle. He went to college, found bulimia, spent years having a twisted relationship with food, and avoiding any situation that would involve taking his clothes off (e.g., dating). Unfortunately, the book was more about his glam reporter life and there was a lot of personal information, but the whole thing felt detached–the thing that struck me about his excerpt of this work in the Times Sunday magazine was his overly complicated relationship with food, which is something I contend with.
So I read the book hoping to find some secret about losing weight. Basically, he starts to make smarter eating choices, hires a trainer, and also learns about portion control, which really is the “right” answer. Totally boring, yet effective and somehow made for a disappointing. It’s not that I believe in a magic answer, but I suppose I was reading to find an exploration on how to set yourself free from thinking about eating or not eating too much all the time.
For me, I had a mini-vacation from this mindset during pregnancy, simply because this pregnancy because my OB uttered the sentence “You are the perfect weight,” which I had never heard in my life! In the first trimester, I think Baby sat on my stomach so my appetite was always small and I had the instinct to eat only healthy food. I was free! And it’s awesome to be mentally relaxed. However, on a more recent visit, my OB advised to try to keep the same weight for a month and lay off the sugar and white flour as I entered my last trimester and as much as I attempted to avoid reacting neurotically, I felt like a total failure.
Since then, I’ve balanced my thinking more. (Thankfully, Husband is sane and can give me supportive advice.) Am mostly eating like a diabetic, which is the healthiest way to eat. I do want the baby to have a spine and all, so I don’t mind, and restricting sugar for someone like me is good because the first trimester spell is broken and my natural food instincts were kicking in (I can easily eat candy instead of real food all day.)
So while I’m no longer mental about the eating/size thing (um, for the time being), I do think about it…and I would love one day to give it a rest.