Saturday, I looked in the mirror and I remembered what I was doing on October 20, 2003.
Every year we have a good laugh about it. Every seminar/workshop I tell this story. Yet, Saturday, when I looked into my eyes I found nothing funny about it. I felt sad. Really sad. And then I felt this BURST of gratitude. How in the WORLD did I get here from there?
See, on Monday, October 20, 2003, I had a doctor’s appointment. My doctor had been on my case about me gaining too much weight during my pregnancy. I was borderline diabetic through the process, had to prick myself every day to check my levels and could not eat the way I ate the first few months of my pregnancy. (The day I found out I was pregnant, I didn’t blog. I gave up my exercise routine and said, “Let’s go to Olive Garden.” True story.) In August of 2002, when my husband and I had gotten engaged, I had just lost forty pounds and was 158 pounds. Throw in a wedding, a pregnancy soon thereafter and on that day, October 20, I was 218 pounds. I was trying to listen to Dr. Anderson but I was hungry and big and he just told me that I would NOT have this baby early like I did my son and it would be at least another two weeks. Another two weeks of counting carbs and being big and swollen. I cried all day.
After picking my son up early from school and having a nervous breakdown because he had gotten his first cavity, I called my husband and told him I wanted to go out to eat. And I wanted wings. Not just any wings. Hooters. And off we went.
Against my better judgement, I ordered the skinless wings (less calories and they had less flavor too in case you were wondering). As I was eating, I started to feel these pains. These weren’t random pains. They were consistent. I had already made one too many fake trips to hospital for false labor so I wasn’t about to give up my dinner because that girl inside was playing around. I had my husband time them. My contractions were six minutes apart. That was serious. But NOT serious enough for me to not finish my food. So, there I sat, pausing through the uncomfortableness, eating my wings and free (and probably drinking a Pepsi) until I was done. And then I had a novel idea.
I wanted ice cream.
Off to McDonald’s we went while I was calling the nurse. Can you just imagine me with an ice cream cone in one hand (in the middle of October) and a cell phone in the other talking about, “I think I am in labor but I had to finish my wings and go to McDonald’s before I could push this baby out?” But that’s exactly what I did. I never even made it home. The contractions got so bad, my husband had to turn around in the middle of the street and go straight to the hospital and my baby girl was born Tuesday, October 21, 2003 at 4:53 a.m.
Now, it seems like a funny story. A pregnant woman gets her food taken away from her and her hormones drive her to want to eat. That’s not what happened. A woman who never got control over her emotions and her food put her life at risk by overeating every time she was frustrated by her weight (I had two high risk pregnancies and therefore could not really exercise after my 16th week and couldn’t rely on Slim Fast which I had done when I lost that initial forty pounds). I was STILL a newlywed and that has its challenges. My son had just started kindergarten and was having problems in schools. I was fighting with my ex-husband constantly. I had just moved to another city. I got a promotion during my pregnancy. And I have NEVER learned to pull my emotions out of my food. What else would make a pregnant woman get food poisoning, wait two weeks and then go back to the same restaurant?
Because it was a buffet.
And people excused me because I was pregnant. People let me get away with not having any control over my emotions and how I felt about myself and how food played too much of an important role in my life. Everyone thought it was normal until that baby was born and I ended up with anorexia and in the emergency room months later from malnutrition.
Establishing a healthy relationship with food is vital. And overeating is NOT the ONLY issue. How do you relate to food? Are you that wrapped up that everything you do goes back to food? Would you be depressed if your doctor told you there was something you couldn’t have? Would you do it anyway? Do you eat through your emotions? Happy? Sad? Angry? Depressed? Lonely? Do you eat for EVERY occasion? Every friend’s birthday? Divorce? Job promotion? Do you justify your eating? Like you are eating this cookie because you “deserve” it?
And, would you have stayed in Hooters and eaten those wings?
The truth is, I haven’t been in Hooters since. And I haven’t eaten at McDonald’s in years. And I no longer eat dairy. I have been known to eat out of frustration every now and then but I can now feel myself doing it and that is a start. I am just glad I am not where I used to be. And I am glad that little girl is here too. 🙂