Intuitive Eating Through My Second Pregnancy After Weight Loss

Hi everyone! I’m sorry for keeping you waiting. Life has been hectic since COVID, pregnancy, and, now, a second kiddo! But, I wanted to make sure that I came back to update you all on how my second pregnancy and first couple of postpartum months have gone.

When I last left you, I was 18 weeks pregnant with baby Michael, had gained about 9 pounds, and was still exercising 5 days a week. Here’s a comparison of how I looked at this point with Michael vs. with my first kiddo, Emma.

To be honest, early on, I felt like I looked pretty similar to how I had with Emma. However, as time went on, I definitely noticed I was bigger this time around than I had been the first time.

For example…

In case you couldn’t tell…the left picture is my second pregnancy (Michael) while the right picture is my first pregnancy (Emma).

On the day I went into labor, I was something like 173 pounds, meaning I gained 33 pounds this pregnancy…almost exactly what I gained with Emma!

This pregnancy was different in so many ways, though. I exercised up until about 30 weeks, and then I did stop exercising (minus chasing my first kiddo around) when the pressure of the pandemic, parenting at home while working full-time, pregnancy, and the loss of my beloved cat finally caught up with me. Still, I ate intuitively this entire pregnancy — even when the weight gain and larger stomach scared me. To be honest, I’m 6.5 weeks postpartum, and besides walking a couple of miles most days, I haven’t started exercising “for real” again yet.

I ate freely and kind of a LOT this time around, whereas, last time, I tracked my calories religiously and only ate 2,000 calories in my 3rd trimester (ha! 2,000 calories would now be restrictive for me).

Last time, after I had Emma, I lost 10 pounds after she was born and maintained a weight of 147-150 for 6 months; this time, I quickly and, without effort, lost about 18 pounds. I currently weight about 155 pounds. Apparently, my body is pretty consistent, haha.

Here I am yoga-ing with my daughter while wearing my son!

To be honest, right now, I have absolutely zero desire to diet or strenuously work out. Probably because most days, I end the day looking something like this:

I’m tired! My husband and I are BOTH tired…pretty much all of the time.

Our 4-year-old daughter is having a tough time adjusting right now, so all of my energy is exhausted trying to be present for her while also taking care of the baby and house. (Did I mention our indoor-only cats somehow got fleas? Yeah. So, I clean the house kind of a lot right now.)

The good news is that, mental health wise, I am doing 1 million percent better this time around than I did last time. I will do a separate blog on that at a later time, I promise.

Until then, I’m living life in a size-bigger pants and still eating the cake. Because life’s too short to worry about being a little squishy!

Til next time 🙂 Stay safe!

Obligatory Baby Photo!

My Second Pregnancy Journey: Pregnancy After Weight Loss, Eating Disorder Recovery, and Finding Intuitive Eating

Ok, ok, I won’t put it off any longer: yes, readers, I am officially pregnant (actually, 18 weeks pregnant) with baby #2 — Michael! Due June 20, 2020!

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As with my last pregnancy, I really want to document this journey, because there are so few illustrations of how a body might change during (and after) pregnancy after major weight loss and, this time, after eating disorder recovery and finding intuitive eating.

Let’s start with a rundown of what my last pregnancy looked like and what’s very VERY different this time around!

My Pregnancy (in numbers) with Emma!

  • Starting weight: 123 pounds (which I was unhealthily maintaining eating 1,000 calories a day. Do not recommend.)
  • My age: 28; 29 at delivery
  • Exercise pre-pregnancy: None
  • Exercise during pregnancy: None
  • Caloric intake during pregnancy: 1,500 1st trimester; 1,700 2nd trimester; 2,000 3rd trimester
  • Weight at delivery: 157 pounds
  • Total gain: 34 pounds
  • Emma’s weight: 7 pounds
  • My weight post-delivery: 147-150 pounds

My Pregnancy (in numbers) with Michael! (So Far)

  • Starting weight: 140 pounds (which I was maintaining eating 2,300-2,500 calories a day – estimated – intuitive eating!)
  • My age: 32; 33 at delivery
  • Exercise pre-pregnancy: Lifting 3x a week; cardio 3x a week
  • Exercise during pregnancy: Lifting 3x a week; cardio 2x a week (intensity is also diminished)
  • Caloric intake during pregnancy: Not sure as I am doing intuitive eating. 2,300 – 2,500 calories most days still, I imagine, based on the couple of days I have tracked out of curiosity (and anxiety).

And here’s where I’m at right now:

  • Week: 18
  • Current weight: roughly 148-149
  • Total gain so far: 8-9 pounds

I haven’t taken my 18-week picture yet (tomorrow!), but here’s my …er… “growth” so far lol.

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And, of course, here is a comparison 🙂

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And, for fun, here’s a sneak peak at what I look like now (but not scientific ‘cus not at the same time of day or in the same clothes — science is important! Ha!):

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Mental Struggles

As you may recall, I struggled hardcore with antenatal mental health as well as post-partum depression, anxiety, and OCD that eventually led to me being hospitalized when Emma was 7 weeks old. Moreover, with Emma, I was still in an active eating disorder when I got pregnant.

I’ve been in pretty intense therapy for years now, but I’ve also improved to the point of being able to be off of psychiatric medication for a year. I’ve also been in genuine eating disorder recovery for only a year, and I admit that the body image part of this is HARD for me. Somewhere in my head (before recovery), I had it in my plans to get my weight way back down again before getting pregnant again because I was SO AFRAID of how a second pregnancy would impact my body and weight. But, then I found lifting…and running…and recovery… and, well, here we are.

This pregnancy has been different — I’ve been far more sick, I’ve been far more tired, but I’ve also been far more active, and I’m not having to go through psych medication withdrawal. My anxiety is still very present, but I do feel overall more emotionally stable this time compared to last time.

My brain and body have also not totally caught up with one another: my brain currently refuses to accept that I am pregnant when it comes to my weight & what I’m seeing in the mirror.

Impacts to and of Intuitive Eating

Pregnancy (and post-partum) are going to probably be the biggest challenges I’ve ever faced when it comes to committing to intuitive eating. I’ve been doing intuitive eating for a year now, and if I’m being honest – I don’t know that I can commit to NOT tracking/trying to intentionally lose weight after this baby is born. I already am feeling the pull.

I’m trying to eat intuitively right now, but my appetite is alarming to me at times: I wake up hungry multiple times throughout the night, every night. In 1st trimester, I would eat even in the middle of the night; now, I don’t. I also try very hard to focus on eating mostly “whole foods.” This is mostly because I’ve found these foods appealing and they physically make me feel the best; but, admittedly, it’s also partly a weight gain/fear food thing.

I’m not tracking calories (except for portions of a couple of days to get just a ballpark of where I’m at); I religiously tracked in my last pregnancy. And, I just put my scale in timeout too.

I’m honestly not sure what I’m doing — I’m overwhelmed by my hunger levels and fear of gaining too much. My midwives have mostly been supportive (they know I am in ED recovery), but they’ve still mentioned ballpark target weight numbers, which has been difficult for me. I’m very much looking forward to meeting with my ED recovery/intuitive eating dietitian next week for some reassurance and guidance.

So, there you go – that’s where I’m at right now.

I’d like to keep documenting this pregnancy and postpartum just like last time. Hopefully, some of you will find it helpful (or at least interesting)!