Can’t Eat Chicken

Or steak.  Or meat of any kind.  I mean, I can sometimes, maybe, take a bite, but Jane–the girl who loves chicken and steak–is totally grossed out by both. 

I’m still queasy much of the day, with morning being the best and then it goes from bad to worse at noon, with early evening through bedtime a moan of misery.   But I can still eat toast, I’m back to enjoying my cold cereal, and I have a huge thing right now for cottage cheese.  Like a quart a day.  I eat a small dish of cottage cheese every couple hours and then crave cheese sandwiches and cheese enchiladas and man, on man, am I packing on the weight.

I have a friend who is pregnant and due just before me and she’s gained two pounds.  Two.  I’ve gained fourteen.  Fourteen.  Guess who looks pretty chunky right now? And I have how many months to go? 

It’s no use telling me to cut back.  I’m barely functioning, there’s not much to cut back to, and if I don’t eat constantly I’m even sicker, so it is what it is and this is how I do pregnancy. 

You will, by the way, notice fewer photos of me from now on.  And anything added will be artfully cropped, and possibly photo-shopped.  Yes, I am that vain.  No, I will not change. 

I never had a problem with weight until I lived in South Africa as a foreign exchange student for a year during my last year of high school.  I went to a boarding school in Natal and was terribly homesick as well as inundated with shepard’s pie and cottage pie and heaps of buttered toast and twice a day tea served with tarts and biscuits.  And more toast.   I don’t think I saw a vegetable in months, short of the peas buried in the casseroles, and within months I had packed on thirty pounds, poundage that put stretch marks from my knees to the top of my hips.

I ate because I was lonely.

I ate because food was an activity.

I ate because some of it tasted pretty damn good.

Being pregnant reminds me of that year in South Africa where I ate compulsively and soon developed a lasting insecurity over my weight as my weight became a problem I couldn’t control.  I’m eating again, eating lots of foods I don’t normally eat but I have to remind myself to go easy on myself.  I remind myself that I’ve lost the baby weight before, I’ll lose it again.  I remind myself I’m making a baby.  Remind myself that it’s been a tough pregnancy but a healthy baby is the goal.

Remind myself to reach for an apple instead of another slice of buttered toast.

And remind myself to keep my sense of humor.  It’s been ten years since I was last pregnant.  I can’t imagine I’ll ever be pregnant again.  This is it.  The big last one.  So savor it, enjoy it.  Relax.

And I think I can.  As long as I don’t have to look at chicken.

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