Wednesday, November 12, 2014

My brain is still broken

In a recent post that surprised no one, I expressed dismay at my body and how it seems to change daily. I mean, I get that growing a human requires my belly to expand, but my upper arms? That part is lame. I'm not 100% recovered from the restrictive/obsessive/destructive thoughts that led me to have hypothalamic amenorrhea (over a year of typing that word and still can't spell it correctly on the first try...). This was reinforced the other day when I mentioned to Nick that I'm thinking about marathons next year, as in, the year I'll be birthing our child and (hopefully) being the sole source of nutrition for him or her. I have been reading lots of blogs lately about fall marathons and thinking to myself, "I could do that! I could totally run a fall marathon next year! That'll be 7-8 months after giving birth! That's like 32 weeks! That's 8 weeks of birth recovery, 8 weeks of base building, and 16 weeks of training! Totally doable!" (there are lots of exclamation points during my internal conversations) When I shared my marathon fantasies with Nick, he said, um, maybe don't get too excited, you'll be feeding our baby an awful lot so you don't want to do anything to adversely affect your supply.

On one hand, duh, of course I don't want to sacrifice feeding the baby/affecting my supply to pursue my own goals. On the other hand, my brain sucks and got really excited to go back to my old ways once pregnancy is over. I daydream about taking long walks with the dog and the baby in a carrier or stroller. Then I'll start running on the treadmill during naps. Then running outside when Nick's home from work. Weekends will have long runs.... I'll be back in some sort of marathon shape mere months after giving birth! Of course, "marathon shape" implies major weight loss. Knowing me, that wouldn't be from slowly, steadily, naturally losing weight, it would be from reverting to my old ways.

I know that my screwed up thought processes are still there because I struggle with them every day. The difference now is, during pregnancy, I easily recognize the destructiveness of the thoughts and I can  realign to my #1 priority, which is maintaining a healthy pregnancy. This doesn't mean I easily dismiss them- just last night I was freaking out over going out to dinner. I looked at the restaurant website and planned out what I'd eat and how many calories it would be, which is not necessarily a disordered thing in and of itself, but I took the extra step of figuring out how I'd make up for those "extra" calories and how it would effect my weight gain. Wtf, brain? You're pregnant, stop being stupid. Luckily, I was able to realize I was being crazy and just ordered what sounded good and I enjoyed it. There was still guilt, but I didn't let it overpower me.

However, the tiny sane part of my brain that's active right now is only active until February 22. After that, all bets are off. Admitting that I am having these thoughts right now, and knowing they are likely to only get worse is half the battle, right? After reflecting on that conversation with Nick, I have decided that I need to make a couple rules for myself or else I'll justify doing crazy things.
Rule #1: NO MARATHONS IN 2015. Not even "for fun." The first year of this little person's life is precious to me, and I will not sacrifice it for my selfish desires (TOTALLY not saying people who run a marathon soon after giving birth are selfish. But I would be doing it for selfish reasons). Rule #2: Run ideas by Nick. He knows me and my tendencies and will be able to tell me if I'm being unreasonable.

I have no idea what I'm going to feel like in 3, 4, 5, or 6 months. I do know that my life will be light years different than it is now and I will need to adjust. Setting goals is good. Setting them blindly, for silly reasons, is destructive and will end up with me back in a bad spot. I know this, and I will be on the lookout for those behaviors popping up again. Hopefully I'll be so madly in love with my infant, running and/or weight loss won't even be on my mind. And now I'm crying. Pregnancy hormones are fun.

4 comments :

  1. You have no idea how similar we are! Diagnosed with HA recently and feel the same about your post above as I've been thinking about how I will adjust and think about myself in the future as I try to get pregnant starting 2015. I went back and read your whole blog and I'm looking forward to following you through your journey!

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    1. Breana, thanks for your comment! I wish you the best with your HA recovery and trying to conceive journey- it's not easy but it's worth it :) Email me if you have any questions.

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  2. Laurel - I'd love to chat - can you let me know your email?

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    1. it is my first name last name at gmail dot com. (you should be able to see my last name on my last comment)

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