Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Self Image and Diet

I used to have a different view of myself than I do now. After having my son Luke I was sometimes self conscious about my body. I knew that it would take some time to return to the old me, but I would have days of discouragement. Sometimes I would try something on, it wouldn't fit and I would be so discouraged. Almost depressed. It would make me feel like being angry and I would always use that anger towards my husband. I didn't know how else to express my feelings. Usually I would say, I'm just not getting back to my normal self, he would say something nice - you are but it will take some time, or something to that effect and always being supportive reminding me how my body is for nourishing my baby by breast. I would just say no I'm not, something defensive, and grumble and be depressed and try to start some sort of argument just to find a way to get my anger out.

It would only last a half hour before I decided to move on and do something else. I was always uncomfortable. I would notice my love handles poke out of my jeans. I definitely noticed how certain things fit a different way than they did before. It put me in my small bouts of depression sometimes.

I worked out a lot postpartum, not anything major, but I always wanted to get in some cardio at least a few times a week. I was fairly disciplined about it until I got pregnant again at 15 months after my son was born, with my daughter. I had gotten within five pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight.

When I got pregnant with my daughter my husband and I just started eating a paleo diet. Once I got pregnant and got my first morning sickness the paleo-no grain thing went completely down hill. I was back to pasta and bread because I really couldn't stomach anything else for the first couple of months. After that first 12 weeks of pregnancy I was able to go back to mostly paleo, though I did have my occasional hamburger with bun and milk shake from burgerville. Boy, was I living it up with the good paleo foods- bacon and eggs and my favorite non paleo cheats- milkshakes, burgers and fries. I still ate about 80% paleo. I gained about 50 pounds during my pregnancy with my daughter compared with the 35-40 I gained with my son. I did live it up because I knew once my daughter was born, my husband and I would go back to being strictly paleo. I knew it was the right way to eat, my son was thriving on our mostly paleo diet. He almost never got sick that winter I was pregnant and he almost never had those toddler melt downs people always talked about.

We knew we would give it a month postpartum, and then it was back to the grind. We said a month because the first two weeks my husband was off work and we just barely made it and people brought us food. Then the next two weeks my parents were there and although they made really awesome primal foods, we still cheat a little. My parents left and just like that we were going on a 30 day primal challenge. We made a deal never to go out to eat in those 30 days either.  We made it through and we've really kept it up, though we have gone out to eat a few times but managed to mostly avoid grains and gluten as much as we can.

I felt better than ever at 2 months postnpartum. I knew I had way more energy than I did when I was postpartum with my son. I was already having the energy to do some work outs and some walks. It was great, I knew it was because of my diet.

Just the other day, after 8 months of eating the way we do, I realized I never dwell on my body anymore. I'm still about 7-10 pounds to pre-pregnancy weight, the same as 9 months postpartum with my son. But my outlook is completely different. I know that I am no longer depressed about feeling 'fat' because my diet is giving me so many nutrients, nutrients that combat depression, read here for more about that. I don't get discouraged about things not fitting me, I just simply buy or wear something that does. I'm eating tons of iron, thanks to my freezer full of grassfed beef.  I'm taking probiotics that have dramatically improved my digestion and cod liver oil.  I don't eat grains and things that make my stomach hurt and make my body unhealthy.  Isn't it great that my diet has changed my self image?  It's not like I weigh less or look any better.  Like I said, I weigh the same as this time last time postpartum.  It all has to do with these better nutrients and cutting out foods that irritate my digestion-grains and sugar.  Grains and sugar rob my body of nutrients and they rob my body of feeling happy.  One of the best things about this way of eating is definitely my improved self image.  I know I'm not where I would like to be yet, but I'll get there and I'm not at all worried about it.


Janice said...

aw... how cute are you in this pic! you look very happy!

Cassie said...

Thanks :)

Lisa C said...

It's funny, I never imagined you being self-conscious about your body. Maybe because I didn't know you as well before.

I think it's really cool about your postpartum energy levels and self-image after eating a better diet.

I have so much hope for my next time around having a baby. I really don't think it will be as bad as it was. I'm curious how much better it will be.