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ReLearning to Eat

From Nov 7th 2011 until very recently, I’ve been eating for three {or 14 weeks for four}. At first, that meant pouring through mom of multiples books for sample eating charts, foods recommendations & recipes to try to reach the goal of 3000 {then 2700} calories a day. I was told to add all the protein & fat I could because I was growing multiple babies {who’d most likely be preemies} & needed all they could get before they arrived. I switched to higher fat milk & subbed extra real butter on everything. Gone were any low calorie yogurt, cheese, cream cheese, breads, crackers, etc.

Then Z & L were born & my hard work eating all.the.things paid off as they were huge in comparison to their other NICU residents.

And boom. I was told by NICU LCs & MoM breastfeeding books to up my calories & fat again after L & Z were born to keep up my milk supply. So I was once again eating everything I could plus sticking with my ice cream before bed routine. In about 9 months after they were born, I’d lost the 50 lbs I’d gained pregnant plus 20-25 more. I was wearing clothes I hadn’t dreamed I’d ever fit into again while eating whatever I wanted {pretty cool, right?! Breastfeeding FTW}.

Then even when L & Z started eating solids as their main nutritional source & we started cutting nursing sessions, I kept up my big breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner & dessert routine. It’s what I knew & what my stomach was telling me I was hungry for. I was busy & tired & usually somewhat overwhelmed by life & just doing what I could.

Cue 19 months post-partum. Today. I’m still nursing L before bed & Z during 1-2 dream feeds a night. Yes my 19, almost 20, month old son doesn’t STTN {& nor do I} but that’s a whole other post. I’m still trying to drink a lot of water {although thankfully not the 100 oz I was doing while pregnant & EBFing} & maintain calories of hopefully healthy food to pass through in my milk. But honestly, my eating is kinda of a joke some days. My constant {especially strong post-nursing} sweet tooth & the holidays didn’t help.

I’ve gained back 15-20 of those pounds I’d lost. My post-multiples lower belly is a mess of chub & stretch marks & my boobs will never be where they once were. I do have kick ass arm muscles for someone my size thanks to carrying 50+ lbs of toddlers multiple times a day though. Multi-mom bonus!

I’m okay with my body shifting. Hello, I grew babIES! And at some point, I’ll find time from somewhere to work out & see about tightening up those stomach muscles. But my priority now is relearning how to eat. This might sound crazy, to some, but it’s been 26 months since I was eating for just me & I’ve kinda forgotten normal portions!

It doesn’t help that I’m on my own with getting all three of us up & out the door in the mornings. My prior life breakfast routine of leisurely eating cereal isn’t an option as I’d have L & Z going after my spoon or food while I run around the house. This past weekend, we hit up Trader Joe’s for some quick & healthy week night meals {L & Z like to eat by 6p which makes recipes with a lot of effort or cooking time a non-option} as well as their organic milk & yogurt & breakfast items for me. So I’m going to admit that instead of my usual two bagels with cream cheese when I get to work at 830, yesterday am, I ate a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese at home. While I peed. & L & Z dumped out their sock drawer. Because that’s the 5 2 mins I had to eat.

I bring my lunch to work most days & have started to pack less. And I’m cutting out my mid-afternoon snack since we usually eat dinner early.

Dinner is tough because, like I said above, it has to be made quick & I still want high calorie foods to bulk up L & especially Z. I’m not a short order cook & I want us all eating the same thing.

And I’m not ready to give up my beloved dessert forever but have cut it out some nights this week. I’m motivated. But not that motivated. 😛

So, long long long story short, I’d love to hear how, post-baby{s}, you got back to normal or the new normal.

6 comments

  1. Amy says:

    I’m in the same boat right now. I’m winding down pumping for the girls, so my insane calorie requirements are dropping too. Tracking my food/calories in My Fitness Pal has helped me. I forgot what a normal serving size looked like, so this helps me keep things under control. I wait until I get to work to eat breakfast, so I can eat in peace. It also allows me to pick healthier options like oatmeal because I have time to prepare it without needy babies around. For dinner, I’ve been using weekends to do food prep for the week. I prepare several meals on Saturday or Sunday and we pretty much eat leftovers every night of the week. There’s just no time to cook once we get home from work.

  2. Caitlin says:

    Crock pot dinners are great for making something healthy that is ready as soon as you get home from work & day care. I prep mine the night before, and just have to take the crock from the fridge to the pot in the morning, turn it on, and walk away. I can prep after bedtime, so I’m not wasting those precious evening hours while the kids are awake!

  3. Jessie says:

    I’m trying to lose my last 5 lbs (plus 10 more) after having my daughter. Dinner is also hard for me because I’m not making two meals but I know my 3.5 yr old won’t eat the fish and veggies I should be eating. I try to eat really well all day knowing that my high calorie meal will be dinner. I know it’s backwards from what you’re “supposed” to do but diet experts don’t have toddlers to feed. Good luck!

  4. Sarah B says:

    I’ve already been thinking about this for me…I’m enjoying the extra calories while I still can – but I know that lessening my portions is in my future. I’m hoping to nurse Benjamin as long as he wants to (and my milk supply keeps up), but I’m cognizant that my “buffet” days are limited 🙂

    It sounds like you’re making some smart, healthy decisions…good for you! Good luck!!

  5. Harmskills says:

    I was pregnant and/or bf for 4 years!!!! When I was done bf my second I felt like I needed to reset. I did a two week sugar free diet- no white foods, no added sugar. Fruit veg ok brown rice Ezekiel bread. Helped me get back on track. First two days hard but then it wasn’t bad at all I actually ended up doing it for three weeks.

  6. Me in the same situation. I try to eat earlier and less in the evening, but every time when I finish preparing meals for the whole family, it is already quite late. And sometimes it is also quite difficult to control the amount of food (sometimes kids eat more, sometimes less). I’m still trying to figure out what I can do for this.

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