1/14/11 - Pregnancy and Weight Gain

I am struggling right now with the idea that I will be - am actually - gaining weight.  I need to count my calories in order to stay on track.  As soon as I stop tracking, I overeat.  I fail.  Some people say that after a few weeks or months of tracking calories they no longer need to track because they know what they can and can not eat and manage quite well.

That is not me.  I need to see the numbers in front of face, each and every day.  I need to know where I stand on my "percent daily recommended values" and I need to plan for what I'm allowed to eat for the rest of the day based on those numbers.  I need to physically type my food into a computer to keep me accountable.  Otherwise, I won't think twice about having a second rice cake or popping a piece of candy into my mouth.  If I don't weigh my food I'll just dump as much as my eyes want on the plate and let that be that.  In those cases, it's almost always more than 2 servings.

I know that pregnant women are supposed to gain weight.  But my doctor highly recommends that I control my weight gain and I couldn't agree more.  Add on top of that the fact that I didn't have any morning sickness - vomiting in those early weeks usually causes women to lose weight instead of gaining, and since I'm not throwing up any calories, my body is already storing them away.  So far, I've gained about 2 pounds, which fluctuates from day to day, so it might just be water weight, but either way, I'm already uncomfortable with it.  I'm only at 8 and 1/2 weeks.  I have a loooooong way to go, which means the potential to gain a loooot of weight.

I am also supposed to increase my normal caloric intake by about 300 calories per day.  Since I usually shoot for 1200 net, that means normal for me is 1500 a day (since the 1200 net is when I'm trying to lose weight, which I'm no longer supposed to try to do.)  So add 300 to that and it's 1800 calories per day.  Sounds like a lot, right?  But I always eat more than I'm supposed to, and that used to be ok because I'd negate it with exercise.  Add to that the fact that eating just makes me feel better, and we're got trouble on the food front. 

The other challenge is exercise.  I am not supposed to allow my heart rate to go above 140 beats per minute.  When I do my usual routine on the treadmill, my HR is well above 170, far to high for me to feel comfortable with that given the warnings.  In fact, I can't even jog without my heart rate above 140, so I either need to jog and be ok with less calorie burn and a HR of 150 or so BPM.  OR, I need to switch exclusively to walking (which feels like SUCH a waste of time) in order to keep my HR below 140 BPM. 

This already is, and will obviously continue to be, my greatest struggle.  Balancing what is right for the baby with what feels right to me.  Too bad balance has never been my strong suit.


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