I usually take the sudden focus on health that happens this time of year with a grain of salt, so to speak. Every magazine seems to boast easy veggie recipes to help you achieve your goals for the new year and the morning tv shows are punctuated with exercise tips to keep you on track. Then, just as quickly as it came, this whirlwind of healthy intentions disappears, replaced by chocolate, decadence and heart-shaped pastries. By Valentine’s the healthier living resolutions have been all but abandoned by media and, I’d hazard to guess, most of the people who made them too.
This year I feel a bit differently. I haven’t made any silly resolutions to cut refined sugars out of my life(if only I could be so strong!) or anything like that, but I do have to watch what I eat right now and I have some good reasons why.
Early one morning last spring I woke up with what felt like bad gas pain and a few hours later was in the emergency room with vomiting and severe abdominal pain. Turns out that I had gall stones and the surgeon would have trucked me off to have my gallbladder removed immediately if I hadn’t been five weeks pregnant at the time. Instead, I spent two days hooked up to an IV in a hospital room. I did not want to revisit that experience, so I made some changes and after a few months of very careful eating I spent the rest of my pregnancy with absolutely zero pain.
It’s now been two weeks since I gave birth and from what I understand gallbladder problems can be exacerbated by hormonal changes after pregnancy and rapid weight loss. Combine this knowledge with the facts that I’m breastfeeding and would like to get to and maintain a healthy body weight after this pregnancy and you can see why I’m welcoming all the healthy habit advice and easy veggie recipes I can get this month. I need to be extra attentive to what I fuel myself with right now. Period. Or I might end up having surgery and I certainly don’t need that.
I’m not making any hard and fast resolutions–I’m just going to think before I eat. I’m going to think about the nutritional value, the amounts of fat, sugar and sodium, portion sizes and what time of day I’m eating. I’m going to keep myself hydrated too, since the gallbladder attacks I’ve had seem to be triggered by dehydration and I need plenty of water to adequately produce breast milk. I’m not going to deny myself decadent things or eat “diet” foods. I’m going to pay attention to my body and give it what it needs.