Let me start by saying that I've never had any eating disorders (just a lot of allergies!) and my body has always had a super fast metabolism that just can't be tamed. Since I've been an adult, I've been a primarily healthy eater and ate fish, fruits, and vegetables regularly, as well as took my daily gummy multi-vitamin. I'm allergic to gluten and dairy and my body has always had issues if I eat too much meat. I'm a light eater with a sensitive stomach and I've always done better with smaller portion sizes throughout the day (or drawn-out multiple course meals) rather than three big meals. It's always been challenging but over the years, I've managed to figure out foods that work for me...and my brilliant chef husband always finds ways to slip me extra calories with loads of olive oil and other hidden ingredients in my dishes.
|June 2013 at 85 lbs|
|December 2013, with my hubby and sister while I was ill at 75 lbs|
|My hubby and I, at 75 lbs and healthy again, during Thanksgiving 2014|
In February, my husband and I found out we were going to being having our very first child! We were instantly over the moon with excitement. Within days, I began looking up online everything I needed to do and what to expect during my pregnancy. Unfortunately, my google searching led me to all the data I longed to avoid reading - the dangers of having a low BMI during pregnancy. The thing that all of these sites leave out is that a seriously low BMI with a body you take care of and is just naturally low is vastly different than a malnourished body. First I read that having a BMI as low as mine meant trouble conceiving because your body is apparently too unhealthy. This was definitely untrue in my case. Then the articles continued with information that scared me for months. Supposedly, my chances of miscarriage were enormous or at the very least, I was destined to have a micro-premie or premie baby.
During my morning sickness, I dropped to 72 lbs and panicked daily about how I was going to gain the necessary weight this pregnancy. After all, my weight was already so "dangerously low" and now I couldn't eat again. After the first trimester passed, I began getting plenty of food cravings and eating. Still, I eat in what I call "Justine size" portions. Other people might think it was a small amount of food for a pregnant lady but I felt pretty stuffed after my meals. Over time, I started to gain weight and as the months passed, I realized all of the problems I read I'd have, weren't actually happening. In fact, as my parents and husband love to say, I was a textbook pregnancy! Every symptom I had fell in line with exactly when it was supposed to happen according to the books! When I finally found a doctor after months of searching, I went into my first appointment at 80 lbs. I was again terrified that I'd go into the doctor's office and be belittled about my weight. To my surprise, she never mentioned a thing. I looked healthy, I felt healthy, and the baby was growing fine.
This weekend, at 38 weeks and 6 days (at my final weight of 92 lbs), I gave birth to a healthy 5 lbs 14 oz baby boy. I didn't gain 40 lbs as the pregnancy websites suggest for "underweight" women but I feel and felt fantastic (other than every normal pregnancy symptom in the book and now postpartum soreness!), my baby grew perfectly well, and I feel like I'm starting this new chapter of my life with an entirely new outlook on myself and my health. What you weigh is all relative and has no true representation of how healthy your body is. How you take care of your body is what matters and don't let anyone tell you different. The key to health isn't the number on the scale, it's having a healthy mindset and taking care of yourself.
|Baby Belly at 34.5 weeks, and 90 lbs!|