So, I had a baby! He’s now nine months old and not so much a baby as a little person.
During pregnancy, I found paleo difficult to stick to, mostly because my body was making different demands on me. It wanted salty carbs, not protein and anything else made me feel very sick (as is to be expected with pregnancy!). I did my best to stick to healthy protein and eat lots of veg, but bags of crisps were sometimes the only thing my body wanted and I gave in. Overall, I still ate well and I still don’t eat gluten, as I have such an extreme reaction to it, there was no way I was doing that!
And then, along came our son and eating well went out of the window. He fed non stop, cried non stop and wasn’t much for sleeping and because I was breastfeeding, I needed lots of energy. My husband would make me bacon and eggs every morning, but quick snack food became more and more of my go-to food. I started eating a lot of gluten free toast and cheese!
Then it transpired that our son had a bad case of silent reflux, most likely caused by an allergy to cows’ milk, so I had to remove dairy from my diet, too. I was struggling to eat anything during the day, but still breastfeeding. It was exhausting. I just ate whatever I could grab that wouldn’t make me or my son ill.
Nine months on from his arrival, things have settled down a bit. It’s still incredibly tough to find the time to eat well, but now there’s a real reason to do it. During pregnancy, I had bad SPD, which is where the ligaments in your body become overly stretchy and your pelvis becomes unstable and separated. For me, it was caused by the fact that I have hypermobile joints, so my ligaments were already stretchy and became incredibly unstable during pregnancy. Since then, the symptoms have continued. I’ve also begun to have more of the issues I had pre-paleo: joint pain and lethargy being the most prominent. In the last few weeks, my hands have become incredibly painful and swollen, to the point where driving is difficult and it’s keeping me awake at night. I’m currently being investigated for autoimmune issues and having blood tests to rule out rheumatoid arthritis and should be getting a referral to a rheumatologist, but that will take a long time and the physio appointment my GP booked for me will take two months.
I’m pretty sure that going paleo again will help with all of this, but it won’t be easy. The motivation to cook fresh food is hard to find when you’re up at 5.30 and have a non-stop toddler to chase all day long. But I have to do it, to feel better. If I don’t, my body will continue to feel like that of an eighty year old and more than anything I want to be able to run, jump and climb with my son, not be sitting in the corner wincing in pain when my hips give way or my hands won’t grip.
So this morning, I went for a classic omelette for breakfast, with mushroom, tomato, bacon and spinach. I think I’ll have a salmon salad for lunch and I can hopefully feed my son the same. I will join a gym again and go once a week, to get back to functional strength training and build my joints back up, slowly but surely. I’m writing this post to hold myself accountable, to draw a line in the sand. It will be hard, but it will be worth it.
At some point, I’ll post pictures of my current post-baby body and I’ll post some progress pictures. I like to see how I’m doing and I’m not ashamed of my body, whatever state it’s in. I think it’s done an amazing thing, making a baby and all, and I’m hoping to make sure it can keep being amazing.
Keep tuned in for updates!