Meet Andrea H., one of our amazing mamas in HMHB. She and her husband are currently expecting their first baby in April. Andrea participated in the #JanuaryWhole30 and experienced amazing non-scale victories. Today we are sharing her #MyHealthyHappyPregnancy story in her own words.
Finding Healthy Mama, Happy Baby…
I found Whole30 Healthy Mama, Happy Baby by Googling: “How to eat for a healthy pregnancy, Paleo.” I was drawn to HMHB because it was created by moms, and the VIP membership has a private Facebook group. I adopted a Paleo lifestyle a few years back, but never did a Whole30 (because wine). When I got pregnant and wasn’t going to drink wine for a while I thought, “Why not?” This lead me to the Whole30 and landed me at HMHB.
I have a history of binge eating and turning to sugar for any reason … or no reason at all. I’m from Texas, so growing up all veggie dishes had sugar, cheese, or gravy on them. Chips and dip were a daily snack. Because of my upbringing, I’ve had to work really hard to successfully lose weight over the past few years. I did this by changing my mindset on vegetables and what really is “healthy.” Unfortunately, when I got pregnant and felt really sick during my first trimester, I just said, “Forget it, I’m eating what I want in that first trimester.”
Then the holidays came, and that felt like a good excuse to indulge. After that, it became uncontrollable like it was a few years back. This pregnancy has been really exciting, but from Halloween to New Year’s I experienced massive swelling in my hands and feet. I was addicted to sugar after months of indulging.
One night when I was six months pregnant, I was bingeing on Reese’s peanut butter cups, feeling really shameful, and Googling. I hadn’t been feeling great, and had a feeling that food was most likely the culprit. I’m happy to report that within the first few days of my Whole30, my insane swelling totally went away and hasn’t come back.
… and Finding My Food Freedom
The HMHB program supports me in my focus on health, empowers me to make good choices, and surrounds me with like-minded women. Whole30 gives me the framework and tools to make healthy decisions that I will carry for life, and Melissa Hartwig’s book Food Freedom Forever has been my companion while doing this. It reminds me why I’m doing a Whole30 while pregnant, and is helping me to let go of the shame and guilt around food.
I’m still figuring out what food freedom will look like for me. The Whole30 has taught me what my meals need to look like to feel my best. And if I don’t feel my best, I can easily look at what I’ve eaten recently to figure out what I should do differently to change the outcome. The way that the HMHB materials describe a healthy balance of protein, carbs and fat is a tremendous resource that’s helped me understand my body and what it needs. The real test will be once I finish my Whole30 and am faced with special events with treats. I’m excited to be able make decisions about what’s worth it in the future. I look forward to not letting my sugar dragon win any more battles.
My favorite part of the HMHB program is the private Facebook community. Being able to cheer others on, support all the other amazing women, and ask questions that would be seen as TMI any other place. My advice for other mamas (even though I’m barely one myself!) is this: Don’t stay quiet. If you’re struggling, say something. Don’t bottle it up. You will be met with a swarm of support and ideas for how to remedy whatever it is that you’re going through.
HMHB is a safe and warm place and, thanks to Steph Greunke (Whole30 HMHB co-creator), a place for knowledge and troubleshooting. HMHB is real, the women are real, and they talk about their struggles as much as their triumphs. I love that each of us feels safe to do that without judgment or fear. I know this will help me to not carry shame and guilt with me through motherhood.