I’m making progress on developing a rosetta stone of reading bodily signals while pregnant, or at least for the first trimester. For those of you who haven’t been through it yourself, I must warn you that it makes no darned sense. In particular, if you’ve become adept at reading your bodily signals as an athlete, that language doesn’t translate. Athlete bodily signals are like a romance language. Pregnancy signals are like Greek, or more accurately, ambiguous ancient cuneiform script. Suffice it to say that if you want to get a hold of what’s going on within you, you’ll need to learn completely new language skills.
The most prominent difference has to do with hunger. I don’t ever really feel hungry any more. At least, not that oh-so-familiar sensation of an empty stomach clamoring for fuel that I know as an athlete. Instead, I’ve learned that hunger presents itself as– wait for it– nausea. Yes, nausea as in feeling pukey sick in the tummy. I told you it makes no darned sense. Nausea, in most sane beings, generally translates to mean “don’t eat unless you want to risk making yourself feel worse.” As a pregnant person, if you make the mistake of ignoring this hunger-cleverly-disguised-as-nausea, or somehow misinterpret it to mean that you shouldn’t eat (why ever would I do that?), it becomes all the more potent. The nausea part, that is. So if I feel queasy, that means I eat. But not greasy foods, oh no. Definitely not peanut butter. I tend to like fresh vegetables. Even better without any kind of dressing. Plain fresh vegetables. Cucumbers are particularly awesome in a bland, refreshing way. But fresh veggies only fleetingly quell the nausea pangs, so what’s a preggy girl to do? Well, I figured out another un-intuitive realization. You know all that avoiding of overly sweet and sugary things I used to do when being an athlete, particularly during the day to avoid subsequent energy crashes and unecessary water retention? Apparently, these same sweet and sugary things make me feel better when I feel queasy. So much so that I even feel like I have some energy when I exercise after I eat normally excessive amounts of simple sugars. Go figure.
So those are the biggest lessons so far, but I’ve got a long way to go in figuring this stuff out. It’s super confusing and rarely makes logical sense. You know how you really have to stay on top of your nutrition when you’re training big volume? It takes a lot of attention and advance preparation, right? Getting the right balance of nutrients at the right times and not too much nor too little at the right or wrong times of the day depending on what you have on the training menu that day, or week, or what have you. Well, that’s all easy in comparison to pregnancy nutrition. I can’t go anywhere not armed with emergency snacks and not risk becoming a pukey head. What an adventure.