Face-down in a Pan of Brownies

February 6, 2017

There I was in the pantry for the umpteenth time that afternoon, scanning the shelves as if something delicious that wasn’t there five minutes ago would magically appear. I surveyed the contents again. Nope, nothing delectable. Nothing remotely worthy of a snack attack or sugar craving (the kind that had suddenly taken over my body day in and day out starting at three weeks postpartum).

That’s when my eye landed on the baking supplies on the bottom shelf: Cocoa powder, assorted flours, baking soda, baking powder, sugars, etc. The cogs in my brain started turning … I think I have all the ingredients to make a pan of brownies. Google conspired to help me find the perfect recipe, and I got to work in the kitchen while the baby slept. One pan of gooey brownies coming right up.

As a new breastfeeding mom, it would have been convenient if I simply wanted to eat more to satisfy my calorie needs … a larger portion of veggies, extra protein, a few extra crackers or a second helping of dinner. But no. My stomach wanted none of that. It wanted carbs only. Not the good kind. The kind that come in a box or that involve sugar and chocolate. Period.

The truth is, I didn’t even let the brownies cool completely. I proceeded to eat the whole pan. Then, of course, started to feel incredibly bad. After all, what we want in the moment is rarely what we really want most. Especially since I had made such positive progress in my post-baby body transformation and had just shared my latest update.

While I thought the brownies would help get my cravings out of my system, it was only the beginning. I’ve eaten more candy than I care to admit, and there have been a few days where I’m pretty sure processed carbohydrates were the only food group I consumed.

There was only one logical thing to do. Fall, get back up.

Fall seven times, stand up eight.
I love this quote on one of my Sourcebooks 101 Instant Happy Notes that was in my January POPSUGAR #MustHaveBox this month. I stuck it on my computer while I was thinking about getting back on track to remind me that what is done is done. What matters is what we do about it moving forward. Definitely check out the monthly POPSUGAR Must Have Box … it’s one of my favs and you can get $5 off your first box using code SHOP5. The POPSUGAR team has sent me one as a gift the past nine months. I look forward to the surprises each month.

Yesterday, I was feeling deeply disappointed in myself and my choices. Disappointed because the food I put in my body is also fueling Baby rUnladylike. Disappointed because I have some big goals and eating like a crazy person isn’t part of the plan to get there. Disappointed because I lost my willpower somewhere between all those brownies and last night’s Super Bowl. It is time to reclaim it.

Today is a new day. No time like the present.

So, this morning I woke up, I put my Garmin fitness tracker back on my wrist to help encourage my movement. I linked MyFitnessPal account to it and started refocusing on healthy, balanced eating. I planned my workout for the day (my first since having my baby!). I sat down and started working on my base-building running plan that will start in a week or two. I made a commitment to myself that I had to get back on track. I declared it to my husband, and then, because there is nothing like a good confession to whip one back into shape, I decided to share it on the Internet. I’m also out of cocoa powder, so there’s that going for me, too.

Postpartum truths on runladylike.com
Planning to make good choices …

I share this rather embarrassing confession with you because we all have weak moments. We all make bad choices. Life is about moderation, but every once and a while moderation disappears. We can wallow in it and dig our hole even deeper, or we can realize there is a rope hanging from the edge and choose to climb out of the hole and start working our way back up the mountain.

I’ve got the rope and I’m starting to climb out. See you on solid ground again soon.

When you have major food cravings that won’t go away, what satisfies them? For any breastfeeding moms out there or those who have breastfed their babies and found themselves ravenous, what satisfied your cravings since we have to eat more calories?

Comments

Audrey
Reply

Hi Jesica! SO happy for your new bundle of joy! She’s precious!! As a fellow new mom & runner, I’m loving your baby related posts! Don’t get down on yourself! Your sweet girl is helping you burn lots of calories! Chocolate and homemade “healthy” nachos are still my cravings and were during pregnancy, but I tried to really remind myself that I was fueling a baby and I wanted him to taste the good stuff. This reminder helped reign me in a lot and still does. Your weight will continue to drop quickly…just go for lots of long walks and try not to eat the ENTIRE batch of brownies next time! hehehe. In the earlier pp days I made no bake lactation cookies that helped the sugar edge and helped my milk supply – win win! After about a month or two after baby, my body naturally began to eat the same as normal but I would add an extra banana w/ some pb or ab or pb pretzel bites or cheese n crackers. Nursing did make me hungrier in the mornings so I normally eat a smoothie bowl: homemade granola, greek yogurt, fresh fruit, and a smoothie OR mashed banana, 1/3 C oats & milk, sprinkle cinnamon, and fresh/frozen fruit heated in microwave then add pb/ab and greek yogurt. I also try to add flax to those items (or even bread w/ PB) to help milk production!) You look great already so you won’t have trouble getting back to where your goals!

Audrey
Reply

OH yes i also make healthier muffins or my own variation of these: http://www.pbfingers.com/customizable-egg-muffins/ to have on hand! i also keep apples cut up in the fridge so I will choose those instead of cheese its or cookies when a craving hits!

Whitney
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THANK you for sharing! I know the feeling AND I have the same book of instant Happy Notes. They are always a great pick me up and I love sharing them with coworkers and family too.

Noelle
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“I’m also out of cocoa powder, so there’s that going for me, too.” This cracked me up! Thanks for being so real about this! It’s refreshing. I am not a mom but am working my way out of a food and exercise rut and am glad I am not the only one who has hit a few bumps! Also, congratulations on the beautiful new addition to your family! What a blessing!

Jeanie
Reply

When I was nursing I used to get all out cravings like that and sometimes give in and binge in whatever was around. Then I’d feel awful. This sounds so weird, but you know what would stop it in its tracks? A pickle or 2. Few things taste great after a pickle, and they’re pretty low cal. If you can afford the sodium, give it a try!

Allie
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You are hilarious!!! If this is the worst of it, you will get off easy 🙂 I totally get it and the feelings that come with a good binge, but really, in the grand scheme of things it’s no biggie. I do love that you’re sharing because I’m sure every single mom (and non-moms) can relate to sugar cravings and “falling off the fitness wagon.” Pick yourself up and off you GO! xoxo

Kristina Murphy
Reply

Sometimes you just gotta give in to the craving. Maybe just a brownie instead of a pan of em next time, but yeah 😉 I used to think “runger” was bad!!

Amanda N
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It’s okay, you’re human and your body is still not back to normal. Obviously, you can’t eat a pan of brownies everyday though 😉 I made healthy (ish) snacks on big batches to put in freezer and would pull out a couple a day (bars, muffins, balls,etc). Also kept lots of cut up veggies and fruit for easy snacking. I find sometimes a flavored, sugary, or sweet drink will help with cravings (nuun, hot cocoa, herbal fruit tea). Also, things like vegan avocado brownies…. At least you can feel okay eating them 😉

Kristen L
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I thought the nursing mother hunger and cravings were way worse than the pregnancy cravings! Good for you to get back into focus on your eating habits, but there’s also nothing wrong with having a few brownies every once in a while. I bought some seasoned nuts from Costco and snacked on those quite a bit. Plus, but favorite snack has become peanut butter and chocolate chip sandwiches…. started during pregnancy and now I just cant stop. 🙂

Natalie
Reply

Friend!! Have you heard me talk about my stinkin cravings for semi sweet chocolate chips?! How I couldn’t stop eating them this summer during my injury? The struggle is REAL, but we are human and it’s totally normal. TOTALLY. Nursing takes so much energy and calories and work – you are feeding another human! This just means that Bella is going to love chocolate – a girl after my own heart. xoxox

Ash Diamond
Reply

Oh girl I love this post so much. I agree with you – even during pregnancy I’m trying to eat so well but at least once a week find myself craving and then eating something so foreign to me as it’s not something I normally eat. I’m LOVING every post you share and am thankful for your honesty. Also, care to share that brownie recipe? 🙂

rUnladylike
Reply

Hi Ashley! Sadly the brownies were just the tipping point, but I got back on track yesterday and am already feeling a bit better 🙂 Glad you’ve been enjoying my posts. It is so fun to follow your journey too! Here’s the recipe for the brownies I made. They were so delicious: http://www.food.com/recipe/the-best-brownies-54225.

Heather
Reply

Awh, don’t beat yourself up. Breastfeeding + no sleep + recovery = need for food. I ate so much junk when my kids were newborns but I walked a lot and then worked out 5/6 times a week once I got cleared. I just chalked it up to the “season of life.” I was thinner when I was breastfeeding than any other time in my life besides high school … so it is true that it takes a lot of energy to feed them! I would make a smoothie with a ton of spinach and as much healthy stuff as I could cram in it once a day and called it “even” on the brownie consumption. All your little girl really needs is you. She’ll be fine with some brownies. 🙂 Enjoy this fleeting and hazy newborn/infant phase. Eat the brownies. Run when you feel like it. You’ll be you again before you can blink… even if it feels so far away now.

Laura @ This Runner's Recipes
Reply

Jesica, I love how real and relatable you are! I polished off half a bag of chips with salsa during the super bowl the other night..and I’m not pregnant or breastfeeding. Binges happen and are so minor in the grand scheme – the best way to go is onwards and upwards! Sometimes they are even the extra motivation we need to really focus in. I hope you and sweet baby Bella are doing well! xoxo

Gabrielle from Austria
Reply

Dear Jesica!
I know.
I’ve been there, too. A piece of advice?
Don’t be too strict on yourself, don’t eat too healthy, don’t rush that getting-back-in-shape-after-baby-thing.
A strong craving is a sign that your body was missing something, either physically or mentally. Like hitting the wall.
Fuel. Enjoy some goodies. Relax.
Good luck!

MG
Reply

I liked to make lactation cookies when craving sweets – I didn’t worry about my eating during those first few months anyway, but they were extra guilt-free since they (allegedly) were helping boost milk production.

Mary
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This is me! I am 6 weeks postpartum and am blown away by how hungry breastfeeding has made me. Hungrier than during pregnancy, training for triathlons, and marathon training. Definitely had my share of sweets/baked goods during this time; didn’t help that friends kept bringing the stuff over. But after a month, my body had too much and I am feeling the need to indulge less. I figured that I should just give in and enjoy this time! Best wishes for you and your sweet girl 🙂

rUnladylike
Reply

Congrats on your sweet baby Mary! I hope things are going well and that you are both doing great. I’m right with you on the hunger. Breastfeeding has left me hungrier than I’ve ever been. Sadly, I’ve continued to make some pretty poor food choices, but I’m hoping that now that I’m starting to exercise again, that will help me make better nutrition choices. Day by day. xoxo

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