Thursday 21 November 2019

Yvonne Hogan: 'When I discovered I was pregnant, I was afraid I'd get fat again'

Yvonne Hogan. Photo: Collins
Yvonne Hogan. Photo: Collins
Yvonne Hogan. Photo: Collins

Yvonne Hogan

I hate to admit it, but one of the first thoughts that came into my head after discovering I was pregnant was that I was going to get fat again.

I banished it, chastising myself harshly for being so narcissistic and selfish, but it kept creeping back to the forefront of my brain.

You see, three years ago I spent six months of my life losing three stone. I went to a hardcore gym that specialised in fat loss -- Be Fit For Life -- and I focused like a laser beam, changing my diet, my thinking, my whole lifestyle.

For those six months, nothing came before that goal, and achieving it changed everything in my life for the better.

Three years on, and I have kept up with my lifestyle changes and haven't gained a pound back.

I love being thin -- I love not having to worry about what to wear and I love being healthy.

I love the feeling I get from the endorphins after exercise and I love being able to cram so much into my day because I am fit. I just love it.

So I vowed that for me, pregnancy would change nothing in this regard. I would keep going to the gym at least four times a week, I would stick to my high- protein, no grains, carbs-only-at-the-weekend diet religiously -- but sure I was only fooling myself.

Even when Damien Maher -- the very guy who told me what to eat and trained me from fat to thin -- told me I needed to eat carbs twice a day, I just didn't want to listen.

It went so against what I had been doing for the past three years that my brain couldn't compute it.

Everything was fine for the first couple of weeks of the pregnancy, but at around week eight or nine, I started to feel dizzy and weak a lot.

I would be happily going about my business at work, the supermarket or whatever, and then, out of nowhere, I would start to see stars and have to sit down.

Next step would be to frantically find and wolf down a flapjack, or some other sugary crap, and I would be able to go about my business again.

This isn't healthy, I thought to myself, and it can't be good for the baby. So I finally came around to the realisation that I needed more carbs in my diet.

And as soon as I started eating them, I felt physically better.

But psychologically I was terrified. I was terrified that eating bread or porridge would unlock the Pandora's box that held all my gluttony and other weaknesses and I would go back to my old unhealthy ways.

And I'm not alone. Psychologically, pregnancy is hard for people who have been fat. I know at least two other women in roughly the same position as me who feel the same way. Google 'low-carb diet and pregnancy' and you will get more than three million hits.

I'm over my carb-phobia now, and am getting quite used to eating them regularly. And have I gotten fat? Well, according to the official weight-gain guidelines for pregnant women, I have. But that's a whole 'nother column.

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