A couple of weeks ago I was checking out of the grocery store with my gaggle of kids behind me. That's when the checker started making some comments on a few of the purchases I was making. For one, I always hate when checkers make comments because I am usually known for having random things in my basket so I get embarrassed quick. Just check me out, don't analyze me. Normally I shop at multiple stores like Trader's, Costco and our local Safeway to get all of our food stuff so, the purchases don't always go together.
Speaking of which, let me digress for one moment. One time, many years ago, I was getting ready for Steve's graduation party from Cal Poly and I was making a bunch of Greek food. The phyllo dough I was making called for Vodka. We were also out of light ice cream (emergency!!) so I went to the store and picked up those things and a few weight watchers dinners. The cheapest Vodka just happened to be in the biggest bottle so it looked really funny. At the time, I also didn't look a day over fifteen so, I got carded and the once-over for my strange set of items. With eye-brows lifted the checker said, "Looks like you're in for a fun night!" I did live in a college town at the time so I don't totally blame him. But I didn't think they were all that random but, hey at least I was 21 at the time and legal.
This time I was buying a bunch of the usual- produce, some crackers, beans, etc...and I had also thrown about five or six weight watchers dinners into the cart (there they are again!!). I actually don't normally buy those. That's the truth!! I used to buy them when we were first married to have on hand when Steve was going to be gone for dinner and I wanted an easy grab but it truthfully has been years since I've purchased them. That's mostly because they're expensive and I cook, every single night now.
But right at the beginning of this pregnancy the nausea set in and it set in quick. My stomach didn't feel right for weeks and often it was a chore to choke down some food. I felt this way all the way up until the end of my first trimester. I didn't want ice cream (SHOCK), I didn't want salad (what I eat nearly every day for lunch) and I didn't want any of the other sort of normal comfort foods that I usually love and eat all the time.
However, I discovered one thing that I could stomach and that one thing was-weight watchers dinners. I saw them at the store and was transported back to our early years to when I ate them occasionally. Amidst my stomach churning and me loathing every food item I came in contact with at the store, I thought, "That actually sounds good to me" so I ran with the feeling and ignored the fact that I was eating diet food while pregnant. At least it was food and I wasn't going hungry!! Steve gave me a bit of a sidelong glance when he discovered them in the freezer but I just told him that they were the only thing I could eat so he shrugged and said, "Well buy them then." Anyhow, I started stockpiling them and eating them for lunch when I felt the most queasy. At dinner, I was either feeling well enough to eat some of what I cooked, or I just didn't eat much at all. For weeks this is how I made it through thanks to the simple weight watchers dinner.
But I was also quite ashamed of this little habit I had picked up because it was oh so strange. I'm not usually given to pregnancy cravings but this one was not a normal one at all. Who craves weight watchers fettuccine alfredo? On a few different occasions I would have Steve pick them up for me after studying so that I would be spared the embarrassment of getting them regularly from our local Safeway. What a trooper that man is.
On this particular day, I had bought five or six thinking that would get me to the next week. Plus they were on sale-score! That's when the checker picked one of them up and said, "Oohhh I like that one. It's quite tasty! And not too many calories either!" I melted through the floor. I was hoping she wouldn't notice but lo and behold, she had spoken the words and I knew my secret was out. I felt I needed to explain.
So I blurted the whole thing out to the checker and all of those listening in line. I said, "You see, I'm pregnant with my 5th (to which they all stared at my flat tummy with disbelief-not realizing that I'm not really showing yet at this point), and I really can't think about eating anything but these weight watchers dinners. I know it sounds crazy but, anything else makes me literally want to vomit. So instead of fighting the urge, I've just given in and I eat them every day for lunch. Yes, it's expensive. Yes, it's diet food. But if I can't eat these, then I can't eat. That's just the plain truth."
She just stared blankly at me and then the guy behind me, who was a middle-aged man, just busted up laughing and he didn't stop until I had paid, loaded everyone up and left the store (which equals a lot of time). I think my confession, my mountain of kids (plus the promise of another) and the whole situation just about did him in. But you know what, I was laughing too. All of us were because it just sounded so ludicrous and I knew it. Why oh why??? I will never know.
Now that I'm almost 16 weeks, I've been able to move past them but not without a fight. I still want to buy them, but have to remind myself to show some restraint which means I might pick up one or two here and there!! I can eat regular food now and have mostly fallen back into my old routine of foods (although I still don't really want my ice cream-double SHOCK!).
I'm not quite sure what that craving says about this baby but, I guess it could be worse. For now, if it means I still eat a Santa Fe Rice and Beans once and a while, I guess that's all right. I have a feeling, this craving might be around for the long haul.
CJ Mahaney’s Christmas Book List 2017
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