How to gain 15 pounds in 2 months (and other good news)

Good news!

I’m feeling better.

Much better. Still nauseated. But a different sort of nausea. One I can live with. I can cook, clean. I’ve been able to return to my prior domestic bliss. I’m no longer this half-living blob of flesh that just lies around, whose only purpose in life is to breathe, eat, and sleep.

And since I’m feeling so much better, I’ve kicked my Unisom habit (which btw, I believe I did experience a few mild withdrawal headaches for two days after going off it, which leads me to further believe that yes, it IS a drug). As well as my refined carb/processed/crappy food habit. I know, good news, isn’t it? Oh, and did I mention I also no longer need to drink 32-64 oz. of diet Pepsi to get me through the day?

Life is good.

One of the backlashes of all this, is now I really feel like a pregnant person. For a number of reasons.

1) It’s 3:30 in the morning as I write this. Why am up at this crazy hour, you say. It’s funny, now that I no longer enjoy long, drug induced (thanks Unisom), deep slumbers, I’m experiencing the natural rhythm of the sleep cycle during pregnancy. Which for me at least, is completely unpredictable. I’m sleeping like a newborn. No longer than 5 hours of sleep at a time. Either I have to go the bathroom (at least 2 times during the night, already!) and/or I can’t sleep.

I don’t know exactly what it is, but now I feel this surge of energy, one that has carried me to doing all sorts of experiments in the kitchen as well as clean sweeps of my house. Don’t get me wrong. I still get tired. Like yesterday. I didn’t sit down all day except to read my kids books. Between the cleaning and the cooking, the playing/supervising/mitigating of the children, I didn’t lay down on my couch until after dinner. When I did, my body was exhausted, but I was still wired. I wasn’t quite ready for sleep, surprisingly, because I hadn’t taken a nap.

2) I know this going to sound weird, but my bones/muscles ache in a way that feels like the baby is taking everything from me. I feel like an Animorph in slow motion–these pains are just the by-product of this slow transformation. I call it pregnancy growing pains, and they just started to kick in. I usually feel these at night, just before I go to bed, and my husband, lucky guy, gets to hear all about it. These aren’t unusual to my pregnancies. I’ve felt them with my three other pregnancies. I think this is all part of my sixth sense, which unfortunately, is not that cool (not like I can see dead people or anything). Similar to the princess and the pea, I’m hyper-aware of all bodily sensations at all times. I have this heightened sense of body-awareness. Ask anyone in my family, they will attest to this strange talent.

3) I’m softening up, getting more curvaceous (in an expectant sort of way). There is fat on my body where there didn’t used to be.

Remember the post where I talked about me bashing my scale into a million pieces, or something like that, and how I didn’t want to be aware of how much I weighed during the pregnancy? Well, I have bashed my scale into a million pieces (at least figuratively) and haven’t weighed myself at all since becoming pregnant. But something happened at my last midwife visit. I accidentally saw my chart. And the numbers for my weight. It was shocking. 155 lbs. I started out, not so long ago at, oh about 140. I’m not that good at math, but I think that equates to a solid 15 lbs (!). How in the world does anyone gain that much weight in such short amount of time? Yes, I wondered the same thing. But it didn’t take me long to figure out the answer. I know I’m pregnant, but believe me, a baby that is two-inches long can’t weight THAT much. So I can safely assume that 99% of that weight is not the baby. There’s the increased blood flow and fluids, the growing size of the uterus, ect. ect. I know all of that. But these things cannot possibly weigh 15 pounds. So lets assume 2 of the 15 pounds are related to the baby/pregnancy. And I should say I was fully clothed and footed at the time of the weighing (I would love to believe my clothes and shoes weighed the other 13 pounds). How DO you gain 13 pounds in about 6 weeks (the time I was uber-sick)? I’ve created a short summary for your convenience:

  • Don’t eat any vegetables.
  • Ditto for fruit.
  • Eat whenever and whatever you want, including right before you go to sleep.
  • Focus on refined/processed/and fast foods.
  • Eat lots of white flour, oils, and cheese.
  • Make cold cereal your go-to snack of choice-a calorie dense food, especially if it’s Captain Crunch you can easily consume 5 bowls in one sitting without feeling like you made a dent in your hunger at all!
  • Did I mention eat lots of white bread.
  • Never spend more than 3 minutes preparing anything that you eat.
  • Eat out daily.
  • Avoid moving. Lounge/lay around and sleep as much as possible.*

*I did exercise faithfully during this period, but even daily rigorous exercise cannot cancel out the consequences of the above.

This is what I did, and it worked for me.

Good news is that as of about sometime last week, it was like a switch was flipped, and though I still felt nauseated, I could actually EAT and enjoy healthy food. I slowly transitioned back to my old ways, it took a couple of days (I didn’t go straight for the mixed greens and steamed kale), but now I’m back to my good ol‘ vegan self and it feels so good! Yes, I’ve gained more weight than I would have liked for my first trimester. But on a positive note, I did start out at a rather low weight (healthy, but the lowest weight I’ve ever been at this height). And I’m not going to keep this pace up because I’m back to real, wholesome food. I also walk 5 miles every day in addition to 30 minutes of formal exercise. I hope between the two, I won’t have the sticker shock I had at this last visit on my next visit to the midwife in 4 weeks.

As I alluded to before, I AM back in the kitchen and I’ve got recipes and photos I’m dying to share. Kale and potato soup, polenta cornbread, white bean hummus, mung bean noodle soup…oh the sweetness of being a normal person again. Anyway, I will be posting these recipes as soon as I can get to it. I can tell you my family has been happier now that we actually sit down and eat a home cooked dinner together.

One last thing, on my most recent visit I heard the baby’s heartbeat. Like the beat of hummingbird’s wings, hearing evidence of this baby’s existence was one of the sweetest sounds I’ve ever heard. As the midwife reassured me that, yes, the baby exists, is alive, by all accounts that we can tell, is well, comfort came to me, and all of a sudden the 15 pounds and 6 weeks of nausea didn’t seem to matter as much.

Yes, life is good.


  1. Ashlee @ Plant Infusions
    on May 8, 2013 at 4:53 pm said:

    Janae this post is awesome! It answers so many of my questions. I am so glad that as women we can share our experiences and help each other out a little bit…So glad I found this post. What a breath of fresh air.

  2. Naturally Chic Mama
    on August 23, 2010 at 3:47 am said:

    Congrats! I was eating and exercising so good until I got pregnant with my now 6 month old and I still haven't been able to get back into the swing of things. I just found your blog and I am so excited! I really want to become a Whole Foods Vegan Mama too! I can't wait to read through all of your posts!!!

  3. Christy
    on August 18, 2010 at 4:53 pm said:

    I've been a vegetarian for 2 years now. I stumbled across your blog about 4 weeks ago, and after reading just about every post, along with checking out many of the links, I am vegan. Thanks so much for all the work you've put into this blog. Congrats on your pregnancy, and I can't wait to see the new recipes, esp. the kale soup. I'm really trying to eat more kale!

  4. Tia and Amara
    on August 11, 2010 at 2:57 pm said:

    So glad you're feeling back to normal-ish. Some of the symptoms you described (ache-y especially at night, sleep troubles, and that wired feeling) sound like your body might be a little low on calcium. At least those are the same symptoms I experience with low calcium levels. You probably remember with your training that your body takes from your bones at night (hence the achiness) to help satisfy your body's other needs, and with a baby growing, it's got a lot of needs! Standard Process's Calcium Lactate has been a good, easily absorbed supplement brand for me when the greens and seeds aren't doing it.

  5. Hannah
    on August 9, 2010 at 10:03 pm said:

    Yay for you, Janae! Congrats on the bouncing baby!

  6. ann
    on August 9, 2010 at 4:30 am said:

    Janae, you have to read the review on here about what this book says-'ll make you feel a little better about your first trimester! lol

  7. Joya
    on August 6, 2010 at 1:36 pm said:

    I'm so glad you're feeling better! I gained about the same amount in the first couple of months as well but I just know I'll have to work hard after the baby comes:)

  8. Anonymous
    on August 5, 2010 at 2:30 pm said:

    So glad to hear things are going better for you! I hope your weight loss slows down and that you are able to continue to nourish your body with the foods that make you feel best. I too am hyper-sensitive to body sensations…my husband kids me that I'm always "super cold" or "super hot" or "super tired"…I feel every twinge, ache, and feeling in my body to the extreme. I am scared to think what pregnancy would do to me!!!All the best with your pregnancy. Can't wait to 'watch' your journey, I absolutely love your blog!Take carelfwfv

  9. sara
    on August 5, 2010 at 1:59 pm said:

    i've been reading through your blog and wanted to say congratulations! i also ate a bunch of junk at first with both my pregnancies, and then all of a sudden it was like BABY WANTS SPINACH NOW! they may only weigh a few ounces at this point but they will definitely dictate what nutrients they need – it's pretty amazing! glad you are feeling better.

  10. Gillian
    on August 5, 2010 at 1:42 pm said:

    So glad you are feeling better!! Thank-you for sharing what it has been like for you.I'm hyper aware of my body too! Sometimes a blessing sometimes a curse eh?Looking forward to the upcoming recipes!Glad baby is doing well:)

  11. tbsomeday
    on August 5, 2010 at 12:16 pm said:

    what wonderful news! (well-not so much the weight…but whatever–you've got the rest of your life to take it off)so glad you're feeling like you again!that heartbeat–nothing beats is :)looking forward to your recipes–sound good!