What Are You Craving?  No, Really.

What Are You Craving? No, Really.

I’m ashamed to admit that when I was seven months pregnant, I craved cigarettes.

It was early fall and the weather was turning cooler, and (sorry mom, if you’re reading this) nothing sounded better to me than sitting outside on our rooftop terrace and lighting up a smoke.

Fortunately, the actual smell of burning tobacco–even the slightest whiff–made me more nauseous than my entire first trimester combined.  So, as I sat there on our rooftop terrace, my growing belly itching beneath my secret-belly-fit jeans, and my back aching against the cold metal chairs, I realized something new about this concept of craving. Let me see if I can explain.

If you look in the dictionary, “crave” is defined as “a powerful desire for something.” Simple enough.  But here’s the thing:  Maybe the “desire” is not necessarily related to the “something” that your mind perceives would satisfy that feeling.

To put it in context, although I did feel a very powerful desire for something that evening on the terrace, it wasn’t really for cigarettes. (Thank goodness.)  It was for my independence.  My old life, back when it was just me in my body.  I wanted to drink and eat as I pleased, without worrying about the baby growing inside.  I wanted to run and walk and lift things without losing my balance, or my breath.  Most of all, I wanted to go out to a romantic dinner with John and then slip off to a bar for after-dinner drinks or to watch music like we used to, before I was all tired and moody and uncomfortable and confined to those blasted wide, flat shoes.

This is not at all to say that I regret having a baby.  To be sure: Having Jack has been the single greatest experience of my entire life.  (And I’m already dreaming of number two!)

This is only to say that I have realized this:  It is worthwhile to slow down a little bit when you feel yourself craving something.  It is worthwhile to consider whether a few deep breaths, or a phone call, or a good hard laugh might be more deeply satisfying than, say, another scoop of ice cream.

Now, to be fair, I should finish the cigarette part of the story.  After Jack was born, once again, cigarettes seemed like a great idea.  Instead of taking my own advice (see above), I swung into the neighborhood Quickie Mart and spent close to $10 on a pack of Something-Or-Other Lights. Then I went back outside, leaned against my car (how classy), and started fidgeting with the child-proof lighter.  It was windy that day, and as it so happened, instead of lighting the cigarette, I lit my hair on fire.  Just a little bit, but still.  How completely pathetic.

You’ll be pleased to know that, after that, I trashed the entire pack of cigarettes and decided that I would look into hot yoga … which, although similarly smelly, is much more satisfying.

9 Responses to What Are You Craving? No, Really.

  1. Heather McClure July 28, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    Great post! I never craved cigarettes, but I totally understand the sentiment.

  2. Michelle McQuiston Erickson July 28, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    Marie- what a wonderful posting. I enjoyed reading it immensely.

    • Marie H. Saba July 28, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

      Hi Michelle! Thanks so much and great to hear from you. Writing has been such a great release for me as a mother … I’m so glad to know that others can relate. So glad to be in touch. – marie

  3. Katie Evans July 28, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    This made me laugh. I can totally sympathize, except not with the cigarettes, but the desire to eat something while pregnant that made me nauseated. Great post!

    • Marie H. Saba July 28, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

      Thanks so much for the comment Katie! We miss you guys! xo – Marie

    • Marie H. Saba August 5, 2011 at 9:26 am #

      Thanks Katie! I remember your pregnancy well … you were such a trooper! I honestly couldn’t have done it. Miss you, Dave, Sophia, and the doggies.

  4. Jennifer Johnson July 29, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    Enjoyed reading your post Marie! Looks like someone was watching over you from above :-) The distraction method is a technique that therapists use and can be very helpful! Great intuition there!

    • Marie H. Saba August 3, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

      Jennifer! I’m so happy to see how wonderfully you are doing in NYC! I feel like ol’ LLS was a lifetime ago! Good times :) Yes, it’s all about distraction isn’t it? I was just telling my brother the other day, if you want to kick one habit, best thing to do is just pick up another, ha.

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