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Much ado about nothing

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I think it's time to see a doctor, but I don't know who to see, and it could be very expensive to take a tour d' doctors.

I THINK I might know what's wrong, because by Googling every possible symptom, of course, that makes me an expert.

I'm under pressure (dununuh nunununuh dununuh nunununuh)
from everyone around me to have a baby, because having a baby will somehow magically make me not sad and replace the one I lost. In-laws, siblings, siblings-in-law, friends, my husband and even, yes, myself - are all putting copious amounts of pressure on me to make a baby. And I think it might just be killing me slowly.

I finally had it out with my husband about the number of comments and references he unconsciously makes about us having kids and how it puts pressure on me. I didn't realize it, but he says people are pressuring him all the time as well. I have to remind myself constantly that he is dealing with this too. I don't even know how to help him right now because he works 12 hours a day opposite me, and when he's home, he's engulfed in tv, video games, or trying to sleep. So that also stresses me out - the fear that this could really damage our relationship.

I know the stress is probably one reason my reproductive system has gone on strike.

Maybe you can help me determine who can help me with this problem...

Should I see a female doctor (aka gynochologist) for my reproductive inabilities? (Shortened periods and overall cycle, extra sensitive emotions and pain around PMS)
I think I might possibly have PCOS, which could account for several of the problems I am having.

Should I see a psychiatrist about the stress, post-partum depression stemming from grief & miscarriage?

Should I see a cardiologist due to stress, high cholesterol and a long history of heart problems in my family?

Or should I see a dietician about eating right and dieting to lose weight so that I can conceive?

I can only afford one doctor. Actually, I can barely afford to do that, and going to one regularly, will drastically cut any money I could put back for other things that we need right now. Any suggestions?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIANE7786 7/24/2013 3:33PM

    My suggestion is to make an appointment with a GP for a complete physical. They are less expensive than specialists. A GP will know which specialists you need, if any. Sometimes problems we think are big turn out to be simple fixes. Good luck!

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Distrust Undermines Weight Loss

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

1. The experts:
The recipe for weight loss and healthy living is a complicated and sensitive one. It is so sensitive that no two experts can seem to agree on one right way to do it. It's hard to know who to trust. Who's ideas are safe? Who is just looking to make a buck off of the next poor sucker trying to lose a pound? When the experts fail us, we go it on our own, find our own way, and hope that those around us can see us through.

2. The Support System:
We all look for outside support when trying to lose weight. As well we should. It helps to not have to carry the weight of losing weight and living healthy all by yourself. But what to do when that support system crumbles or isn't there to begin with? Many of us are surrounded with enablers or people who don't think we really have a problem and love us just the way we are. It's great to have that acceptance, but not really constructive to the cause. Some people have loving husbands who buy them chocolate and comfort foods during PMS times. Often family members mean well, but only add to the problem. For example, well-meaning relatives who point out our flaws and give unsolicited advice to help us SEE that we have a problem, focusing on the negative, which only adds to the self-loathing and self-esteem problems that are the foundation for our obesity. When we lose faith in our support system, we look for one person with the same goal and desire we have, who just might be able to maintain a positive reciprocal relationship with us as we work toward our goals.

3. The Workout Buddy:
Workout buddies can be great... in a perfect world where the person has the same goals, has enough motivation and willpower to stick with the plan and help motivate you too (because deep down that's what we secretly want in a workout buddy), talks at just the right times, can maintain the same pace while pushing for improvement, doesn't leave us behind or hold us back during a workout, and has the same time available to work out as we do, and never stands us up or leaves us hanging. If a workout buddy fails to do any of that, our trust in them begins to falter, so maybe we look to a professional...

4. The Trainer:
A trainer can be a great asset to weight loss. In fact, I had more success from working with a trainer than ever on my own or by just relying on any of the advice I had heard. A trainer lives in the gym (figuratively speaking), so they are not hard to find, and their schedules are typically flexible. They are paid to motivate you, and they are not likely to give in to your excuses. Great! They have tons of advice and tips to help you lose weight. So what could possibly affect the trust between a trainer and his/her trainee? When the trainee loses faith that the trainer has their best interests at heart. Because a trainer is not a doctor and is not inside your body, it can be hard to gauge when a trainee is really at their physical limit or is faking as an excuse or thinks they are at their limit. So, meaning well, they push on. This could result in bodily injury or overexertion for the trainee, which weakens the trust between trainer and trainee. Also, some trainers invest in diet programs they think will help their clients, but the investment can become the main focus instead of what the trainee's actual needs are when the trainer begins to push products for sale to the trainee. This also can affect the trust relationship. Some trainers can also be judgmental. If a trainer makes off-hand comments about the appearance of you or others, it can leave you wondering what he/she might say about you when you are not within earshot. And let's face it, if we are struggling with weight issues, our self-esteem is often pretty delicate to begin with.

5. Personal Will Power:
Losing faith in yourself can be the most detrimental to the weight loss battle of any trust failure. If you can't trust yourself, then frankly, who can you trust? If you give in time after time to excuses, it gets harder to have faith that at some point you will overcome your weight problem. Your self-esteem plummets while your self-loathing rockets sky-high. You can't trust yourself to buy the right things in the grocery store, to go to the gym, to not make excuses, or even to eat right. You can't motivate yourself. You just want to surrender.

I say all of these things because I am struggling with every single trust issue listed above.
If weight loss is a battlefield, excuses seem to keep the upper hand. Trust can be an excuse too. Even though trust is important, it is something you have to work at, even with yourself. Trust begins with you. If you are like me, and struggling with trusting yourself and not giving in to excuses, then you have a battle ahead. You have to find something to motivate you. Set a goal. Then decide to follow it. When you fall, don't keep spiraling out of control. Get back up immediately. If you are injured or otherwise cannot make it to the gym, work on your eating habits and other risk areas until you can workout. Start small. Find other activities that allow you to move; don't let your injuries stop you from getting back up, because if you get injured and then add weight on top of it, it's only going to exacerbate the problem. There are small things everyone can do. Do them. Don't let the excuses win.

Remember, you are not the only one fighting this battle.

With all that said, I am trying to set a goal. Last time I lost weight, I made it to 165 before I reached a setback and reverted to my old ways. But if I had to decide on a dream goal to reach it would be 125. I would accept 135 though. Maybe that is too high. I don't know. But starting out, I know that I need a goal. I know that I should probably set an overall goal and then set smaller, manageable milestones to meet and reward myself along the way.

I don't know what types of rewards would be best.
Small rewards don't really do it for me. Unfortunately, I can't afford most of the bigger things I want (like a new car, new house, or vacation). And if I make the attainment of things I desperately need (like a dental appointment and glasses) contingent on my weight loss, I might succumb to cavities or go blind waiting for them. I know that it gets really hard for me to lose weight once I get around 170. It's nearly impossible for me to do it on my own anyway without guidance. I guess I'm just not structured enough. But I need to do something and soon. It's affecting my ability to function normally.


Inception, Conception, and Contraception

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Use these words in a sentence: Since the inception of the idea of conception, my perception about contraception has been... wonky.

As I sit here reflecting on my progress in the past week and a half, and the fact that after 7 months of working out and eating wrong with no perceivable result with the exception of the opposite of my desired outcome, and the knowledge that I lost 4 lbs this week simply by eating right, even though I was not working out at all, I'm forced to rethink my methods and my goals.

It appears that my chiropractor was right when he told me, while resetting the rib I dislocated this past week, that the key to my weight loss and health success was more related to eating right with light exercise than some food moderation and strenuous daily exercise. Well, it was common sense, but I just needed to hear it. Anyhow, it was the motivation I needed.

This time, I have more positive factors helping me. I have a doctor who is forthcoming with nutritional information and advice, my husband is trying to make changes along with me for improved health, and my extended family is supportive. However, the issues are still there in the background, but I am aware of them, so this helps.

The big issue that is always in the back of my mind since its inception, is procreation. My husband wants children yesterday, and I see his point. We are not aging in reverse. I share his goal, but I have reservations:


All of my reservations are tangled together. I'm a teacher, so obviously, there are windows when I think conception would be more ideal. I'm overweight, so I feel that I should be in optimum health (135-160 lbs, eating right, exercising safely, minimal stress), and I feel like I should be in a better financial state.

Right now, I do not have a job secured for the Fall. I quit my job, and while that took away quite a bit of stress, I don't want to conceive with so much uncertainty overhead. Yesterday, I was told that if I don't get a school teaching job by Fall, my current employer, a local technical college, would be happy to keep me on as an adjunct, but that would not be a sufficient income to meet doctor bills and other monthly expenses.

Speaking of money & jobs, I am under my husband's insurance right now, which is not as good as the insurance benefits offered by TRS, another reason why I prefer to establish more stable employment. Also, I want to take care of some health concerns in addition to weight. I want to visit the dentist (which requires money) and take care of cleanings, cavities, and my gums before conceiving. I read that there is a strong link between dental health and heart disease and also miscarriage - two issues that are relevant to me. I come from a family with an overwhelming history of health problems, it's been forever since I've talked to an oral health professional, I know my mouth & gums need attention, and I have had a miscarriage in the past. I don't want to increase the risk of future pregnancy problems, and they say you need to get all that medical care before you attempt pregnancy.

However, my husband wants a child any way he can get one, and I feel like I am letting him down each time I say what my goals are. I feel like the bad guy, but I want him to understand that rather than be pregnant and risk miscarriage, I want a healthy child, and I don't think I can have a healthy pregnancy if I am stressing because the situation isn't the best. I'd rather not get pregnant in the middle of trying to reach my weight loss goals either, because I'm afraid that the level of my workouts could be harmful to a pregnancy, especially if I don't know I am pregnant yet. People tell me I shouldn't worry about that, but I do.

This feeling of being torn is my biggest stressor right now. I am torn between using some form of birth control or leaving it up to chance. I feel like using birth control would be wise, but I'm afraid I might miss a chance to conceive, and there is this fear in the back of my mind that it might be hard for me to conceive again, and I would feel guilty if I took birth control and missed a chance to conceive. I also feel like the longer I would be using contraception, the more my husband might secretly resent me for putting off his dream. I feel like he's done so much for me and given up so much. He moved to my hometown, he is working the graveyard shift and paying more bills than I am and barely gets to see me, and I feel like I am responsible for giving him the things he wants most, but the thing he wants most is the thing I'm most afraid of botching... parenthood.

Then again, if I am perfectly fertile, and got pregnant before consulting with doctors, I would constantly stress about the things I did not do right and whether they might cause me to miscarry, and I would stress because I was stressing and because stress raises risk of miscarriage. Odds are I would stress no matter what, but it's an endless cycle.

The fact that my first and only pregnancy was a miscarriage doesn't help matters.

So the point of this blog is to express my fears and concerns, to get some encouragement and suggestions from anyone who might have something to share with me, and to say that my fitness goals are going well, but that also makes me afraid or the possibilities. Who would have thunk it? Losing weight actually makes me a little nervous because the chances of my getting pregnant increase with the more weight that I lose.

I want children, yes I do. But I want to be healthy first. Health, then baby. Not baby, then scrambling and stressing over not stressing and stressing over being unhealthy. If I lost another baby, I'm not sure how I would be able to deal with it. But one thing is for certain, I know I would blame myself for not being properly prepared, because that's who I am. I always take the blame, and I think I would be right.

So, birth control or no birth control?


Day 3 of Reset

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I've been steadily working out about 5 to 6 days a week for about a year and a half, but when my diet started slipping, so did my progress. I gained back over half of the weight I'd lost.

So, with the exception of protein shakes approved by my trainer, today was the first day I went without ANY chocolate. I would say my sweet tooth is an addiction like smoking or alcohol for some people. It's in the back of my mind as soon as I start feeling tired when I get home from work until I go to sleep at night. I still have a fe hours to go, but I think I can make it.

I realized that the tired worn out feeling is the trigger. My will power is not as strong after a workout and when I get home, the first thing I want to do is curl up on the couch with the dogs and watch tv to unwind.

I don't feel like I've changed much and I know I shouldn't be looking at the scales, but after 3 days of following my trainer's advice, I think I am seeing small results. Yesterday, the scale said 203. Today, I topped out at 200.5. Maybe I am working off the Mother's Day meals I splurged on this weekend. I really need to take some Before pictures before I change too much. I want to keep track of my progress and see where I am coming from. Hopefully, I'll remember to do that tomorrow.

At least until I worked out I felt more energetic today, so that's a plus.
I was told that local honey helps build your body's resistance to pollen and allergens, so I've been rationing allergy medicines and taking a tablespoon of local honey daily. I'm hoping I'll notice a change there too.



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

So, I have not been doing great at eating right or taking care of myself this year. This is a gross understatement. This isn't really a pretty blog entry.

I went from 230 to 169 last year. This year? The pendulum has swung in the opposite direction. I've gained back to 203.

I had some bad things happen and I let them take away my motivation, I've been dealing with grief and sadness and stress, but I have been dealing with them in my own way.

I haven't broken down in tears in a few weeks now. That's a win. A BIG win. I'm still struggling with trying to conceive. I'm trying this backwards idea someone told me. It goes like this. Stop trying. Get rid of everything I have that reminds me of pregnancy or babies or conception, and don't try anymore. Let it go and focus on something else. It's easier said than done, but since my sister is now miraculously pregnant after being intimate with her hubby one time in months, I can just give her all the stuff I had saved for myself. (Okay, so I'm still a little emotional about babies... but things ARE improving in that area... little steps.)

I've been trying to figure out how to be motivated and positive again. This last year, it's like the person I have become is so negative and down all of the time. I don't even want to be around myself for too long.... or at least I didn't. I am trying to complain less, and to fake it 'til I make it as far as motivation goes... it's a little better. (sheepish grin)

I have gone 0 days without chocolate. I am TRYING to quit, but it's a bad habit that is hard to break. I did however, only have one Oreo yesterday, and 2 sugar-free turtles my mom gave me today. Other than that the only "chocolate" I've had has been my protein powder, so that is better than buying a package or two of my favorite Dove Chocolate Covered Almonds and eating one or both in one day... yes, I've done that before on more than one occasion.

I don't remember ever being that big of an emotional eater, but I know I became one this year... with chocolate & sweets and here and there some dairy. I haven't had dairy in two days, except for the cream in the Oreo yesterday. I did have about two tablespoons of Local Honey today in my protein shakes.

Why so much talk about food? Because it seems to be the place where I have been messing up the most. So I have to own it.

I started Advocare again Monday. I decided that by having a set diet plan, and following it, and not cheating (much), I can beat my own bad eating habits. My trainer says I have to start writing down what I eat. I used to record it everyday on here and when I did, I was much more successful. So I am taking a more disciplinary approach to eating right. and today, my daily report charts looked like this:

I'm excited that I got this close to recommended values - I don't think I've done that ever, and all I did was cut out the chocolate and the very miniscule amounts of gluten and dairy I was already eating.

My sleep patterns still need improvement. This year I went from sleeping through each night to waking up several times a night, going to bed later and waking up earlier or later depending on the day and hardly ever getting a full night's rest.

Okay, so I've backtracked quite a bit, and I have a LONG way to go to reach my goals. So right now, I've decided to stop focusing on fertility and to focus more on fitness. And in the last month, I quit my job. It was a big stressor in my life, and I started a summer teaching job at a local college, but I have yet to get a job lined up for fall. If I don't get a teaching job by fall, I will start looking into hopsital work or getting hired on with the local CPS agency, so I'm staying positive there.

So, if anyone has any suggestions for motivation, or what changes I can make to improve my eating and fitness, or hints for success, throw them my way, and thanks in advance!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AKPOMEROY 5/15/2013 7:57PM

    Thanks, Julie. I appreciate it. : )

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JULIERAE41 5/15/2013 1:09AM

    All I can say is I understand and I am glad you are taking steps to regain control. I pray for your success!

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