Sunday, September 21, 2014
I need to get my thoughts in order, and I figured this was a good place.
A lot has happened since I've been here last. After losing 70 lbs, I was living a new, healthier lifestyle and was doing better than ever. In September 2012, My husband and I decided to start our family. I never would have guessed at the time what a strain this would put on our lives. It became apparent after 6 months without a cycle that this was going to be more difficult than we had anticipated.
If you've never experienced infertility, it is an issue that is exhausting both mentally and physically. The past two years of my life have been filled with diagnostic tests (often painful), fertility drugs (with horrible side effects), and medical professionals asking questions about intimate details of my sex life and menstrual cycle. Every round of treatment brings new hope, then devastation when it is unsuccessful.
Infertility is an isolating problem. I've found that friends and family don't know how to respond to infertility. Many attempt to offer words of comfort that are inadvertently insensitive.
"It will happen when it happens" (it may not and that's OK)
"It will happen when God wants it to happen" (so God decided all the child abusers and rapists deserved children more than me?)
...but my favorite is the silence.
"So, are you thinking about having kids?"
"Actually we've been trying for over a year."
"Oh..." (an actual conversation with my cousin's wife at Christmas)
Needless to say, as my mental health degraded and depression set in, my physical health fell by the wayside. Exercise is not a priority when it seems impossible to get out of bed in the morning, and food became a brief source of comfort. I currently weigh 20 lbs less than my pre-weight loss weight, but the reality is that I've gained 50 lbs over the past 2 years.
Through everything, my husband has been an amazing source of strength. He's been by my side for the worst of the worst, and is always happy to come to my doctor's appointments with me. He never feels the need to offer advice, but will always be a shoulder to cry on. I am happy that through all my troubles, my marriage has never been an added stressor.
Two months ago, I realized that my depression had become more than I could handle on my own. I started to see a counselor regularly which has helped a lot. Last month, I was referred to a new OB/GYN who is also a Reproductive Endocrinologist. With his expertise and new perspective, I now have a tentative diagnosis and am preparing to start a new, more aggressive round of treatment. His advice to change my diet and exercise program has given me new motivation to take care of myself.
I know that I may never be able to have a baby despite all our efforts, but I am encouraged by the options available to me and have a new perspective on this experience. For now, I'm taking things one day at a time, and am happy and blessed to have a wonderful, loving husband by my side.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
I know I haven't blogged in awhile, but I'm still here! I got a bad bout of bronchitis right before Christmas and fell off the wagon for about a week until after the new year. I didn't weigh myself for a two-week period and was dreading getting back on the scale...but I had lost 4 lbs when I weighed in last week! Despite the holidays and being sick, I managed to lose weight by staying active and eating less, even though I wasn't limiting WHAT I was eating. It was a huge boost of confidence.
With my new body has come an unexpected change in my self-perception. I look in the mirror now and don't see the new "skinny" me, just the same old fat girl. I was convinced for awhile I was gaining weight, and my husband thought I was crazy! I explained to him how I was feeling about myself, and he's been very supportive and helping me keep perspective. I love him so much and know I couldn't have done this without him. But, is this normal, this body distortion? I feel like an anorexic or bulimic who is always convinced they're fat. Should I be worried?
My biggest news is that my husband and I are trying to start a family. I am now healthy enough to have a child and continue to lose weight once my pregnancy is over. I'm not pregnant yet, but we are trying! I am so proud of both of us for getting our health in order before we have children. So as of now, I plan on sticking to my diet & exercise plan to see how much more I can lose before I get pregnant. We're both very excited!
Hopefully soon I can post some more recipe reviews. I've found winter cooking to be much more difficult than summer cooking! There's less to choose from if you like to cook in season like I do. But I do make a mean turkey chili packed with veggies! :)
All the best,
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
My original goal was to lose 50 lbs by Christmas....and I did that by Thanksgiving! So I set a goal of 60 lbs by Christmas, and I don't think I'm going to quite make it. 6 days left and 5 lbs left toward my goal, I'm not willing to kill myself just to meet an unreasonable goal, because then I'll just gain all the weight back. Still, it's difficult to not feel like a failure when I don't meet a goal, so I'm trying to think positive.
Here are all the good ways my life has changed in the last 6 months:
-I have lost 55 lbs, 8 inches from my waist, and gone from a size 26 (which was too tight) to a size 20 (which is quickly becoming too big).
-My blood pressure was consistently high (140/100, 160/110 at its worst); by blood pressure has normalized (126/90, 100/80 when I last checked it a few days ago). My HDL is up and my LDL is down. My resting heart rate was 95-105, now it is 70-80.
-I have made exercise and healthy eating part of my life. I have re-ignited my love of cooking and my knife skills are much improved! Healthy eating proves to be inexpensive, too, since both my husband and I eat half as much as we used to. I have a new love of fresh, seasonal ingredients, and I love the challenge of making over my old recipes in a healthy way without sacrificing flavor.
-I have a closer relationship with my husband. We share 1 day off each week, and we devote it to doing something active with each other. We have gone hiking, fishing, and walking; whether it's around the zoo or park or just the mall or grocery, we make sure to get out every week and do SOMETHING. As a result of my healthy changes and his support, he has lost 25 lbs himself and given up soda.
Having said that, there are a few things I need to work on, so here are my goals for 2013:
-My triglycerides are sky high, and they've actually gotten HIGHER in past 6 months (from 215 to 285). I'm going to start a fish oil supplement at the advice of my doctor, so hopefully that will help while I work towards my goal weight. Also, my HDL needs to be higher.
-It's heard to work out in the winter! I just have no motivation. I still do it, but I don't have the enthusiasm I used to, so I don't enjoy it and don't do as much as I should. Upping exercise will also help my HDL and triglycerides.
-I haven't mentioned this here before, but I am a smoker, 10-20 cigarettes a day for the past 10 years. Obviously, quitting will greatly improve my health, but until now, I've been taking the "1 major change at a time" route. To be honest, I don't know if anything short of pregnancy will motivate me to quit right now. The plan has always been to quit when I have kids and not start up again, because I'm don't want to be a smoker parent...but I worry that I won't be able to do it. It's not something I like to talk about because I'm not proud of it, but I do need to address it in 2013.
I'm trying to decide how much weight I should lose before my husband and I try to have a family. I would love to reach my goal weight (December 2013 is my plan), but I don't know if I want to wait that long. I turn 29 in February, and I know that's not old, but I always thought I'd have my first kid before I turned 30. I really think it would be best to wait until 2014, but sometimes my biological clock thinks otherwise! My husband and I have talked about it and of course he is on board for whatever I would like to do.
So, those are my thoughts on my personal wellness, past and present. I don't know where I'm going from here, but I sure know where I've been and where I never want to be again. Thanks for reading.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
A letter to my body:
So, here we are, body. 50 lbs lost. No, we're not done. We will never be "done." But can you work with me a little bit here? I know you'd rather sleep than exercise, and eat at McDonald's instead of cooking a healthy meal. I don't care. We're not even halfway done yet! Just because people are noticing the changes you're going through (I'm sure you like the new nickname the girls have for me at work: Skinny Minnie), but we're still obese! Yes, I know, your BMI has lowered from 42 to 35, and that's great! But what about 30? 25? If we keep going, we can be healthier than ever! Think about how good you will look! On the beach, going out, special occasions...the possibilities are endless in a healthy world! So can you please get through 3 hours a week of sweating and discomfort and skip that donut? For me? I promise, it will be all worth it. Don't you want to set a good example for your children? Do you want them to be obese, too? And look at your husband, Chet! Doesn't he look and feel better 25 lbs lighter? Yes, I know it took no effort, since we make all the meals, and that's frustrating...but still! At least we know he's in it for the long haul, too! So let's get on the same page, body. We need to continue to stay on track with diet & exercise, and we can't use the holidays as an excuse! Remember how good that "skinny" thanksgiving dish was? No one knew it was healthy! We can have it both ways! But I need you on my side. Capiche?
Forever yours (literally),
Friday, November 23, 2012
Yesterday, Thanksgiving Day, I stepped on the scale to see that I'd reached my goal: 50 pounds lost! So, I've been thinking about what I've "gained" by losing the weight. Cliche, I know. But I've definitely learned a lot about myself in the past 5 months. Here's what I've gained by losing 50 pounds:
1) The ability to touch my toes. And let me say, my new flexibility is great for my marriage!
2) A new ability to cook. I always liked to cook, but now I know I'm good at it!
3) Stamina. No more panting and struggling to do things.
4) A love of physical activity. Every day, I do something active, even if I can't exercise formally.
5) A stronger relationship with my husband. Currently, he has lost 25 lbs, just by eating my healthy food and making better choices for himself. We have grown closer in many ways by living a new lifestyle together.
6) Confidence! I loved myself 50 lbs ago, but I'm proud of how hard I've worked for my new body! I've lost 3 pants sizes, 8 inches around my waist, and my skin is better, too.
7) A normal blood pressure and lower resting heart rate.
Finally, I think what I've gained most importantly is the knowledge that I CAN DO IT! I have NOT felt deprived, I have NOT given up my favorite foods, and I HAVE enjoyed my new life! I do NOT have to be miserable to lose weight! With my catalog of new, healthy recipes, my library of workout videos, and the support of my family, friends, and SparkPeople, I am prepared to live this way for the rest of my life. Losing another 80 lbs will put me in a healthy weight range, so that is my goal. But I don't look at that as a "long way" to go; the time will pass either way. I am looking forward to starting 2013 with a new attitude and a new perspective on life, and ending it with a whole new body to show for it.
Now, my goal is another 10 lbs by Christmas! Wish me luck!
All the best,
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