mental health day

It’s been a rocky time lately… I’ve been so off my game with my eating, completely stuck in an unhealthy rut. It’s to the point where I’m eating horrible things without even really craving them–I’m just doing it out of habit, or because it offers a small bit of comfort or distraction. I don’t even know how long it’s been by now, but long enough that I can tell I’ve gained more weight and my digestive system is starting to react pretty unfavourably. It’s not long before my TrueNorth visit though, so I need to dial it in and get back on track.

I feel like I’ve been so uncentred ever since our trip. It took a good week just to get back on track, get E back on track, and start to feel a semblance of normal again. But then I had a car accident about a week ago. E was in the car with me. It was horrible and terrifying. We were the third car in a 5-car pileup on a very busy freeway in the middle of rush hour. I’m so thankful that we’re okay, although I do have some whiplash in my neck. I feel bad that the car is totalled, although not devastated since it was old and it was time for us to get a better, more reliable vehicle. I feel worst, though, about E and putting her through that. She bounced back pretty well, but she is on edge whenever I brake quickly. I am similarly anxious and paranoid when driving now too. I’ve been having trouble sleeping and keep replaying the last seconds before the accident over and over again in my head. We did get a new vehicle (not brand-new, but new to us). I even had a dream that I crashed the new vehicle. Needless to say, it was traumatic. It’s been a huge hassle dealing with all of the repercussions and that, along with the trauma, has made me feel really mentally exhausted and unstable. So I’ve been struggling with that.

Another area in which I’ve been struggling is thinking about pregnancy and being around others who are. Two more moms in my online mom’s groups just found out they’re pregnant. It’s hard every single time this happens–I feel such a rush of jealousy and, unfortunately, anger. Obviously these are not emotions that I enjoy or endorse. But they happen and they’re there and I feel them strongly. It gets to the point where I can’t even offer my congratulations because it wouldn’t feel genuine. Maybe I just need to get off of social media completely. It’s not their fault, and I like them all as people. It’s just in this particular area, my emotions turn dark. It feels so unfair, especially since for one of the moms, this is her second baby since we all had babies E’s age–her 5th baby in all. It doesn’t feel fair. Why have I had all the problems and heartache that I’ve had, and some women just sail through fertility and childbearing without a single problem? Even women who are more unhealthy than me end up having perfect babies. It’s very difficult. The only positive in all of this is that I’m immensely grateful for E. I love her with a ferocity that can’t even be described.

Because of all of this, and how mentally unstable I’ve been feeling lately, I’m so happy that my TrueNorth trip has become a reality. I’ve booked the flights and it’s really going to happen. More than anything, I’m looking forward to getting my health back on track. I’m under no illusions that it will be easy, and I’m also already contemplating how my life will need to be different once I return home. I’m accepting the fact that I probably have an eating disorder. I’m a binger. Thankfully not a purger, or an anorexic. But the binging is going to take its toll on my life and health (it already has). I’ve been trying to be realistic and brainstorm how I’m going to manage that once I’m back home from TrueNorth. It might mean I need to find a Food Addicts Anonymous group, or perhaps do some intensive work on my own. I’ve come to the conclusion that I probably can’t dabble in the foods that trigger me. I need to be honest with myself and understand that I probably can’t ever eat those foods again in my life because they will set off a binge that could last for months (or years, which is where I seem to be now–almost a 5-year binge, to be honest). That reality is scary. But then the question is: why? Why does it feel scary to say: I will never eat a piece of chocolate or cheese again. Why is that scary? Why does food have such a hold on us? Of course, I know why. But that doesn’t diminish the fear. That sounds like an addict talking, right? And that’s what I am.

But back to TrueNorth… I’m having conflicted feelings. Don’t get me wrong–I think this is absolutely the right decision for me. I’m going to gain so much. I’m not second-guessing my plans to go. I’m just feeling scared about being away from J & E for so long. I hope J can function okay without me around to do all the little things like manage E’s mornings (pick-ups and drop-offs), and do all the cooking and dishes, etc. I think he will be fine, but I just feel bad because it’s a lot to make him go through for 3 weeks. I’m also scared because, in the past, I haven’t done well when I’ve been completely on my own for a significant amount of time. I will have people at TrueNorth to interact with, so hopefully it won’t be too bad. But they’re not MY people like J & E are. I will miss them desperately.

On the flip side, though, I’m incredibly excited. I have a stack of books to take along with me–some of them deal with eating disorders, and others are memoirs about people who have lost a lot of weight, or women who’ve gone through hard experiences (like miscarriage, hospital stays, etc). I have a list of things that I’d like to do that I never have enough time for in a regular week. I’d love to start writing a memoir, brainstorm more artistic projects that I’d like to start working on. I’m excited to just relax. Deeply. I won’t have anyone else I’ll need to worry about, just myself. I hope to sleep a lot, do relaxing things like watch shows and read books. I plan to spend time outside in the sun every day in order to bump up my vitamin D levels. I just want to feel rejuvenated. Of course, I need to be realistic, too, and understand that I’ll probably feel crummy a lot of the time because of the fasting. But I’m going to approach this with a positive attitude and view it as a time to heal myself in every way possible.

I had a great evaluation at work, plus a $2000 raise in my salary. I can hardly believe I’ve been there for a year already. I’m pleased to have this positive evaluation. I feel grateful for the job, even though my enthusiasm for it feels pretty absent a lot of the time. I could accomplish so much more if I had energy for it. Regardless, I appreciate having the job and I appreciate my boss. So at least that’s a spot of positivity in my life.

I do still have a lot of dreams and goals. I’m hoping that my time at TrueNorth will unleash them and that I’ll be able to harness some newfound energy and passion. I constantly feel like I’m living behind a heavy curtain or something. It’s like things are muffled. I have passion, but no drive. Everything feels heavy and grey and so hard to accomplish. Instead, I want to feel vibrant and full of energy. I think if I focused on the artistic pursuits that I’m interested in, I would automatically feel happier, more energetic, and more driven to live in a healthy manner. I’m excited to explore the possibilities.

It’s Friday. I took a “mental health” day. I feel a little guilty about it. At the same time, though, I feel like I need it. I’ve been sleeping so poorly, so I’m exhausted. I’m not finished dealing with all of the accident stuff.

humiliation & hope

I haven’t written in here in a while again, and it feels like time. Again, it feels like a lot of things have recently happened and it’s time to get them down (up?) on the screen. It’s another rainy Saturday morning after a week of perfectly hot summer weather.

We got back from our trip to visit the in-laws a week ago. It was the most humiliating and embarrassing trip back so far. I had countless instances of feeling humiliated about my weight and just wanting to shrink away and/or fall into the earth. It was horrible. No one said anything to me directly (they’re probably all so horrified that I’m looking like this), but there were so many indirect comments made about other people and their health and their weight. It’s hard to be there in those situations–I feel like I can’t participate in the conversation because what legitimacy do I have?? And when others talk about those topics in front of me, I can’t help but think they must all be thinking about me too, like “There is one person in our company who is also so overweight and unhealthy and unattractive…” I can’t even describe how much I wanted to disappear in those situations–like completely melt away into the ground. It was the most horrible feeling. I even had a time where I was sitting in a chair outside and I felt like my butt and thighs were spilling out in every direction, and I was literally worried the chair was going to collapse under me at any moment. I felt horribly ugly and unattractive every single minute of the week. These visits are already stressful and exhausting due to other reasons; adding this layer of feeling overwhelmingly humiliated and unattractive made the visit almost unbearable. I was so glad to get home. I never want to visit again at that weight or looking like that. Never again. Assimilating back to life at home has been challenging too, especially for E. We all had a pretty rough week, but E really struggled with resuming regular activities (even and especially fun ones) and seeing familiar people again. It was both strange and unsettling, but also sad. I hope she settles back into regular life again. It was certainly a week of extreme emotional highs for her–she is excitable to begin with, and MIL stokes that fire like nothing else. It’s no surprise that it’s been rough for her to come back down to earth.

Things have progressed with my TrueNorth plans. I finally ended up talking with Dr. Goldhamer several weeks ago. I think I was so awestruck that I was talking to someone “famous” who I really respect that I got kind of flustered and didn’t actually ask all the questions I wanted to ask. However, he confirmed that a water fast could really reset my body and optimize my fertility. The catch is that he thought I needed to come for 3 weeks. So expensive! I talked about it with J, though, and he was supportive. He understands my need to change course in my life, and he thinks that if I’m going to go, I should do it right, i.e. do what Dr. Goldhamer recommends. So my visit is set for July 5 – 26. I’m both nervous and extremely excited. I’m making a list of things that I want to discuss with the doctors. I’m coming up with quite a list of things that I feel like is pointing to my increasingly deteriorating immune system. Everything feels so intertwined, of course. I do think the root of everything is food and sunshine. In my opinion, all of my negative experiences are rooted in that, and those are the two things that I need to get RIGHT, once and for all, before trying to conceive again. With healthy food and sunshine, I think that my immunity will improve, my hormones will regulate, my weight will go down, my anxiety/stress/depression will improve, and as a result of all of that, hopefully my fertility will finally improve. So I’m excited for my stay because I’m interested in tracking my blood work and seeing if things can dramatically improve in a short amount of time. In addition, I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the education that they provide and rebooting my body and palate. I need a big change with my food and what I find appetizing. Fasting for 2 weeks will provide that in a way that absolutely nothing else can. I know that following the fast, I need to adopt a new approach to food. Basically, I’m a food addict and moderation isn’t an option for me. I need to come to terms with that and accept that I need to live the rest of my life that way. What I think I will lose in tasty and pleasurable food, I will actually gain in feeling healthy and vibrant and attractive again. Wouldn’t it be amazing to improve my self-confidence? Although I’ve always struggled with my self-confidence, in the last few years, it’s been decreasing consistently all the time. How can it not, when I keep disappointing myself by not being able to stay on the right path with my food, health and weight? Every time I fail, my confidence takes a hit. It’s been such a long time since I’ve actually left the house and felt proud of how I looked. Years. I hate slinking out of the house feeling ugly and always wanting to fade into the background when I’m in public. I hunch over unconsciously because I erroneously think it hides my body. I’m tired of hiding and wanting to feel invisible. I’m hoping that my time at TrueNorth will change all of this. Of course, I know it’s not going to be a magic fix, but I do think it will shake things up and turn my compass so that it’s pointed in a more hopeful direction.

I’ve really been struggling again in the last few weeks with binging on unhealthy food. It disgusts me, and I’m not even that hungry most of the time. But then I stop at the grocery store and buy all kinds of terribly unhealthy things, and the cycle keeps perpetuating itself. I’ve enjoyed not being on progesterone this month and not feeling the pressure of trying to conceive. At the same time, it’s like I let that liberation just give me permission to be supremely negligent with my health. I stopped taking iron and stopped going to acupuncture. I’m not sure if any of this has been contributing factors, but my cycle was a lot longer again this month. I got my period two days ago, and it was heavier again. So obviously my cycle and menstruation (and therefore, my hormones) are very sensitive and easily affected. That feels both frustrating and encouraging. Frustrating because it takes so little to make things go off track, and why have I allowed this imbalance to continue for years at this point? But also encouraging because it suggests that even little improvements will have big effects, so what would big changes do? Have massively dramatic effects? I sure hope so. I really hope so.

Not only am I looking forward to the physical break for my body, I’m also looking forward to a mental break. Quiet time to just escape from life for a while and focus on things I don’t usually get to do. Maybe try to process events that have happened in my life in the last 5 years. Perhaps work on some projects, especially writing. I would have so much uninterrupted time to re-centre myself and maybe figure some things out. At the very least, the quiet and slower pace would be rejuvenating. I’m also excited to possibly meet with Dr. Lisle to discuss my food addiction, but also other issues in my life – past trauma, depression, low self-confidence, uncertainty about how to follow my passions and turn that into a career that feels more meaningful. I’m under no illusion that the 3 weeks will be easy though. I’m going to desperately miss J and E, and that thought alone scares me. It will be so hard to be away from them for so long. So hard. Ugh. I already feel sad thinking about it. But I think it will be worth it if I can return a happier, healthier, and more confident wife and mom.

I’m currently at a pretty low place with my food. Dr. Goldhamer said that I need to eat a clean diet before I arrive so that I can hit the ground running once I get there. At first I was thinking in my old addictive thought pattern: “I’m going to binge like crazy before I get there because it will be my ‘last chance’ to taste those foods.” But the more I think about it and the more I learn about peoples’ experiences with fasting, the more I realize that that’s such self-destructive behaviour. It wouldn’t help me optimize my experience at all. That would essentially waste precious days of my visit. In addition, it would make the transition to water fasting even harder and more miserable since it would be such a huge shock to my system. I would like that transition to water fasting to be as smooth as possible (knowing that it’s going to be miserable regardless, but if I can avoid some of the more extreme detox systems like nausea and vomiting, I would really like that). I have 3 1/2 weeks until I leave. I plan to eat as cleanly as possible. And fit in some exercise (just walking/sprinting) and lots of sunshine too. Wouldn’t it be amazing if I could drop 10 lbs before I even got there? Then I would lose more during my stay, and maybe by the end of the summer I would be close to a weight where I felt comfortable trying to conceive again. It would feel so fantastic to end the summer in a body that made me feel attractive and amazing. I have images of myself as a lean and tan and healthy-looking woman at the end of the summer. I think I would be filled with new-found confidence if I felt like I had finally succeeded at turning things around. This binging and increasing weight has been like a sack of bricks on my back, weighing me down and getting heavier and heavier all the time.

So, there is hope…

rainy weekend

A lot has happened since the last time that I wrote… The longer I wait, the more daunting it feels to sit down and post an entry. It’s a rainy Saturday morning now, and I’m sitting in a coffeeshop having a little me time before I start running some weekend errands, so it’s as good a time as any.

I think the last time I wrote I was in the two-week wait, waiting to see if I was pregnant. And in that space of time, I also got (strangely and discouragingly) sick–a fever, sinus congestion, sore ear, diarrhea and nausea. I missed three days of work and felt generally awful. On the third day I went to the doctor and got antibiotics for a sinus and ear infection. I feel discouraged because I’ve gotten sick so many times this past winter, and also because I hate being on antibiotics. At the end of it all, I didn’t feel at all surprised when it turned out that I wasn’t pregnant. I was frustrated because my period didn’t come until 16 DPO, and I really hate the PMS symptoms I’ve been getting since being on progesterone.

The one positive is that my period was much lighter (both in flow and colour), and there were hardly any clots. I’m not sure what precipitated that change. Could it be the prenatal vitamins I’ve been taking? Or maybe the iron (although I haven’t been very faithful about taking iron)? Or is it the acupuncture? I have no idea. I do like it that my cycle seems to be about 30 days long now too, which is the shortest and most regular I’ve had in my whole life (since I’ve started tracking). But the mystery is that this is happening even though i don’t feel particularly healthy and I’m still overweight. It makes me slightly hopeful though.

J and I also got to go and listen to Dr. Esselstyn give his heart health speech a few weekends ago. It was so great to see him in person and to hear his trademark phrases in real time. It was inspiring, And it makes me want to see more plant-based doctors. J and I had a really nice weekend together too. It was a much-needed break that included relaxation and intimacy.

In spite of all that, I’ve been struggling with my eating again. I have the trip to visit in-laws in two weeks, and I’m nowhere near where I wanted to be with my weight. It’s always so embarrassing for me to visit them because those women are all so petite and so hyper-focused on appearance. I can just feel their eyes on me whenever I’m around them, judging my body and judging me. It’s a really uncomfortable way to spend a week.

I’ve been feeling so down about all of this, and I discussed it with Josh, and he is supportive of me going to visit TrueNorth for a week or so. I don’t know if it will work out, but I’m in the middle of pursuing it. Having a week to just relax and clear out my system, maybe daydream about what I can do to bring more meaning to my life, and topping up on my vitamin D–that all sounds so wonderful and magical. I do hope that it happens. I need to return a call to Dr. Goldhamer today to see if it’s possible. Maybe it could be the catalyst that would finally make me turn my life around.

In light of that, I’ve decided to take a month or two off from trying to conceive. Honestly, i want a break from the progesterone, just to see how different I feel without it. But I’ve also been reading so many sources that talk about how much being overweight affects fertility. I have to get real with myself and my situation. I need to get this under control and lose some weight. I honestly don’t feel right trying to conceive again without some kind of change in this area of my health and life. It’s just reached a point where it feels crucial.

As I mentioned, I feel like I’m low in vitamin D. I’ve never had that tested, but I’ve gotten so little sun in the last few years. Even in the summer. I wonder how much that’s connected to me getting sick so much in the last few years (especially this past winter), and if it’s connected to my suppressed immunity in general. And does it have anything to do with my miscarriages? Or maybe it’s contributed to my depression, which makes me feel like I’m always tired and like I never want to do anything. I need to be outside more, but it’s hard when working all day long, and then having so many other tasks and errands to get done on weekends. And it hasn’t exactly been nice weather until very recently (and even now, it’s supposed to rain all weekend).

E is in a sports class, and this past week in their circle time they talked about what they like about their moms. And apparently E said that I like to relax on the couch. So embarrassing. I don’t want to be remembered that way as a mom. I want E (and any other kids) to remember me as fun-loving and active, but also a mom and woman who follows my passions and is creative. I waste so much time doing passive things like watching YouTube videos. Most of them don’t add anything to my life. And yet I’m addicted to them. After a long day of work and running around and managing E, the only thing I feel like doing is relaxing on the couch. Which leads to surfing the internet and watching YouTube. I could be using all that time to follow any number of creative passions: write poetry, brainstorm about making poetry broadsides or poetry films, sketch art dolls. Or I could even use that time to go outside and be active. But I don’t. This is not how I want to be living my life, not how I want to be remembered by my children.

I feel like I have no inertia.

Regrets, and rocky emotions

Last weekend, my sister and bro-in-law and nephew visited. It was the first time I got to meet my nephew, and he is delightful. Having visitors is fun, but it’s also challenging for me. The biggest challenge at this point is eating. Their visit, combined with all kinds of available Easter chocolate, made it very hard to stay on track. To sum up, I didn’t stay on track.

The interesting thing is that my body definitely pays for it now when I stray off the path of healthy eating. That doesn’t stop me from doing it, but it’s increasingly giving me pause. I don’t seem to tolerate dairy well at all anymore, especially after long periods of going without it. Stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea–blech. It’s just not worth it. Right?

But once they left, I had my same old problem of struggling to get back out from the hold of unhealthy food. Whyyyy??? I seem thoroughly incapable of having just one treat. It always snowballs into an extended binge. I did eat quite huge salads for lunch every day, though. But I continued to have digestive issues. And then this morning my weight was down a bit, when I expected it to be up after the dalliances of the past week. It gave me some renewed hope that, if I actually stuck with it, I could make some major progress on my weight in the next few weeks.

At the same time, I’m pretty sure I ovulated this week. I took some of the stress out of the equation by not using OPK’s this month. They just stress me out. I felt kind of unsure about which day I ovulated this week, and I was feeling some anxiety about that. But my acupuncturist reassured me about it today, so I’ll try to just let it go. We timed things okay, but I don’t want to get my hopes up too much. This was the month in which I wanted to be more laid-back about things. So we didn’t have sex every single night like we did last month. Just every 48 hours. If I actually got pregnant this month, it would be a January baby. In the past, I’ve never wanted a January baby because I dislike January so much. So that was part of the reason why I wasn’t going to try so hard to get pregnant this month. But of course, now that I’m post-ovulation, I’m hoping as much as any other month that I’m pregnant, January baby or not. All I can do now is wait.

I’ve been thinking a lot about possible reasons for my miscarriages. And I keep coming back to the idea that there must be some kind of inflammation or auto-immune issue in my body. One other sign is that in the last year or so, I’ve been getting random but very infrequent hives on my arm. Usually just in one isolated spot. They’ll be incredibly itchy, and I can’t really connect them to anything. It’s not always while eating either. Of course, I think the best defense again inflammation and auto-immune issues is to have a super clean diet. At this point, even Dr. McDougall suggests avoiding gluten for those with hypothyroid or other auto-immune issues. I’ve also read about Vitamin D and how important that is in immunity health. And now I’m also getting obsessed with trying to switch out all of my hair, skin and makeup products for non-toxic ones.

In some ways, constantly researching and searching for answers and solutions is exhausting and anxiety-inducing. At the same time, I feel like I need to be actively trying to improve things in order to finally have a baby. Of course, if I’m being honest, the biggest thing I could do would be to eat clean and lose weight. No matter what new thing I discover and/or try, I always come back around to that one simple realization at the core of it all: losing weight would have a profound impact on so many things.

discouraged

I was in bed this morning, scrolling through my emails, and I began to feel so discouraged. I read an email saying that obesity is linked to at least 9 different cancers. And then I read more about how synthroid side-effects include hair loss and itchy scalp, which is what I’ve been experiencing lately. My body is not right. Things are not right. I don’t have the patience to experiment with different ways of eating. I just want this weight off NOW. I want to be healthy again, to feel like I’m not predisposed to cancer, to be able to get off of thyroid medication, to get pregnant and have a healthy, confident pregnancy. I am in the wrong-sized body.

I feel like I waffle a lot between being optimistic about my health and having another baby, and then feeling completely hopeless and discouraged. I know that things aren’t hopeless, and I refuse to believe that my body is incapable of having another baby. But the path to getting to that spot feels so long and confusing. And I feel tired and impatient. I’ve been quite good the last two weeks with my food choices—nearly 100% plant-based, and yet my weight loss is negligible. Maybe 1 lb. Admittedly, I do feel better. But I need more than that. It just makes me feel like the only way I’m going to lose weight is if I do something drastic (not unhealthily drastic, but just something radically different than what I’m doing now, which is eating ad libitum). I get jealous of the people who go plant-based and immediately lose a bunch of weight. Why doesn’t that happen to me? Is it because I have a vastly distorted idea of portion size? Is it my thyroid? My lack of exercise? The little treats that I allow myself? I wish I knew which one to tackle. The only time I’ve lost weight consistently is through Weight Watchers. But that method frustrated me because I hated having to count and track things all the time. And I experienced fatigue. But perhaps it’s the only solution at this point—at least, in order to jumpstart things. I still believe in the Starch Solution as a way of eating. It could be that I really need to figure out my portion sizes, though, before I eat Starch Solution or attempt ad libitum eating.

Not pregnant

I just posted the previous post, although I wrote it earlier this week. I feel like I have more to say though. Or, at the very least, I feel like I want to update. When I wrote the last post, I was at 14 DPO. I had glimmer of hope in me that I was pregnant. But then my period arrived the next day. So it’s another month of not being pregnant. I was crushed, and I also felt the old hopeless feeling again. I got my period at work, so I tried to keep it together, but I mostly wanted to just go home and curl up in bed and cry. I kept thinking that I shouldn’t feel bad, should stay positive, etc. But I think it’s important to let myself have a bit of time to feel the emotions too. I’ve tried to get myself to a more positive place since then, which I’m having marginal success with.

The bright side is that I can really tackle the eating and weight loss hard for the next little while without worrying about a pregnancy. I need to keep telling myself that we haven’t actually been trying that long this time around. Before this month (March), our previous 3 months either involved not-optimal timing or sickness. Plus J is stressed out right now, so who knows how much that affects things too.

I stayed plant-based for a whole week, and I was really starting to feel a little better in my body, less bloated, etc. Then yesterday we had supper at M & D’s, and I know they use significant amounts of oil in their cooking. Plus we had chocolate and wine–all things I haven’t had in a long time. It’s amazing how just a taste again really awakens the beast of food addiction. Feels pretty discouraging, to be honest. Not only that, I didn’t sleep well at all last night, and I woke up around midnight with a really unhappy digestive system. I’m still feeling it this morning. Is it connected to the oil/chocolate/wine? I can’t help but suspect so. If that’s not a lesson, I don’t know what is. So miserable.

Even though I stayed plant-based all week and didn’t binge on anything, I felt disappointed with my weight loss, which was minimal (less than 2 lbs). Of course, I got my period this week which could affect the scale as well. I know that I’m impatient–I just am. I think it just underscores my realization in my previous post, though, that I can’t eat ad libitum. At least, not at this point in my life. I think that it takes very little food to fuel my body considering I’m not very active. And that means that I need a reset when it comes to how much food I think I need to eat. Hence my decision to start restricting my portions a little bit. I’m going to give that a try this week.

So here I am on a Saturday morning. I have the opportunity to make this week great and set myself up for a good week. I need to always frame it in that way–I have so many opportunities in front of me. Sure, there are challenges too. But I have so many opportunities, and so much knowledge. It’s easy to start feeling hopeless and discouraged, but that never helps me. I can do this, if I stick to it!

I have the power to change my health and my fertility.

 

Impatient

I have two things on my mind right now. I’m sure by posting them together, they’ll raise a lot of eyebrows (but really, is anyone reading this thing?! I don’t think so!).

First of all, I’ve been thinking about my eating and weight and health and happiness and what all of it means together. Over the weekend, I kept running across little hints about eating in a more controlled manner. I’m not sure if I believe in the woo-woo of the universe sending me things at times that I need to hear them. Nevertheless, there they were. I struggle with the idea of intuitive eating a lot. Not because I don’t believe that it works/exists, but because it feels so elusive to me. There is a broad spectrum of the volume of food I can eat before calling myself “full.” Most of the time, I don’t know where that line is. And I know that I could spend some dedicated time trying to figure it out, but I’m also impatient to lose weight now because I know it will contribute to me feeling better and healthier and being able to more fully pursue getting on top of my health and weight and everything else.

So the idea of having a more controlled eating plan feels appealing to me. Ad libitum eating is very hard for me because I don’t know when to stop. It also, for whatever reason, puts me in a mindset of being freer with my choices and amounts. And often that eventually leads into unhealthy binging again. But if I had distinct lines and patterns to follow, I think I might do better. At least, until I’m over this hump where I’m feeling powerless and like losing weight is a hopeless task.

That’s not to say that I don’t believe in the Starch Solution and high-carb diets and eating intuitively. But maybe I need something more right now. I can’t help but feel like I’m on a timeline since I’m working with limited years for fertility. I don’t feel like I have the luxury to spend many more years experimenting. I want this weight gone and I want my health back. Maybe once I’m in a better spot, I can attempt more intuitive eating again.

The bright spot is that I have been completely plant-based now for 3 days. That shouldn’t be a big deal, but sadly, it is. I ate very badly last week. On the weekend, I found it in myself to stick to plants. That’s not to say that every choice was good, but in the bigger picture it was. I feel like even my feet are already less swollen.

So with that small victory on my side, I feel like I’m ready to tackle an eating plan. I’m going to try the Fuhrman nutritarian plan for a little while to see what happens. I want some firm boundaries, and that’s what it’ll give me. I plugged in all of the food to Cronometer, and it’s amazing how calories can add up, even if you’re just eating fruits and vegetables. I was pleased to see that eating this way exceeded almost all of my nutrient needs. So I know that I will lose weight, even if it’s just because I’m forgoing the junk food binges.

Part of my motivation is coming from the fact that we’re going to visit family in 2 months. I don’t want to show up with the body I have right now. I want to be able to feel better about myself, feel more confident and healthy. So that’s some great motivation right there.

And there is hopeful pregnancy as well. More and more, I’m starting to believe that my inner, deep convictions that my weight has somehow affected my fertility and contributed to my miscarriages. I wanted to brush it aside for so long. But I’m starting to be convinced that it’s true. I don’t know if it’s directly linked, or if it’s more complex than that. In other words, I think my weight has led me to become more withdrawn, less confident and less willing to take risks. I feel like I’ve lost some of the spark or essence that made me who I am. I don’t feel like I’m in the right body right now, and that leads to so much inner turmoil and dissonance. In turn, I think that allowed me to feel complacent in the situations that I’m in, especially in regards to my job. This job is so much better than my last one. I do wonder how much my unhappiness at my old job contributed to the 3 miscarriages I had. That was a time of a lot of stress, feeling unfulfilled and unhappy. I also imposed on myself timelines for being pregnant and having a baby. And obviously that planning was a joke as the universe served me a big fuck-your-plans every time. I think having those timelines added another layer of stress because it made baby-making start to feel like an act of desperation, like something that had to be done or else I would lose maternity leave, or the age gap between kids would be too big, or it wouldn’t align with plans for E to start school. I think I need to abandon all of those tendencies towards trying to be in control. I need to let it all go. My current job is much better. I still don’t feel that fulfilled or inspired, and I feel like there is something better out there for me, but the environment is so much more positive that I mostly have a sense of peace and my stress is much lower. I think if I lost weight, I would start to thrive in this role because I would gain confidence. And inevitably, all of that would lead to me feeling more fulfilled, and it would all snowball from there. Wouldn’t that be a much better place from which to make a baby? In other words, I think everything is interrelated. It’s all connected, and while my weight could be a major factor in my miscarriages, it might be more complex than that. I would also love to get to a place where I’m not taking medications and supplements anymore either. I am anxious to get off the progesterone, to be honest. I’d also like to see if I could eventually get off of thyroid medication too. Basically, get my hormones in order. Which is weight-related but also stress-related—see, it’s all connected!

I also want to embrace confidence in myself and my body as well. I went into my second pregnancy (first miscarriage) with some pretty serious doubts about my body and whether it was healthy enough. And what do you know? Those doubts came into fruition. That led me to enter the subsequent two pregnancies with a huge amount of doubt in my body. I wonder how much of having such a negative mindset contributed to the outcomes. Obviously there were physical health issues as well that somehow contributed, but I do wonder what my negative emotional receptivity and doubts contributed too.