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.

 

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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.

Not feeling successful

I’ve been making the opposite of progress lately. This is disappointing to me because I feel like I’m wasting valuable time. But I’m in a downward spiral of giving in to my cravings and binging. The sad part is that I can pinpoint exactly when the freefall started—when I ate a big, greasy muffin a couple of weeks ago because I was caught so off-guard when the person offered it to me.

I know this unhealthy eating affects almost every area of my life. I’m desperately trying to claw my way out of this pit because it feels so sad and hopeless in here. I’ve been routinely waking up at 3:30 most mornings, unable to get back to sleep because I’m so anxious. The anxious thoughts often lead to thinking about my past miscarriages and wondering if I’m ever going to get pregnant and have another child again. Meanwhile, the scale creeps up and up and up.

The maddening part is that I know the solution. I have all the answers and all the knowledge. But I’m allowing the impulsive, addicted part of my brain override all of that.

Aside from worries about pregnancy, I also feel the pressure to shed some pounds because of upcoming visits with people I haven’t seen in a while. I know I’ll never be at an ideal weight by that time, but at the very least I could be a little bit lighter, and, even more importantly, I could feel healthier and more vibrant. I’m trying not to let these deadlines apply pressure, because it stresses me out, but it’s hard not to.

In terms of my fertility, I’m at CD 18, and 3 days past ovulation. I think ovulation went okay this month—I got a positive OPK, and my cervical fluid dried up, and I got a spike in my temperature. However, all of those events didn’t exactly correspond in the time frame that I expected them to (ex. my temperature spiked a day later than I expected it to). But according to my chart, we timed being intimate well, so there’s not much more I could have done this month. I was more diligent about starting to be intimate a couple days ahead of when I expected to ovulate. I happened to read that it’s more important to do that ahead of the date, rather than right on the day of ovulation, since it’s good to have some sperm that are already there waiting so that they don’t have to do all the travelling and potentially miss the egg. Who knows. That could just be another “trick” that is a load of shit. After a while, all the fertility advice starts to get kind of exhausting and anxiety-producing.

So now I’m just in the place where I have to wait about 10 more days before being able to test. I want so badly to be pregnant. I think I need to find a way to lower my anxiety in this area, because I’m sure that this excess anxiety isn’t benefitting the chances of conception. Maybe listen to some Hypnobabies tracks this weekend. I got pregnant so easily every other time—I don’t want to add difficulty conceiving to my list of fertility problems. I’m definitely feeling my age right now.

Success

I had a positive week. I did end up writing a vision for myself, and I tried to review it every morning. I kept my food clean for the week, and it’s amazing how quickly that makes the body feel so good. I tried to frame it as loving myself, honouring my vision, rather than being focused on restricting myself and feeling shame and guilt whenever I mess up. That makes a world of difference–getting in the right mindset.

So I ate plant-based and oil-free for the whole week. And I lost 2.4 lbs in 4 days. I wasn’t ever hungry, and I loved the food that I ate. I didn’t focus on the things that made my diet/habits less than ideal this week (I used salt liberally, and I had a number of higher-fat little snacks when I was really hungry or feeling a craving, i.e. dates with peanut butter). Instead, I see them as things that I can improve for the next week.

In addition, I went to bed early every night and I slept well almost every single night. Whee! It was amazing! Altogether, I think the clean food and sleep just made my body and spirit feel so good this week. If I keep feeling this good, I feel ready to incorporate walking again too.

The big mistake I made yesterday is that I let someone talk me into eating a muffin. It was tasty, but it was huge and greasy and sweet. Then I had my big salad at lunch with tons of lettuce. I’m not sure if it was the muffin, followed by all the lettuce, or if it was the fact that I had a big of regular coffee in the morning because my decaf ran out, but I had the worst stomach cramps and diarrhea early in the afternoon. I had to go to the bathroom at work, and I was in there for a long time, in misery and sweating. And that was after a week of great digestion with no issues at all. I’m still not feeling great now. So that underscores just how important it is to keep my diet clean.

I went for acupuncture yesterday also, and it was really nice. I felt so positive this week, and that made me feel more at peace with my pregnancy journey as well. I have little hope that I’m pregnant this month, but I do feel hopeful that eating cleanly and starting to exercise will have positive effects on our trying to conceive. I’m curious to see if I’m pregnant next week, but if I’m not, I’m excited to get the next cycle started off on a great foot.