As always, this community continues to amaze me. This past weekend was a rough one, but thanks to all of you I am dusting myself off and preparing for whatever is to come.
Yesterday was CD2, meaning it was time to begin the usual suppression medications. Lupron has been ordered and I'm currently on BCPs. Though no symptoms have been evident, I fully expect to start feeling all those lovely side-effects by the weekend (just in time to record another podcast). If listening to a medicinally-induced menopausal woman talk about infertility and pregnancy loss doesn't grab your attention, this may be one to miss.
Anyway, in preparation for the havoc these drugs will be doing to my body, my acupuncturist and I had a discussion about things I can do to help turn-over the drugs. I haven't written about this since July, but the herbs that I've been on have been amazing regarding regulating my cycles and making PMS virtually nonexistent. With being on the drugs, though, herbs are out (they could potential interfere with the drugs, counteracting their intended purpose), so we had a discussion about the next best thing: food.
I have a love/hate relationship with food. From a young age, my weight was scrutinized, resulting in calorie counting and obsession about what went into my body. It isn't much of a surprise that my eating habits were so awful for years based on this, with me focusing too much on what the back of the package said vs. what I was actually eating.
All of that changed for a time when I moved to Seattle. Living in the Mint House meant communal living and sharing food. I learned from the Mint Ladies to stop focusing on the package and to instead focus on the product, the presentation and the portion size. Slowly, I began to love food for what it was. Meeting Grey only enhanced this, as he and his roommate would spend hours perfecting various recipes. It was through them I learned it was important to toss the margarine and embrace butter as well as how to incorporate spice, various types of vegetable cuts and most importantly patience. And it wasn't a terribly surprising consequence that my waistline began to shrink as I learned to eat better.
Then infertility hit. Though I was still mindful of food, being balanced went out the window. Instead of feeding my body, I was focusing on what to eat/not to eat while TTC. The balance I had found with various types of foods was gone and it wasn't long before bad habits started creepy back in. Over the past 3 years, I've managed to add 20 lbs to my frame. While other's talk about how they lose weight while undergoing IVF, I added (and was envious of those who were able to lose) and worried that the weight was adding to the increased symptoms and negatively impacting our changes. The inability to wear certain pieces of clothing or things becoming tight have been physical reminders of all the failure.
My acupuncturist equals all of this to an increase in dampness to my body. The idea being that as moisture has accumulated and become stagnant, so has the weight. Part of the problem with the increase in dampness has been my daily commute (2 hours round trip 5 days a week is certainly taking a toll), but also to me not clearing things. So, we talked about what I could do in order to stave off some of the negative side-effects of the drugs.
She started by recommending a couple of books. The first is called "Healing with Whole Foods," by Paul Pitchford. What she liked about this book is that it incorporates Chinese medicine with Western nutrition. Though there are things she doesn't agree with, in general it was a good place to start. The other book is called "The Self Healing Cookbook," by Kristina Turner.
As I'm waiting for these books from the library, she gave me a list of additions to/subtracts from my diet. Some will be harder than others.
-Beets (roasted ones, if possible)
-Beans (Lentil soup anyone?)
-Coffee (this one may kill me)
-Soy (minimize this one)
The adds are clearly easier than the subtracts.
So, I'm slowly weaning myself off of coffee (I hate decaf, so it's better to reduce as much as possible) and minimizing sugar. In addition to this, I've come to the realization that beer needs to go too. In the meantime, I've been experimenting with ways to prep greens (roasted beets with balsamic vingar, kale with garlic and pepper flasks) as well as stocking up on old staples. All in the hopes of getting a leg up on Lulu.
Two BCPs down. 2.7 weeks to go.
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