Wednesday, August 26, 2015

IVF & Weight Gain: 5 Tips That You're Not Going Crazy, or, a Failure

I've been a bit silent on this topic with IVF because of all of it, it's been the one that's MOST embarrassing for me.  And, I realized it was because of my view point on it.

I am a health and fitness coach, and here I am, going off and gaining some significant weight.  How hypocritical of me.  Atleast, that's what I thought, until I chatted with my doctor.

Yesterday, I had my appointment, and, I just love my doctor, she has been with me since the very beginning of all of this, and is so kind and gracious.  She asked me yesterday how I had been doing with the medicine, and I told that I honestly could not stop myself from eating...like...everything.  I made a little joke about it, because, that's just how I handle things that embarrass me, and she said, 'oh Candice, don't even worry about it, you're supposed to be, that's what this medicine DOES.'

And, it was like a little light bulb went off in my guilt-ridden mind.

It's OKAY.

How many times do we just need to hear that from someone?  

It was so helpful for me, because, even though I KNEW it, there was this terrible little voice saying, 'yeah, maybe it does do that, but, it's your fault too, the Lupron isn't to blame for the Ben & Jerry's!'

So, as I battled through these thoughts, I thought of FIVE actions that I could take while I'm going through this process, and NOT feel like a failure.  If you are taking medication that causes weight gain, I challenge you to think on this as well.  Often times we throw our hands up in the air, and say 'welp, too bad, guess I'll go have five Toblerones!' (totally hypothetical of course).  I think that there is a BALANCE between five Toblerones, and, driving yourself crazy with this idea that you're not at your ideal body type.  Hence, these five actions: 

1. Replace your snacks with healthier options: I say snacks, because, that's MY struggle.  I have no problem eating a healthy meal, but then, an hour later I'm scavenging the kitchen.  So, when the scavenge happens, have healthy, but also satisfying snacks be available to you.  Things like, string cheese, greek yogurt, fruit, Shakeology, those are MY go-to's.  If you want something salty, I really recommend 'Boom Chicka Pop' popcorn.  It's SO good, completely satisfying, and, low calorie.

2. Have Accountability: If you live with someone, have it be that person.  My husband has been so sweet, and is helping me out by suggesting that we both follow the 21 Day Fix meal plan.  If you're alone, find some online support!  I run monthly challenge groups on Facebook, and I'd love for you to join in!  Either way, find someone that can help you, and hold you accountable to what you put in your mouth.  You can't control the medication, but you CAN control your eating, let someone else help you too.  Because trust me, there WILL BE weak moments.  

3. Set Realistic Goals: Last year I wanted a six pack, and I got it.  That can't be the goal right now.  It just can't.  It's not realistic.  My goal is to have a baby, and, for babies to be healthy and grow, your body can't look like a supermodel, and, it legit can't if you're doing IVF.  I am only allowed very light exercise so, all I have is my diet at this point.  However, this doesn't mean that you have to throw in the towel.  Make some measurable goals.  Set a goal for your water intake.  Set a goal with your food.  Make a decision to take a 30 minute walk.  You may not be able to take body measurements, but you can measure your success in other areas.  Make a goal to feel better, and, decide what that looks like.  Did you sleep for solid 8 hours?  Do you wake up feeling refreshed instead of sluggish and tired?  Think OUTSIDE the box, and measure things that are important as you go through this time.

4. Eat Food that Reduces Bloat: I actually have another blog post about this issue, but, in general, this kind of medication makes you feel heavy and gross in a way that only weight gaining medication can.  So, to combat that heavy feeling drink LOTS of water, eat lots of veggies that help move the digestive system along like, spinach and broccoli, and also beans.  I realize this stuff makes you go to the bathroom more, but hey, that's what is going to make you feel better, so, don't worry about running to the bathroom, and be glad that you don't feel bloated.  It's definitely the lesser of two evils in my opinion.

5. Give yourself GRACE: It took my doctor saying it to me, and if that helps you, then go have a chat with yours.  But, please know that I am telling you: You are legitimately taking medication that LEGITIMATELY causes weight gain and increased appetite.  That is NOT an excuse or an 'out'.  It's what is really going on.  My body has gone through three IVF cycles now, and, man, it is TIRED.  It is weary.  And this final cycle has resulted in me giving up on things like my diet that I tried really hard with before.  Then, I felt guilty about that.  In some ways it was good because it caused me to think about it, but it didn't come without getting down on myself.  Please don't do that!  If you are going through IVF your body is preparing to have a baby....YOU are preparing to be a parent....what you are doing is a beautiful, wonderful thing.  Give yourself grace, and then, work with what you're given.

Thanks for reading everyone!  ~Candice


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