I have always had a passion for being active. I grew up as a competitive dancer from the age of 4 when I started. I should mention that I first got my cycle at the age of 11 and it was regular. I went on birth control for acne at the age of 14. I danced throughout high school and continued to dance as I pursued my education in Fitness and Lifestyle management. This is when I found a new passion for working out. It was part of my life and became very important to me.
I have always enjoyed healthy foods. But it was during college when my working out became an addiction, that my food also became an obsession.
It really was never about losing weight for me. During high school at my heaviest I was 135 lbs at a height of 5’8. I was working out 6 days a week. This consisted of 2-3 spin classes/4 days weight training/HITT/and maybe one 5k run. I was also walking everywhere and still dancing a couple nights on top of that. I never really counted calories but I was fixated on “clean foods”, and cooking all my own meals. I would think about things like if I had carbs for lunch, no carbs for dinner. I really did eat big portion sizes but it always super healthy/clean and I rarely indulged. It got so bad that I didn’t want to go out with friends to restaurants if I didn’t know what was on the menu or I would look at the menus ahead of time.
Basically fitness and food was my “outlet”. If I was stressed I would workout. If I couldn’t control something in my life I knew I could control my meals/workouts. During this time I was at my lowest weight around 116 lbs.
I was 21 when I stopped taking birth control pills because I felt like it was starting to mess with my hormones. I didn’t get my cycle back for 2 years. I saw an OB/GYN and she basically put me back on birth control to get my cycle back.
After I was married at 25 I decided to go off the pill. My weight was back to about 125lbs so I thought that maybe my system would start to work properly. Nope! I have still not had a period since then. I did a couple progesterone tests during this time and did not bleed. I have seen multiple doctors who never really said to stop working out, as they didn’t find my routine excessive.
Fast forward a couple years….
Between 26 and 27 years old my weight got back down to 116lbs. I am a Fitness trainer for the military and still active, but workouts have become more intense as I get stronger, and eating has become even more clean as I love cooking and trying new recipes whether it be paleo/gluten free/whole 30.
As my husband and I were started getting serious about wanting a baby…I knew I had to make some big changes. I have never officially been diagnosed with HA but when I found P’s blog “Finding Pure Happiness” and I related to her story, I knew that was what I had. She then added me to the Facebook support group, which changed my way of thinking! Reading all the stories, and knowing I wasn’t alone, really helped it sink in.
The tips/strategies from the other women were so helpful, and the stories were beyond inspiring.
I was already in the process of seeing a fertility specialist when I decided to go “all in” in August 2016. I had already had unsuccessful attempts with Clomid and Femara. The next option was injectables (menopur) with Ovadrel (trigger shot). The doctor told me if I wanted to help the process, I needed to become a “couch potato”. Even though I was eating a lot of calories, for years I had been underestimating how much I actually needed for the energy I was expending. He basically said, that my body is using all of its energy and it’s saying there is nothing left for anything extra like making a baby. This was the reality. And it took that long for me to wake up and realize I needed to fix these habits.
It wasn’t easy. I still stuck to eating the way I liked to eat but I would try to add more healthy fats, like extra peanut butter (4 TBSP throughout the day instead of 2). I also tried to schedule a pizza night or ice cream date with my hubby. I should also mention the support from him really helped me stick to it. I would go on a few walks and a couple light yoga classes a week.
I had almost 2 weeks of injections and did the trigger shot on August 12th. Then it was the dreaded 2WW. I couldn’t believe it when August 28th, I saw 2 pink lines!!! I should also say I took about 4 tests after this because I was in such disbelief! I really had gained that much weight, maybe 5 lbs. I felt like it was too good to be true. I was back in Canada visiting family during this time, so I had to wait until I was back in Colorado to get to my clinic to get my bloodwork done! My first beta was 1391 which confirmed I was pregnant. They had me do a second test to make sure my levels were increasing. A few days later my levels had increased up to 12119! So that was when it sunk in…. and when the nausea hit… it REALLY sunk in!
However every day waiting for my first ultrasound 6 weeks, and even until my most recent one at 11 weeks. I have been worried every day that I am high risk and it isn’t going to stick. Yesterday I heard a heartbeat and saw the little head and legs up in the air. I was so emotional, it felt so real!
So I say that I have not technically recovered fully. I have gained 11lbs since going all in. I have been told that after my first trimester I can start to add some light exercise. I plan to swim once a week, continue with my walks and MAYBE 1 or 2 light weight sessions or a yoga. If I am more active I try and replenish with even more carbs on those days or just more calories altogether. I will continue to leave out cardio.
I really do believe my body was craving rest.
I had been go, go, go for 10 years, and only taking 1 or 2 days off max! The support of everyone in the group kept me going. I am so grateful that it worked for me this time. But I am hoping to not have to rely on fertility treatments in the future. I am hoping to regain my cycle and try naturally!