I want to take some time this afternoon to talk about something that has been weighing on my mind (and quite literally on my body) for some time now.
Ever since I was a young child, I always had issues with body image and my weight. For as long as I can remember, my brother (and shamefully, my father on occasions) was always harassing me because of my weight. Standard nicknames included: “Fatty” and “Thunder Thighs”. Wonderful and motivating terms to really boost one’s self esteem and confidence, right? Yah. Not so much.
I had a hard time in high school and especially in college. I kept gaining and gaining until I topped out at 182 pounds. I vividly remember crying in my doctor’s office during my senior year of college when I was having other health issues after I came off the scale. I was tired of being overweight. Tired of wearing size 14 – 16 clothing. Tired of feeling unattractive.
I needed things to change.
I hit the gym hard. I started going to the gym daily right after I graduated from college. I started working full time right away, but always made it a point to go to the gym before or after work. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t on the best “diet” ever at that point. I didn’t eat much during the day, but it seemed to help. Slowly, the weight started to come off.
Over the next 4 years, I lost 40 pounds in total. By the time E and I started fertility treatments at the end of 2009 while being stationed in Georgia, I was down to 142 pounds thanks to healthy eating (I finally got the diet part down) and cycle and strength classes at the on post gym.
Clomid was the first drug that started messing with my body. 4 rounds. Up almost 10 pounds. Pregnancy achieved on round #4. 6 weeks of puking. Bye bye, 10 pounds. Miscarriage. D&C. Emotional eating. Hello, 5 pounds.
After our first miscarriage, we packed up and literally moved across the country to Arizona. I was officially diagnosed with PCOS and placed on Metformin. Healthy eating + daily exercise + Metformin = weight loss. I was back to my happy weight of 142 pounds.
Miscarriage #2 happens after we moved cross country yet again and another round of Clomid. Same formula. Miscarriage + emotional eating = weight gain.
After the second miscarriage, I was referred to my current RE in North Carolina. We went through several rounds of timed intercourse, 5 IUI cycles, more TI cycles, 2 rounds of IVF, and 2 rounds of FET. All failures minus a chemical pregnancy with IVF #2.
After almost 3 years of treatment in North Carolina, I’m up almost 20 pounds. That’s right. I’m putting it out here. Currently, I weigh 159 pounds and I hate it. I literally hate looking at myself in the mirror. I hate putting my clothes on because they’re a little too snug in all the wrong places. I’m afraid to buy new clothes because I don’t want to accept the size that I am now.
Looking at me, it’s hard for some people to tell that I weigh that much because I stand at 5 feet, 9 and a half inches tall. You know what though? I can feel that extra weight on me. I can feel that my stomach is larger. My thighs thicker. I can see that my face is heavier.
The constant cycle of treatments and having PCOS have really messed with me. Obviously stress eating after each failure hasn’t helped much either, but the medications and this disorder have really taken a toll on my body.
I’m in a tough place right now. I’ve been trying for about 2 months now to lose some poundage, but no matter what I do, the scale isn’t budging and it’s disheartening. I literally workout 6 days a week and try to eat healthy for a good majority of the time. I had hoped to lose at least 5 to 10 pounds before embarking on our last FET cycle, but that window is quickly closing.
It’s hard to get up everyday, look in the mirror, and hate the person staring back at you.
Depending on what happens with this last FET cycle, I may be happily gaining weight thanks to a growing baby in my stomach or back on the weight loss train. Hopefully the former happens, but if not, I’ll occasionally share updates on attempts to overcome the awesome side effects of PCOS.