Thursday, October 24, 2013

diet, weight loss and infertility

Back in January of 2012 I weighed almost 160lbs. For my 5 foot 7 inch body that was too much.  I was unhappy with how I looked, how I felt and combined with my inability to get pregnant made me miserable.  My weight loss journey began with weight watchers. You can read more here

I was committed to get down to 130lbs.  I followed the points plus weight watchers plan and within 3 months I was down to about 135lbs. A month later I hit the goal weight!  I could not believe how much better I felt. Following the points plus program really helped overhaul my diet.  I ate way more fruits and veggies, I ate far less carbs and more appropriate portions of meat.  It was by far the best way for me to get my eating habits under control. 

What I liked best about weight watchers is that it wasn't about depriving yourself, it was about moderation.  I can now eat smaller portions of not-so-good-for-you foods, I have a few bites and I am satisfied. 

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This after photo above was taken this past summer. Since then my weight has stayed steady between 126-128lbs.  A weight I never thought I would be at.  I share my actual weight, not to focus on the number, but to see how much different I look and how much healthier and happier I am.  Let's face it, as much as we say "who cares about the scale", sometimes it matters.  I do not weight myself every day, but sometimes the scales helps keep  me on track.  Just seeing it in the morning reminds me to make good choices.  

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As part of really getting my body, hormones and weight under control in 2013 {also because I turned 30 this year and wanted to start a new decade feeling my best!} I began focusing on clean eating instead of doing the points+ system.  I felt it was time I really start focusing on putting the best nutrients into my body since I finally had portion control under control.  In a few weeks time I really started to see a difference in my body.  This after photo above was taken in late summer and I can see how much different my body looks from the after photo at the top.  

I also began following recipes from Gwyneth Paltrow's book, It's All Good, thanks to Andrea, aka @gwynethmademedoit.  As soon as I opened the book I was hooked.  I read a paragraph where she talks about soy. It basically talked about how the presence of phtyoestrogens can mimic estrogen, bind to estrogen receptors and disrupt hormonal balance.  This made so much sense to me, a few months prior to getting her book I switched from soy milk to almond milk and I noticed a change in my body and hormone levels.  {I have a medical diagnosis for infertility, so I am in no way saying it was caused by the soy milk. I started drinking soy milk a few years ago when I realized I could no longer do milk. I have had infertility issues for many more years than that.} Reading that paragraph pretty much  had me hooked.  

In addition to the clean eating I was really focused on cutting back on my gluten in-take.  Not because I wanted to try the latest fad like so many people assumed, but because I knew my body doesn't process it well. I cut it out for a few weeks and then one night had a beer and 2 slices of pizza with Scott, about 2 hours later I felt like death, same thing a few weeks later. It was now obvious that gluten should be done in moderation for me. I also felt really good when i focused on eating less gluten.  

My final big change thus far is juicing.  Not a crazy juicing cleanse, just straight up juicing a few times a week for breakfast or a mid-afternoon pick me up to get me through until dinner.  Again, my body loves it and I feel good, see a pattern here? I am doing things my body likes and it in turn it is making me feel great.  You really need to know your body. I know I could not do a paleo diet, too much meat for me. There are days where I have no desire to eat meat and thus I get my protein for the day in other ways. 

This is all still a work in progress, some days I splurge on things like cheese, or some carbs, but all in moderation.  I am really working on giving my body the best food and nutrients I can in hopes that it will help with some of my infertility issues.  And if it doesn't? It is still a win because I am in the best shape of my life and have never felt better. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

fear of the future and unknowns

As time goes by and our little family stays the same size I often worry that I will become too involved in my own daily life.  Does that make since?

I worry that I will get too into my job and won't be a good mom.  That I will be too focused on wanted to be a successful business woman and I won't want to slow down and enjoy mama moments.  

scarf: forever21 // top, skinnies & flats: Target // bag: Francesca's

I then fear that once I am a mama I won't want to work at all. Ok, really that is not true.  I know that I need to have something for myself, I like to be busy and involved. I like to have something I can call mine and be proud of. Something that doesn't relate to my husband's career as a naval officer but is instead my own.  So maybe that fear is more how will I balance it all.  How will I make it work?  

These fears give me doubts about being a mother.  These fears make me question if I am supposed to be a mom.  How does one balance it all? I see that as a common every day burning questions asked every day by moms around the world.  In a world where we think and expect to do it all the idea of living this life and adding a baby to the mix seems scary.  

I struggle with being successful in my career.  It is a mix of the horrible comparison game and my crazy over the top standards I have for myself.  I don't know what the future will look like. I have no idea the path  my career with go when we have kids. I have no idea when we will have kids, so all these unknowns have my anxiety and fear wheels spinning like crazy. 

I have to remind myself to be intentional about what I add to my plate and the thoughts that I have.  I know stressing over the unknown and things I can't control are a waste of time but the devil is so tricky and finds ways to let that ugly head creep into my vision.

Each day is a chance to start over and remind myself that in God's time it will all happen and the self-induced stress over the unknown is a waste of time.  Every day I get the chance to start over and a better attitude than the day before. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Rejoicing IN the struggle

At the end of last week I started the study of James in the SheReadsTruth series.  Saturday morning I read James 1:2-4 as part of the Day 2 study.  The words pierced me like an arrow.

A reminder that trials and other not so fantastic things are give to us to learn and grow from. They are given to us so that we may be unwavering in the Word and in Jesus.  Raechel's words also spoke to me: 

"We pray the bad times away. We beg that they would never come at all. We ask The Lord to remove our thorns, to help us to endure our hardship, and to bring us through them as unscathed as possible. Lord, help us get well soon!
But James has an entirely different take on trials.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.”
Don’t get over them. Don’t rush through them or past them. Rejoice –> IN <– them. {here}.  

So many times I prayed for God to end the hardship that came along with infertility. I would pray and beg him to "fix" me, to bless Scott and I with a baby.  It wasn't until I began to realize that this was all a part of his plan that I began to change my prayer.  My prayer went from asking to be pregnant to asking for guidance. 

My faith has grown and strengthened so much from my struggle. My husband's faith has been strengthened as well.  Our marriage has been strengthened beyond words because of our infertility trials.  Reading these verses and the bible study reminded me to stop praying for it all to just go away.  I should continue to pray and ask God to use me how he will and show me how he wants me to be a light for him.  I know one day I will be a mom, it will be in God's time and this struggle will have prepared me for the journey.  

Friday, October 18, 2013

What not to say to someone dealing with infertility

Happy Friday! 

Why are Fridays so fantastic? I think the idea of date night, plus 2 days off makes me feel like I just won the lotto! 

I have been pretty open about my infertility walk for the last 2 years. That first year it was something I thought we would deal with quickly so I didn't think we needed to share our struggle.  Fast forward 3+ years and I realize it would be impossible for me to keep this struggle bottled up.  

It gets hard to not share our infertility journey when people ask about kids. If you try and say "no, not yet, hopefully soon" people somehow think that is an open invitation to say "oh, you are young. you have plenty of time" or "well be sure to enjoy this time because there is no going back".  Sometimes I just nod my head and move on to the next topic, but when people get pushy with their advice I then share a tiny bit of my infertility story.  This usually leaves them shocked and unsure what to say. They usually back track a bit and apologize for asking and then I assure them it is ok, and that I openly talk about my infertility. 

When I go to blog conferences the topic comes up rather quickly in a conversation with a person I've just met.  They usually ask what I blog about and I say "life, clothes, our military adventures and my struggle with infertility".  When I shared this with a women while at BlogHer back in July I got a response that left me speechless. 

We shared what we blogged about and I said my line from above. We continued to talk and she began to tell me about a new blog she was going to start.  Long story short she compared the pain of dealing with infertility to the pain a mom feels when she sends her kid off to summer camp.  I stood their dumbfounded.  I had no idea what to say. I think I nodded my head, smiled, took a sip of my cocktail and began to quickly think of a way to excuse myself before I laid into her about how she should NEVER EVER use that comparison again. 

I soon found a way to excuse myself and quickly told my friends I was with and then texted some girlfriends of the crazy encounter.  I needed a bit of assurance that I wasn't being crazy and overly sensitive.  To be honest, the comment didn't bother me as much as it would have a year ago. I think I was more shocked than anything. But the reality is people say things like this all the time to women struggling with infertility, women who are very vulnerable.  The woman I had this lovely encounter with seemed to be someone who doesn't think before she speaks.  She probably has no idea why or how what she said would upset someone struggling with infertility. Women who struggle with infertility and share their story don't expect everyone to understand or know what to say, we know it is hard topic to talk about. We live and breathe the journey so we know.  What we do expect is for people to have compassion and not take our struggle as a joke and make it seem insignificant.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

a reminder to be the light and other #infertility ramblings

oh goodness me, I clearly failed at blogging for #31 days.  

but we'll just continue where we left off, sound good? GREAT! 

last night I spend a few minutes talking with a friend about infertility. the struggle, the pain, the facebook announcments, telling the in-laws, dealing with fertile mertiles, the whole 9 yards. 

she shared with me how good it was for her to read my story, for her to know she wasn't alone. 

it was a great reminder to me why God wants me to share my story. i truly believe God gives us struggles so we can be a voice, so we can be the light.  

i know i am at a place in my fertility walk that i never thought i would be at 2 years ago. 

i am at peace. 

 a starbucks treat selfie

i have accepted i might never be pregnant, but that doesn't mean i won't be a mom. my path to mommyhood might be different than most and i think God might using me to share that journey. 

while i have accepted the possibility of never giving birth i still get sad sometimes. i get sad that i might never have that first look at a baby boy or girl and see Scott's gorgeous piercing blue eyes.  i might never hold 7lbs of beauty that is a mix of scott and i. that part is hard to swallow. 

that feeling of sadness sometimes washes over me at the most unexpected time.  a reminder that the infertility journey has so many sides, sides you never expected to see or deal with. 

but each day i'll push on. i'll work to understand and accept God's plan.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Join us for a Hillshire Farm Twitter Party

It’s Fall Y’all!  As temperatures begin to fall and football fans everywhere rejoice for their beloved pigskin, we are ready to talk all about Fall cooking with Hillshire Farm.

Hillshire Farm Twitter Party

Photos from Hillshire Farm

Do you have a go-to Fall recipe? Are you the gal who puts on a big spread for your favorite football team? Maybe slow cooking, and comfort foods are your specialty. If you’re ready to share your love Fall, comfort food, and Hillshire Farm come party with us!  From smoked sausage to lunch meat, Hillshire Farm’s products are full of flavor and taste great. We’re so excited to be partying with Hillshire Farm next week as we chat about their awesome recipes, lunch meats, sausages, and more. We hope you’re ready for a good time because we’ve got so many great things to share.

Here are the details:

When: Tuesday, October 15, from 8-9 pm EST (5-6:00 PST).

Where: On Twitter, using the hashtag #Buy3Save3

Who: Be sure to follow our hosts @PollinateMedia, @fashionistammc, @jenhatzung

TweetDeck: We recommend following along using TweetDeck for the party. Search for our #buy3save3 hashtag

Prizes: We will be giving away 4 $25 SAFEWAY gift cards throughout the party.

We’ve also made it easy for you to let your followers know about this twitter party. Just copy and paste the tweet below.

Join us as we chat about Hillshire Brands, Fall, & our favorite recipes! 10/15 at 8pm EST RSVP: #buy3save3 #pmedia

Please RSVP using the link below (enter the URL to your Twitter profile) to be eligible for a prize. All winners will be chosen randomly from the RSVP list. Winners must be present and participating during the party to be eligible to win a prize. Be sure to follow the Party Hosts, along with using the hashtag in every tweet about the party. This twitter party is sponsored by Hillshire Farm as part of a social shopper marketing campaign with Pollinate Media Group®. #buy3save3 #pmedia

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Please don't forget about my #infertility

Today has been a busy day at work. Really the last week, including the weekend has been pretty fast paced and B.U.S.Y. 

Since I want to spend some quality time with the husband tonight I thought today's infertility post should be a re-share of a post I wrote a few months ago for SpouseBuzz. It was a post that got way more attention and comments than I thought it would. {I did not read the comments as I know most of them are not great. Be warned if you do read them, people are mean.}

I usually find the online community I entered many years ago to be a place to find encouragement and inspiration. As a woman who just turned 30 it has become normal to wake up to new Instagram, Facebook and blog posts with women announcing their pregnancy, in both my online community world as well as my in-real-life friends and family.

But these bloggers and other creative women I once went to as a source of inspiration are quickly added to the list of blogs/posts to avoid.
The reality is I cannot stomach another blog about the joys of pregnancies or worse the complaints of pregnancy.

Click here to finish reading the post.

sunnies: c/o Firmoo // top: Anthropologie // boyfriend jeans and flats: Target

{I wrote this post in February and had it published in April, I am at a much better place now. I'll be blogging more about that this month.}

Monday, October 7, 2013

infertility and comparison

I totally forgot to post yesterday, whoopsie.  

I find myself playing the comparison game, a lot. I am guilty of it in so many aspects of my life but I think I do it most often when it comes to being pregnant/having a baby.  When I see a new post on Instagram or Facebook announcing someone's pregnancy I can't help but start comparing my life to theirs. 

It never ends well. 

I often end up crying or being beyond angry. 

Not angry at them, but angry at my situation. 

The feeling of anger seems to be happening less and less, which reminds me of the progress I have made about dealing with my infertility.

But I still can't shake the comparison game. I compare their age, how long they've been married, etc. Some aren't and that is also a hard pill to swallow, the post about someone who wasn't planning to get pregnant. And then sometimes i count how many times a day they complain about their pregnancy and then how many times a day the complain about their newborn/toddler.  I know it sounds crazy, but the people who complain about EVERY.SINGLE.THING make me want to scream. It's hard to see someone make a huge deal out of not being able to take cough medicine while pregnant while I can't get pregnant.  I know they are not rubbing it my face but they are still hard posts to read.

I'm trying to remind myself that we often tend to compare our bad with other peoples good, not the best comparison. I know that God's plan for me is perfect.  When I stop questioning God about his plan for others and instead focus on the timing of his plan for me I am a much happier person. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

your present circumstance...

When I spend too much time thinking about our struggle to start a family I end up getting too focused on the now and how "bad" things are.  This quote is such a great reminder that our current circumstances are part of God's plan. I truly believe we will be better parents once day because of it. Whether they are babies I give birth to or babies we adopt this struggle is preparing us for an amazing journey in the future.

\\ i found this image on pinterest with no source, if is yours please let me know so i gave site proper credit. //

Friday, October 4, 2013

My friend Emmy {and her awesome planners!}

Today I want to share with you a friend who makes amazing planners, has a huge heart and is in the process of adopting their 3rd baby.  You can read Emmy's story here and here

Her Amazing Much Ado About You 2014 planners are on sale until October 10th. I promise you will love it! Swoop yours up today and support this amazing woman and her family! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The day I took time to ADVOCATE for #infertility

Back in May I took the train up to DC to storm the Hill for Advocacy Day 2013.

It was a day I will never forget. 
Stephanie and I with Senator Patty Murray {WA}. We spoke with her briefly and thanked her for introduced the Women Veterans and Other Health Care Improvement Act S 131.

All of us who stormed the Hill for infertility with Representative Larsen.

I recently wrote a post for SpouseBuzz about my experience.

"I didn’t think my voice would be powerful enough, or my story strong enough to convince our national leaders to make some much-needed change.

I went into this day thinking I would just sit back and let others speak -– boy was I wrong."

You can read the full post here.

*photos are from's flickr.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

finding my faith, again...

In the beginning of our infertility journey I was unaware of how much emotional pain I would endure. My history of issues with my ovaries, prior surgeries etc I knew there was a pretty good chance it would take us a while to convince, in my head I though maybe 12-15 months or so. We found out about 4 months after trying to start a family that there were various reasons why I couldn't ovulate and thus was going to get pregnant, a diagnosis of Polycystic ovary syndrome {PCOS} was made.  There were also many other health issues that made more sense after the diagnosis. 

It was around month 18 or so that I really began to feel the emotional toll of infertility.  Friends and family members began to announce pregnancies, which then lead to birth announcements and it was hard.  It was hard to see pictures of babies and not be sad. Then the sadness turned into anger, anger at myself and anger at God.  The anger manifested and was often times pushed towards my husband.  Nights of yelling, crying, and being a hot mess were what my poor husband had to deal with after a long 10-12 hour day at work.

In the Fall of 2012 during the same time I began to feel this anger and sadness I really felt a nudge from the Lord.  Scott and I would attend church a few times a month but I wasn't spending any time reading the Bible or actively worshiping God.  I stepped out of my comfort zone and joined a weekly Thursday morning bible study at the base chapel.  God lead me to exactly where I needed to be. I met women who I didn't feel would judge me for my lack of knowledge about the Bible, heck they didn't judge me about anything. They really made me feel comfortable. I was able to share and open up about my anger towards God and how my faith was failing and I couldn't understand why God was "punishing me".  The first study we did was 6 weeks and in those 6 weeks my heart and relationship with the Lord changed in major ways.

I began to feel like I could function again, not by myself but this time with God by my side.  I am not sure the women in the bible study will ever really know how much they helped me in my time of need. How much they encouraged me to see the good in all of Gods plans.  I was reminded again that God has a plan for us all, but it is in his time, not ours. These women shared their brokenness to be a voice for Gods word.  It was by the example of these women that I would later realize God wants to use my story of infertility to help others, even if it is just to spread awareness about infertility.  He wants to use my brokenness for good.  2 years after that first bible study I still have days or weeks where I struggle, but I know my heart would not be at peace about our infertility journey if I hadn't looked up the base bible study and forced myself to go.  Scratch that, let's be real, it was God pushing me to go.

earrings: The Limited // necklace: Target {a gift} // tank: H&M // skirt Loft {$4 total score!} 
// belt: Francescas// sandals: The Gap

These photos were from our trip this past summer to Newport, Rhode Island. My husband is becoming quite the photographer!

pleated poppy

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Our infertility journey began more than 3 years ago

This past July marked 3 years since Scott and I began the journey to start a family.  It has been a crazy 3 years, so many highs and a few lows.  Last May I wrote my first blog post opening up about my struggle to conceive and my issues with infertility. 

Here is the beginning of the post, you can read the entire post here:

Scott and I have been trying to have a baby for 20 months, almost 2 years. Enough time to have had a baby and be pregnant with a second. We have not been very successful, as is evident by my lack of a baby bump.

Let me clarify, we haven't been casually trying for the last 20 months, we've been doing every thing in hopes of conceiving a baby. We started to try and track ovulation but I wasn't ovulating, clearly I wasn't going to get pregnant if I wasn't releasing any eggs. I have had a hunch since an early age that I was going to have difficulty getting pregnant. My hunch combined with some medical issues meant after 4 months of trying my primary care doctor was supportive of testing for fertility issues.

My hunch over the past 10 years was correct, I have polycystic ovarian syndrome PCOS, which means that I don't ovulate on my own/regularly and that my hormones are slightly out of whack.

I wish I was writing for the next #31days about infertility and was going to end the month with a happy ending, but I am not. I am writing for the next 31 days to share my story.  To share the thoughts and struggles that come infertility.  To share the good as well as the bad that as come from accepting the fact that I might never be pregnant and adoption might be our only hope. 

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