The Grand Experiment

So, the 2(ish) weeks are up and this whole thing was pretty interesting. Here are my takeaways:

-Totally failed at not going out to eat for 2 weeks but when we did go out, I made better choices

-Calorie counting is a pain in the ass

-Planning meals 2 weeks at a time has been incredibly helpful and has saved time and money

-I was more mindful of my portions

-I have been getting fuller on less food

-I had a net loss of 3 pounds

-My water intake did not increase

-I’ve somewhat weaned myself off of coffee in favor of tea

-Calorie counting is a pain the ass

-I frequently don’t eat enough calories, but I’m more aware of the calorie content of many foods

-It’s gotten easier to turn down junk food at work

I doubt I’ll continue counting calories regularly (see above) but I will be eating more mindfully. Potentially in a week I’ll do it again for a few days to make sure I’m consuming enough calories.

Days 9 and 10

Day 9:

Breakfast was a breakfast burrito, same as before. DH took half a day to go with me to my reproductive specialist appointment (more on that in a second) so he brought me lunch for a locally well-known sandwich shop. It came with a soda and bag of chips, so I ended up having the soda, chips, and 2/3 of the sandwich. For dinner, I had the remainder of my sandwich and a cupcake we picked up while getting groceries. Thanks to that heavy sandwich I didn’t have much of an appetite for the rest of the day and was under my calories.

Day 10:

Today was annoying. I had to go to a follow up appointment (again, more on that in a second) in which I had to fast. I brought a quick breakfast to work that consisted of an everything bagel and homemade hummus. Lunch was another turkey burger on a thin sandwich bun and a bit of barbecue sauce, and I had a handful of mixed nuts for an afternoon snack. Dinner was a stuffed mushroom with sauteed spinach, mozzarella cheese, and tomato sauce. Exciting stuff. I haven’t totaled my calories yet but hopefully I’m on target.

***

I had my consultation appointment with my new reproductive specialist yesterday. DH came with me and spent most of the appointment answering a zillion questions. I still hate being asked about if I’ve ever been pregnant and when the nurse asked how long we’ve been trying, I realized that it’s been about 31 months. I felt a bit deflated after that. Anyway, I’m not a fan of my doctor, especially since he started dictating my case right in front of us. Rude. He performed a pelvic exam and said everything looked good but I needed to come back today for blood work and a transvaginal ultrasound. In addition to checking my hormone levels, they’re performing genetic testing to see if that’s why I haven’t conceived yet. I have to go back yet again in 3 weeks to get my progesterone checked. The ultrasound was really uncomfortable because my left ovary wasn’t visible. All of this is a pain in the ass but I’m hoping it’s worth it.

Days 7 and 8

These last 2 days have been tricky.

Day 7:

First, I weighed myself this morning and was pleasantly surprised. My weight stayed flat even though I felt I had eaten half a grocery store the day prior. When I put all my meals into my fitness tracker I was actually within my target calorie range. Guess it helped that I was fairly active on Friday, which balanced my calories a bit. Anyway, breakfast was quinoa pancakes again because DH and I were going to a party later that night. As part of the festivities, we stopped by a great bakery we hadn’t been to in ages and got guava and cream cheese pastries for ourselves. So good. Lunch was 2 grilled chicken tenderloins with a serving of cauliflower “rice.” The rice was interesting. We got the unflavored kind and I seasoned it with a chili coffee seasoning mix. Dinner was a mix of things from the party but I tried to be mindful of portions.

Day 8:

My period started today, which has kept my energy low and I haven’t been very active today. I slept in (which was glorious) so I missed breakfast this morning. I met friends for lunch, which was a lobster roll with a side of fries. I then had a couple of cocktails with the girls. Dinner was a bit of smorgasbord. I had a turkey burger with barbecue sauce on a thin sandwich bun, along with some rice and half a tamale that DH brought home from brunch with his friends. Probably went over my target calories but who cares.

***

Tomorrow, I have a consultation appointment with a reproductive specialist. DH is going with me. I told my mom about it tonight and she was excited that I haven’t given up on trying to get pregnant, which I guess I implied last time we talked about this. I have mixed feelings because I feel like I’m going to get disappointed again. With the HSG, my odds of pregnancy were supposed to increase by 30%. Going on Clomid, my odds were supposed to increase too, especially at the higher dose. None of that worked. I think I’m mostly ambivalent as a way to protect myself against further disappointment. DH and I already agreed though that the furthest we’ll go is getting the trigger shot and after that we’ll stop trying. This is such a roller coaster.

Days 5 and 6

So about not eating enough calories…

Day 5:

Breakfast was a homemade breakfast burrito (bell pepper, sausage, egg, a little mozzarella cheese, salsa, black beans, kale). It’s been a hellacious week at work and one of my coworkers surprised me with breakfast from a fast food place. My reaction was “awww…dammit.” I still ate it and felt a little wonky afterwards. I still had my packed lunch, which consisted of a homemade turkey burger with a little mayo and kale on a thin sandwich bun. We ate dinner out since the chicken we had planned to have with cauliflower rice wasn’t thawed yet. DH picked up sandwiches and probably needless to say, I went way over my calories for this day. Meh.

Day 6:

I thought I would try to right the ship today nutrition wise, but that didn’t work out. I had quinoa pancakes for breakfast and packed another turkey burger with the same fixings from yesterday. While at work, I found out that there would be pizza and cake for a coworker’s last day. I had both, but kept it to one slice of pizza and had a small piece of cookie cake. For .000000000012 of a second I felt a pang of guilt but my philosophy is that all food should be enjoyed with reasonable moderation. Anyway, it was good. When I got home, I wanted to go out as a way to wind down from a long week and DH was agreeable. We chose a jazz bar but the act we wanted to see was going on in 30 minutes and we hadn’t left home yet. I quickly ate my packed lunch then we headed over. There was no room at the regular bar so we sat at the oyster bar. DH was intrigued by the oysters and ordered some for us. I had 2 fried ones (I’ve had raw oysters and can’t deal with the texture). Our server gave us bread with butter and DH and I split the loaf. After my second cocktail I was still feeling hungry so I ordered a salad as a way to sorta redeem myself. It consisted of arugula with goat cheese and vegetables. I ate half because it was very overdressed. When I got home it felt like I had eaten quite a bit over the day. I thought about what workouts I could do in the morning to try get through the “blah” feeling I get when I eat too much. But my desire to sleep in won over.

Days 3 and 4

I’m still struggling with eating enough calories.

Day 3:

Yesterday wasn’t too terrible calorie-wise. Meals included quinoa protein pancakes with pork sausage for breakfast, tabbouleh with pita chips for lunch, a handful of nuts for my afternoon snack, and baked salmon with veggies and quinoa for dinner.

I learned my lesson from the quinoa pancakes. In an effort to try and front-load my calories, I had 2 portions (4 pancakes). By the time I left for work 30 minutes later, it felt like I swallowed those little sponges that grow when you put them in water. I finally felt better around lunch time.

DH and I met up with friends last night for drinks after dinner. We hadn’t seen these particular friends in a while and once I was at the venue I realized how much I missed them. A good reminder not to be so strict about things. Anyway, I had about the equivalent for 3 glasses of wine and felt a bit tipsy. We went to a different restaurant later and even though I was feeling pretty hungry (remember: tipsy me = hungry me) I decided to wait until I got home. DH made chicken meatballs a few days ago so I had couple of those. All told, I went just over my calorie allotment.

Day 4:

I have been in a horrible mood for most of the week. Work has been a nightmare and I’m dealing with a sinus infection. The infection was raging pretty hard today in that my neck, ears, and eyes were all hurting pretty bad. Fatigue has been strong too. I’ve been getting sinus infections yearly after I moved up north but this plus work nonsense has me wiped.

As a result, I have not worked out this week so far. It’s fine though, because I can’t seem to eat enough. Starting to get a bit frustrated. Breakfast today was quinoa pancakes (2 this time) with sausage, lunch was the last of the tabbouleh with pita chips, and my snacks this afternoon were a handful of roasted nuts and a serving of wheat crackers. For dinner we had flatbread pizzas. Until an hour ago, I had barely cracked 1,000 calories for the day. I had a serving of baby carrots and homemade hummus, and styrofoam a rice cake with peanut butter for my evening snacks. I’m only at 1,500 calories for the day so I’ll probably have one more thing to eat since I’m still under by quite a bit. Tomorrow’s planned meals are a little heavier so hopefully I won’t need to scramble for calories at the end of the day.

As a side note, I’m back to my pre-vacation weight!

Days 1 and 2

Alright, to help myself stay accountable, I’m going to post about every 2 days for the next 2 weeks about my meals and challenges and all that fun stuff.

Day 1:

DH and I spent the afternoon meal prepping. I didn’t realize how exhausting it could be until I sat down after being on my feet for 2 hours. This week’s meals include tabbouleh, flat bread pizzas, and turkey burgers. Grocery shopping was challenging since we bought a lot more food, but we both agreed that the extra money we spent would be taken from what we budget for going out. Our monthly dining out/entertainment is on the high side so by shifting our budget we’ll a) go out less often, which is something we’ve been trying to do anyway; b) we’ll save money; and c) we’ll save calories. I don’t really have a set amount of calories to consume daily and I’m not super strict about what I eat. It’s more of a way to bounce back from vacation and continue working towards healthier habits (which in turn could help with infertility). The downside of going out less often is that we won’t see our friends as frequently, but I think we’re going to try and do more home-based activities like potlucks and game nights vs going out to bars. Going out less is also advantageous because if I get pregnant, it’d be less difficult to hide compared to going out a lot and suddenly stopping.

Anyway, yesterday. I mostly stuck to my meal plan, which included a sandwich with chips for lunch, the flatbread pizza, a granola bar for an afternoon snack, and Greek yogurt with granola for an evening snack. I slept poorly Saturday night so I ended up skipping breakfast and tried to round out my calories with the yogurt. I wound up just under my target amount of calories, which is fine because my biggest concern is eating too little. I went off my meal plan later in the afternoon because a friend invited us out for beers. At the bar, I ordered a light beer, which felt strange since I go for the stouts and porters. I kept it to one though and felt pretty good afterwards.

Day 2:

A bit more of a challenge. I returned to work today and was hoping that I would be able to stay full throughout the day. Breakfast included oatmeal and pork sausage and I had the tabbouleh with multigrain pita chips for lunch. Lunch was almost a mishap because when I packed my lunch last night I accidentally packed part of DH’s lunch. Luckily I was able to run home and swap out the containers. I made sweet and spicy nuts for a snack and later in the day caught wind that there was cake from one of my favorite bakeries in the office. I had a small piece, which was hard because there was a lot left over. Dinner will be flatbread pizza again and probably won’t do dessert since I had the cake.

Overall though, so far so good! I’ve lost half of the weight gained on vacation and I have about 15 pounds to go before I’m at my goal weight.

 

And We’re Back

We recently returned from vacation and it’s hard to believe it’s already over. It was a lot of fun and much-needed break.

However.

Curiosity got the best of DH and I and we weighed ourselves the day after we got back. We ate and drank A LOT because it was, y’know, vacation. We both gained a good amount of weight but I’m not worried about it. I tend to drop weight fairly quickly after long trips (I’m already down a pound). While DH and I were at the airport waiting to catch our last flight, we started planning our next trip. To help save up (and eat better) we’re going to test out a meal plan. We were already somewhat adhering to one, but it was a week at a time. This time we’re going to try 2 weeks at a time and try to use recipes that are both healthy and budget-friendly. I’m creating a binder of recipes so that we’ll always have them on hand (and will have fewer excuses).

I did pretty well with abstaining from beer in the weeks leading up to the trip. I think I had one or two and I kept them light (under 6%). Now that we’re back home, I’ll still try to be more mindful of my alcohol intake, since 90% of the time tipsy/drunk me = very hungry/I eat all the things me. DH and I also agreed to keep our alcohol fairly well-stocked at home so that we drink (and spend) less when we go out. By well-stocked, I mean 1-2 bottles of wine and a 6 pack (or a growler) of beer. That’s it. We’re getting low on our spirits and don’t intend to restock except for DH’s favorite liquor, but even then we’ll just keep the one bottle.

Regarding exercise, I’ll maintain my usual routine of running a couple of miles then weights. It’s almost summer, when it gets so hot you damn near burst into flames while going to get the mail, so I’m going to try and take advantage of running outside over the next couple of weeks.

I’m excited about the changes, especially since at this time point they don’t seem to difficult to make.

Countdown

We’re within 2 weeks of vacation so I decided that it was time to tighten up my health habits. Here are the primary changes:

  1. No beer until the trip. This will be challenging considering I live a stone’s throw from at least 20 breweries, including one I can see from my office window. Realistically, I’ll restrict it to one beer a week and it’ll be a light beer instead of my usual heavy stouts and porters.
  2. I’ve been tracking my calories through my FitBit. I discovered that for most of last week I’ve been eating way under my calories. Due to this info I’ve been trying to keep my calories more balanced. According to the FitBit I need to be eating about 1800 calories a day (calories in, not net). A few days I was just over 1200.
  3. Working out daily. Even if that just means taking a 30 minute walk on the treadmill after work. I tried to get back to running last week but was sidelined by my stupid shin splints. I modified my workouts by using the elliptical, which was somewhat helpful. The splints still bothered me today when I went running with DH. I made it literally 10 seconds in before I was in pain.  So instead of doing a ~3 mile run/walk, we walked almost 5 miles. I did a couple of brief jogs though to try and troubleshoot why I got shin splints again. I asked DH to watch me run and DH noticed that I ran with my feet pointed out (my natural stance), in addition to an issue with how my feet struck the pavement. My stride is much better when I sprint but in terms of running longer distances I still need to figure out how to fix my form.
  4. I’ve also been working on increasing my water intake. This weekend I drank about 72 ounces of water daily, which is about 60 ounces more than I’d normally get. It’s tough to get enough water during the week, especially since the water cooler is a good distance from my office and the bathroom is even further away. I’ll try to keep up the water intake though this week.
  5. Portion control! Besides the beer, this is where I get in trouble. We bought deeply discounted Easter candy but I’ve been measuring out my serving sizes. It feels weird but has increased my mindfulness when eating.

My goal is to lose about 5 pounds before our trip so hopefully these steps will get me close to that.

Well, Then

So I think this blog is going to shift more towards health and fitness stuff versus baby things.

I’m just over it. I had to basically harass my doctor’s office for a referral to a reproductive specialist since they couldn’t be bothered to do it. It’s unfortunate because my doctor is wonderful, but the front staff is incompetent.

The referral is now sitting about a foot away from me but I haven’t called to schedule an appointment. Not sure I’ll follow up with the referral because I don’t know if it’d be worth going through the poking and prodding again for nothing. My doctor’s words still ring in my ears; if after 2 rounds of Clomid nothing happens, then the odds are getting pregnant are greatly reduced. Pregnancy odds are already small; I think they peak at 30-35%.  Anyway, I haven’t talked to DH yet about the referral. He’ll support whatever I decide to do but I know how much he wants to be a father. I guess at the very minimum I’ll schedule a consult. But after our upcoming vacation.

Speaking of vacation, we’ll be gone in for about a week soon. I’m pretty excited because it gives me something to look forward to and it feels like DH and I need to physically get out of town for us to not over-schedule ourselves. In the mean time, I was hoping to lose about 10 pounds prior. It’s not impossible, but it’ll be more of an uphill climb since I lost about a week of exercise due to my period (fatigue, back pain) and side effects from my allergy meds (increased back pain). I got back into the swing of things this week though and ran a 5k (on a treadmill! -first time!) by accident. How did that happen, you ask? Well, I figured out a new strategy to keep me going while running on the treadmill. When listening to music, I go slower during the verses, increase speed during the bridge, and full tilt during the chorus. When I was about ready to finish running, I noticed that I was only 3/4 of a kilometer from a full 5k. That was the first time I had run since the 5k and I actually beat my race time by about 5 minutes. My legs were dead afterwards but I was proud of myself for my accomplishments. I’m considering running 2 5ks a week leading up to vacation since I proved to myself that I can do it.

My current fitness strategy is to work out a certain area (e.g., arms, abs, legs) for about 10-15 minutes, then run 1-2 miles. My goal is to work out 4 times week. As far as diet goes, that’s still a work in progress haha.

Updates and Things

It’s been quite a while since I last posted. A lot has happened since then:

-I ran my first 5k! It was rough. My allergies were awful and the night before the race, my period started so I barely slept. I felt amazing once I saw the finish line though. We’re already looking to schedule our next one.

-As noted above, I got my period. I’m feeling a bit frustrated with my doctor’s office because I was instructed to call when I got my period so I could get a referral to a reproductive specialist. I called the next business day and was told that I would get a call from a nurse practitioner with the referral, as my doctor was on vacation. That was 3 weeks ago. I’ll have to call again soon to get the referral. However, I’m feeling more unsure about how ready I’m feeling to have a kid. We’re so busy with work and seeing friends and I don’t think I’m quite ready to let go of that life yet. It’s weird how my desire to have kids keeps ebbing and flowing.

-I passed the national exam for my field!