Sunday, 9 March 2014

Not where I want to be...

I tend to get annoyed at the way 'hormones' seem to be blamed for everything. It seems to have become such a catch all cover-up. Mostly, I find it irritating that those who are accusing 'hormones' of being the culprit don't even know which hormones they are referencing... Anyway, I'm finding myself jumping on that bandwagon, as I found myself a bit more emotional and irrational while I was wearing three estrogen patches at a time. In particular, I had two near-crying episodes over my weight. I know it is something I should let go, but for some reason; I can't. Somehow, while limiting activity, I managed to lose a little weight during my stimming and early pregnancy. I was back to 150 just after my D+C. After running three 10Ks, two half marathons, going to cross-fit three times a week and playing tennis, my weight ballooned to 156. I know what many of you reading (if you are still reading this) are thinking, but Jane, it's muscle! I had myself evaluated with the hydraulic body fat test. I'm at 23% fat.

It's just not where I want to be, which is adding another layer of frustration to this process. We've been trying to have a baby for just over two years. I've had two entire years to lose weight and get my figure into top shape before embarking on a pregnancy, and I couldn't do it. More so, I am starting to fear that if I do become pregnant; how will I ever manage to lose the baby weight? I vowed that I will not gain as much weight as Myrtle did during her pregnancy. Not just because I am petty and pathetic and feel I need to do something better than her, although all that is true; because she did gain an excessive amount of weight.

I know I should be focusing on metrics other than the scale. To prepare for my half marathons, I did three training runs and ran three 10 K trail runs. My times for the 10Ks weren't quite where I wanted them to be, but I found that I felt really good while running, which I attribute to Cross-fit. During my first half marathon, I had a slow start as it was quite cold and raining hard, but I found my stride after mile 6 and finished strong. My time actually reflected a negative split, but it wasn't where I wanted it to be. Two weeks later, I was signed up to do another half marathon. I had been struggling with a cold and Husband encouraged me to switch my distance to the 10K. As the location of the race was on one of my training courses, and because I am too stubborn, I proceeded to run the half. This time, I got off to a good start and at the half-way point, I was way ahead of the volunteer 2.20 pacers. Maybe I could actually pull off a sub or near 2.15 time! I stopped at the aide station by mile 10 to remove my jacket. When I attempted to return to the course, I stumbled and placed all my weight on the side of my food whist trying to keep my balance. It wasn't a serious injury, but it was enough to slow me down. Slow down enough to watch the 2.20 runners pass me. I finished at 2.21:18. Not where I want to be, but I would take it.

Switching to another arena, I ended up taking a bit of a hiatus from swimming. When I first learned that the embryo's growth was delayed, I stopped exercising as I feared I would spontaneously miscarry and for some reason, I was really concerned it could happen at the pool. Okay, perhaps not getting up at 5:30 and swimming outdoors when it was subfreezing temperatures was also a way to console myself about the miscarriage... I was so happy to be back in the pool after the Christmas break, I almost didn't mind that the water was bone chilling cold. Later that day we learned that the heater and pump were both broken and it would take a over a month to fix. January would become the second month without swimming.

I knew our coach would be all-business when we returned in February, but I didn't realise how serious she was until she has us do timed sprints that week.  The 4 x 100 timed sprints is one of the most dreaded workouts. Any time she's counting swimmers as they arrive, and gets out her clipboard to re-arrange lane assignments; it's not a good sign. I had only swam a few times since Thanksgiving, I had no fitness for sprinting! My best time during these trials was a 1:15. I told myself to be happy with anything in the 1:20s. I went 1:23/1:25/1:27/1:22. To my surprise, my coach was actually pleased with that. "I know it's not where you can be, but given the little time you've spent in the pool, I'll take that!"

 On the morning of my transfer, I actually arrived to the pool early enough to get in some warm up laps. As I grabbed my board to do some kicking, I saw someone using the ladder to enter the pool. Use of the ladder is strongly frowned upon by our coach. We're expected to jump into our lanes (using the diving blocks is preferred) and get out "like a champion" which means you push yourself up on the side of the pool. There are only a few exceptions when using the ladder is permitted; if you're injured, if you're Lou, the oldest swimmer in the pool at the ripe age of 78, ... or if you're pregnant.

It was Amanda. I hadn't seen her since we returned to the pool after the broken pump. I remember feeling envy when I learned about her pregnancy while I was stimming. She was 14 weeks then, I would be about 18 weeks by now, so she must be 33 weeks or more. Damn! Good for her! There it was; the ultimate reminder that I'm not where I want to be. I recall in the days of my beta draws we were once in the same lane, and I was giddy over the fact that there were two pregnant swimmers in that lane. I'm ashamed to admit this, but I couldn't even look at her. As I was able to go straight home that day, I left the pool a little early to avoid seeing her on the deck.

At times I just feel that I should have more to show for myself. As I haven't been able to produce a sustainable pregnancy in the past two years, I should at least weigh less, swim better and run faster. I'm halfway through my 2WW, which is actually only a 9 day wait, thanks to my RE who likes to test early. Husband notes this is perhaps the only advantage of IVF. It's funny how certain aspects can sneak up on you. I can work with pregnant women all day long and not think about the fact that I could be a little bit sort of pregnant right now, but checking the expiration date on a carton of milk reminds me that I'll know one way or the other by the time the milk sours.

No, it's not where I want to be, but I'll take it. Actually, I'll do more than that, I'll embrace it as I know I'm fortunate to be in this position. Eventually I'll get over my other issues... someday...


  1. Jane, I am impressed that you can talk about your weight in relation to body fat percentage, because most people don't. They might say the old adage "muscle weighs more than fat," but generally it still doesn't have the knowledge behind it. (speaking from a personal trainer perspective) You have to know that 23% body fat is still pretty dang good for a female. Of course it's not 18-20%, but it's still in a good range. You are so athletic and I am impressed and envious of all the events you participate in. However, I know that most people, women especially, are never satisfied with where we are at. Me included.

    With that said, I will be waiting on pins and needles for your beta. Very nice that they take it early! I'm still so far behind in my blog reading, but I had to jump ahead to this post because I knew you would be transferring soon, if you hadn't already. I was right! Crossing my fingers for you!

    P.S. I have absolutely NO doubt you will out do Myrtle in the pregnancy weight category. You won't be able to accept anything less and you are too health conscious besides.

  2. I think we all have these areas where "as I'm not pregnant, at least I could ..." For me, it's my career. Sure, it's not going badly, but it could be better (isn't that almost always true though?). Of course I'd love to be a rockstar scientist with 3 kids in tow, but as the latter part clearly hasn't worked out just yet, at least the publications could be rolling in... when trickling is more like it.

    I'm glad to hear that I am officially allowed to use the ladder though! Hope you will soon be, too! And like Amber, I'm sure you will put on much less baby weight than Myrtle.

  3. I have to echo Amber in saying that 23% bodyfat is pretty awesome. And quite apart from whatever that number is, you have to know that most people on this planet can't even begin to think about doing a lot of the things that you can do with little to no prep (10k train runs, cross fit, etc). You, my dear, are a fine physical specimen and an example for all of us, and I wish you'd stop being so hard on yourself although I know I'm just as guilty. Hi kettle, my name is pot. )

    Anyway, something I recently discovered online that you might find interesting: go to and check out her body acceptance challenge, as well as some of her other posts on the topic. She's a fitness professional who has a personal mission to help all women find more satisfaction with our bodies and what they can do. Some of it is a little hokey, but reading the stories and seeing the photos of other fitness professionals (who we would be jealous of) and finding out that they also deal regularly with body image issues, and have parts of their bodies that they can't stand, is pretty eye opening.

  4. I really must say that I'm also extremely impressed! With your 23% body fat and also with the fact that during your cycles, you're still able to do stuff for you - to run and swim and to make your body work for you. I that's amazing! During my cycles I wanted nothing else but to lay on the couch and sulk. Exercising was at the very bottom of my list! You're such a super star! Praying hard for you!! xoxo

  5. As someone who recently can barely find the confidence to do anything but sit on the couch and go for short walks, I'm really impressed by your level of fitness. Although I also can understand the frustration of wanting to see results. I have basically avoided thinking about how IF has affected my career path or life plan - it's filed under "things I don't have the strength to think about right now." I would venture that women who do pursue fertility treatments (not everyone does) are generally goal-oriented and so it is normal to feel frustrated when we are not reaching those goals - or perceiving that not reaching them. Sending you lots of good thoughts and wishes!

  6. Ugh. I hear you. We've been trying right around 2 years too. Last summer, I got fit. My diet was healthy, I was lifting, running, and even dominating Jillian Michael's videos. I was thin and built and looked better than I had since college. The idea was that I was going to get pregnant soon, and I wanted to be strong and healthy and ready to lose the baby weight quickly.

    And then I didn't get pregnant. I started eating garbage and quit working out - favoring sulking, Netflix, and Doritos to anything good for me. I need to start getting my fat butt moving again. I'm amazed that you swim every morning and run all these races with such little training! And 23% body fat!? My dream is to get back down to 25%. I have a long ways to go. You are an inspiration, Jane! I'm trying to accept that having a hot body is the consolation prize for not having a baby right now.

  7. When is your test? My RE tests on Day 9 too, though I get to go a day even earlier since they need to do delestrogen/progesterone bloodwork.

    23% body fat is really good... i have no idea what mine is but i bet its MUCH higher than that! LOL

  8. I guess it just goes to show, we always feel we can do better. I feel like I would be ecstatic if I was at your level of fitness, but probably once I got there would feel the same as you. Think of it as a good thing that you are always striving to do better.
    It's funny because I was just thinking this morning about how I should have done more with my child-free days. I should have done projects around the house, should have traveled more, should have gone to more concerts, should have exercised more. What was I doing all that time? Oh right, I sat around and felt sorry for myself. Sigh.
    When's your beta?

  9. I don't think there's anything wrong with setting the bar high in all the various aspects of your life. Sure you need to accept what you get (and maybe having multiple goals to help keep your chin up when the stretch goals aren't immediately achieved) especially when working on things that are not completely in your control, but I think it's a great thing to try to get the most out of yourself, but you should be proud of what you are able to do.