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And so it begins

I've been working on this post for awhile but I wasn't quite ready to share it with the world. Some of you might still be wondering why I'm sharing. Well we're married a year now, we bought the big house in the good school district so I know you're wondering - when are they going to have a baby. So now you don't have to feel awkward asking if we're trying to conceive (TTC) the answer is no - well not yet at least. Right now we're on a plan I'm referring to as pre-TTC.
 
My Pre-TTC tools - tracking planner, thermometer and prescription 
It's awkward to be honest - there's lots of online groups and forums for women TTC but no one really talks about pre TTC, it's like you just wake up and one day say ok, we're now ready to have a baby. But as I've learned, it's really not that simple. I've had conversations with a very few people about this on one hand here I am bitching about how this is something that isn't talked about a lot but on the other it's intimidating putting such an emotional and personal experience out there. When you tell the world you're TTC or pre TTC it just gives them something to look for every month and then feel sorry for you when it doesn't happen. Like oh dear, Amanda doesn't look to have lost any weight this month - she's never going to be able to conceive at this rate and she's 33, tick tock! There's the major shift in mindset - I've spent 14 years sexually active trying to NOT get pregnant and now all the sudden I want to tell my body ok now in this very narrow timeframe I want it to happen - go! But that's why I think going through a pre-ttc phase is important - to make that shift gradually and to prepare emotionally and physically. For some women it's a short phase - maybe a month maybe a few but for me it's going to be longer - more than a year and that's scary too - it's hard  feeling emotionally ready for something and know you're not physically ready. There's the empty room waiting for it's occupant - ok so really its for storage right now and this might sound super silly but having stuff in there brings me more peace than walking past an empty room every single day - plus the stuff will be super easy to move once we do need it out. There's the parents who gave us everything growing up - don't they deserve the fun of a grandchild while they get to laugh and watch us sigh at how expensive kids are.  There's the big lifestyle change from remembering to take the pre-natal vitamins everyday (apparently it's a good idea to start taking then a year out, who knew?) to making smart food choices and not being able to take migraine medication all for something that MIGHT happen and someone who doesn't even exist. We still have to face the possibility that two years from now (one year pre-TTC and one year of TTC) we might have to start a whole new path and y'all to be honest that scares the shit out of me.
So, this post is a bit of a recap post - It's August as I'm typing this. I recently gave a friend the advice that when you write a blog it's best to stick to topics that are actually going on in your life- this makes it easier to have things to write about but also give you a venue of accountability and pushes you work on your project so you have something to write about so here I am sharing about what my life "project" is right now. This isn't me starting to transition this into a "Mom Blog" and I'll be mixing in a few update posts with my fashion , beauty and planning posts. But one of the areas I have focused this blog on is newlywed / married life so consider this a facet of that with a mix of health / weight loss. But before I post another update, let's go back to the beginning . . .  
Day 1: I go visit Dr O to discuss our plans - my self imposed one year timeline and what I believe to be the necessary weight means losing 10 lbs a month over the next year - yes I literally need to lose the weight of an entire person. Dr O agrees and feels this is doable. We discuss what drugs might help me with this goal - Belvique is more effective but is not good for babies so it would require more of a downtime clearing it out of my system. Phentermine is a classic weight loss standby and when I'm done needing it I just stop and its out of my system in 3 days so that's what we go with. We also discuss what to do about sleep - I've been down the Ambien path before and no thank you. I'd love to take amitriptyline but again, harmful to a baby. Apparently you even mention the word conceive and your Dr has to treat you like it could happen, unless you're on birth control but I do NOT want to flood my body with artificial hormones nor quite frankly do I have the time for that - as soon as I hit my goal it needs to be time. Lunesta is good but a lot of people complain it makes things taste funky - my response to this is I'm trying to eat less anyway, maybe that's not such a bad thing; fair enough says Dr  O and I leave with my two prescriptions and a four month fohllow up appointment so we can evaluate effectiveness and make changes as needed. I fill the prescriptions and damn - these drugs are cheap! $21 for both to be exact, Woohoo!
Week 1: The absolute hardest part of this is the headaches. I've had a concussion before (slammed my head against concrete in college and yes I was sober) and my headaches feel just as bad if not worse than that. Honestly when I have one I'll do anything to make it stop including drinking a coke or eating something sugary - this is always my hardest hump to get over and why for years I have failed at trying to loose weight. I feel like society looks at fat people and decides they don't want to be thin or they're too lazy and maybe there is a little laziness but for me it's that I don't want to live my life in tears from the pain in my head everyday. This is going to be a long hard year and I'll admit right now it feels impossible.

Week 2: Still getting headaches but my biggest problem is at the end of the day I'm sooo hungry! I had the chance to sleep in over the weekend though so I didn't take the phentermine until 11am and that did a good job of keeping me from being too hungry at dinner. It says on the bottle to take 1 hour before breakfast or two hours after so I'm now going to switch to taking around 11am - this means though that I also had to start taking the Lunesta but honestly - it was nice to get a good night's sleep without waking up in the middle of the night. Last week I didn't take my vitamins, or temperature or phentermine every single day so my goal this week is pretty simple - no skipped days. It's only been two weeks but I really feel more in-tune with my body just by tracking simple things and keeping up with any changes daily. Also, PMS + Hangry = the worst version of myself.

Week 3: Three weeks, down six lbs. It's frustrating that all the headaches and crankiness / hangryness only equals six lousy lbs - shouldn't each headache be worth a lb? It's so tempting to do a program that would result in a quicker loss but I have to remind myself that 2 lbs a week is the plan and what I talked about with my Dr - who has a medical degree unlike strangers on the internet or the demons inside my head. Intellectually I know that 2 lbs a week is what's best for major weight loss and will set my body up to adjust over the next year and be in the best position possible to conceive and support a healthy pregnancy. But emotionally it's a different story - two different friends made pregnancy announcements over the weekend and I'm so happy for them but I'm also jealous, and I feel like a failure. The one year goal Dr O and I discussed is ideal - but he said we absolutely shouldn't try until at a BMI  that is 75 lbs away from where I started - and I'm only 6lbs there.

Week 4: I'm sick! Boo. I feel like I shouldn't take the phentermine when I'm sick because then I won't know if I don't have an appetite because I'm sick or because of the phentermine. So, this is probably going to be a wasted week. And I've only lost two more lbs over the past two weeks so I'm already a week behind, super boo!

Week 5: I cried the entire way to work today. Its my first month tracking but even on a long cycle I should have gotten another period by now. So, I'm either pregnant waaaaaaaaaay before my body is ready or there's a chance I do not have a regular cycle - which means I will have fertility issues. Either way it's bad news  . . . and then I feel like the shittiest human in the world for thinking that I might be pregnant is bad news when there are so many couples I know hoping and praying for this kind of news and the only reason for me it would be bad news is because I like cookies too damn much. One of the biggest risks of being pregnant and overweight is preeclampsia which is very dangerous for both the mother and child , oh and the only definitive treatment is to give birth so basically  I'm terrified of it and it's why we're on the pre-TTC journey.

Week 6 : Not pregnant, getting my period was a mix of sadness, relief, guilt, self doubting, and self hate. But then today one of those click bait articles showed up on my newsfeed about "The Biggest Loser" winners and where they are now and how most have gained the weight back, have destroyed metabolisms and even more health problems that when they started. Honestly, I hate that show - I feel like it's sent a message that hey look, you can become your ideal size in a matter of months. One of the biggest reasons I don't talk about my weight or trying to lose it is because honestly I don't want to hear from people "this great plan" they've done or know of where you can lose 20 lbs in a month - that's great if you only want to lose 20 lbs but that's not sustainable for long term weight loss. So seriously y'all, please don't interpret this post that I would like to hear about your great lose weight fast plan - you are not my doctor. But now that I know it's safe I'm back on the phentermine and ready to take on the week. I feel like I could feel sorry for myself that I've spent the past three weeks maintaining instead of losing but I also think it's important to take these few weeks as a learning opportunity.

Week 7 : Work, eat crappy fast food at 11pm and sleep is all I did last week. Although I have a great job there are seasons where there's more required than others and right now is one of those seasons. In between the exhaustion and skipped meals I couldn't help but think, how could I possibly make this work when there's a third person at home - a person who can't just order themselves a pizza if I can't make it home for dinner. Also, is a mother's milk any good if she isn't eating healthy? What if  she had the best of intentions but was so wrapped up in work she didn't have time for that healthy lunch she planned and now it's 11 when she's leaving the office and the only place open is McDonalds, and she's only getting 4 hours of sleep each night and she's probably dehydrated to boot? Also, how do working mothers balance a pumping schedules and meetings / conference calls - sorry Mr VP I'm not going to attend your meeting because I have to pump right now . . . yeah right. I'd ask other women at my office with small children but oh wait, there aren't any. And I swear if anyone reading this is even thinking of leaving a comment along the lines of don't worry, when it happens you'll figure it all out - what does that even mean people????? Financial reports don't send themselves and mortgages don't pay themselves either. Of course you're not supposed to talk about how having kids is hard - you're just supposed to slap on a smile, post a picture of your cute and matching mom and me fashion on instagram and act like raising a family is as magical as riding through a meadow of fairies on a unicorn and this just leaves me feeling like a bigger failure in this thing called life.

Week 12: I haven't posted in a few weeks because there's been nothing to say. I thought at this point I'd be ready to publish but I still think I need to keep this private and use just as my place to let it all out. I had to stop taking the phentermine because I can't sleep when taking it and I can't take a sleeping pill when I only have four hours to sleep and without it and with working a schedule that lends itself to unhealthy eating I've just held steady. Last week I got my period, if you can call it that - it was the lightest period I've ever had in my life (sorry if this is too much TMI but so light I never "filled up" a tampon") and my cycle is in fact over 30 days. I took a pregnancy test because I've heard of women thinking they weren't pregnant because they got a light period. Even though we have non health goals we want to see before having it baby I spent those two minutes hoping for a positive, because being able to get pregnant even if it's "too soon" is better than not being able to get pregnant. I'm not pregnant - and I hate myself for it. My next dr visit is in 4 weeks and even if I do a great job over the next month the best I could hope for is a 20lb loss.

Week 13: I love the show This Is Us but watching Kate lose the baby was tough. I dunno, maybe I'm in denial but when I think of myself I don't just think of what I am in the mirror - I'm not the plus size wife or plus size friend, plus size professional . . . I'm just a wife, friend, professional, daughter, sister, blogger, lover of snarky ect that just so happens to be plus sized and it kinda pisses me off that the show has made Kate this one defining characteristic character, even "her" episode showed Kevin's story just from her perspective - boring. Watching that episode was like watching my worst nightmare in HD and great cinematography.

Week 14: I got my period again and not only was it too soon but it was ridiculously heavy. I feel like I'm just stressing over this sooooo much and my schedule has been so funky lately that's it's not really that odd for my hormones and body to be all out of whack. But in my 20 years of having a period this has NEVER happened and this is hardly my first working long / odd hours rodeo or first time feeling stressed. I'm starting to feel like we need to seriously start thinking about how we could afford expensive adoption fees and then I fell super shitty about myself and I turn towards my old cures - food or buying stuff, neither of which will help me a. be healthy enough to have a baby or b. afford to adopt one. I feel so alone in my own body.

Week 15: Got a reminder that 4 month follow up visit is next week. On one hand I'm embarrassed to have only made a little progress and am thinking of rescheduling. On the other I think it shows that plan A was not the right plan for me and I need a plan B that will work with my currently work / life balance needs. I have a lot to ponder for the next few days.


Whew, ok so I know that was a lot and it's clear that I've been really emotional over the past four months. I'll hope to have an update for you soon but if you made it through that whole long post now you know what's up.

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