Losing Some of the Junk in the Trunk

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Just after my wakeup call. At least I had boobs then. September 2014.

This isn’t a weight loss blog, but weight loss is an important part of fertility treatments and health in general, so I’m sharing my weight loss story. Ironically, having an opportunity to have a healthy pregnancy and be able to chase after little kids was most of what inspired it.

It started a long time before infertility and the PCOS battle, long before we were even thinking about kids. If I really delve into it, it started before I even met Michael. I was never a thin kid; I was always athletic growing up. Like a lot of people, my activity level dropped off in college, and it didn’t get better after graduation. When we got engaged and throughout the beginning of our marriage I was a casual runner, paid little attention to what I ate, and was sitting at about a size 12 or 14. A few months after our wedding I finished a half-marathon (very slowly) and then ceased all exercise. I’m talking… zero activity, for months.

In early 2014, I decided it was time to deal with the problem for a number of reasons. We’d been married a year and were starting to think more and more ahead to making a family (even though we’d decided it was still a ways off.) I wasn’t happy with the idea of being an unhealthy role model for any future Ralphs down the line. Plus, I wanted to be a hot wife!

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Meal prepping saves me so much kitchen cleaning time… and so many calories.

I got my head in the game and started losing weight. The million-dollar question is always: What did you change? Kind of everything, but nothing all at once. Over the course of a year, I joined a gym, started tracking what I ate on MyFitnessPal, added strength training to my workouts several days a week, started meal prepping and added more protein to my diet. It was a lot of very early mornings at the gym, logging every bite of food throughout the day, and skipping dessert after dinner.

In all, I went from 205 just before the whole process “started” in early 2014 to roughly 155 pounds by summer 2015. I’ve maintained that weight more or less since then, since I’ve kept up most of the good habits that got me here: I’m still meal prepping every week. (It’s so much easier than cleaning up the kitchen every day!) I still go to the gym early in the morning so I knock out the workout before I can even think about not doing it. I’m running half-marathons once in a while, and in the spring of 2016, beat my 2014 time by almost an hour. I don’t log my meals religiously anymore and I let myself enjoy treats now and then, but I have a pretty decent idea of the number of calories and nutrients I consume most days. If the scale starts to creep up, I hop back on MyFitnessPal until things are in check.

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Half marathons are no sweat after dropping the weight. April 2016.

The whole point of telling this story here is to reiterate how significant a bit of weight loss can be for PCOS patients. It’s not unusual for doctors to prescribe a healthier lifestyle for anyone trying to conceive. Some days, it’s frustrating that I didn’t have that simple step to take after my PCOS diagnosis. I put in all this work to get into shape so I could be a healthy mom, and still can’t even have a baby? But the bottom line is: things could be much worse. At our first fertility consult, my OB/GYN explained that if I had not lost the weight when I did, my symptoms would likely be exacerbated. Most days I’m thankful I took the weight loss steps before I even knew I needed to.