I decided to write a really long blog post about the last year of my life. Mainly because I’m procrastinating cleaning the house and I have a cat on my lap. We call this ‘pussy power’ here because if there’s a cat on your lap, you’re allowed to request anything from the other person such as but not limited to, water, a snack, your phone, the remote, your nail file and or other necessities.
But I digress, this post isn’t about cats. This post is about the roller coaster of a year this has been for me. Sometimes we struggle externally and other times we struggle mentally. Sometimes we don’t even realize we are struggling and other times, we can’t stop thinking about our struggles. I have this amazing skill of shutting off whatever is bothering me and putting extreme focus on other things. My business is a great distraction. It keeps me in check whenever I feel like just crawling into bed and not doing anything. My mind also would never allow that, my gosh if I’m not doing something, it kicks into high gear and reminds me that there’s always something that could be done. Like I’m forever trying to meet deadlines that don’t really exist. I guess a lot of this has leaked into my fertility issues.
For the past 2 years, we have tried conceiving. During the same past two years, I have decided to become a woman. What I mean by that, is that I have never really had weight issues and I never really tried to keep my weight in check. I ate okay most of the time, and I didn’t really worry about overeating or eating the right thing at the right time. Working in this industry though has started to slowly leak into my brain. Every day struggles that woman have with keeping their weight in check or losing weight started to infiltrate my own thought patterns. I all of a sudden thought I should restrict my calories, I started recording my food longer than I needed to and obsessively. I started intermittent fasting, I started keto I started paleo I started feeling guilty after eating something that I had made and it was delicious and had I did not have that annoying guilty feeling I would have stopped at one and be okay but I wasn’t okay anymore. I had turned into someone else. Someone with a weight problem. So I ate more than I should have, and then I punished myself. Although I wasn’t bulimic anymore, I was still obsessive and thought I was fat and needed to lose weight.
I found out through our fertility process that my estrogen was high, and my progesterone was low. I wasn’t ovulating. This is called estrogen dominance. When this occurs, you start gaining stubborn midsection weight, and you stress out, even more, creating cortisol. That nasty C word that I hate talking about. Cortisol is created when your stress response is high for an extended amount of time. My life is a goddamn stress response!
Things that cause stress:
– Traffic, driving
– Owning a business
– Stressing about weight (freakin’ lose-lose here am I right?)
– Exercise (good stress, but if you’re over exercising, not good)
– Undereating (over exercise, under eating – bad combo)
So on, and so forth. AKA my life
I underwent laparoscopy because when they tried doing the hystersonogram, my stupid cervix wouldn’t dilate. Makes sense, I had a very light period which makes NO sense because if my estrogen is high, why am I not getting periods? Also, in case you don’t know what “dilating a cervix” means, it means my cervix wouldn’t allow a very sharp object to go through it. SO fun. After 40 minutes of torture and many objects and tries later, my wonderful doctor said it was too painful and they would have to look at my organs another way.
Enter surgery. I got my surgery date: February 9th. Wonderful, my birthday! Year of Murphys Law I’m calling it. I didn’t mind surgery because I was so excited to find out what was going on with me. I’m a biology nerd, I love researching everything and putting the pieces of the puzzle together. I went to my pre-op appointment and waited an hour and a half for a nurse to go through everything with me and basically lie to me. I asked if they would find anything, such as endometriosis or cancerous cells if they were going to remove it. She said ‘no. this is strictly diagnostic”. I was choked.
“Are you kidding me!? If they find anything concerning, they are going to stitch me back up and we are going to do this all over again?” I basically yelled. I remember her face looking at me like I was silly.
“well, yes. I mean what if they find cancer on your fallopian tubes or ovaries and they remove it without asking you. You would be mad” was her stupid reply.
“If they find CANCER on me anywhere, yes, please remove it.” What the heck was she talking about? I spent 4 days upset that this surgery was going to be just one more step into nothing. I was convinced I had endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome because I had debilitating pain when I ovulated on my right side.
Long story short: she was wrong. Right before surgery as I was parked outside the OR, I asked my doctor and he said if they find anything, they are removing it.
Structurally, I was good. There was a paratubal cyst pulling my right fallopian tube down and that was causing the pain when I ovulated. My tubes are clear, nothing else wrong structurally speaking anyway. My hormones are still out of whack it seems. After multiple blood tests, they have determined that my brain is still not communicating fully with my reproductive system.
Next month, I will be going on a drug that will lower my estrogen, increase progesterone and make me ovulate and hopefully slowly remind my endocrine system how to function properly.
Now, back to the whole point of this blog. The reason I wanted to sit down and talk to everyone. It’s so clear to me when someone else is harming themselves. Women are my main client base and we are so ruthless to ourselves. The idea that restricting our calories, punishing ourselves for making a bad decision food-wise, calling ourselves fat and ugly and joking about how heavy we are. It’s all harmful.
Over the years I have taken on different diets and ideas and documented it to show people if they really work or not. I’ve taken diet pills, I’ve done the intermittent fasting, the keto, the paleo, the cleanses. My next experiment is this: No more strict rules and diets. I will be eating healthy, I won’t record my calories, I won’t be following any diet protocols, I won’t be exercising if I don’t want to, I won’t be heavy meal prepping. I WILL be eating what I want and how much I want. I WILL be making time to relax daily. I WILL be turning my phone off when I want to. And I WILL be making time for myself that’s not just working out. All the things I thought were making me thin, were making me stressed out. So back to the old Leah I go. The one who just exercised because she enjoyed it and just ate healthy without guilt. Welcome back!