Thursday, June 3, 2010

Working It Out


As you may have noticed from this past month's blog entries, there has not been a whole lot going on with me lately. Since my miscarriage, I have just been trying to stay busy while I wait for AF so that I can start FET. All of this waiting has made it difficult to keep my brain from doing crazy things- as you may also have noticed from this past month's blog entries- and my struggles with my body have been no exception.

I was pregnant for 8 weeks. It wasn't long but in that short time my body began responding the way a pregnant body should. I was fatigued, bloated, and my breasts became very large and sore. It was all in the name of baby so it didn't matter, actually it was a good thing! But then came getting un-pregnant. A week or so after the D&C my breasts didn't hurt and I could easily make through the day without needing a nap (so long as I hadn't been up too late crying the night before) but 5 weeks later and my body hasn't bounced back quite so well.

I will be honest, I, like many women, have been carrying around negative body image issues for years. I don't want to be "that girl" but I can't help comparing myself to what I used to look like when I was 22 and wondering if I "look fat in this". It's awful and my goal for many years has been to develop a healthier body image and learn to stop chastising myself. I do not want my kids to learn this mindset and continue the negative cycle. I know that a lot of my predilection toward negativity is learned. It's as if we are taught not be happy with how we look and we pass that on to the next generation. I know hearing my mom call herself fat definitely didn't keep me from feeling inclined to do it to myself. I've been trying for years to be happy with me and I can't say that I've completely undone my negative body issues, but I've made progress.

But this past month has been different, it's been worse. I have truly hated seeing myself in the mirror and even more so in pictures. I can see every flaw, every extra ounce as if I were under a microscope.
I am healthy and while my body is not perfect, I know logically that I am ok, I look ok. But every time I see myself I see the changes. I see my slightly pudgier tummy, my fuller breasts and my rounder face and I can't stand it. Every extra bit of softness that came after I got pregnant is an awful physical reminder of what my body was doing, should still be doing, but isn't. It just feels so unfair to have gone through all of these physical changes without anything to show for it. The extra pounds would be fine with me if it meant my child was healthy and alive inside of me. Even though I know it wasn't mine or my body's fault that I miscarried, I still sometimes feel like it betrayed me. I have been dealing with anger toward my body because I can't get pregnant on my own for a long time already so adding the miscarriage just made it easy to hate my body even more.

But the good news is, my desire to get the 5 pounds I gained while pregnant off before trying FET, has given me an unexpected emotional outlet. I have always tried to exercise at least a few times a week. I drag Chad on walks after dinner as often as possible and always try to do some sort of workout in the morning. But this week I have a new found love for breaking a sweat. I have been hitting the elliptical every day as well as tossing in cardio sculpt dvds each morning and keeping up our evening walks. Don't worry I'm not going crazy and over-exerting my body. I keep my heart rate in check and stick to a half hour to 45 minutes for each workout, but it really has helped my mental state. Not only am I getting the endorphin exercise high, I am also feeling better about myself, little by little. The scale hasn't changed yet and my clothes still fit pretty much the same (although a wee bit better), but I hate myself and my body a lot less and that matters more.


11 comments:

Chasing a Miracle said...

Oh you are a woman of my own heart! I love to break a sweat, ok i used to love it..
I would get up at 5am and kick some butt at the gym, run as fast as i could, lift as heavy as i could, and get up and do it all again the next day! it was the best way to realise my tension and get all of my emotions under control... the best thing... running until you cant breath anymore! On one of the hardest days in my journey, when my miscarriage was still so raw in my mind i wrote this...
http://chasingamiracle.com/2009/09/day-six-have-you-ever/

I found the hardest thing with IVF was giving up the gym... My dream has always been one day to run a marathon... ekk, one day i will conquer it - one day...

thisispersonal said...

Great post, thanks for your honesty. I've had body image issues throughout my life, and infertility is not improving my relationship with my body. It's hard not to be angry and feel betrayed. And, I've been pretty successfully avoiding the gym. Morning workouts are an inspiration! So proud of you.

T said...

I hope you continue to feel better. This IF can really mess with our bodies and mind!

Kaitlin said...

I'm glad you're starting to feel better, Holly.

I have awful body image issues too. I complain about it a lot, yet I never do anything to fix it. I really should start now though. That way it doesn't get too out of control during/after pregnancy (whenever that might be).

lowfatlady said...

That is so awesome that you have been exercising so much and consistently. You will notice results in no time. Love the emotional aspect that exercise gives as well. Now I just have to find the motivation to actually do it. I know it's a good idea, but starting is hard.

Katie said...

Great post. I can certainly get why you would be feeling this way, but I am glad you have found an outlet for your emotions in exercising. Thinking of you always. xo

liberalgranolagirl said...

AWESOME!!! I know that you know from FB and Twitter that I am a fan of breaking a sweat ;-) I find that my negative self talk is much more quiet when I am working out regularly. In fact, exercise is one of the major things that I want to talk about at our first IVF consultation because I need to know that I can do something physical during most of the process.

liberalgranolagirl said...

AWESOME!!! I know that you know from FB and Twitter that I am a fan of breaking a sweat ;-) I find that my negative self talk is much more quiet when I am working out regularly. In fact, exercise is one of the major things that I want to talk about at our first IVF consultation because I need to know that I can do something physical during most of the process.

Not There Yet said...

Good for you! I find that to be exactly true. If I need to pull myself out of a blue slump or to feel a bit better about myself or to distract myself - I get up and move.
Like you, the pounds are not shedding yet, but I FEEL so much better.

Waiting Lisa said...

Thinking of you and hoping AF shows soon. <3

Mrs. Type A said...

I can totally relate to trying to get UNpregnant...it is the saddest goal in the whole world! I am in the process of my second miscarriage and I am totally taking my stress out in exercise. I recently began swimming laps a few mornings a week before work and it's something that i am new to. It feels so good to be pushing my body in new ways and focusing on nothing but my breathing with each stroke. Something, anything to take my mind off my quest for a baby.