The more I have shared photos of myself on social media recently (as opposed to my preferred snaps of interiors!), the more I have been found that those photos have been met with comments about my appearance and how great people think I look. This isn’t me blowing my own trumpet, quite the opposite, I feel like it’s more of a confessional really as to why my body, skin and general appearance have improved in recent months. It most certainly hasn’t been born out of a want to look different, I can promise you that; not that there would be anything at all wrong if it had.
The thing is, when I have posted a photo of myself and subsequently the “Looking hot” or “If I had a body like that…” comments come rolling in from other women, I feel like a bit of a fraud. This body has been born out of the healthiest of lifestyles, and I can’t pretend that it hasn’t. I have lost over two stone since the start of the year, and I had gained a massive four stone when I was pregnant with Teddy (I have no excuse for that one, he was 6lb 2oz, I am kidding no one when I say it was “all baby”). I am still nearly half a stone heavier than I was before I was expecting him; but I don’t mind, it’s not about that. The truth is, I feel physically healthier now than I have done in years; but unlike other times (such as the lead-up to our wedding) I haven’t been doing it to “get thin” or to look a certain way. It’s been done with one thing in mind; having another baby.
I get messages from people saying things like “Do you do yoga for fitness, is it good?“, or “How do you stay so slim?“. I have never made any secrets about the fact that yoga has very much saved me in this past year, from my darkest moments. It has made me feel stronger, more focused and helped me with my grief. As I practice it so frequently (in fact most days now) there are also the fringe benefits that occur; that of physical strength and of nourishing my body with the flow of energy that it creates. As for how do I stay so slim? My diet has been entirely changed and maintained in a way to help my body be as healthy as it can be again to conceive a healthy baby. I am trying as hard as I can to give myself the very best chance.
My cycles still haven’t returned to normal since our loss in January. This left me with no period for three months, and then barely any since then. My cycles are also getting longer and more sporadic again, just as they were before we fell pregnant with Teddy. I will be the first to say that when we were trying to conceive Teddy I was stressed, tired, overworked, I ate badly and I drank too much. Oh, and did I also mention that I didn’t do any exercise apart from hurriedly walking Boris each day whilst still attached to my work phone? My life now is entirely different, but so is my body. Everyone says it’s so easy to conceive once you’ve had your first baby; well “everyone” you’re wrong. I did conceive four months after losing Teddy, but since losing that baby in January I now have scarring in my uterus. Scarring that is disrupting my cycles and making my reproductive system stagnant. This means that nothing is working as it should; or so I am told.
Having always been a positive thinker and a believer in the power of making positive changes in your life to get yourself what you want; I have embarked on my mission to get what I want. Another baby. I get messages all the time from people saying things like “When you are ready to start trying again” and “If you ever wanted to give Teddy a sibling”. Trust me when I say I am more than ready. This isn’t a choice or a conscious decision not to have another child, and this quest to help myself has been something that has taken over my life in many respects. (If anyone tells me to “Just relax” at this point, you know where the door is). Being told by my (brilliant and expert) consultant, whom I speak to more regularly than most of my good friends these days, that things just “don’t seem to be working” has been a very tough pill to swallow. When the thing you wanted more than anything was taken away from you so brutally in the first instance, and now the thing you want to try and achieve in order to start healing your broken heart starts to feel further away than it has ever been, it can feel quite cruel.
So; what changes have I made to my lifestyle in order to help things along? Yoga is most definitely one. I also walk, every day, with Boris for at least an hour. Fresh air and clearing my head does me good (even when I don’t feel like it). My diet, although not followed entirely militantly, is generally pretty good. I don’t eat many refined carbs, or dairy. A few years ago I replaced cows milk with coconut or almond, and I only have a small amount of full fat organic milk as this is supposed to be best to aid fertility. I only ever have one or maybe two alcoholic drinks a week, sometimes I don’t drink at all. I have cut out most caffeine, I rarely drink coffee anymore and stick to herbal tea most of the time. Most recently I have cut out meat, I am still eating fish and shellfish (Scallops, I’ll never live without you), but I decided to stop eating meat after an incident that left me crying at the side of an empty field where my friends the cows had been (I think we all know where they had gone). I decided to live by a new rule; if I wouldn’t catch and kill it myself to eat it, then I won’t eat it. I wasn’t a huge meat eater before, so it’s been an easy transition to make.
My typical day sees me eat porridge oats with cinnamon or cacao for breakfast, scrambled eggs and avocado for lunch or perhaps a homemade soup, and then in the evenings I will eat grilled vegetables and fish or maybe a a spelt risotto of some kind. I snack on figs, dates, nuts and dark chocolate. I don’t deprive myself of anything; if I want cake then I bloody well have it, likewise with wine, coffee or ice-cream (or my old friends the humble Fish Finger). The difference is that now I do all of these things in moderation; with my health and well being always in the forefront of my mind. Yes it’s resulted in me losing weight and my body shape changing, but that’s not what it’s been about for me.
Other things I use to help with my mindset and fertility are Chinese medicine. I have acupuncture bi-weekly and have learned so much about my body and my health as a result. I also have reflexology or Arvigo (that’s a kind of fertility massage) every other week. I meditate and I listen to fertility relaxation tracks. I try to indulge in some kind of self love activity each day; whether that be painting my nails or enjoying half an hour or so of yoga on my own. I have chosen to keep track of everything I do, eat and use to nourish my body and help my fertility by recording it all in a diary. I use the Love Yourself Lean Journal which was very kindly gifted to me at the beginning of the year by Kelly (the founder) after she discovered my blog and read about Teddy. Filling in that journal each day has become a huge ritual in my life, it closes the day and helps me reflect on what I am grateful for and how well I have chosen to look after myself that day. It’s as helpful with my reflection as it is with setting my goals and affirmations for the coming weeks and months ahead. It has also been such a useful tool over the past seven months in helping me to see how far I have come in my grief for Teddy, and how much more light has started to creep into everything I do.
As a result of all of this, my cycles are improving. My consultant thinks that with a bit more time, a few more check ups and the continuation of the hormone medication that she has prescribed that I may well go back to normal, with no further medical intervention (that would be the dream). I may well conceive another baby any time now, after all, anything is possible? Only time will tell; when I say time, I obviously mean the ‘Dildo Wand” that guy will definitely tell.
So why, like on so many occasions, am I telling you this? I just wanted to share, because as with many things; sometimes it’s not always as it seems on the outside when you are looking in. Yes I look healthier and above all I feel healthier, but this is all part of a much bigger picture; one which I can’t wait to share with you all when our time finally comes.