Monday, April 4, 2011

Infertility and the South Beach Diet

I'm going to just come right on out and say it, folks.

I'm overweight.

There it is, in all its plus-sized glory. I've always been overweight (no, not obese) and have struggled my whole life with finding a. a weight that makes me feel comfortable with myself and b. ways to learn to love myself that have nothing to so with weight.

That being said, when we had our meeting with out OBGYN a couple of weeks ago, I asked if losing some weight could help me in regards to future infertility treatments. Remember, my first appointment with the RE isn't until June 16. She said that yes, it always helps, even though I'm not a person with a lot of weight to lose.

*Editor's Note: At 5'8" and 191 pounds, I beg to differ! But I digress...*

Anyway, the OBGYN said that the best diet for infertility is the South Beach diet. She said that Phase 1 is really hard, so I should probably just start with Phase 2. I had heard of it before but didn't really know what the program entailed. So when I made my frantic and determined dash to the book store, I added a paperback of the SBD to my stack.

I dove in right away, and the program looked pretty good! In case you're not familiar with the program, it involves three phases: Phase 1 has you cut out ALL high glycemic index carbs, including any type of bread or grain, all fruit and fruit juices, and all sugar, alcohol and caffeine. Supposedly, during Phase 1 you can expect to lose 8 to 13 pounds in the first two weeks! Sweet! Phase two adds back in small amounts of whole grain carbs and fruits, as well as allowing for an occasional glass of red wine. During Phase 2 you are losing weight at a healthy rate - about 1 to 2 pounds a week. Phase 3 is the "maintenance" stage where you adopt the diet as a permanent lifestyle change to help keep the weight off.

One of my good friends decided to try it with me. I had a dressy charitable event coming up in two weeks and losing 8 to 13 pounds sounded pretty darn good to me! I hit the protein and vegetable sections of the grocery store HARD, and off I went!

Let me tell you something about Phase 1. It. Sucks. Balls.

For one thing, there is no flexibility with breakfast. You either have tofu (YUCK) or eggs. I'm not a fan of eggs. After morning of choking them down, I finally figured out that I can stomach them best scrambled with mushrooms and Canadian bacon.

Secondly, I lost all of my energy. Cutting all those carbs out caused me to crash, and while I recovered from that initial crash I still spend time each day feeling weak, dizzy and totally out of it.

Finally, you are SO restricted in your food choices that it makes eating out almost impossible. I was "that girl" scraping the breading off of her chicken at Olive Garden and "that girl" asking for veggies with no oil.

But dammit, I am a stubborn person, and I haven't made it this far only to give up! I am currently on Day 9 of the first phase, with only 5 more days to go until my dressy charity event. I plan to put on my fancy dress and heels, grab Mr. M. and immediately have a BIG glass of red wine. I will also probably eat whatever I want that night and move on to Phase 2 the next morning.

ALL of my fertility books support a healthy diet as a way to naturally increase your fertility. During the LONG wait before my RE appointment, it feels great to know that I am actually DOING something to help myself. That includes charting my BBT starting this week (to see if I am actually ovulating), using OPKs, taking prenatal vitamins and EFAs (essential fatty acids), and trying as hard as we can to conceive naturally.

It may not be a lot of fun for me right now, but I just focus on a picture in my mind:
Me, sitting on my back porch with a plate of cheese and crackers and a BIG glass of wine...

watching my children play in the grass in front of me.

That dream is worth any amount of personal sacrifice or discomfort to me.

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