“Hi, I’m Fertility-Challenged. And you are….?”

Today is one of those days. Bear with me as I proceed to whine, rant, and sort through my pessimistic feelings. Tomorrow will be a new day with hopefully a better outlook.

Frankly, since my last post, I haven’t been feeling all that positive – about anything, not to mention getting pregnant. I woke up yesterday morning with a severe pain on the top of my foot – I figured out that I sprained or pinched a nerve in my tendon. Or something like that. It was supposed to be Day 1 of going “back” to my healthy lifestyle (as if I was ever there before). Instead, I spent the day elevating and icing my foot. Also, yesterday morning we awoke to the news that my husband and his family’s church burned to the ground. It wasn’t devastating to him, but still, random and upsetting. It was a weird day.

Today isn’t much better. I feel my negative thoughts about to spew out; apologies in advance. I’m just in one of those moods where EVERYTHING is wrong.

My biggest complaint right now is that my body is in control of me, and not the other way around. I’m supposed to be making better food choices, and eating less, which is my goal for the month. That isn’t really happening, because I’m fixated on my messed up health:

– I have hives in my face (usually lips) every day now. Well, make that night. These hives (angioedema), unlike regular hives, form under the skin, causing swelling, as opposed to on top of the skin. I can feel when they start. They have been hanging around every single night! It is so irritating! Last night I was brushing my teeth and I felt one starting on the inside of my lip, in the corner where my top and bottom lips meet. There was a second one high up in my gums, feeling like more in the cheek. When those swell, they move up into my nasal passage and I get stuffy. I woke up this morning with swollen cheeks, lips, and eyes. Like I said, I’ve been used to this once in a while, but not every single night. It takes HOURS to go away. I’m lucky if my students can’t still see it the next day. The other thing bothering me about these hives is my anxiety. I’ve been a little paranoid the last few months that I’m going to get them in my throat and have trouble breathing. I’ve only had them in the throat a few times now, and it makes my voice all scratchy and feels like there’s a lump in there (heyy, Christmas Eve). Last night, being probably over-tired, I basically sent myself into a paranoid state trying to fall asleep, creating hives in my throat that weren’t there. AKA – I was starting to have a panic attack. Those are not things I want my mind to get used to. Not okay! I yoga-breathed my way out of it, counting backwards from 100, twice, finally falling asleep. WHAT IS UP WITH THIS??

– Slightly less scary, but annoying nonetheless, I have bad circulation in my fingers and toes. This isn’t new news to me, but lately it has been extra bad. (Is this a side effect of Clomid?) After barely being cold (or cold for just a minute), these extremities turn white and feel numb/tingly, and take forever to go away. Today, at recess with my students, I had gloves on and my hands were shoved in my pockets. When we came back in, my middle finger was all white and tingly. This afternoon, after pilates class, where I went barefoot, I came home with both feet completely white and tingly from the balls up, even though I had socks and boots on in the car. It took a good hour to restore the blood. These were just today’s episodes – but it’s been going on a while.

Why is my body screaming at me?

And then, just because it’s the mood I’m in – I’m having major Clomid doubts. First of all, everyone is pregnant all of a sudden. Including my pilates instructor. It’s everywhere! Here I am, CD 12, with a self-prescribed plan of action (based on internet research) of “trying for a baby” (so many funny/gross ways to put this, but I’ll be polite) every other day until my blood test, which is on CD 20. Even after that, I may continue with the plan (I’ve heard many people say that on Clomid, they ovulated really late). It starts today. Hope the husband is geared up! It’s almost comical – and it would be, if I had any actual feelings that this may work!

My body isn’t giving me any signs of ovulation, not that I would know what they feel like, since I’ve most likely never ovulated.

I’m going to say it; feel free to scroll down and skip this. Here’s my ultra-whine: Clomid isn’t going to work, I’m going have 5,000 auto-immune problems and be a sickly middle-aged woman, and I’m never having children! I don’t smoke, do any drugs, and rarely drink. But my body hates me, and lets me know on a regular basis.

Okay, thanks. 🙂 I knew it was just a rant. I don’t have them often, and it needed to come out. Don’t take it all to heart – I completely understand that I’ve only just begun all this, and that so many people have it so much worse. I don’t negate that at all, and I feel for all of them. I’m just bitter that I’m fertility-challenged, and even more bitter that my body has the nerve to say, “Hey, let’s make fertility a struggle. While we’re at it, let’s give you an astronomically high amount of auto-immune antibodies and throw some random auto-immune diseases at you!” I’m only 27 years old, relatively healthy. Sure, I’m a good 10 pounds overweight, but still in the cusp of the healthy BMI, and I’m holding on to that!

I do see my thyroid doctor in about three weeks. I’ll mention all of this. I’m better now, thanks. Blogging today was some seriously needed self-therapy.

Now, let’s get down to business.

Forming new habits, one 30-day challenge at a time

Hello, 2012! I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this year lately; my goals, wishes, hopes. I’m all for making resolutions – they work for me, at least for a little while. At the same time, I hate how everyone seemingly makes these goals on the first of the new year, crowds the gym, swears on nutrition, and then so many people (including me) lose those goals in about a month, maybe two.

I don’t want that to be me this year.

So to avoid that, I’ve considered a few things. First of all, let’s not think of these goals as “resolutions” – it carries too much weight on my shoulders. Instead, I’m going to think of them as habits. There’s a great blog post from Zen Habits about creating fitness habits, which you can read here. I used that as a basis for my thoughts.

Secondly, I considered what I am already doing in my life, and opted not to have those be part of the new “habits” I am forming. They are part of my days already; perhaps not to the extent I want them to be, but that is something I can work on.

I already:

-Went gluten free, and have stayed so through the holidays and for about three to four months now.

-Go to the gym regularly. I’m in love with my new gym classes (yoga, pilates, kickboxing, spinning, cardio pump, power sculpt, etc.) and go almost every day.

Thirdly, there will be no habits/goals/resolutions regarding getting pregnant. We all know, above all, that is what I care about most for 2012 and forming some sort of timeline around it would be a bad idea.

Lastly, I’ve found that to form new habits for 2012, one would need to be very specific. “Eating healthier” won’t cut it. “Exercise more” won’t work either. If you aren’t extremely specific about what you want to achieve, there will be too many gray areas and you’ll lose it. For example, my husband has just started training for a full Ironman triathlon that will take place this summer. His goals include 1) finishing that race, and 2) getting down to a specific goal weight in training. He will form his new “habits” around those goals.

I had been considering a sort of “30-Day Challenge” for a little while now, and liked the idea a lot. Rebecca, on her blog, had a 30-Day Blog Challenge that I thought was cool. Then, this morning, I stumbled upon another idea, stemming from Invisible Mother and Hannah Wept Sarah Laughed. 12 Months, 12 Challenges. I like it! Instead of challenges, I’ll be thinking of them as new habits.

I’m going to give it a try, combining the ideas. Instead of coming up with the habits I’d like to form now for each month of the year (like 12 Months, 12 Challenges), I’m going to just work on one month at a time, and go about it like a 30-day challenge. I’ll keep them up on the sidebar and will update my progress regularly. There is no reason I can’t do one specific thing every day for a month.

So, January is here. My goal for January is to eat smaller portions. My 30-Day Habit is going to be cutting my normal portions way down, by about half, especially at dinner. Why? Well, I generally eat as much as my husband at dinner (and sometimes lunch), and sometimes I could keep going when he is full. He’s over 40 pounds heavier than me. This should not be, and it reflects in the scale.

I also will judge if my portion size is the right one for me by how I feel after 20 minutes. I am used to stopping when I am FULL, sometimes uncomfortably full. If after 20 minutes, I am still hungry, I will have more veggies, or a little more protein. I highly doubt I will do this, however.

Yes, this is going to be really hard. I have the worst self-control when it comes to portion sizes. But that’s why it’s called a challenge. I’ll be forming a new habit – eat less, feel better. That  means for any gatherings in the month of January, I still will have to eat a small portion.

Notice I didn’t decide upon the type of food to eat. One month at a time.

I invite you to give this a try. Make your own “12 Months, 12 Challenges”, “30-Day Challenge”, or combine the two, like I did. Make yourself accountable for it – if you have a blog, post about it, regularly. If you don’t, write it down in a journal and make sure to look at it daily, to remind yourself of how well you’re doing or to get a kick in the butt. If writing isn’t your thing, tell someone who won’t mind hearing the updates. Make sure others know – it’s a surefire way to keep you going when you don’t feel like you can.

So, what is your January 30-Day Challenge going to be?