in Fitness, Infertility, PCOS

Do Not Lose Weight to Get Pregnant

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Warning: I’m going to use the word HATE, a lot in this post.  I HATE being told what to do.   I hate seeing weight in the top list of things that cause infertility.  I hate that it is something I cannot seem to get a handle on.

I mean, the most aggravating part is the feeling that I JUST got comfortable with me.  I just got to the point, a few years ago, where I don’t cringe at mirrors or slink embarrassingly into Ashley Stewart at the mall.   I have to say I’ve been completely annoyed when doctors have given me the obligatory “you should lose weight if you want to get pregnant“, speech when I usually walk out of their office and find three or four fellow big-girls who just happen to be in their second trimester sitting in the waiting room. That feeling is one I can’t really describe.  It’s like not being picked for the basketball team because you’re too short, and then seeing Mugsy Bogues on the cover of Sports Illustrated.  To put it into words it is “Are you effin kidding me“, personified.

Exhibit A: Hater Baby

While we’re on that subject, I also have to admit a sheer hatred for the fact that a baby which doesn’t exist yet, has the power to control what I eat, drink and do.  Heffa’s that turn up pregnant on “oop’s” mode don’t worry about how many glasses of wine they have, or how certain foods affect their cervical mucous.  In fact, they are probably eating and drinking the very things I’m warned about, when they turn up unexpectedly expecting.  Yet here I am, being frowned at by some invisible Ally McBeal-esque kid who is completely against my affinity towards tasty wine.

Weight loss and I just don’t get along.  We’ve dated a few times, but I found that we were incompatible.  Primarily because PCOS kept messing up our good thing. I would gorge on water and fruit, only to find that my fitness buddies were dropping pounds drastically, while I would shed only one or two.  I would walk faithfully after school or work, only to discover that aside from a few muscle spasms, I was going to be the same chick two months later.  I scarfed down Xenadrine horse pills but all I’d get were jittery nerves. Every three months, without fail, well…actually due to fail, I would give up.  I would throw in my towel symbolically with a trip to the nearest fish-house and celebrate my freedom with catfish nuggets.

At the time, I was unsure what PCOS was, or how it could affect weight.  I had, however,  been warned about my thyroid and how it murdered my BMI. I put myself in thyroid boot camp for a while, and I have to admit, I kicked it into high gear when infertility became an issue.  I figured that logically, if the hypothyroid was the “problem”, then obviously once I started taking the thyroid medication, and doing what I’d always done, the weight would dissipate.  Right. I’m sure you know how that turned out.

The next thought was that if it wasn’t thyroid, it had to be something else.  There had to be a “reason”.  Especially since I don’t eat much, and I was walking and exercising again, right?  So I moved from Xenadrine to Xenical(prescription-strength Alli).  I lost ONE dress size.  ONE.  Do you know how that feels?  I’ll tell you. It doesn’t feel good.

In fact, it feels downright flip a table-worthy.

So now, here I am…the largest I’ve ever been, give or take a couple dress sizes.  And while I’m mostly comfortable with me,…I’m sad.  Sad because I don’t have the willpower or to be more honest, the willingness, to put myself through the weight-loss ringer anymore.  Should I lose weight?  Yes?  Do I feel like it? No.  I feel as though I could walk from here to Nebraska and get there ten pounds heavier than I left.  I feel as though the next “reason” for my size will only depress me more than the glass of Kool-Aid I just had, ever could.  And at the end of it all, I have to whine by admitting I still get annoyed at the 400lb chick somewhere pregnant with twins.  And I don’t care who tries to convince me that she is probably having a more difficult pregnancy because of it.  I’m stubborn and shallow like that.

I don’t want to lose weight just to have a baby.  I think that would suck.  And you know what?  I’m right.

Your fertility, while very important, should not be the driving factor for your fitness.  YOU, should be.  Yeah, I slipped that twist in on you, I’m sorry about that. You see, my having children is important to me, but so is NOT developing diabetes, breast cancer or high blood pressure.  I’m not going to make any promises to you, or proclaim that this is my “Resolution moment”, I’ve just realized a few things that I’m going to share.  Get a pen. (Or copy/paste, whatever you wanna do)

Mrs.Tiye’s Things Realized about Healthy living:

  1. Soda/Pop whatever you call it in your neck of the woods…ain’t nothing but water and sugar when your break it down.  Don’t believe me?  Sit your RC cola out for a couple hours and let it get flat.  Take a nice swig.  There, you see?  Now, if you really want to have a hissy fit about water and sugar our problem is bigger than we thought.
  2. Baked food is just as good as fried food, and if you need that crunch, bake it in breadcrumbs.
  3. Just because you hated your grandmother’s steamed okra, doesn’t mean you HAVE to eat it fried now.  Find a way to cook your veggies that YOU like, without killing all their nutrients in Crisco.  Even french fries can be baked you know.
  4. Water actually tastes good.  If you need “flavor”, as my friends and I like to whine about, throw in a slice of fruit or use frozen grapes instead of ice.  It is a thirst-quencher like none-other and citrus is good for you.
  5. If it’s in “walking distance”,…walk to it.  I have driven to the 7Eleven on my corner more times than I care to mention.  Its just embarrassingly lazy when you think about it.
  6. If my body was an apartment building, and I was a baby looking for a place to move into…I would fire my Realtor for showing it to me.
  7. What is the sense in bringing a child into this world who has boundless energy, if you won’t be able to keep up with them?  And when they move out and go to college, you want to be fit enough to keep your party going long after.

Lose weight to get healthy, not pregnant.  You will thank YOU for it later, and so will your future grandchildren.

Regina

Regina Townsend is the primary author and founder of TheBrokenBrownEgg. A librarian and writer, Regina’s mission is to make people aware and active about the unique concerns of reproductive health in the minority community.

30 Comments

  1. Nutmeg

    OMY goodness; you just wrote how i feel everyday. I love your posts – i have PCOS as well and am always told this very thing. Thanks for the Healthy Living Tips. ♥

    21 . Sep . 2010
    • Mrs.Tiye

      It’s annoying isn’t it!! And it blows royally when you can clearly see people who aren’t getting all those crappy instructions, going along with life as they want to. Hopefully taking the “pregnancy pressure” off of it will help. Thanks for visiting Nutmeg!!! I enjoy your presence!

      21 . Sep . 2010
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    21 . Sep . 2010
  3. Sabrina

    I loved this!!! Absolutely loved it!!!

    21 . Sep . 2010
    • Mrs.Tiye

      Thanks Sabrina!

      02 . Oct . 2010
  4. Foodies1313

    I agree loosing weight should be about your health and not about conception. I’ve had so many people tell me the only reason we haven’t conceived is my weight. They say exercise and drop the pounds and you’ll get prego. Well I did I lost 70 pounds then I got really sick with sinusitis and asthma. Which hindered me working out for a year. I’ve had two sinus surgeries this year. I just started feel better and started my exercise back up, eating right has never been much of an issues for me. Although I am a good ole southern girl and this love me some fried chicken, but now I only eat it occasionally. I just had another surgery (that makes #4 this year) and so yet again I’m waiting to heal up to wok out again. We’ will all get there both with weight and with babies!

    21 . Sep . 2010
    • Mrs.Tiye

      I’m so sorry to hear about you having so many surgeries. 😐
      I do agree that we will all get where we need to be, with support and dedication!

      02 . Oct . 2010
  5. Gail

    I’ve lost 27 pounds and am only about 10 pounds away from my ideal weight (according to Weight Watchers and the BMI calculator). Despite this, I am still not getting pregnant. Although I am happy to be a smaller size and be healthier, I was hoping that my extra weight would be the reason for my infertility since I have unexplained infertility. But, it looks like that isn’t the case. So, I agree with your last statement. Lose weight for your own health, not to get pregnant.

    21 . Sep . 2010
    • Mrs.Tiye

      Gail, I’m totally bummed with you that things didn’t magically work themselves out like so many folk tell us they will. Like the adoption/pregnancy myth? “As soon as you adopt, you’re sure to get pregnant!”
      sigh.

      I’m glad to hear you’re getting healthier and taking care of you. Who knows, maybe things will turn around sooner than you think.

      02 . Oct . 2010
  6. S.I.F.

    I cannot tell you how many times I have had to fight the urge to throw something every time I think about these extreme diet changes I am making in an effort to get pregnant while at the same time I know women who eat horribly, drink regularly, smoke packs a day, and get pregnant without even trying!

    How the heck does that happen?!? And why did I have to give up cheese?!?

    I hear you lady… I’m doing it for me, and because I know that there is nothing lost in trying to be health (except of course for a few pounds), but still… it is infuriating to try so hard and have it still not work while those around me don’t have to try at all.

    22 . Sep . 2010
    • Mrs.Tiye

      I am QUEEN of wanting to flip tables over and throw shoes at people. This thing is horribly rigged, or at least it seems as much. While I can’t side with you about the cheese, I do have bouts of extreme attitude about folk telling me I have to cut out my after-dinner beer or glass of wine. I mean how the hell is a chick supposed to not drink under these circumstances!?!

      I’m trying to learn not to look over into other people’s grass, but I have to admit sometimes it looks awfully green and plush. Keep pushing and I will too!

      02 . Oct . 2010
  7. Aisha

    I agree with that last line completely – get healthy for you is key. That said – when I did FINALLY get pregnant after numerous years and IVF tries I felt so honored with my storage that I wanted to have a healthier body NOT just for the baby but because I desire to stay on this planet for as long as possible for my child. While I am thin I could eat better and more healthy. Pregnancy and getting pregnant made me more of a vegetable and fruit eater because my child desires the happiest and healthiest mother around… and eating well for ME did that.

    23 . Sep . 2010
    • Mrs.Tiye

      My thoughts exactly Aisha. Sometimes I think, “I’m a horrible mother already if I won’t eat right or take care of me in the first place”. I’m sure,…with all the energy you have now, your “Cosmopolitan Kid” is enjoying every minute of it.

      02 . Oct . 2010
  8. Noelle

    I totally agree with this article. Because women who smoke crack get pregnant with no problem.

    27 . Oct . 2010
    • Mrs.Tiye

      LOL Not only with no problem, but with rapid succession and a pork chop hangin out of their mouth like a cigarette! Girl…crazy thing is, if not for drugs…I doubt you and I would have the kids we DO have in our lives right now. Sad but true.

      27 . Oct . 2010
  9. Zee Moore

    it is fabulous how you summed up everything I am going through right now. I have been told to lose 30 before attempting IVF and my doctor didnt skip a beat on the weight lose convo. I am down 4 pounds but I am doing it for me and not for a pregnancy….

    22 . Dec . 2010
    • Mrs.Tiye

      Congrats on the losses! KEEP IT GOING ZEE!! We got your back!

      22 . Dec . 2010
  10. Ms. Bria

    OMG!!! This is exactly how I feel. I also have PCOS and was told that in order for me to get pregnant I would have to lose weight. I did lose 50 pounds and my hormone levels did improve however, I still can’t get pregnant. It does frustrate me to see women who are bigger than me pregnant!!! I’m like WTF, why did I have to lose weight in order to get pregnant when this 400 or 300 pound woman is pregnant and she didn’t have to lose anything apparently..lol!!!! I’m really trying to keep my weight down but it really bothers me sometime when I think that I’m doing this in vain.

    27 . Dec . 2010
    • Mrs.Tiye

      Ooh, girl don’t it just beat all!?! You keep working though, and know that it is far from being in vain. YOU will feel better, and when you feel better more positivity will gravitate to you…including motherhood. 50lbs! You Go Girl!

      27 . Dec . 2010
  11. dondig

    I’m losing weight in anticipation of pregnancy, not for fertility reasons, but so I won’t be as fat afterward. Although, I have to tell you, I don’t give a rats butt what the doctor says, I’m not gaining more than 20 lbs if that. God knows I have more than enough fat stores to support a child.

    23 . Jan . 2011
    • Mrs.Tiye

      LOL!!! I hear that!

      16 . Mar . 2011
  12. GAPEACH1

    Well, my bestfriend was 32 and weighed 312lbs and has PCOS. Her doctor warned her that if she doesn’t eat healthy and lose weight she will not live to see 40. She changed her diet, exercised and at 33 She dropped some weight and weighed 263lbs and got pregnant with her first child. When she was 1 month pregnant she went back up to 271. She is now 4months pregnant!!! Even during her pregnancy right now she just told me she weighes 250lbs. Her doctor told her that it was normal for some people to lose weight during pregnancy. She said that losing weight for her was not just to have a baby but it was a lifestyle change that she will continue to do even after she has the baby. Its her new way of life to be healthy. So it is possible!! Have faith and believe! Good Luck to you all!!!

    25 . Jan . 2012
  13. ralph lawrence

    but dont you wanna lose weight just to be healthier

    31 . Jan . 2012
  14. Jessica

    It’s fine that you feel that way, but women with pcos who are over weight have a difficult time getting pregnant. So no matter how you feel about a fact, it still remains a fact. Also, if you are trying to lose weight go on BC while you diet, it helps control the effects of pcos.

    08 . Jul . 2012
    • Mrs.Tiye

      LOL Thanks Jessica. My point was that one shouldn’t lose weight JUST to get pregnant. It’s a LIFESTYLE change, not just a means to an end.

      25 . Jul . 2012
  15. Anastasia

    Hey I see that you wrote this almost 2 years ago and just wanted to see what things are like now?, did you lose weight?, are you prego?

    24 . Jul . 2012
    • Mrs.Tiye

      No Anastasia, lost weight but tubes are blocked. Moving towards IVF. Thanks for stopping back!

      25 . Jul . 2012
  16. nICHELLE

    I have just been diagonsed with PCOS and was told to lose weight as well. I was not trying to get pregnant but was wondering in the back of my mind why I wasnt. (unprotected sex). I know that I need to lose weight for myself and before I can have a baby, my thing is I am in need of a daily diet plan and fitness. I can’t do it on my own. I need day by day and meal by meal instructions other than that I do this estimate eat and exercise game plan that does not work.

    Does anyone know of a program that I can do or get daily for free. I dont have alot of money.

    PLease let me know what you guys think. I am just confused necasue then I like its my destiny not o have any kids….

    Its good to know that I am not alone 🙂

    30 . Oct . 2012
  17. Ashley

    I just found out I have Pcos. I was told to lose weight and I am in the process of it bc I think I need to get in shape love myself build up my confidence and my spirits before I try and conceive. I would like to kno whow many actual success stories there are for women with pcos who conceived after loosing weight. And how did u lose the weight? I’m on metformin for my insulin resistance issue bc of pcos and birth control bc of how irregular I am until I drop the weight.

    19 . Apr . 2013
  18. Shaneka

    I feel exactly the same way. I was diagnosed with PCOS at 13. At the time I was not treated properly and gained a lot of weight. I was only told that if I ever wanted kids then I would have to lose weight. Fast forward to now at 37 years old and I have lost about 50 pounds. Still no baby. I have been married for 13 years. I get upset and have so many questions and when I see very obese women who are pregnant or already have kids.

    26 . Apr . 2013

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