Friday, May 18, 2012

The next plan - woman meets bike

With the triathlon ending, I decided I needed to put in place a new plan to help me stay on track with losing some weight in preparation for our next IVF attempt.

Actually that is altogether a bit too simple. Just before easter I started to go nutty - again - about how on earth I could possibly stay on track with trying to lose weight again. I know a lot of people have no trouble managing their weight and I'm a little embarrassed, even ashamed, that I just haven't ever been able to get a handle on it. I know it's not rocket science, eating chocolate and cakes + sitting on couch = weight gain. I understand the cause of the problem.

When I felt the dig at myself about my complete failure to get this part of life under some level of control get too strong, almost destructive, I decided it was time to talk it over with a psychologist. I simply wanted to talk about the problems I've had getting some long term thinking happening when infertility treatments drag you into week-to-week and month-to-month thinking. I want to achieve longer term thinking to help me stay focussed on the weight loss goals while doing infertility treatment.

The session with the psych was not what I expected and excellent. Firsty, apparently I'm not completely nutty and have managed to really set some good long term goals. Apparently infertility treatment is typified with the need for short term thinking and the fact that has happened is not surprising. I just need to acknowledge that is going to happen and accept that is a part of the process. Fair enough. In closing she suggested if I really want to do something about my weight I should see a specialist. Not just anyone, but someone who specialised in pregnancy weight management, perhaps someone recommended by Queensland Fertility Group (QFG).

QFG offer counselling support, but don't really have anything on the nutrition front. I hit the net, googling Brisbane dietician Pregnancy and found a few forums discussing the issue, in particular Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) boards. A name popped a few times, Desi. I tracked down and had my first appointment with Desi two weeks before the triathlon.

The best thing about seeing Desi is that she has told me that when I get pregnant I can still lose weight. She is often referred patients with PCOS to help them manage their weight during pregnancy. She said the goal would be to have my starting pregnancy weight and ending pregnancy weight be the same, which would mean I would effectively loose about 10 kilograms during the pregnancy. And once I have the baby, straight back into getting off whatever weight I have left to lose. This was like music to my ears. At last, long term weight loss thinking that included getting pregnant and having a baby. Every obstetrician I've seen has said weight gain is the goal. I even asked one (the first time I was pregnant) if I really should be aiming to gain 11-13 kilos given I had such a high starting weight - her response was, well perhaps just 8 kilos would be better.

With Desi's eating plan I've been doing really well on the weight loss front. I still find it hard to resist temptation that seems to present itself so often. I'm trying to find the right balance between saint like and sustainable when it comes to eating. It would a lot easier if I never had to leave the house, but that isn't really possible...

I've also been seeing an exercise physiologist in the same practice. I knew that keeping up my motivation to train after the triathlon ended would be difficult. My last appointment at the exercise physiologist we were talking about the result of the triathlon and he said a strange thing to me. He said given the results I'm getting I seem to have a reasonable base level of fitness, so it is surprising that I have managed to get to the size I am. Hmmmm, I'm pretty sure there is a compliment and an insult in that statement. I tried explaining to him that my natural preference was couch but that over the past few years I would do bouts of PT sessions or gym memberships, until the couch won me back again. I don't think this gave him much confidence.

The exercise physiologist got me to set a new training goal. I kept it pretty basic, 5 kilometre Bridge to Brisbane run in September, but I'm thinking of revisiting that. This week I've decided to give riding to work a go. You see, the best I've ever done at losing and keeping weight off (for longer - I still gained it all back eventually) was when I used to walk to and from work most days. The walk took me 35-40 minutes. I got to thinking, if I could get that amount of exercise built into my day again I would probably have a much better chance at success.

I did a full test run of the ride last weekend to make sure I'd be able to manage it and learned on the bike it is just under 14 kilometres from home to the office, it takes me around 55 minutes and it is pretty hard work in a number of places (requiring me to get off bike and push!). I've ridden to work Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week. It is still taking me 55 minutes, but I think it is getting easier. My new goal is to be to riding to work 5 days a week by July, and come spring (let's say October), I want to be riding to and from work most days (weather permitting - I need to see if this plan will be impacted by our hot hot hot summers).

I think my bike might be too small for me, which wasn't a problem when being ridden once or twice a week however now with regular, commute riding in mind I might need to trade it in (jeez, I just bought the damn thing!).

And by the way, my butt is killing me! It is going to have to toughen up if I'm going to be riding to and from work every day!

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