Fact: I really should blog more.
Struggle: Life. Is. Cray.
Goal: 1 new blog post a week.
Plan: Discipline. Structure. Organization. Release.
Starting this blog post off with my latest goal- to actually fucking blog more. Make use of this format of release for myself. Why not- even if I’m the only one reading it. These last 20 weeks I’ve allowed myself to have a goal for ME and it’s been so rewarding and empowering.
This post may seem like it’s all over the place. Bear with me. It’s been a while.
So. I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last 20+ weeks of prep for my first NPC Bikini Competition. I’ve learned that the body is capable of pretty much anything, within reason. I’ve learned that in reality, your mind is what you need to overcome. I’ve learned that pushing yourself is key, but listening to your body is imperative. I’ve learned that there are no excuses. I’ve learned that you will never, ever, always be motivated. You create your own motivation. We are our own limits. I have a weird, inexcusable deep yearning for donuts and macaroons (two things I rarely eat, but prep life has brought this to the forefront) And also, abs really are made in the kitchen. Accept that…. it’s a fact of life.
I can do hard things. I am the gate-holder to my goals. I am the the catch-all, be-all. It’s me vs. me.
As many of my close friends and family know, this journey dates back a couple of years for me. My husband and I, after years of struggling to conceive, decided to proceed with IVF. Yes, we wanted to make a baby with Science because basically my body hates me and I make cysts, or as I like to call them, hard boiled eggs. Ok, it’s really not funny, however I find humor to be a healthy medicine for the acceptance of my lack of properly functioning female body. Sue me.
Our IVF Journey began after about a million different tests and procedures that pointed us in said direction. The entire process of In-Vitro is nothing short of exhausting and completely mind-numbing. You have to be patient, meticulous, careful, mindful with the entire process, all while dealing with the surge of hormones rushing through your body making you feel like you’re going to go full on, B.Spears 2007. It’s hard, really hard. We started our journey of shots and suppositories, and medications, and emotional distress in February of 2016. And my ‘eggs’ were ready to be harvested in late March.
Now, this is all subject to where you read it, but my Reproductive Endocrinologist told me that ‘most’ women in my age group, fitness level, health, etc.. tend to harvest upwards of 20, 30, sometimes more eggs in one cycle. Which to me sounds insane. I was hopeful. I was optimistic. I mean I’m a healthy person. I take care of myself, I eat right, I exercise, I finally have my thyroid disaster in check. This is going to be it! I was SO BLOATED during that final week before the harvest. I was certain there were like 30 eggs in there ready to be put into a nice little dish.
There were 7. SEVEN. Like whut.
Out of those 7. 5 were viable, meaning healthy enough to be fertilized. So we had 5 little chances to have our miracle baby. I was still hopeful. I was still optimistic. I was still convinced it was going to work and I even was preparing myself for twins because there was a 78% chance that would happen. Great odds right!!
The next step is to wait 5 days. 5 days is the magic number because once fertilized, those little tiny miracles begin to multiply and on day 5 become blastocysts and you can then implant the healthiest ones to provide the BEST possible chance for a pregnancy. Simple enough. We had a plan and it was going to work.
Well, the day after the harvest and fertilization I received a call. This call was basically ‘We need you to come in TOMORROW (2 days post harvest) to implant… can you do that? That’s all we can tell you right now.’
Talk about an upsetting call. You know something is wrong but you don’t really know what. I go in, with my super patient and supportive husband that next morning. Undress. sit in the sanitary, quiet, dim procedure room. Ready to have 2 embryos implanted into my lady parts. The nurse walks in, hands me a folded sheet of paper, then walks out. The paper read as follows
Number of eggs harvested: 7
Number of eggs viable: 5
Number of eggs fertilized: 2
Number of embryos implanted: 1
We had one embryo. One. One single chance to have our baby. Like, how did it come down to that? That’s absurd. I cried. A lot. The doctor reassured me that it only takes one. They really were all super supportive about it. But the reality was, we had gone through all of this – not to mention spent tens of thousands of dollars- and we have nothing left. We have nothing to freeze. We have nowhere to turn if this one does not work- aside from start the entire process over.
Most couples will have something to freeze. So if the first implantation didn’t work, they could go back a cycle later, and implant again- minus the shots and harvest and medications leading up to that point. We didn’t have that option. And we knew we could not practically spend this all over again knowing the way my body responded to this initial round.
So we had one. Talk about pressure.
Well that one did not work. I cried. A lot. Again. It really was a grieving process. Anger, Sadness, Disbelief, Repeat.
I was learning to accept that I will not have a baby. I had to. I have a wonderful husband and two great adopted children at home that I was very grateful for, but accepting that I would not get to carry my own baby was an uphill battle.
THEREFORE – this lead me to a desire and an urge to do something with my body that I could be proud of. I mean, nothing makes you feel less of a woman than not being able to have a baby. I wanted to occupy my mind and my energy into something positive. Something constructive. Something for ME that I could be proud of.
Enter Bikini Prep.
I reached out to my current coach and it was decided. I was going to compete in the NPC North Star in October of 2016. I had never been more determined or focused on a goal before. It was really helpful for me both emotionally and physically during this time.
Fast-forward only a few short weeks – my bloating was EXCESSIVE. Like, I literally felt like I was a hot air balloon. My Assumption: it’s all of the protein. Duh. I’m eating 6 meals a day. My body is adjusting.
Nope. Turns out, as my body was coming down from all of the crazy hormones I had been pumping into it for the last 4 months, I actually got knocked up.
Some people have told me its all a miracle but I know its just science. I know I would not have my little guy today if it weren’t for this WHOLE process, and now looking back I wouldn’t change a thing because I have him. And he’s the most perfect little person in the world.
So what does this have to do with my prep. Well… I had a goal that was outstanding that I needed to tend to.
Talk about doubt in yourself. A post-baby body is not an easy thing to transform. I mean the body is fucking amazing. I was a human submarine. I gained over 40 lbs (pretty sure I had so much water weight I could fill a public pool). And now, just over a year later i’m the leanest I have ever been in my life. I’m down over 50 lbs from when I gave birth. That’s a ton for my body frame.
The point of this blog is, there are no excuses. If you have a goal. Do it.
We are all on our own journey and we are all moving at our own pace through this crazy life. If you care about something, pursue it.
Stop making excuses. I have a husband who is an avid outdoorsman, which means every season.. is a season for something. I never want to hold him back from that. And in my being supportive- he’s been supportive right back with my goals and passions. I have three kids to manage. One in high school, learning to drive. One who plays travel football, basketball, and baseball as well as now AAU basketball. I have a one year old. Enough said there. I have responsibilities. I have a home to tend to. To clean. To cook. To SELL (we just listed our home for sale… which only complicates things more). Just like everyone else, I have a life. But I’m choosing no excuses.
I am so proud of myself for this process. I am so proud that I have literally been getting in all of my workouts this week. I am so proud of myself for the way I have been nourishing my body during this process. It’s not easy to eat 6 meals a day, especially when it’s ‘again with the fucking chicken or turkey’. But you know what. I do it. Because it’s what needs to be done. There are no excuses. Period.
I have said this before and I’ll say it again. I am by no means perfect. I’m far from it. But there is no reason we can’t be proud of how far we have come. I may not be where I want to be in my future, but dammit I can be proud of my progress. I can be proud of everything I’ve learned about myself along the way.
I have 10 days before I step on stage. I hope I walk out there with a proud feeling of how far I have come. I hope I feel a sense of pride in my journey and myself. This is far out of my comfort zone but nothing great ever happens in a comfort zone anyway. This journey, this process, this prep life is NOT for the faint of heart. It’s not for someone wanting to willy nilly their way through. It’s fucking hard.
But, I can do hard things.