Thursday, July 19, 2012

Getting Healthy

I'm not the kind of person who believes "everything happens for a reason," but I do believe everything that happens eventually leads to good things as well as bad things. 

When I found out our baby was dead, I wracked my brain trying to think of some of the good things that might be in store for us because of this sad event. It was difficult to do. In all my thinking, all I could come up with is:
  • Suffering a miscarriage meant that I was no longer pregnant and could therefore eat junk food without worrying about cholestasis or my baby's healthy development during my two-week vacation. I ate lots and lots of ice-cream and French fries. 
  • If I'm able to get pregnant and sustain a pregnancy again, it will mean that Henry and the second baby are farther apart in age. The older Henry is, the more independent he will be and the easier it will be to welcome another child into our lives.
  • I won't have to go on maternity leave any time soon, which means we can save up more money for the house we're building.
That's all I've got for now! It was a difficult process, for sure.

After two weeks of eating junk food, I feel disgusting (although it was very comforting in the moment). Plus, I'm ready to look forward and put my energy into getting ready to try and conceive again. I'm eagerly awaiting the start of the next Purposeful Conception course. In the meantime, I'm going to do this two-day detox.

It's not one of the detox diets that makes you starve yourself so you can lose a whole bunch of weight really fast. It's legitimately a two-day cleanse that helps flush toxins out of your body and helps support the proper functioning of all the organs related to removing harmful substances from your body. 

I also signed up for three months of Weight Watchers for $57. I really like their approach to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. They help me develop a more accurate perspective about how much food I can eat to maintain or lose weight. They also help me figure out how much exercise translates into being able to increase my food intake. I think three months will be a good amount of time to help me recalibrate my eating habits. 

I'll let you know how it goes!

REMINDER: The next Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy starts July 30. Register today! We'd love to have you join us!

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Ellie said...

I recently did a vegetarian version of the Whole 30 diet (I allowed legumes), which helped me detox and focus on how to eat better. If you find after your cleanse that you are still looking for a restricted diet, I would recommend checking it out. There are a couple guides on how to do it vegetarian.

I haven't tried weight watchers, but calorie counting is super-helpful for vegetarians, not just for weight loss/maintaining a healthy weight, but making sure we are getting enough nutrients. And if you end up finding calorie counts for some of the recipes in the menu planning site, please share! I also recommend tracking your water intake, especially when it's hot out.

There may not be an upside to your miscarriage. Some things in life just suck. I admire your desire to be positive, but it's also okay to simply be angry.

Catoctin Mountain Mama said...

Sounds like a good plan!

Have you thought about going to Community Acupuncture for a bit to help get your liver functioning better?

I've been checking out several Community Acupuncture Clinics in the DC/MD/NOVA area and they are amazing. Instead of spending $80 to go once a month, you can spend the same amount of money to go four times a month! If you go to the POCA website, it looks like there are three clinics in Austin.

You could also talk to herbalist in your area about formulating a liver-supporting tea that you could drink daily.

Best wishes on getting healthier!

Autumn Witt Boyd said...

I found Weight Watchers very helpful for teaching me about portion sizes and the real contents/ nutritional values of the food I eat. I still indulge in "fun foods" from time to time but at least I know what I'm really eating and can portion (or not worry about it) accordingly. I did find I drove myself a little crazy with obsessing over tracking how many points I'd eaten every day, but that's just my personality. I can now eat 80% healthy without counting or tracking anything, but I couldn't have done that without the training WW gave me about nutritional values, portions, etc.

Robyn said...

Groan. I usually try to post positive comments, but this post hit one of my biggest pet peeves—“detox” or “cleanse” diets. Please allow me to vent just a tiny bit … It looks like the weekend cleanse you’ve selected isn’t totally crazy, it mostly relies on real foods and doesn’t rely on supplements or crazy fasting. However, I the entire concept of detoxifying our bodies or doing a juice cleanse is just not backed up by good science. Some good information can be found here: and here
The short answer is that our kidneys and liver do a great job of natural detoxing. It is good to not abuse them with too much alcohol or sodium, but there is absolutely no evidence that this type of cleanse help improve their function—and it could hurt it (through spikes and drop in blood sugar) I understand the desire to “jump start” good habits, but why not have a junk-food free weekend? Or focus on each meal being half fruits and veggies? Or remove all processed sugars from your diet for a week? Or maybe stick to the Dr. Oz diet, but clarify that it is quite different from other “cleanse” or “detox” diets. I worry that so many people look to you and your blog for healthy living inspiration and they may only read “detox diet”, which is really not a healthy or sustainable approach to weight loss.
I have tremendous respect for your decision to focus on improving your health through proper diet and exercise. I also think weight watchers is one of the most effective, rational, and balanced approaches to weigh-loss.
Apologies for the criticism—it really isn’t directed at your or even your approach, but just at the terms “detox” and “cleanse”.

Sara E. Cotner said...

Hi, Robyn! I totally hear you. My mother is all about crazy diets that involve eating only cabbage soup or grapefruit or other such craziness.

I also agree that traditional fasting or detoxing schemes can be really dangerous. I like the Dr. Oz two-day approach because it relies on whole foods and even includes protein. I think two days of liver-friendly foods makes sense for going easy on our detoxing organs and jumpstarting healthier eating habits.

Thanks for including the links and for chiming in!

Hi, Catoctin Mountain Mama! Yes, I went to community acupuncture right before I found out I was having a miscarriage. I'm definitely going to keep it up.

Audrey said...

Weight Watchers is fantastic! I'm on my own journey with it and seeing wonderful results. The plan is tried-and-true and has evolved over the years to be quite user-friendly and supportive. Good for you!

If you should need recipe ideas, check out SkinnyTaste blog - it's not endorsed by Weight Watchers, but everything Gina posts is assigned points values and has given us some great ideas and staples.

Tara said...

I love your approach of looking at what good can come after, even though I know your experience must be so intensely painful. I used to teach skills to women with mental illness including borderline personality disorder, many of whom had endured horrific trauma, often at the hands of their family. What we taught was based on the work of Marsha Linehan and one of the therapies was "making meaning". One of the ways that we can make meaning out of painful events in our lives is to recognize that it makes us more empathic individuals, which can help to connect us with our fellow humans. Knowing you through reading your blog, I understand that you are already thoughtful and compassionate, but it is possible that this could be a future good thing for you.

Sara E. Cotner said...

Absolutely, Tara. And when I continue to say that we can control the inputs but not the outputs, I'll be speaking from direct experience.

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