Ah, the holiday season. The most wonderful time of the year, or so the song goes. Really though, it can be the most stressful time of year for a lot of Americans. And stressed I was.
I started using Ovulation Predictor Kits in October. Kind of by accident really. I bought what I thought was a box of pregnancy tests. The box contained only one pregnancy test and 7 ovulation predictor kits. I didn’t read closely enough and just saw the “includes 8 tests!” on the box and thought that was the best deal and grabbed it. So once I had them I figured I might as well give them a try.
For those of you who are not familiar with ovulation predictor kits (OPK), they look and act very similar to a pregnancy test. When you are at a point in your cycle where you think you are ovulating based on your typical cycle length and what-not, you pee on the stick. It then tells you if you are ovulating! Or rather, if you’ve had the hormone spike that usually indicates that you have/are ovulating. The tricky part is that when the spike appears it means ovulation has already happened, so it would be best to have sex the day before you get the hormone spike. But it isn’t always easy to know when that is going to happen, still the tests can verify that you are having a hormone spike and sometimes it’s not too late to try to conceive that cycle if you get on it right away! So there’s a bit of guesswork and urgency when using the OPK.
My cycles had always been pretty darn predictable, so it wasn’t too hard to know when I was ovulating. According to the tests it was happening every month. And according to my charting we were having sex at the right times to become pregnant. Still, over those three months, NOTHING. UGH.
So of course the usual holiday stress was exacerbated by trying to conceive (TCC). It was also exacerbated by my continued limitation in exercise. My foot was still not healed and so I was restricted from doing as much activity as I was used to. Since I wasn’t getting pregnant I was also reluctant to restrict my diet too much as some suggest that calorie restricting can interfere with TCC. But let’s be honest, it was the holidays and I was not at any risk of actually restricting my diet so much that it interfered with my cycle. Still, I was desperate to avoid anything that could even potentially cause an issue.
So all of that added up to a whopping 15 pound weight gain from the spring (prior to injuring my foot). What a fucking mess. When New Years finally rolled along I realized I was spiraling a bit from stress and filling my emotions with food. Too much yummy holiday food. I needed to get my ass in gear!