It’s time for #1stphase Reflections!
So here’s what’s up. I didn’t participate last month in #1stphase because, well, I didn’t have a first phase. I’ll spare my lovely readers the finer details but all you need to know is that for the first time since I can remember, I wasn’t ovulating. If you’re a NFP/FAM sister – you know that this sticks out like a sore thumb on a chart. It had been ~70 days since I last ovulated. So I knew something was up, but I didn’t know why.
I researched like crazy. And as it always goes, I poured the internet and books, resorting to the worst possible scenario. Is it a thyroid issue? My temps have always been on the low end of the spectrum….Maybe PCOS? But usually weight gain comes with that…I was beyond frustrated with the medical field, feeling that I was the only person who truly advocated for my health. (For the most part, this is true.)
I eventually went to someone I had met at our clinic through my local NFP/FAM group. She was leery to “diagnose” me with anything. But when I stepped on the scale, there wasn’t much diagnosing to be done. I promise you, my intention is not to brag here because I know a lot of women put a lot of effort into their weight – but I had somehow dropped down to 108 pounds. (I’m 5’6”, so I’m well under what I should be. Actually I’m considered “dangerously underweight” under some standards.) This is a combination of a lot of things – I’ve always had a fast metabolism. I’ve been busier with school, so I have less time to eat proper full meals. And money is always tight.
I later skyped with the wonderful and intelligent Hannah Ransom of Holistic Hormonal Health. We went over a whole host of things that could contribute to anovulation. She asked me what I cooked with, I replied that I used to use olive oil, but switched a while ago to grapeseed oil. She asked what about milk? Yogurt? Fat free, I explained. As I answered more and more questions, I realized that I eat a diet virtually free of fat. (Other than when I eat meat.)
“Just eat some butter!” She exclaimed. “Don’t worry about having a perfect, organic diet over having a full one.”
Something clicked for me during that conversation. We’re so overwhelmed in the crunchy world with the pressure to eat “hormone free meat” and “ethically farmed vegetables” (for whatever that’s worth) and adding flax seeds, chia seeds, and kale. We forget that it doesn’t have to always be perfect. I eat mostly fresh food. I rarely buy a packaged meal. I get my veggies and fruit. But I was subconsciously avoiding butter and fatty things in my diet because….well I just thought they were bad.
Hannah’s philosophy is that we need everything in the food groups. We need dairy, we need carbs, we need fat, we need meat. Just in moderation with everything else. She said wisely that it’s easy to jump to something radical when looking at aberrations in a FAM chart. But stressing about it can actually make it worse – so she advised that I take the simplest actions first. And most importantly, not worry too much.
Low and behold – I did finally ovulate and my temps have slightly risen to the normal range. (Who knew – I just needed to eat some butter?)
And of course, my most recent phase 1 arrived. I reflected on perfectionism and how it plays a role in my health. Sometimes I get so caught up in having prime, top notch health, I lose sight of the simple and basic things.
So if you really want to be “healthy”, drink water, eat a balanced diet, exercise, and most importantly, stop stressing over it. Perfectionism has no place in our well being because, well, we’re not going to be perfect.
Also, as a last note, I am really thankful for charting because I otherwise would have been totally in the dark as to why aunt flo went on vacation. And for that, it is all worth it!