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Mind/Body Connection

Overcoming Binge Eating and Obesity With Baptist Health South Florida

Baptist Health South Florida

Remember the big confession I made the other day? Well, I am glad I was able to get that off my chest!  I took my little chapter of unhealthy behaviors and used them as an opportunity to offer solutions for common health and fitness problems we encounter when we cannot find time to make health and fitness a priority.

Today, I have a very healthy relationship with food, but that was not always the case, and it is not the case for many people who battle eating disorders on a daily basis. In today’s post with Baptist Health South Florida we are taking on the connection between binge eating disorder and obesity.

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Confessions of a Fitness Blogger: I Didn’t Work Out For Ten Days


taylor-31

Hi my name is Taylor Walker and I have a confession to make: I HAVE NOT WORKED OUT IN TEN DAYS. Yup, TEN DAYS! If I am being honest, this is not the first time that life has gotten the best of my workout schedule. I am human. I am busy;  and sometimes, I am exhausted and downright lazy.

[I know, I know…enough with the excuses.]

Over the past week and a half I have taught classes where I do work up a sweat, but that is not enough to get my blood pumping and release the endorphins I rely on to keep me positive and upbeat!   Nutrition and exercise have been at the forefront of my life for the past few years and I am getting back on track as we speak. But today, I wanted to share with you exactly how I felt when I let my health take a backseat to work and play because I know many of you can relate.

 If you have been in a healthy rut this winter, let’s shake off the winter blues and spring ahead together!

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9 Ways to Spring Clean Your Fitness in 2017 With StellaValle

9 Ways to Spring Clean Your Workout

It is that time of year again to dust off your gym bag and get those summer bodies in check! The StellaValle sisters have made me their #WomanWarrior of the week, and I have put a list of my top three tips for you to spring clean your fitness in mind, body and soul! 

Make sure to head over to StellaValle.com to read more on the Women Warriors #BEONE campaign and make sure to follow @StellaValle on Instagram. I will be doing an Insta story takeover and I have a jam-packed fitness fueled day.

9 Ways to Spring Clean Your Workout

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled program. Get ready to spring-clean your fitness! 

Commit to Fit:

Try New Things: This spring, run, jump, lift, dance or step outside your comfort zone. There are so many fun ways to work out nowadays. Find a fitness or movement style you love and watch your commitment to fitness increase tenfold!

Do Not Complicate Fitness: People always think that fitting in fitness means two hours in the gym. It doesn’t. Use online resources like: Youtube, Daily Burn, NTC or my favorite app called: “Sweat” by Kayla Itsines. You can get fit your workout in in thirty minutes or less without ever leaving the comfort and security of your own home.

 Ease On In: Rome was not built in a day and neither was your functional fitness capacity. If you burn yourself out on day one, the chance of you sticking to a workout regimen for the long term is slim to none. Set mini goals and before you know it you will be better, faster and stronger than ever!

Woman Warriors #BeOne

 Healthy Eating Tips

 Lighten Up: With warmer temps comes the tendency to reach for lighter fair. Put the days of heaping bowls of pasta behind you and embrace spring produce items like: peas, greens, asparagus and fennel. Still want pasta? Whip out the spiralizer and swap red meat for lean proteins like turkey, salmon or a sumptuous runny egg.

Start a Habit Loop: Make spring the start to your “new year”. Start a habit loop by consuming something healthy first thing in the morning for at least twenty one days. Consume plain water, warm water with lemon or an adrenal kick-starter drink with water, lemon, cayenne, apple cider vinegar, turmeric and black pepper immediately after you wake up. This will help rev your metabolism and get your digestive juices flowing. This will also help you to put your health first and make healthier choices throughout the day.

Make Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day: I know we have all heard this statement over and over again, but few of us act on it. Recently, I made sure to have more than just my morning java before heading to work or the gym. Not only have my morning workouts gotten more intense, but also, I have more energy to help me get through the day! Skipping breakfast for extended periods of time can actually lead to weight gain and other chronic diseases plaguing this country.

9 Ways to Spring Clean Your Workout

More Mindfulness This Spring:

 Take a Social Break: As a blogger and fitness model that is sometimes defined and hired based on my social numbers; taking a break from social media can be difficult, but it is necessary. Sometimes I really have to force myself to shut it down and be more present. Even if the only time I get to do it is during my hour-long sweat session. I also try to step away from the screens at least an hour before bed to get a more restful nights sleep.

Define Three words of Affirmation: “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” Often times during a mentally draining day, tough workout or just because, I need to hear something positive, and I use words of affirmation to help get me through. Write down your mantra or top three phrases that will help you to remain a calm positive patty no matter what the day brings!

Take 15 minutes to do Something Only For You: If I know I have a hectic day I like to set my alarm to wake me up fifteen minutes early to stretch or sip a cup of bulletproof coffee and watch the news in peace. I know finding time for yourself can be extremely difficult, but spending time alone doing something for yourself can yield a happier, healthier you.

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Bloating and Menopause: Helping Women Cope, With Baptist Health South Florida

Beat The Bloat With Baptist Health South Florida

Bloating. What a ‘B’ right? Bloating happens to all of us, at different times, and for all different reasons. For example, if you scarf a large Domino’s pizza you will likely feel bloating. Step onto an airplane for a five hour flight, and POOF, that belly looks like a bag of pop-chips. Even healthy things like kale, broccoli and beans can create a gassy environment that can lead to uncomfortable gut growth. Bloating is natural and normal, but can be uncomfortable and make you self-conscious. Did you know that age and hormones play a key role in the amount, and type of bloat women encounter?

As we age, our bodies begin to change. Bloating is one of the most common symptoms of perimenopause, the period of time when a woman’s hormone production changes as her body begins the transition to menopause. Changes in estrogen levels throw off the body’s production and flow of water and bile, leading to digestive disruptions. Certain dietary habits can also contribute to perimenopause bloating. The main treatment for bloating is practicing good digestive health, including eating healthy, limiting alcohol and caffeine, staying hydrated and exercising. So feel free to read on or click here for more about bloating and menopause from my friends over at Baptist Health South Florida. Also, for anyone who deals with belly bloat, I am sharing my tips for getting your gut back on track in 48 hours or less.

Beat The Bloat With Baptist Health South Florida

Tips to reset bloat in 48 hours or less:

  • Water, Agua, H20: Drink it. Love it and keep it on hand at all times. Feel free to spike it with things like lemon, ginger and mint for an added detoxifying and flavor booting effect!
  • Have a Meal Plan: Do not just grab the first thing you see. Have a plan, and fill your day with whole foods like fruit, vegetables and lean protein.
  • Cut the refined sugar and stick to the sweet stuff that grows naturally: Dates are a great natural source of sugar/carbohydrates.
  • Do The Herbal: Herbal teas can help with everything from energy and bloating to mood and better sleep. Find a blend that works to you and maybe even try to swap your morning java with green tea.

Make sure to head over to Baptist Health South Florida’s website to read tons of great articles on everything from nutrition to community outreach and medical research.

TaylorWalkerFit.com Logo

Beating Acid Reflux: My Collegiate Confession With Baptist Health SF 

Say hello to College Taylor C. 2007 vs Healthy Taylor 2016

Happy “Friday Eve” my friends. I am back today with Baptist Health South Florida to discuss a condition I struggled with for years….ACID REFLUX. My pre-health and fitness days were spent dancing, enjoying large cheese pizzas and gorging on weekly trips through the drive through. I was popping little white chalky pills almost every day before splurging on two-week packs of Prilosec and trips to the gastroenterologist. After laying on my side, drinking this gross drink and watching acid pour out of my stomach, I knew I was ready for a change.  Up until this point I relied on a fast metabolism and consistent dance training to keep me in tip top condition.

By the time I was twenty five I was working a traditional teaching job, commuting to work at 6:30 AM, no longer dancing or moving my body enough, but one thing remained consistent. My crappy diet! You see, at the time I did not understand that food wasn’t just meant to be tasty. It was meant to be used as fuel. The lethargy, acne, stomach pain and constant dark circles under my eyes were all signs that I needed to make a healthy diet a priority. It took about a year to rid my system of the junk food I constantly craved. Day by day I felt healthier, stronger and my acid reflux eventually disappeared into the abyss. It wasn’t until I read this article from Baptist Health South Florida that it reminded me of how important it is to fuel your body with nutrient dense whole foods. And guess what….when you do indulge it is that much more rewarding! Make sure to read on for more tips from Family Medicine Doctor: Christopher da Fonseca, M.D. on how to rid your acid reflux naturally.

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5 Tips to Becoming a Champion-I’m Fit and Happy

How To Be  A Champion

Hi All! I have been a mad women as of late running back and forth to New York, and was knocked out sick this past week. I am finally feeling myself and wanted to share a great post from my friend Kelly-I’m Fit and Happy. Kelly was a captain of the Towson Dance Team my first two years at Towson. She is someone to admire day in and day out. Here is a little of her story and some of her tips on how to become a CHAMPION!

I spent 4 years in College .. all 4 years I danced on the Towson University Dance Team, ranked #1 in the country at the NDA National Dance Team Championship.  I learned how to become a champion as a member of the Towson University Dance Team.When I was in college, I had 3 big goals. Graduate in 4 years, be the captain of the dance team and win the Grand Championship. I achieved all 3 goals. Going to college and learning to become a champion were the best things I could have done for myself.

After dancing my heart out with my team on that huge Nationals stage and then hearing the score come through the speakers when we beat every team including all of the IVY League schools was a moment in time I will never forget.  My dream had come true. At the time, it was one of the happiest moments of my life. It is still in the top 5 happiest moments… the first being my wedding day. It was actually the first time one of the smaller division schools ever won the Grand Championship. The Grand Championship is when the 1st place team from each division competes against each other for the title of Grand Champions. We were the Grand Champions both years I was captain and we won our College Division all four years I was on the team. Towson Dance Team now has a 15 year streak as National Champions!

The feeling I had in my heart going to practice everyday, running the campus with my team, and spending long hours in rehearsal was what motivated me to go home and spend hours writing out formations and take notes while I watched the rehearsal videos over and over. I had PASSION, DETERMINATION, and PERSEVERANCE.

I LOVED my team. We all respected each other so much because each member gave it her ALL at every rehearsal. Every girl SHOWED UP. When I say SHOWED UP, I mean, NOONE EVER MISSED A REHEARSAL. We practiced as a team and we performed as a team.

Our team wasn’t strong because we had a few of the the best individual dancers in the country,  our dancers overall were phenomenal, but it was more about the strength of our team as a whole. We were  champions year after year because we had the most passion, determination, and perseverance, the best work ethic, and the strongest TEAM at Nationals. We supported each other in and out of rehearsals and we worked towards our goals on a daily basis. When we weren’t in rehearsal dancing together, we were practicing at home, and working out!

 Here are 5 tips to ensure you are doing everything you can to become a champion:

1. Remind yourself every day what your goals are and work toward them on a daily basis. I often write these goals down on a daily basis and they include short term goals that will get me closer to reaching my long term goals.

2. Make priorities and keep them. My co-captain, Kristin, and I didn’t go out much when we were captains. If we did, it was only for a couple hours. Going on our runs and hitting the gym to get in shape was more important. We basically chose Fitness over Social Hour, but still went out from time to time.

3. Don’t let anything get in your way. Sometimes peer pressure can be tough when friends are trying to get you to go out or stay out late. Don’t let others distract you from reaching your goals, stay on track even when its hard. Discipline is a good quality to have and should be practiced often. Discipline will take you places in life you’ve never imagined!

4. Don’t procrastinate! Today is going to prepare you for tomorrow so you can perform better each day. As my coach always said, “You can’t make up lost time on technique and conditioning”.

5. Don’t just do what is asked, go above and beyond! Be excellent! Give your best effort with everything you do and do it with enthusiasm!

Don’t forget to encourage, motivate and cheer-on your friends, family, and teammates while you are on your journey to become a champion! Sharing your passion and determination with your friends, family, co-workers, and teammates will be a win-win for everyone!

 Love and Championships,

Taylor

 

Friend or Fitspo? Images meant to inspire…doing more damage than good?

Friend or Fitspo?

Last week I came across an article on Facebook entitled:  ” The Pornification of Fitness. I immediately got defensive. As a working fitness model I feel it is my duty to walk the walk, talk the talk, and take images that inspire an active healthy lifestyle. After reading this article I was forced to answer an important question: When do images no longer act as  “fit-spiration”, but become the exact opposite of what you are trying to achieve?

Take this video for example. The world has become a Kardashianized bubble in which perfect selfies and an obsession with ones thigh gap has become the utmost importance. Over the past four years I have been on both sides of the spectrum. On one hand a physical education teacher whose goal it was to encourage students to live active and healthy lifestyles through sport and lifetime activities.  On the other hand a former professional dancer turned fitness model whose imagery that was meant to inspire may lead to negative self reflection.

At the end of the day I am a women. A women who loves food and had to fall in love with eating clean and working out. I still indulge in decadent dinners and late night runs for dessert and cappuccino with Cory. I just try to follow the 80-20 rule and keep it moving. It is hard to admit, but like many women I am sure, and please let me know you can relate so I am not a total crazy woman!  The first thing I do before hopping in the shower in the morning is check out my tummy. Bloated? Flat? Toned?  I am not perfect and don’t ever expect perfection, but I have noticed a shift in the way I see myself on a daily basis. I had to do some digging and figure out when body image became an issue. I use the word issue VERY lightly. I am extremely grateful for the body that I have been given, and am so thankful for the genes I have inherited; however, I do believe I started to compare my body to other bodies out there as social media and the WWW became more and more prevalent. Posting pictures from college outings, spring break, and family vacations were no longer care free moments captured in time.  You have the tendency to look at yourself in a whole new light, deleting any picture that will not be considered postable. Your life on display for all the world to see. You  may even become more aware of how to look your best in photos..hand on hip….3/4 pose..head tilt etc. etc.. Gone are the days of being surprised and excited after your film is developed and hello to the days of the perfect filter and photoshop for your cell piece.

That brings me back to the major question at hand. Friend of fitspo? When do images cross that line? We see them every single day on pinterest,  instagram and in movies. Photos of tight toned 6 packs saying things like “I hate being fat so I changed it” or “your body is a reflection of your  lifestyle”. 36-24-36….Who fits into that category anyway?  1 % of the human population and even those who are may have had a little help. I fear how these images are affecting our younger generations. Instilling self confidence in young women is becoming harder and harder. They see the girl with the large thigh gap, enlarged breasts and hip bones sticking out “liked” thousands of times. I worry that self deprecation and unrealistic body image has become the new norm.

I need to tell you this story in hopes that we can somehow make a change. I was teaching dance last year to a group of eight year old girls. They would NOT and I mean NOT stop staring at themselves in the mirror. Sometimes getting side tracked by their own reflections.  “I know you are all beautiful”, I said and asked them to say it with me “I’m beautiful”, and not one of them felt comfortable enough saying that out loud. They all awkwardly looked at each other and some found the courage to squeak those two simple words out. When I was that age I would shout it from the rooftops. Buck teeth, crazy hair and all! We need to start inspiring the younger generation. Our sisters and daughters need to start believing in themselves and their beauty.

Friend or Fitspo

As I was browsing through this months Fitness Magazine. The first nine pages were all Wilhelmina Fitness women that I have the pleasure of knowing or have seen in passerby during a casting or job. All women who live their lives trying to inspire others through living active, healthy lifestyles. They teach various fitness classes and try to live the happiest, healthiest lifestyles possible.  They are dancers, yoga gurus, collegiate track stars and professional athletes with so much to offer this generation. Yes! they may be featured in glossy magazines and ad campaigns, but one must remember that before we ever make it to those pages we are judged and often told NO strictly based on our exteriors. It has taken time to build a tough skin and a confidence in myself to know that this life is all about comparing apples to oranges, and if I don’t land this job another is right around the corner! So, I have learned be happy for others successes and grateful for all of the wonderful opportunities I have been given. Because I will always be happy with being imperfectly perfect.

Friend or Fitspo?Friend or Fitspo  Body Issue 3

As I was flipping through this years Body Issue presented by ESPN Magazine. The human form was on display in all shapes, sizes and colors. Beautifully uninhibited and bursting off the huge pages. My hope for the future is that all people, but mostly women will learn to see themselves through rose colored glasses. That they will realize every person is perfect no matter what shape, size and color they are. We are given one body and we should treat it with the utmost respect. Learning to love your body may be a daily struggle, but by utilizing positive talk and filtering out the negative “fitspiration” I really believe we can start to make a change. Cutting down the negative talk and building up your daughters, mothers and friends.  Every women must remember that they are “perfect” to someone. What you see is smoke and mirrors; photoshop, clothes tailored to bodies, hair and makeup artists and professional lighting. So, next time you scroll through your newsfeed I beg you not to allow imagery dictate your happiness, but be thankful for the gifts you have been given.

Love and Fitspo,

Taylor

#LikeAGirl When did that become an insult?

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As I scroll through my Facebook newsfeed on a daily basis I am concurrently inundated with news of birthdays, babies, bitching and beautiful selfies. For most of us social media is a place to post pictures, keep in touch with loved ones and unfortunately  for most…brag about how “wonderful” our lives are. Every once in a while you run into something that inspires you. Maybe it is the video of the cute baby panda sneeze,  the ridiculously funny Sweet Brown or it could even be that cornbread thing you vow to make for your next BBQ. Whatever the case may be we are all inspired in some way, shape or form by social media and/or the World Wide Web on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Yesterday, I was ‘trollin the book of face only to come across a video brought to you by Always. The #LikeAGirl video has now been shared on Facebook over 433 thousand times and viewed on Youtube over 14 million times. The video looks like any other commercial casting that I would go to. Men and women are asked to act out how to “run like a girl”, “throw like a girl” and “fight like a Girl”.  What they found looked like a scene straight out of Mean Girls. Grown men and women flitting around unable to run, throw or fight with any real capacity. All while flitting their hair and kicking their feet. The same actions were asked of young girls and can you guess what happened? They had the confidence to run, throw and punch with all of their might.  They believed in themselves. Prepubescently, you may have believed in yourself more than you do today.

What happened? When did doing something #LikeAGirl become an insult?

Take a look so we can be on the same page:

Growing up, I was the only girl sandwiched between two extremely athletic boys. I was made fun of constantly and got into full fledged WWE death matches with them on a regular basis. I had buck teeth, huge curly hair and quite honestly I was the biggest klutz you ever met. I blame dance for giving me confidence in my crooked feet and thank my parents for clear braces!

Then:

#LikeAGirl When did that become an insult? Empower your daughters!

Now:

#LikeAGirl When did that become an insult?

After watching this video, I came to the realization that I was never told I did anything #LikeAGirl. That I can remember. My mom and dad treated us all the same. We each had different interests (OBVIOUSLY)  and were never judged. My older brother would pack bologna and cheese sandwiches and “supplies” in his back pack for a game of Manhunt. No wonder he went to West Point. My little brother would spend hours in his room building villages full of kinects. Sure, we thought it was weird, but heck it was something I could never do! Me, I danced to my hearts desire.  I was different than my brothers. I loved crafts, track and wearing dresses; however, I was throwing a football around for as long as I could remember. I played endless rounds of basketball, manhunt, kickball and baseball in our court, growing up with all of the neighborhood kids. Even in my household today traditional gender roles are not something we follow. Almost every night the hubs does dishes while I can be found taking out the garbage. Why not? Do I take the garbage out #LikeAGirl? Pfff…Dishes are clean and garbage is out.

Middle School is the most awkward time in a child’s life. Those tween years are some of the most challenging and memorable of them all. You feel as though you are a grown up. Maybe you officially turn into a “woman”. Like seriously, what the heck is going on with your body? Holy Hormones! My ultimate #LikeAGirl “hear me roar” moment came during lunch recess one sunny afternoon. I was all decked out in my blue and gold Candlewood kickline uniform huddled up with my girls. Most likely talking about how cute the boys were playing football. When all of a sudden the football went astray and was headed right to the middle of our circle. As the girls duck and covered, some even ran away. I cool, calm and collectedly caught the ball and chucked it back saying, “Hey, what can I say? I guess I got my dads hands”,  (My dad a former NFL wide receiver.) Pretty ballsy for a  seventh grader, but nonetheless a highlight of my formative years.

As we get older the #likeagirl affect continues to take hold in the workplace, gym and even in our home lives. Friendships are fueled with jealousies instead of the courage to build each other up. In my line of work, I am faced with so many challenges. One day I am too muscular, the next day I am not muscular enough. My hair is too long, my skin too dark. In a world where we compare apples to oranges to peaches on a daily basis it is easily to let the affect take hold in all facets of life. Whether it’s while comparing yourselves to others on your Instagram feed or feeling jealous of other girls incredible comp card at as casting. It is easy to cut someone down, but it is just as easy to build them up.  In fact, I encourage you to. Many of us still feel like those awkward tweens still trying to figure out where we fit in.

After you read this; how can you help redefine #LikeAGirl and give it the same connotation of #LikeABoss…because aren’t they essentially the same thing? 😉 As women we have the power to be anything we want to be, all the while growing little people and raising generation after generation. If Cory and I are blessed with a baby girl, I cannot wait for her to see her daddy do dishes and fold laundry. Not because he’s an awesome guy, but because if such a small phrase can carry such weight than doesn’t that mean she can do anything she wants to do regardless of what society says? I never thought about how such a small phrase could shape a young girls attitude towards life on so many levels. So, thank you to my brothers for all of the beat downs and snide comments; they made me a stronger GIRL,  and thank you to my parents for never never saying I did anything #LikeAGirl maybe like a Taylor, but never the former. It allowed me to forge my own path never letting the fact that I have boobs stop me from building the life I only dreamed possible, and simply giving me the ability to believe in the one person that is always by my side…Me.  A supportive husband is just icing on the cake.

#LikeAGirl When did that become an insult?

I am proud to say I take on every day #LikeAGirl. Let’s encourage our daughters and the next generation of young women to turn this negative into a positive! Let’s join Always and redefine #LikeAGirl.

To me #LikeAGirl  means that you are…

Strong, Determined, Empathetic, Energetic, Optomistic, Emotional, Humorous, Passionate, A Multitasker, Feisty, Beautiful and Strong…

#LikeAGirl When did that become an insult?

 I am honored to be #LikeAGirl any day.

Rant over.

Love and Girl Power,

Taylor

Not Broken, Just Different.

IVF

For most of you, I’m Nicole the RD Taylor’s childhood friend and contributing registered dietitian. I savor creating recipes and talking about myths and debunking them while teaching some research based facts and hoping to change lives for the healthier. For most of you, I’ve been missing in action on this website for some time due to a family emergency. My daddy (yes, I still call him daddy) was in the hospital since May 11th and has been through the ringer. He had a massive heart attack rendering him lifeless and without much hope. Luckily for us… Prayer, synchronicity, and my daddy’s absolute determination to survive meant that he came home on Monday. After being in a medically induced coma, on life support, intubated on a ventilator and put through a series of life saving surgeries he is HOME.

NY Presbyterian at Columbia University saved my daddy’s life. They remained positive, never gave up on him, and it is because of them that I still can hug him, see his smiling face, and hear him call me, “peanut.” My mom proved time and time again how incredibly strong she was through this entire ordeal (and still is going strong) by making the appropriate decisions when they needed to be made and for being aggressive with treatment, supportive for myself, Michele and Jeff, and for always telling us whole heartedly that things were going to be “okay.” During his vacation… That’s what we are affectionately calling it… we all endured an incredible ride on the emotional rollercoaster. From sitting in the waiting rooms for 14 hours straight, to sleeping in cars, to not sleeping at all; it was a trip. It got me thinking about what I endured health wise personally. I plan on doing a blog post about stress eating and stress anorexia because I experienced both of those things while at the hospital.

With that said, I think it’s important to self-disclose. We are all human, we are not perfect, and sometimes life hands you lemons. I feel it is time for me to finally open up about something that I have been enduring for quite some time. Because of everything that has happened and is happening with my dad, it has helped me learn that we were never alone in no matter what we are going through. In the hospital, there were many families going through what we were going through and the support system we created in the ICU family waiting room helped our healing process. To know you have a safety net means you are not afraid to leap. Sometimes, a leap of faith is exactly what you need.

Okay, enough build-up… What I am trying to say is that I am experiencing infertility.

“You’re still young.”

“Don’t put so much stress on yourself.”

“Just go out, have fun and drink champagne!”

“Oh, it took me four months to get pregnant, I know how you feel.”

Those are all some of the things I have heard in response to my “we’re working on it,” when people ask why we haven’t had kids yet. The truth is… I can’t do it on my own and we are finally undergoing fertility treatments with a wonderful specialist who is nothing but positive. From IUI to IVF and Clomid to Trigger Shots, it takes a toll on you mentally, physically and emotionally. Both of our families have been wonderful and have offered everything from a shoulder to cry on to eggs if we need a donor. I feel it in my bones that we are meant to be parents and we will be one day, but after two years it gets harder and harder to see the light. If you’re a woman, it’s hard not to feel less than perfect when it comes to pregnancy. It’s our God given right as a woman to conceive, carry, and deliver children. It’s the one thing that we can do that men cannot (okay, one of the things… haha!) and I just always imagined that it would happen when we were ready.

PCOS and Infertility

What is infertility? Infertility is usually defined as the inability to become pregnant after one year of trying to get pregnant without any form of birth control. There are several causes of infertility. These include female and male factors. Male factors are usually the easiest to rule out and include low sperm count and abnormal sperm production. They are diagnosed by having a semen sample analyzed in the laboratory for sperm count and motility. Female factors are more complex and more difficult to sort out.

Unfortunately for us, we have female factor infertility. I was recently diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome which ultimately means I do not ovulate. I have already undergone some tests and treatments and we remain hopeful that this can all be sorted out… but in the meantime it has taken a toll on my body. Usually, I am very fit and active. I eat all the right foods (98% of the time, haha) and I go to the gym 5 times a week. Fertility medications and treatments can mean stopping physical activity and the onset of physical symptoms rendering you to feel unhealthy and for lack of better words… large.

However, I have found that there are quite a few things that you can do to help those symptoms subside and keep your body in check. Most of the side effects I have experienced with my PCOS has been linked to the insulin resistance that it caused. My nutrition goal has been to do my best to keep my blood sugar and insulin levels moderate and stable throughout the day.

To keep blood sugar in check, try following these simple tips:

  1. Choose high-quality carbs vs low-quality carbs. High-quality carbohydrates are your natural carbohydrates. They include vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains. High-quality carbohydrates are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Lower quality carbohydrates can trigger unhealthy spikes in blood sugar, so you should try to avoid them if you can. Low-quality carbohydrates include soda, sweetened drinks, fruit juice, candy, cookies, baked goods, sugary cereals, white bread, white pasta, and white crackers.
  2. Eat even healthy carbohydrates in moderation. Enjoy 1-2 servings per meal. A serving is equivalent to ½ cup whole wheat pasta, brown rice, or beans/lentils, 1 slice whole wheat bread, 1 serving of healthy cereal, ½ cup cooked oatmeal, ½ cup starchy vegetables like peas, corn, or potatoes, ½ medium baked potato, or 1 piece/1 cup of fruit.
  3. My favorite tip, and we’ve spoken about this before, you should always try to pair carbs with lean protein. Pairing a high-carbohydrate food like fruit, starchy vegetables, or whole grains with a lean protein helps stop the rapid rise in blood sugar that occurs after a meal. Good protein choices include skinless chicken and turkey, fish and seafood, lean beef, pork tenderloin, eggs, reduced-fat or nonfat dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese), nuts and nut butters, and whole soy foods.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the changes in my diet that I have had to make after my diagnosis of PCOS and infertility. I hope if you are struggling with either of those things in your life that you find comfort in knowing you’re not alone. There are hundreds on online communities that you can join and speak to other women feeling the same way that you are. I plan on continuing to invite the TaylorWalkerFit family into my journey and you never know, in the future I could be blogging about foods to eat during pregnancy.

Being infertile does not mean you’re broken, it just means you have to take a different path to where you will ultimately end up.

Faith, love, and pixie dust,

Nicole J