the hardest part

Today’s blog post will probably be the hardest one I have to write. I set out on this blogging journey with every intention to be open and honest about my life. If I sugarcoat, downplay, or avoid these issues with you there is a really good chance I am doing the same thing to myself. I want to be successful; I want to be happy with myself and the life I live every day so this is what I have to do.  So here it goes.

Paul and I have been married for six years and have been unsuccessful at conceiving a child. This has been a very difficult situation for us because we really do want to have children. When we were younger and would talk about our future it always revolved around a family and having kids, and grandkids, and great grandkids. Now we find ourselves engulfed in disappointment and resentment, not quite sure where to go from here. 

In 2002, back when having children wasn’t at the top of my to-do list, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and it has not so quietly affected my life ever since. It affects your hormone levels, periods and ovulation. I have, in the past, been on birth control to help regulate my hormone levels but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know you can’t get pregnant while on the pill. While Paul and I have been actively trying to conceive I have suffered through some excruciating bouts but it was a tradeoff I was willing to take in the hopes we could conceive a child. 

Towards the end of 2010, we decided to see an infertility specialist to see if it was at all possible for us to conceive naturally. The testing started first with Paul as it easier for males to be tested than females. We viewed this as more of an informality than anything as we thought my PCOS was causing our problems. Sadly, testing revealed that Paul has a condition called Azoospermia, which basically means he does not have a measurable amount of sperm in his semen. This news kind of rocked our world. Six years and we always thought it was me and really it was both of us. It also meant that the chances of us ever conceiving naturally dropped to zero.

We are still hopeful that with help we could possibly conceive a child. Some time in the next few months, Paul will undergo a biopsy to see if he has any harvestable sperm. If he does, we would be able to try to conceive via IVF. I have already been told by my doctor that I would not be a candidate for IVF until I get to a healthy weight – yet another reason to get my ass in shape. It has been very difficult for us, all of the obstacles that seem to keep creeping into our life. We have also started to research the other alternatives available for us if Paul is, in fact, sterile. For me, I still want to see if IVF is a possibility. I want to be able to experience pregnancy and labor and that bond a mother has with her child. I also feel that if nothing else, this biopsy could provide closure on that ideal. At least we will know if the possibility does not exist for us and we can move on from there.

Some days I struggle with the sadness from not being able to conceive. I feel broken and useless, less of a human. I feel incomplete.

Some days I struggle with anger. It pisses me off that there are so many unfit parents out there, i.e., crack heads, alcoholics, abusers, but yet the powers that be deem me not good enough. Why not me? What is wrong with me? Am I really that bad of a person that I shouldn’t have a child?

Some days I struggle with the jealousy I have towards friends and family that didn’t have to go through this. I don’t wish this pain on anyone; I just wish I could be like them. I just want to have a family, too.

And some days I struggle to find the hope and strength to keep trying. With each obstacle we face, the pain of this whole situation becomes a little more unbearable. I know ultimately, if we could have a child, it would have all been worth it but it is hard not to think sometimes that it might not ever happen. So I search for the glimmer of hope in the darkness to help get me through the rough times and find solace in knowing that even through all of this I still have a pretty great life!

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February 28, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Infertility. 1 comment.

Make San Antonio weird!

As a kid, wandering the streets of Philly I never was once repulsed to see a homeless man peeing on a car, I saw no shame in riding the bus/train, and I definitely thought it was acceptable to be 14 years old drinking a 40 oz. behind some abandoned building on South St. Growing up and being exposed to big city life you definitely grow accustomed to certain things. I was fortunate to have two wonderful parents who took me to museums and plays but also took me to concerts and baseball games. I grew up having so much culture and so many new experiences at my fingertips that I took for granted what life would be like elsewhere.

Since my high school graduation I have lived in nine states; NJ, DE, MD, PA, CA, FL, OH, WA, and TX and man has it been a crazy ride. I have found both good and bad, mostly more good than bad, in the places I have lived and have tried to adjust the best I knew how to these new cultures. I can definitely say that there really is a huge difference living in blue states versus red states but this isn’t about politics, this is about lifestyles.

I was not easily won over by San Antonio. It was such a tough transition at first that I almost packed up and left.  I know it was a combination of the situation and the unfamiliarity of it all that made it hard to adjust to life here. However, I am happy to say that after 1.5 years San Antonio is starting to grow on me. So today, I would like to share some of the things I have experienced while living here- some of my favorite things about San Antonio.

  • First Friday’s in San Antonio’s Southtown neighborhood.  SA, like Philly, has first Friday’s (minus the free booze) which is cool. Paul and I have been a couple times and hopefully we will make a few stops back over the spring/summer. Got to love them for promoting the arts and their local vendors.
  • Alamo Drafthouse: by far the best movie theater I have ever been to. Not only do they have a great beer and wine selection for you to enjoy while you are watching a movie, they also have super yummy food. They show current movies but they also show cult classics like the Rocky Horror Picture Show as well as cartoons, girlie movies and macho tough guy movies too. Next Sunday, Paul and I are going to see “The Jerk” there. This place totally rocks!
  • Boardwalk on Bulverde: 7 days a week you can find a cluster of fantabulous food trucks chillin at this spot in San Antonio. I am love with the fact that SA is starting to embrace the food truck phenomenon. Maybe they aren’t lining the downtown streets like you might find in other cities but for me I am glad this location exists for the trucks, and even happier it is not too far from my house. Coming soon to the Boardwalk: Pakistani street food. Here, in San Antonio. I can hardly believe it but I love it!  
  • Woodlawn Theater: tomorrow I am going to see “The Cure: the Vampire Musical” at the historic Woodlawn Theater. This place opened in 1946. Some fun facts about the Woodlawn: it was here that John Wayne hosted the premier of his directorial debut for “The Alamo” and this was also the site of the first Pink Floyd laser light show.
  • The San Antonio Rampage: who would have thought I would have moved to San Antonio and fallen in love with their AHL hockey team? Not me. The Rampage are like San Antonio’s best kept secret except for the fact that everyone knows about them. Good thing for me San Antonio isn’t crawling with crazy hockey fans because tickets are dirt cheap. They also have great food and beer specials, crazy fun events, and they support the military, which makes them ok in my books.

Well, that is about it for now. I actually have to get ready to go to a Rampage hockey game. I hope that this post might help inspire you to go out and try to find some new places in your community or maybe just go visit someplace you already love.

Thanks for reading!

February 26, 2011. Tags: , , , . San Antonio. 3 comments.

Today was a good day

I would like to start today’s blog by saying thank you. I don’t think that I could have imagined that after five days of blogging I would already be seeing a change in myself. Your kind words are constant reminders to me how lucky I am to have this support group behind me. Your words of encouragement fuel my desire to continue on this journey no matter how hard things might get. I look forward to every day where I can connect with you and share a piece of myself. As I sometimes feel like I have not contributed much to this world, that I am yet to make my mark, this blog- even if it only reaches five people- makes me feel part of something bigger than myself. Maybe I am not curing cancer but instead I am helping to strengthen my friendships and maybe along the way I might even create new ones. And that, my friends, is more than I could have hoped for. I love you guys!

I didn’t intend this blog to be all about my weight/health/wellness but right now it looks like that is the direction it is heading. I am ok with this because really it is all connected. I don’t think it is possible to change one aspect of your life without a ripple effect. Maybe most days I will write about my (small) accomplishments and the goals I am setting for myself but I know there will be times where I talk about my infertility issues, my crappy(ish) job, or whatever else is on my mind that day. Today, however, my mind was all about kicking some ass at the gym last night!

My scheduled workout routine for yesterday was intervals, 5 minutes walking, 30 seconds jogging, for 33 minutes and let me just tell you I was scared. You might think that 30 seconds of jogging is no big deal but for me it was a HUGE deal. I cannot tell you the last time I jogged- I didn’t even know if my legs could move fast enough. I kid you not; the fear of falling off the treadmill had me in a cold sweat. I was in panic mode. I kept thinking to myself ‘what is the worst thing that could happen? You fall off the treadmill’ and since I was pretty sure falling off a treadmill wouldn’t kill me I decided to push through.

Guess what? I did it. Not fall off the treadmill…I actually jogged. On 6 separate occasions. For 30 second intervals. It was crazy. I don’t know the last time I pushed myself so hard. It was great. It was scary and wonderful all at the same time. I want to do it again…tomorrow. I was so scared of walking in there and being judged or falling or failing that I almost convinced myself to turn around and go home. Do you know what stopped me, you. More than anything I didn’t want to disappoint you. I have spent many years being disappointed in myself but the thought of having to come here and admit that not only did I fail- I straight out didn’t try- well that was enough to make do it. It felt so amazing to walk away from that gym feeling proud of myself and lucky to have the world’s best cheerleaders behind me. You guys rock!

Oh, and also, I couldn’t help but think that my fat ass jogging on the treadmill sounded like charging rhinos but I didn’t care. I just turned up the volume on my iPod very loud. I couldn’t hear it and I really didn’t care what anyone else thought. More than likely they didn’t care either!

February 25, 2011. Tags: , , , . obesity. 3 comments.

Just thought you should know- today sucks!

Today has been one of those days where every little thing is frustrating me. It was a combination of condescending remarks, irritating know-it-alls, and unruly small appliances all mixed in with my raging PMS. It’s truly been a thrill a minute. It has seemed to go by in a rushed blur and it is nice to sit down in the peace and quiet of my empty apartment and relax a bit while I type this up. However, there is no calm going on in this mind. My body may have stopped moving but my mind just won’t turn off.

My mind was so scattered today that I unsuccessfully wrote up seven different blog posts. I don’t know if I was frustrated because I couldn’t concentrate or I couldn’t concentrate because I was frustrated but whatever was going on in my head was not working. Days like these are the worst and I am thankful when they are over. Sometimes I feel more worn out from mentally stressful days than from physically stressful days.

As I type this I can’t help but still feel the same stress I left work with. All of my anxiety of the day is being further compounded by the fact that in a few minutes I will leave to go to the gym; a place where I do not feel comfortable going.  It’s not even the working out part that bothers me; it is the feeling that everyone is judging me.

My inability to relax and my sometimes crippling insecurities have really taken a toll on my life. I tend to be extra bitchy towards my husband and my parents- sometimes even my friends get a dose of it, too. I have been known to cancel plans because I feel so shitty about myself I cannot rationalize why anyone would want to spend time with me. And I have let my fear of the gym, well really the fear of judgment from healthy fit people; stop me from taking care of myself.  

Since the intention of this blog is to help me improve my life I am turning to you for advice and guidance on this. So today I ask you, my loyal band of readers, how do you relax? How do you let go of your stressors? What makes you feel comfortable in your own skin?

February 24, 2011. Tags: , , . Relaxation. 7 comments.

On to Plan B….

Yesterday was day one of my new, fantastic workout program and here is how it went…

Our apartment complex has a fitness center located above the office and it’s pretty ghetto. It has weight machines, two elliptical machines, two treadmills (one of which does not work and has not worked as long as I have lived there) and a stationary bike. The plan I am following is geared for the treadmill as it is mostly interval training mixed with straight walking or jogging. I knew going into this that if I wanted to work out at the apartment complex I would be vying for the one available treadmill. Since I get home somewhat early from work, in comparison to my neighbors, I thought it would be no big deal.

I get home yesterday and quickly change, take the dogs out for a walk and then make my way over to the gym. Of course, when I arrive at the gym someone is using the treadmill. I have a couple of options; go home and try again later but I know I would end up getting distracted by something and not make it back. I could drive up to the gym on post but that is a big hassle. Or I could just wait for the guy to finish, and that is what I did. I quietly waited in the back of the workout area, I didn’t want him to feel pressured to finish his workout but I also wanted him to know that I was waiting.

After about 20 minutes he was finished up so I hopped on the treadmill and got started. I have my iPod with me but the TV in front of me is tuned to ESPN, max volume, which is competing with my music. I am starting to get a headache but I push on. At my 20 minute mark I decide to increase my speed a little, I wanted to push myself for the last 5 minutes before my cool down. Nothing crazy, though, I was still at a walking speed. So I bump up the speed and then BAM! The treadmill dies out on me and I almost fall over from my forward momentum. Oh, shit! Are you kidding me??? I futz around with it for a few minutes but there is no hope. I officially killed the world’s oldest/crappiest treadmill. Yay me!

I leave the gym and head back to my apartment and grab my lab Maggie and finish up my walk with her. She is great to walk with because she will always keep a faster pace than you so you are forced to speed walk. After about 15 minutes I head back home, I have completed day one’s activity of walking for 30 minutes but now I have a new problem, how am I going to continue my work out routine sans treadmill?

The way I see it, I have two options; force myself to go to the post gym, which is a pain in the ass to get to and always super crowded with fit army guys/girls, or join a gym, which would still probably be a pain in the ass to get to but not as bad as going to post. Luckily, my friend K., who is an army wife and lives on post, had mentioned that she wanted to start getting back to the gym. It didn’t take more than a text to her to have myself a workout buddy. Problem solved, plus who wouldn’t want a workout buddy? It might be a pain fighting the traffic and having to change at the gym (I hate gym locker rooms!) but I am sure I will adjust and plus it really is the fiscally responsible thing to do.  Free always wins.

So now I have my new workout plan and today after work I will head over to the gym on post and give it a whirl. I really don’t think it will be as bad as I imagine it to be. I really do like the post gym, I am just not used to going there by myself- K. won’t be joining me until next week- so I guess I have to just put on my big girl pants and suck it up. I am pretty sure I will survive.

Oh, and you know how I say that things always go wrong every time I start a new workout plan? Well, last night I could feel myself starting to get sick so I loaded myself up with juice and vitamins. This morning, I got my period, so I loaded myself up with Midol. I think my body is attempting to sabotage my workout plan but I am not going to let it stop me. I’m not giving up so easily this time….

February 23, 2011. Tags: , , , . obesity. 2 comments.

I want to party like it’s 2009…

My social life is not what it once was. I think most people my age could say the same thing. However, I feel that because I don’t have children or a demanding job that limits the amount of free time I have, I should be able to participate in the same social activities I have in the past. Thus exacerbating the situation- I have all the time in the world (exaggeration) to socialize but what I don’t have is access to the social situations I enjoy.

For me, a big part of my mental wellbeing stems from spending quality time with my husband and my friends. Although I do like some alone time every now and then, I am definitely more of a social person. For the past year my social circle has dwindled down to just a few people and the activities I used to enjoy regularly are pretty much nonexistent.

I have been fortunate that as I have moved around the country I never had to struggle finding or making a group of friends that shared my interests. At one point I had a great group of friends in San Antonio but because of the Army they have all left the area. Now, I am stuck trying to find that same connection with people and have hit a brick wall when it comes to making new friends.

I miss game nights, parties (especially ones including beer pong), group camping trips, BBQs, dressing up for Halloween, Super Bowl (or really any big sports event) parties, New Years celebrated in the company of friends, holiday gift exchanges, book club, etc.. I miss laughing until it hurts and inside jokes. I could go on and on about all of the fun things I miss doing but what I really miss just being part of a group. For me, these groups of friends have always been my family.

I think if maybe I had crappier friends and boring experiences in the past I wouldn’t have this problem. Thanks guys for being so awesome you make it next to impossible to find replacements. I do have two very close friends here; so I am not saying I am sitting around bored out of my mind. I am just saying I miss having a group of close knit friends- the kind of friends where it doesn’t matter the social setting or activity you just know you will have fun.

This is my dilemma. In the past, my circles of friends were co-workers or classmates or even Paul’s Army buddies and I found them because of my circumstances. Now, I don’t know where to look to expand my social circle. The average age of my coworkers has to be in the 50’s and although they are kind and wonderful people I don’t think I will be partying with them any time soon. Paul is only friends with one of his co-workers and his wife is already one of my two (local) friends. I just don’t know where to go to make new friends.

So, how do I fix this? Do I post an ad on craigslist- “desperately seeking friends” which really isn’t an option because I don’t want to get murdered? Do I just start approaching random people in bookstores, grocery stores, hockey games and try to start up conversations? Or do I just accept that maybe the only wine parties in my near future will be via twitter?

I welcome any and all recommendations as I know most of my readers, all four of you, have been in a similar situations. I am open to any/all options including coaxing you all to move here for my entertainment- I have no problems using brut force if needed.

Thanks for reading!

February 22, 2011. Tags: , , . Social Life. 1 comment.

The plight of a fat girl…

In my last post I talked about the four areas in my life that are in desperate need of improvement and how I needed to be accountable to make some changes and stick to my goals in order to get me to where I want to be. I have been down this road before. Just this past New Year’s I set my resolution to become a better version of myself; eat better, exercise, etc. and by the beginning of this month I was already off track. It is only February so I have plenty of time to still uphold my resolution but I find it imperative that I get back on track now.

One of my biggest weaknesses is that once I get off track, which happens very easily for me, I never seem to find my way back. Here’s what happens; I decide to start a diet and exercise routine and I throw myself into it 100%. I am going great for a week or two, sometimes even longer, and then BAM something happens; sickness, injury, heck even my period throws me for a loop. The minute that I stop exercising, I stop eating right and vice versa. I quickly fall back into my old habits which have been ingrained into me. I mean really; who wouldn’t want to sit on the couch watching TV and eating junk food. It’s much easier and let’s face it- I am lazy person whose idleness has been compounded further by working at a job that keeps me chained to a desk. Until now I never really thought of myself as someone who takes the easy way, just coasting through life, but after this self-reflection I worry that maybe that is the person I have become.

I know that a lot of people struggle with this same problem- sticking to a routine and/or diet. I know there are no quick fixes. I am setting out to make a long-term change and have to be able to accept that it will be very hard and I will want to quit many times. I have to realize and accept that I am the only person standing in my way and if I persevere on this path I will eventually reach my goal.

 Tomorrow I am starting a new fitness routine. The premise of which is to train you to be able to continuously jog/run two miles. The program is five days/wk lasting for eight weeks. I am pretty sure it will take me 12-16 weeks, if not longer, to complete it which is ok, it is designed in a manner that allows you to take longer if needed. Knowing that I am not in the best physical shape I am setting my goal, the completion of the program,  without setting an end date but stipulate that each week I will continue to progress in the program until my goal is reached.

 I am excited to start this program for many reasons; one of which is the ability to be able to run with my husband.  Paul loves running and is very good at it. He has a graceful running stride that makes it look effortless but it took time and practice for him to develop. So I will try to be patient as I make my way through this program, knowing that I, too, can become a runner. 

 Another reason I am looking forward to this program is that in 2008 I set a goal for myself to be able to run a 5K by the end of the year, which I never reached. It is 2011 and although I can walk a 5K, I am nowhere near close to being able to run one. This is a perfect example of my inability to follow through on the goals I set for myself- but I am looking to change that.

Mainly, though my excitement stems from the possible weight loss associated with participating in a fitness program.  My weight has been a problem for me for many years and frankly, it is pretty embarrassing. Sometimes when I sit at booths at restaurants my stomach pushes up against the table and my boobs are practically sitting on the table top- it’s really not fun. On top of the benefit of shedding some weight I am hoping to experience and increase in my energy levels. Right now I am about as energetic as a ground slug. I wouldn’t mind becoming a fitness junky- getting high off endorphins and whatnot but that is light-years away for me. At this point any change will be a vast improvement from my current sedentary lifestyle.

 I am excited to embark on my new fitness journey. As shallow as this might sound, I am a good person and I want might outside to better reflect the inside. Although, I have adapted to be less sensitive about my weight it doesn’t mean I don’t care. I want to be healthy and feel good about myself inside and out. Who doesn’t want that for themselves? So I am ready- I have a goal and a plan to reach that goal so wish me luck! I will try to post weekly updates so you can follow along with my progress.

Thanks for reading!

February 21, 2011. Tags: , , , . obesity. 3 comments.

My first post is, of course, all about me…

Preface: I am not a writer. I have never and will never claim to be one. So please no critiquing my writing, grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. Some days it will suck. I will do my best to proofread everything multiple times but I make no guarantees that every post will make grammatical sense.

I am starting this blog for two reasons; to allow my friends, most of which are scattered around the country, to stay informed on my life’s goings on, and to allow myself a forum to vent. I promise I will try not to make this Dacia’s personal rants and ramblings. More than anything I am reaching out to the people who are kind enough to read this in hopes they can provide positive feedback and motivations I need to help make me a better person.

Last night I was on the cusp of a full on nuclear meltdown. One of those nights where you just can’t seem to stop crying, you just can’t seem to pull yourself together. I was on the phone with my husband, who is currently in KY, and there was nothing he could say to make it better. It was that kind of night- I didn’t even know what I wanted from him so how could I expect him to know how to help. I of course made some snarky comment about how this is why I never want to open up to him, how he doesn’t care (all of which is untrue) and his response was that what I was saying, what I was upset about was nothing new. Apparently the last quasi-meltdown involved the same topics. I realized he was right- I know what I don’t like about my life but yet I do nothing to change it and then every six months get very upset because nothing has changed. Apparently he knew the problem was with me and now I do, too.  So here is the premise of my blog: personal accountability in taking the steps needed  in order to change my life. It’s nothing new- I am sure there are half a million people blogging about the same issues/problems but oh, well. I am using this as a tool and I see no shame in it.

I have four areas in my life that are in need of a serious overhaul; career, social life, physical health/wellness, and family- or lack thereof. Pretty much right now every aspect in my life aside from my marriage could use some attention so I am going to set out some goals in these four areas and see if I can make some changes.  So, stay tuned.

Oh, and I will try to talk about other stuff too.  They won’t all be boring, I swear.

Thanks for reading!

February 20, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Life. 6 comments.