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Weight - Hardest Word to Hear With Infertility - Nutrition Help Blog Feature
Lisa Rosenthal

By: Lisa Rosenthal on December 18th, 2013

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Weight - Hardest Word to Hear With Infertility - Nutrition Help

RMACT Team | Support | Weight | Nutrition Program

Weight and Infertility

weight and infertilityOne of the many courageous women that I know through infertility and fertility treatment posted this on Facebook recently. I like it. It shows respect. 


There's been a lot of conversation lately about how we take care of ourselves, in terms of lifestyle choices that we make. That is, about food, liquids, exercise and more. Funny, that respect is not often mentioned in these conversations. 


I see this lovely and loving note to oneself as an opportunity. An opportunity to be more loving, more mindful, more compassionate. Not as an opportunity to beat yourself up. Not that. Enough of that. That would just be the next thing that you would need to apologize to yourself about; emotional mayhem. 


If you are writing this type of note to yourself, it may be that weight is an issue for you. Far more frequently it is that you weigh more than you would like or think that you should. If you are more than fifteen pounds overweight, I know that you already know it. How come that doesn't make it less painful when someone, like your doctor, brings it up? How horrendous does it feel to hear that part of why you are not becoming pregnant is because of your weight? 


And how quickly do we assume that this is something we can easily do something about?

Emotional Eating: We Eat for Lots of Reasons

We eat for lots of reasons, including emotional eating.


We eat because we are sad, we are bored, we are celebrating, we are frustrated, we are happy, we are overdone, we are hopeful, we are tired, we are holding on for dear life, we are relieved, we are off duty, we are feeling stress, and finally, we eat because we are hungry. If we ever get to the point of being hungry, given all the other reasons that we eat.


Is your reason for eating on that list? Is the only one you relate to the one about being hungry? If so, you are unusual. Many of us, most of us, eat for reasons other than hunger. It is a coping mechanism. It is not alcoholic, nor illegal, it feels and tastes good and it alleviates many of the feelings that we are having that cause us to reach for food.


I know for me that there are certain foods that I simply cannot have anymore. And when I say simply, I mean anything but simply. I tried many different things. I tried restricting. I tried only eating those foods on certain days or holidays. I tried eating only a measured portion. I tried having only small amounts within a full meal. It didn't work for me.


If you have heard that having excess weight is part of why you are not able to become or stay pregnant, understand that we know that this is a very difficult thing to hear. And that "simply" losing weight, is anything but simple. There are answers though. Finding them yourselves is not necessary, as they are sometimes anything but simple. 


Nutrition for Pregnancy, Fertility Counseling and More


How lucky are we here at RMACT to have CT Nutritionist Carolyn Gundell, MS and Fertility Counselor Melissa Kelleher, LCSW for support, for only the price of a co-pay. Does that sound terrible? I don't mean it that way. We all know how expensive infertility and fertility treatment can be and sometimes having to pay more for other services becomes painfully challenging. So why not be grateful that we have these wonderful resources in Carolyn and Melissa to help with the challenges that we are facing?


Me, I'm grateful. I'm grateful to have both of these amazing, respectful women in my corner. And in your corner.


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About Lisa Rosenthal

Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.

Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.

Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.

Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.