Monday, January 03, 2005

moving forward...

I spoke with my doc last week, when she gave me the 'hypothalamic amenorrhea' diagnosis. She suggested two paths forward - injections of gonadotropins if I want to get pregnant right away - or at least try to... or gaining a bit of weight / cutting down on exercise / seeing a nutritionist to see if I can naturally get my period back.

My immediate reaction was that I don't need to see a nutritionist because I'm eating just fine. But on second thought I realize that I'm really not. First off, the hypothalamic amenorrhea is usually caused by a long term energy deficit. Which, I think, is pretty much what I've been doing to myself since May. Except for the last few weeks when I haven't really been tracking what I'm eating. But I think a nutritionist is actually a really good plan, because I've realized that (aside from my lack of fruits and veggies) I do NOT eat well.

My basic meals usually add up to around 12-1300 calories. I generally eat small portions for my meals - a granola bar with milk for breakfast (300 cal), usually some kind of chicken for lunch (500 cal) and then some ~500 cal thing for supper. Maybe I'll have a hot chocolate at work during the day, often I'll snack on a 100cal portion of frosted mini-wheats or Kashi cereal... but that's pretty much what I eat. Then on top of that, depending on how strict I'm being with myself, I eat JUNK. If I'm not trying to stay within a cal limit, I can easily add on 1000 calories worth of sugar and fat. Cookies and chocolates are the worst, but M- also buys a lot of other candy, and I can wolf down hundreds of calories of taffy, sweet-tarts, that kind of thing. NOT very nutritious.

So I've realized that I need help. I need to find out what my body actually needs calorie-wise each day, and I need to figure out how to attain that level without adding in all the sugar. I know that 1500 cal per day is way too little, but somehow I can't push myself above that level without going into my candy binge. Per the doc's instructions I've put on about 6 pounds over the last couple of weeks - but I've done it by giving myself free rein to eat CRAP. Which I really don't think is the right way to do it. That's basically how I added the ~10 pounds that I put on since I met M in the first place. Junk.

Since coming to this revelation (this morning), I was good today - I was hungry when I got home from work (at 10pm - I ate my dinner of stuffed shells at work at around 6) so rather than diving into the cookies which was my immediate first thought, I cooked myself some green beans instead.

But I find when I write this down, and see that I actually ate 2200 calories today (not so good on holding off on the junk today after all: a cookie for breakfast on top of my granola bar, TWO hot chocolates, a bag of M&Ms for an after dinner snack, a slice of cake when I got home, after the beans... total=755 cal), my immediate reaction is that that is way too much. Even though in reality it's probably not. I found a website the other day that asks for all kinds of measurements and then tells you what you should weigh, along with what your daily caloric intake should be to maintain that - I was a couple of pounds under the low end of my range (although I'm not as I write this...) and it said I should be eating 2580 cal per day. So I'm hoping to get an outside assessment of whether that's accurate or not. And if it is, how to get there without stuffing myself with empty calories.

Hopefully that will help with my period issues. Although I should be getting it soon artificially from the estrogen / progesterone I've been taking this past month. My back was a bit sore this evening which is usually what heralds the onset. I've always thought that I was lucky in not getting any signs of PMS worse than a mild backache - but I think now that that's probably because my estrogen levels have always been on the low side. All these 'good' things that I'm now finding are not so good anymore...

Anyway, 'nuff babbling. AFter all this, I need to go to bed to get up at 5:30 for hockey. (I know, I know - THAT's where my problem lies. I'm just not ready to give it up quite yet).


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