Holding up a BMI chart at our consultation, my doctor gave me what I think was the kindest “you’re a little fat” talk I’ve ever had. She pointed to two different boxes on the chart and said, “Here’s where your body’s at, and here’s where your body wants to be. Where would you like to be?” Full transparency, I’m currently about 183 lbs. (give or take a basket of fish & chips, I’m on a seaside vacation at the moment). The standard BMI metrics say I should be around 160 lbs., but that’s always seemed way too skinny to me. I’d have to buy all new bras, and that would be a bummer. So, I pointed to 170 lbs. and the doctor agreed that was a good goal. What followed was day after day of scanning the internet for the “best” pre-conception fertility/weight-loss diet.
After my husband’s diagnosis of CKD in 2014, I’ve tried a solid handful of diet and meal plans out there to try to clean up our plates and manage what I could of our health situation. I can’t reverse my husband’s kidney damage, but I can give the transplant he had in 2017 a better shot by not overloading it with chemically processed foods or by allowing him to gain too much weight (actually, he does better at the second part than I do). Similarly, while I can’t do anything to guarantee that our embryo transfer will result in a live-birth, I can make changes to my diet to ensure that, if it fails, it wasn’t due to total diet negligence on my part.
As I said, I’ve spent a lot of time researching this by now. There’s actually an entire book devoted to the subject, called “The Fertility Diet: Groundbreaking Research Reveals Natural Ways to Boost Ovulation and Improve Your Chances of Getting Pregnant”, by Patrick J. Skerrett. I found a lot of the information in this book helpful, and I recommend it to anyone who’s crazy about nutrition and fertility like I am. Another concept that’s caught (and held) my attention is “100 Days of Real Food”, a challenge that the Leake family imposed on themselves and found to be beneficial. I’ll be setting a few rules for myself to avoid polishing off a box of organic, 5-ingredient or less, chocolates and calling it diet-compliant. I’ll post in more detail about my personal guidelines (and whether or not I stick to them) in future posts. For now, suffice it to say that I’ll be opening a new section on the blog about my dietary choices, meal planning adventures, and the changes that occur in my body as I plod along. Perhaps it will help someone else avoid the crazy amount of research I’ve done. More likely, it will just be entertaining.