Healing Infertility Series: Step Five, Move your Body-or Perhaps Not

Today is a feel-good milestone for me. Today I put on a belt I haven’t been able to wear in two years. Whew, I feel good!

This occasion feels like a long-time coming. However it has reminded me that over the last two years, my body knew that it needed a little extra padding. This body knowing was not easy for me to accept.

Step four in healing our bodies is listening to how and when they want to move. For women facing fertility challenges our hormones can cause body changes that we never anticipated, and that we certainly aren’t happy about. These body changes are another opportunity for us to listen to our body’s wisdom.

Over the last few years my body needed more cushion–I suppose you could call it. Every time I would try to go for a run, or take a class at the gym, I would emerge more exhausted than I was before. Exercise did not energize me, it left me more depleted.

This reality was hard for me to accept. However, listening to my body and changing from exertion-oriented exercise to yin or restorative yoga made a world of difference to my health. I felt energized after yoga, I felt soothed and calmed–my body, mind, and spirit needed that.

I also realized at this time that no matter what I did, those extra pounds were not going anywhere. I gave up alcohol, white flour, everything with gluten, sugar, caffeine, dairy, and non-organic meat. All at the same time!

And you know what? I did not lose ONE SINGLE POUND. You can imagine my frustration as other friends, giving up these same things, were finding themselves several sizes smaller. 

Accepting that my body needed this extra weight for whatever reason was tough, very tough. Yet here on the other side, where I am feeling more energy than I have in a long time, and where I am enjoying running again (and weight lifting for the first time ever), I know that my body knew exactly what it was doing.

Listening to our bodies is not always easy, yet sometimes knowing when to move our bodies, and when they simply need to be soothed and still, can usher us more quickly down the path to healing our fertility.

So today I encourage you to listen to your body and find the exercise that feels right. For some women the extra weight may exacerbate fertility challenges, and for others it may just be something your body is hanging on to for a reason you’ve yet to figure out.

Be gentle with yourself and listen to your intuition about the best way to move your body into health.

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