Skipping Clomid And Giving Natural Pregnancy A Shot 

Sep 19, 2023 | Recovery Stories

Robin is a proud mother of a 14 month old boy and is expecting baby number 2 in February. She works full time as a surgeon.

She was a competitive gymnast growing up and a three season athlete throughout high school. After her competitive athletic career she struggled with disordered eating and exercise addiction. When preparing to start her family she was diagnosed with hypothalamic amenorrhea. 

In This Episode

  • The impact coaches can have on food and body image
  • Why even logical thinkers need emotional support in recovery 
  • Understanding the importances of gaining enough weight during pregnancy
  • What it feels like to not need Clomid after all
  • Breaking the habit of calorie counting and control

Connect with Lindsey Lusson: Instagram: @‌food.freedom.fertility
Website: www.foodfreedomandfertility.com/
Twitter: @LindseyLusson
Tiktok: @food.freedom.fertility

Transcript

Robin  00:00

Luckily I got my first cycle about six weeks later, was confirmed ovulation and then before cycle two I got pregnant. So my second ovulation I got pregnant.

Lindsey Lusson  00:10

Which is amazing because when you were graduating from my phase two program, I trust that my body can do this on its own. We don’t have time on our side. So we’re starting Clomid cycle and I was like, that sounds like the best plan of action. All for it! Clearly we know your body responds to Clomid. But then you messaged me and you ended up not needing it. What did that feel like?

Robin  00:29

Yeah, so I went back to my fertility group just to be monitored. And when I was speaking with them, and speaking with my husband, he really wanted me to just try. He was like, let’s just see what you do for a little bit. So we agreed to do two cycles without any medications. It really felt great. It’s just so nice that all that work effort, so it felt really great to  be able to finally do it on my own.

Lindsey Lusson  00:50

Welcome to the Period Recovery and Fertility Podcast. Here we discuss the challenging, rewarding and life changing process of recovering your period and finding freedom with food and exercise. Whether you’re hoping to regain your cycle to get your health back on track or you’re ready to become a mama, this podcast is for you. While the recovery process isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, it’s my hope to bring you both information and inspiration during your own recovery journey. I’m your host, registered dietitian and fellow HA woman, Lindsey Lusson. 

Lindsey Lusson  01:23

Hello, listeners! Thanks for joining me I am so excited to bring on a past client of mine Robin. Robin is a proud mother of a 14 month old boy and is expecting baby number two in February. Robin works full time as a surgeon. Robin was a competitive gymnast growing up and a three season athlete all throughout high school. After her competitive athletic career ended she struggled with disordered eating and exercise addiction. When it came time to prepare starting her family, she was diagnosed with Hypothalamic Amenorrhea. So I’m sure her story rings true to a lot of listeners. So welcome, Robin, and thanks for being on the podcast!

Robin  02:02

Thank you for having me. Happy to do this podcast. I know the podcasts were so critical for me. The second time going around with HA just keeping me motivated and on track.

Lindsey Lusson  02:12

Yeah, that’s awesome! Well, we’re excited to dive in and hear a little bit more about your story. And you know, from your intro, it kind of sounds like, what maybe led to the HA was after your time as an athlete. Is that correct?

Robin  02:28

Yeah. So my path is like a little interesting. You know, I was a three season athlete. In high school, I did like club sports, I did high school sports. So I was doing double sessions. Very intense. I didn’t actually get my first period until I was 16. And I had an injury, which I know is very common. My time off, gained some weight had a period. But once I got back into sports, you know, I didn’t really have it anymore. I had what I felt like was actually a very healthy relationship with sports and food during the time. But I happen to also have a best friend who had a very, very severe eating disorder. I didn’t really realize it when I was engulfed in sports and exercise. But when I had that, like post sports period where you put on weight naturally, I became very self conscious. So I felt like that was just kind of the setup for the start of my eating disorder.

Lindsey Lusson  03:19

Yeah, yeah. And thanks for sharing that background. Because I do feel like in sports where there’s like an aesthetic component. So say your dancers, your figure skaters or gymnasts or cheer ladies, like sometimes that can play into period loss. And then sometimes it’s normalized in the sport like, “Oh, you’re just a competitive gymnast”. Sometimes, you know, gymnasts don’t get their cycles. But you were cycling regularly, for the most part while you were in sports, or were you not getting periods?

Robin  03:51

No, I mean, I didn’t get one at all until towards like my last year in gymnastics, really. And that already was normalized, like you’re just very athletic. That’s fine. I didn’t think much of it. Luckily, I had like coaches that were very supportive of healthy habits, too. So there was never like the pressure to maintain a certain body image and just kind of you’re so active that most of us didn’t get periods until late. So I do have to applaud that group for not really putting pressure on us to look a certain way. However, when you’re, you know, in your teen years, and you’re in a leotard, and you’re with a group of girls, you can’t help but kind of like, you know, look like, “Oh, I have little indent here where my shorts are” or, you know, things like that. I think it’s set in a little earlier when you’re constantly in a leotard.

Lindsey Lusson  04:40

Yeah, definitely. And I couldn’t agree more like what you kind of touched on Robin is like coaches can have a huge impact because I have had athletes on the podcast before, sharing about how you know, yes, there’s the comparison. Yes, you’re in a leotard, but how the coaches can really make a difference on fostering a positive environment or where it can really feed into what might be, you know, there on the body image issues. So if anybody is listening in it is a coach, just know that this can be like, so make or break and so impactful on young athletes. 

Lindsey Lusson  05:16

And so what happened after you quit? You mentioned, you know, you weren’t cycling. So like, we probably didn’t have, you know, appropriate body fat due to the sport. And then we quit sports and the body fat came on, and it was all like, maybe kind of even continuing, you’re going through puberty? And how did that feel? And how did that impact the way that you moved and fueled your body?

Robin  05:40

Yeah, I remember just being so extraordinarily uncomfortable. I have two older brothers, you know, my mom, she’s feminine, but not like, let’s go shopping feminine. So when I gained all that weight, and you know, obviously, it wasn’t like an astronomical amount was just enough to like, be healthy and have a period. I remember just feeling so uncomfortable as most people I imagined do through puberty. And I just felt like I couldn’t bear it. And then again, having like a best friend who was rail thin, it was the perfect setup to just, you know, restrict eating. At that point. I hadn’t jumped into over exercising yet. But I was just like, very under nourishing myself.

Lindsey Lusson  06:18

Yeah, if you feel comfortable sharing, like, How bad did it get? Were you diagnosed with an eating disorder? Or were you one of those who kind of flew under the radar of like, you know, I’m using air quotes, if you’re not watching the video portion of this, like healthy, but just under fueling?

Robin  06:34

Right, so I was almost like self diagnosed, because I remember my parents like taking me to the pediatrician that go, she’s technically still in the healthy BMI range, despite like a drastic weight loss. But then later on, it had gotten worse. And I kind of, you know, self diagnose myself, I ended up going into an inpatient rehab, during like, my 20s. Did some outpatient work. So it did definitely take a long time to get out of that, I would say phase of my life, but it was more than a phase. You know, it’s kind of a mindset that you carry,

Lindsey Lusson  07:06

Right, for sure. And Robin, did I hear this correctly, in the sense that you kind of like, voluntarily went into treatment? Or  was there a push from your family?

Robin  07:16

No, it was voluntarily. I knew something was wrong. I knew I couldn’t handle it on my own in the setting I was at. And unfortunately, with like, school, and everything, it was a good time, I know that sounds terrible. But like, I saw an opportunity in my schedule, and I kind of knew I needed it, so I did it. 

Lindsey Lusson  07:33

First of all, that’s amazing. Because a lot of people, myself included, that have struggled with eating disorders don’t always have the self awareness to really recognize that they need help. And so just want to like first applaud that. And now knowing you and working with you, I guess that’s not incredibly surprising, because I feel like you’ve always had really great self awareness. Do you feel like recovering from your eating disorder, did you get your period back and then you relapsed? Or was it that more of a scenario I am eating disorder recovered, but I’m still not cycling?

Robin  08:02

Right. So then the caveat on all this is I was on oral contraceptive for, you know, contraceptive reasons. So I never had, you know, evidence or I couldn’t even try to get a period for like, 15 years. Since I was on the pill. Yeah, which you know, masks everything. You just assume everything is fine until you want to have a family and discover it’s not so fine.

Lindsey Lusson  08:25

Yeah. So tell us a little bit about that part of it. So I’m guessing you’re on the pill, prevent pregnancy. You’re going through med school, probably residency all the things and then when did you come off the pill? And how did we get diagnosed with HA?

Robin  08:41

Right. Because in my fellowship, I came off the pill because originally we were kind of thinking oh, maybe we’ll like do some embryo freezing. We’ll do, we have our childbearing age is little later. So in that process, they had me come off the pill, do a whole set of bloodwork. And that’s when I realized I’m not getting my period. It had been three plus months. I notified the fertility group and they did, you know, additional tests outside of bloodwork. They do like the Hysteron Salpingo Gram or you know, to make sure everything is open all those different tests, and everything was normal. So, in a way it was kind of hooked up with the appropriate people. And they told me right off the bat, it was Hypothalamic Amenorrhea. And from there I kind of did you know the internet searches and came upon “No Period. Now What?” And that’s where my recovery really took off.

Lindsey Lusson  09:32

When you were diagnosed with a che was that surprising? Was it hard for you to come to terms with that diagnosis? Or did you check all the boxes and just dove right in?

Robin  09:41

I kind of accepted it right off the bat. I was realizing, you know what, that makes sense. I don’t think I really stepped back and realized how much I was over exercising and under eating until I had that red flag. And reading the book, like every chapter you go through, you’re just like, oh my gosh, this is me. This is me. And I know that you’re a supporter of that book. So I have to say that book is just fantastic for even the layperson to understand a bunch of individual stories, some general background, statistics. It’s just a good mix of everything.

Lindsey Lusson  10:13

Yeah, yeah, I actually gifted that book to my OB in Dallas, because she is the she’s an OB, so not an REI, but she is the fertility specialist in her practice. And I was like, Dr. H like, this is what you need. Like, I was like, if you ever come across another patient like me, and at that time, I thought I was kind of one in a million, but knowing what I know now, not. But I was like, This is what you need, you know, this is that this is like literally how all of your patients should be treated. And you know, and then referring out to support if and when necessary. And so talk to us about recovery, because you’ve been through a recovery twice now. Correct? Yeah. Talk to us about recovery, round one. What was that? Like? What did that feel like? What did that look like? And what happened?

Robin  10:58

Right. Yeah. So, between the book that I was reading, and the fertility group who actually told me, you know, to try to eat more exercise less, they offered me to meet with a nutritionist. And at that time, I thought, I could navigate this, like, I could figure out how to eat more. So I did that. And over six weeks, I ended up getting my first cycle. So I was really excited about that. But at the same time, like it was just kind of me doing it, I didn’t have a support system, I didn’t really know how to explain the changes to people other than being just upfront about everything. And they think that like, once I got one period, I kind of started to pull back, thinking, you know, maybe I had done what I need to do. And I maybe had like two or three very erratic periods without confirming ovulation going forward. So, about six months went by, I was getting frustrated. And at that time, my general OB had prescribed me Clomid. Which, fortunately, that’s how I got pregnant with my son who’s now 14 months old.

Lindsey Lusson  12:04

Yeah, and thanks for sharing that Robin. Because I do feel myself included like going through recovery, in some ways you do kind of think that this is a one and done, right? I get my period back “woohoo, I’m healed”, like no problems. Like sometimes I think while the book, “No period. Now What?” is so wonderful and a wealth of information, read some, in some ways, like a textbook, I do think that where a lot of people go wrong is like what they do after they get their period back because they don’t have support around,  “oh my gosh, I’m in a body that looks and feels very different than what I’m used to. I can’t go back to what I was doing with food and exercise” or, you know, A plus B equals Cagain, like it’s going to happen again, right? And so like, living in space of, I know what to do to get my period back but I don’t know what to do to maintain my period and I don’t have the support to work through really the deeper feelings and really reason how I got here in the first place. So that’s definitely not an uncommon theme. So what happened after you got pregnant like what did your first pregnancy look like for you?

Robin  13:15

So I think, you know, like a lot of pregnancies, I was pretty sick the first trimester so I just tried to make it through that, which I did. I do think that I under ate, compared to the average pregnant woman I know looking up like, oh, you only need 200 extra calories in the second trimester. You know, like all these data points, which are just I’m sure general guidelines for the average person not for the person who chronically under eats. Like do you think I under gained at a towards the last trimester I did get back into like exercising probably five days a week for 30 minutes, which was still pushing myself beyond the limits of what I think my body wanted to do. And on top of like, having a pretty active career. So I think it wasn’t like I still wasn’t mentally in the best place I could have been.

Lindsey Lusson  14:06

Was it hard for you, Robin? Like mentally to see your body change during pregnancy? Or do you feel like the way you approached food helps you to feel on control or like talk to us a little bit about that piece during pregnancy one?

Robin  14:18

Yeah, I’m fortunate. I actually I love being pregnant. I love how I feel during pregnancy. The first trimester in the second trimester can be a little awkward, but I don’t know, I actually felt like my best and most comfortable towards the end pregnancy. Yeah. But I don’t think that I should have tried to control my body through exercise. I know that that wasn’t healthy.

Lindsey Lusson  14:44

Okay, gotcha. Gotcha! So you felt great, but everything during pregnancy number one was very controlling very, somewhat limiting with the calories like only eating facts more and then maybe not accounting for the movement you were doing as well. Yeah. And so I think this is a really good point to get into, Robin, because like, this is someone’s dream pregnancy, right? Especially someone with an HA history, like, you know, I want to gain as little amount of weight as possible. I want to feel good in my body, I want to stay in control of what I’m eating. And you know, really, this might like somebody might be hearing this and be like, well, so what’s so wrong with that? What is so wrong with that? Like, how did that end up for you postpartum.

Robin  15:27

I have to say postpartum was probably the best state I was in mentally, because my mind shifted from, I know, you should want to fuel yourself. But in my mind, I was like, I need to fuel my body so I can feed my child. And so I can heal because I ended up with an emergency C section, and everything went fine. But I kept mentally telling myself I need to physically heal, and I need to provide. And that helps me kind of, I think that was like kind of the most I ever ate was postpartum. I saw a greater purpose to eating. And I wish I could say that I’ve always thought that eating is to fuel yourself. But I think over the years of disordered eating, I have a hard time still rationalizing that you need a certain amount to just be your best self.

Lindsey Lusson  16:13

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And so and I hear that a lot of my athletes too, is that like, I’m okay with eating, if there’s a purpose for fueling my sport or fueling for a baby or fueling, you know, for breastfeeding, if you will. But talk to us a little bit about undergaining during your pregnancy and how that impacted you postpartum. Like, do you feel like that played into, you know, backsliding into habits or like what tell us a little bit more specifics there.

Robin  16:41

I have to say like, I do feel like I kind of not made up for it, but I actually gained probably more weight but again, a significant amount of weight afterwards just trying to provide for a baby. I don’t want to say it was helpful to under eat during pregnancy, but it didn’t. Luckily, it didn’t hinder me.

Lindsey Lusson  16:59

Okay, but what I’m hearing is that because you under gained during your pregnancy, you then had to gain postpartum Is that correct?

Robin  17:06

The kind of gaining back a little bit of weight. So especially to get pregnant naturally, I gained weight back, which I can encourage people to gain weight before you get pregnant because the first trimester you want that cushion?

Lindsey Lusson  17:21

Well, what I, if I could interject here a little bit, what I often see with the under gaining is babies are typically fine. Praise the Lord. Mom can end up very depleted very exhausted lots of, you know, vitamin and mineral deficiencies. And then with this typical history of fear around weight gain, fear of eating more, not everyone as is as resilient as Robin was in, you know, being okay with gaining right because the pressure after you have a baby is to lose weight, not gain weight. So was that challenging for you at all to like mentally go against the grain?

Robin  18:04

I joined the group, I was like around six months postpartum. And I knew there was going to be two trajectories, it was either I was going to continue to recover, to be healthy to have more children. Or I was going to try to be like part of this bounce back culture. So that’s why I joined the group, I wanted to stay on a good track from eating much better after the pregnancy. So I thought being proactive was extremely helpful.

Lindsey Lusson  18:31

Yeah. And it totally was. Now, you know, kind of knowing what you know, now, do you feel like there are things you could have done even proactively during your pregnancy to avoid, you know, kind of being at a place of undernourished, a little bit postpartum?

Robin  18:49

Yeah, I certainly think that if had I gained like, you know, they say maybe 25 pounds or so, during pregnancy, it would have been in a better spot, I wouldn’t have had to kind of catch up, and I probably would have healed quicker from my C-section. I had like, you know, iron deficiency, anemia, all those things probably wouldn’t have been as profound. So, certainly.

Lindsey Lusson  19:10

On a more practical level, like, you know, there might be somebody listening who like, either is in the spot postpartum of like, oh my gosh, this is me, like I am Robin, I, you know, I only gained x pounds during my pregnancy. And now I have HA again, like, what would you like say to that person? Or maybe somebody maybe a better example would be somebody who’s pregnant right now and they’re maybe on a trajectory of under gaining, don’t see any issues with under gaining like, what advice would you give to somebody who wants to put that into practice? And how are you feeling differently maybe, even during this pregnancy?

Robin  19:46

Right. So like, as you said earlier, you know, the baby is usually fine. But that’s not enough. That shouldn’t be enough. Because if you’re not fine, you’re not going to be able to care for your baby as best as you can. You don’t want to be healing 10 times as much as you need to be postpartum, you’re gonna have a lot on your hands, you’re gonna be exhausted. So take the time now to fuel yourself while you’ve still got that little one in you.

Lindsey Lusson  20:10

Yeah, definitely. And like, are there things that you’re doing differently now in terms of frequency of your eating or slowing down on exercise to make sure that you’re gaining appropriately this time?

Robin  20:20

Yeah. So this time, it feels really nice, because maybe I’ll exercise now a couple times a week at most. And it’s just when I feel like it, and when you know, I have the time, and there’s not really that pressure or guilt if I miss it. I’m understanding like, my demands outside of exercise are still high.

Lindsey Lusson  20:39

Right? And with a toddler with an active job, yes, yes.

Robin  20:45

And I definitely am less restrictive about the types of food I eat, which just makes life so much more enjoyable.

Lindsey Lusson  20:53

That is so true. That is so true. And so it sounds like it’s not even what’s different for you in between one and two. They’re not even like gigantic shifts, it’s almost just being more intuitive. Having more intuition around like, I don’t have to force a workout, I don’t have to eat 100% and clean all the time. And those things are making a difference for you. So that’s amazing. Thanks for sharing. I think that sometimes it can feel really intimidating. Whenever people feel like they have to like, overhaul their whole lives where it sounds like for you, it’s been tiny shifts in the right direction that have really gotten you where you are. Yeah, that’s super encouraging. Well, when you joined the Food Freedom, Fertility Society, we were like gung-ho on like, we wanted to make sure because you were still nursing, we’re like, I want to get my period back while nursing. And so we were just like, super, super diligent about, you know, minimums and more minimums and more, and we were almost like very calorie focused. At what point, Robin, did you recognize that maybe focusing on calories specifically, wasn’t good for you anymore? Or wasn’t productive?

Robin  21:55

Right? So when we started, I felt like I couldn’t trust myself to estimate calories and food. Because I’ve always just been like, oh, burger, that must be like 1500 cal, you know, I just so overestimate meals. So I did that because I want to make sure I was like optimizing the program, meeting my minimums at least and more. And I got stuck in that for probably a few months. But then I really kind of felt like my weight gain, my eating habits, everything kind of just kind of settled out. And I thought that I could let go of that and just see how things went. And I did that and at around the same time, I also stopped nursing because I am older. I’m in my mid 30s. We’re trying to plan for, you know, one more baby after this. So I didn’t want to waste too much time. So I stopped nursing around eight months. And then luckily, I got my first cycle about six weeks later, with confirmed ovulation. And then, before cycle two, I got pregnant. So my second ovulation, I was pregnant,

Lindsey Lusson  23:00

Which is amazing, because when you were graduating from my phase two program, you were like, you’re like, I trust that my body can do this on its own. But like, we don’t have time on our side. So we’re starting Clomid cycle. And I was like, that sounds like the best plan of action. I was like, all for it. Like clearly we know your body responds like love it. But then you messaged me, and you ended up not needing it. So like, What did that feel like?

Robin  23:21

Yeah, so like, I went back to my fertility group, because honestly, I just feel safe. Like having them on my side. They’re literally next to my office. So I went back there just to be monitored. And when I was speaking with them, and speaking with my husband, he really wanted me to just try, he was like, let’s just see what you do for a little bit like you’ve done all this work. Why don’t you try. So we agreed to do two cycles without any medications. And it felt I mean, it really felt great. It’s just so nice that all that work effort. And I really mean like the psychologic work. This is all, I mean, not all mental, but a lot of it is mental. So it felt really great to be able to finally do it on my own. And I’m not like I think Clomid is a great drug. So as much as all of you know any of the other ovulation induction medications are great. And certainly, you know, anyone who’s going that path, you still have to recover to use them, because a lot of fertility doctors will tell you it does not work on HA unless you’re making changes to your lifestyle. Yeah, so a lot of fertility doctors don’t even offer it unless you’re making these changes, so I don’t want people to think, oh, it’s an easy way out, I will just like, take a pill and have a baby.

Lindsey Lusson  24:34

Yeah, yeah. And I’m sure some listeners are aware of this, because maybe that’s where they are. I remember my OB told me point blank. She was like, I was like, Well, you know, I haven’t had a period of nine months. So can we just like start with Clomid. And she was like, without a cycle at all like Clomid is not going to work for you. She was like, I’m not going to waste your time with that. So that is important, you know, to know that these drugs can be really helpful in a body that is at least you know 75 to 80% recovered like you do have to be doing the work on recovery, which we know that you were but yeah, man, just like that like reassurance that your body did on its own, when that’s not everyone’s path to pregnancy and that’s okay, it’s not wrong. But when it can happen that way, I think that it can just feel very validating.

Robin  25:22

Yeah, I think a lot of us when we start recovery, and we hear all these great stories of people, you know, just eating morning, wait, this and that, and then having success in the back of our minds, we all feel like, but that’s not me, I’m different, or something else is wrong with me, as someone I work with and say we’re a lot less special than we’d like to believe. For me, it really, really helped this time around to just simply believe. Just believe in the people who are helping you, believe in your body, believe in the process. Just continue to believe because the first time I tried to recover, it was these doubts that kept pulling me back. It was the doubts that stopped me from eating ice cream, the doubt that made me body check. And this time, I was just like, you gotta let go. You just gotta keep going forward.

Lindsey Lusson  26:05

Yeah, what would you say to someone Robin, who is having doubts every single day doubting themselves out of eating enough doubting themselves because they feel so uncomfortable in their bodies? Like, what would you say to encourage somebody who maybe was where you were in the past like that?

Robin  26:23

I think it does truly get better every day, you do get a little like a pinch more comfortable each day. And I think it helps to have like mantras like you had in your group. And they remember, probably one of my favorite mantras that honestly just found looking around was nothing changes, if nothing changes. Yeah. So you just need to find somebody to repeat to yourself, I think that really, really helps. Because in the grand scheme of things, I know, a feels like you’re gaining a lot of weight, you feel like you’re just sticking out like a sore thumb. But honestly, probably most people aren’t noticing.

Lindsey Lusson  26:57

So true. It’s so true. 

27:00

And if they are, then shame on them, because even through recovery, it really helped me to be a less judgmental person in general. I think when I was deep in my eating disorder, I felt like everyone was like having all these unhealthy lifestyle choices, and I was really critical of other people. And now I feel more forgiving.

Lindsey Lusson  27:19

I think you can really start to really see the nuance in health than about how while what we eat and how much we move, those are decisions. And yes, like they can be health promoting behaviors, but there are just so many things, and I’m sure you see this as a doctor, so many things that can impact people’s health that actually have nothing to do with food and exercise. So it’s not like we can control 100% of everything that happens to our bodies. Yeah. On that note, you know, being, you know, being a doctor, when you were diagnosed with HA and because like now we’re hearing you like talk at this all just sounds like very rational, very logical, like, oh, I have HA, oh, I need to eat more. Oh, you know, I didn’t get enough weight during pregnancy, I’m just gonna put weight on postpartum. Like, it all sounds very, like, logical. And having worked with you, I know there’s more emotion there. But do you feel like being a doctor helped you, like really understand what was going on and be able to put things into practice on a deeper level?

Robin  28:14

I think it did help me understand the diagnosis. Like so. So I’m in surgery, I’m in a sub Special Surgery. So even throughout my training, we learn about like, kind of acute insults on the body and how our body tries to maintain a homeostasis or, or a leveled function basically, and by doing so shuts down non essential functions. So to me, it made total sense, you know, I’m not giving it enough calories, I’m getting up at four in the morning to exercise before going to work for 12 hours, you know, like, this was in training, at least, you know, I have just all these stressors on my mind, of course, like, my body doesn’t want me to have a pregnancy. doesn’t want me to breastfeed, to do all these, “non-essential” functions. So I think that did help me rationalize the diagnosis and the treatment. But the emotional aspect I don’t think it would ever help with unfortunately.

Lindsey Lusson  29:08

Right. And that’s the thing is like, in theory like that all sounds great. But we are not robots. We are women. We have our own things to deal with. We have our own pressures that we put on ourselves most times, right, like it’s typically not somebody say, yeah, you need to look this way you need to eat this way. It’s typically our own internal pressures. And so a lot of it’s just like doing the mental work and letting go of control, like one of the hardest pieces.

Robin  29:35

Yeah, certainly. And what I really appreciated from your program is not only like the support from individuals, but some of the advice such as like you recommend diversifying your social media feed that has been so huge finding just strong women that you don’t talk about what they ate the day and you know, don’t try to get the most flattering pictures of themselves constantly. I think that really helps just surround yourself by the images you need to see at this time.

Lindsey Lusson  30:03

for sure, and just having like that, almost like recovery bubble, you’re gonna live out of the bubble eventually. But like when you are very much in recovery, just surrounding yourself with as many positive influence as many people who are in alignment with what you’re going through, versus not. And then once we are a little bit more stable, once our bodies are in a more comfortable place, once we have a little more tools, kind of bursting out of that bubble, and then kind of muddling it through there. But recovery is just a really sensitive time emotionally in as your body’s recovering physically, that I think, why not? Like why not have more support?

Robin  30:41

Right, right. Yeah, yeah. Because like, Yeah, unfortunately, you can’t always control your environment, but you can build these tools to control how you react to them. And I think that’s what your program really helps set up.

Lindsey Lusson  30:52

Yeah. Well, Robin, anybody who is listening today, and is just feeling really stuck in their recovery, maybe recognizing that, all right, I get the science behind, HA, I get why this would work for someone, but they’re struggling with this, but not, I’m too special. I’m the unicorn that if this is not going to work for, what would you say back to that person?

Robin  31:18

I would say just give yourself this time period to truly truly believe that you can fit into you know, the box that most people actually do fit in, but 110 of effort until you feel like you’ve completely exhausted that you know, for several months, then then I would say you know, reflect again, see what’s missing and enjoy your program. Because I think a lot of times there is a piece of missing that either we consciously or subconsciously deny. And your program helps to really pinpoint that. I think a lot of us think oh, I’m eating three meals a day, but don’t look at Oh, half of that is like high fiber foods or, you know, you’re only having two carbs a day and you kind of choose to ignore that fact when when you’re self reflecting, but when you’re in a group people will help point that out.

Lindsey Lusson  32:06

Yeah. 100% And I think that that’s a really great like even call to action is to think about like okay, like maybe on your own, it would be really challenging for you to recover because you can’t see the blind spots. You don’t want to see the blind spots you know, there’s always everyone kind of has their own little unique thing but yeah, when you’re in community with other women that are like holding you accountable, they’re really doing the hard things. really beautiful, really wonderful things can happen. So that is amazing. Thank you for sharing that and thinking about you know, prepping for baby number two, how has this pregnancy been different for you like any like positives or things that you feel like you’ve really been able to take with you into pregnancy number two to make it more enjoyable or more relaxed?

Robin  32:50

Yeah, so I think this time around just because I’m feeling better and I’m not feeling like guilty behind the missing workouts, I can kind of enjoy it more. It’s kind of just flying by to distract with the little guy but I just feel mentally and emotionally just in a much better place to be present and enjoy the pregnancy. I know not everyone has like a really enjoyable pregnancy but if he can enjoy even just a small moment of it you really shouldn’t and food and exercise shouldn’t get in the way of that.

Lindsey Lusson  33:20

Yes, amen. Well, thank you for that and Robin you know, here’s hoping the rest of it flies by with you know, great highlights and memories and gosh, February will be here before you know it. But I think like pregnancy during the holidays is also just so fun. You’ve got like the belly and you get to be all warm and cozy. And then you get through the holidays and after the holiday, you’ll be planning to give birth and have another one. So that’s super exciting and we wish you a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery. And thanks so much for your time and coming on today.

Robin  33:55

Thank you everyone.

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MEET THE HOST
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I’m a fertility nutritionist and registered dietitian who specializes in hypothalamic amenorrhea. My passion is helping women trying to conceive find freedom with food and exercise, so they can recover their period, and get pregnant naturally.

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EPISODE 1: MY RECOVERY STORY

Jan 19, 2022

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