My husband, Jeffery, and I have been trying to start a family for a long time. Then three years ago we had a big wake-up call when we found out that I have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), a hormonal disorder that can make it hard to get pregnant. I’m 26 and my doctor told me I needed to get healthy and we both needed to start eating right if we wanted to have kids. We have very busy lives and we were going out for almost every meal. We‘d go for fast food to McDonald’s, but sometimes to more expensive places like a steakhouse. We weren’t feeling good. I was an HR manager and I was mainly sitting down; I didn’t get a lot of exercise.
A year later, we lost my dad to a massive heart attack.
He smoked, he drank, he had obesity and clogged arteries. That was the turning point for us when we decided to change our lifestyle. We wanted to do everything we could to get healthy and have a baby, so we started the Thrive Challenge.
We began cooking together every single night.
We make great soups and ground beef stew with veggies. I love, love, love grilled chicken and asparagus! And it’s a whole lot better than going out for a greasy hamburger. Also, rather than eating on the go, which we used to do, we’re sitting down for dinner and de-stressing.
When I have a craving for something sweet, I’ll have fruit.
Or I might sometimes have a scoop of frozen yogurt. I used to have a double or triple scoop of ice cream every single time we went out. We never smoked but we were vaping and now we’ve completely quit.
Jeffery is my accountability partner.
It feels good having my husband on this journey with me. He actually won the Thrive Challenge! Our relationship has gotten so much stronger. Almost every evening after dinner we turn off the T.V. and talk about how our days went. We bought a nice recliner and Jeff gives me foot massages. We go fishing to the river pretty close to our house. Sometimes we’ll stay up there overnight, fishing until the sun rises. It’s really relaxing and I love it.
We bought a punching bag; it’s great cardio and it’s fun.
I work out listening to music. “I Am Woman” by Emmy Meli is my go-to song when I need self-confidence and I love “Good as Hell” by Lizzo when I want to scream at the top of my lungs.
I changed my job — I’m now a digital team lead, and I’m walking up to 20,000 steps a day.
I’ve lost 35 pounds and my self-confidence has dramatically increased. But it’s not really about the weight, it’s about who I see in the mirror and how our lives have changed.
I did get pregnant, but unfortunately, I ended up having a miscarriage.
It was heartbreaking and shocking. However, we know it’s possible to get pregnant and our doctor is super optimistic. She said: “Don’t worry, keep trying, you’re doing everything right.”
By eating at home, we saved enough money to buy our first home.
It’s amazing and we’ve already made a family here with our great neighbors. There are good schools locally and now, whenever our baby comes, we’re going to be completely ready.
I just made a baby blanket for my sister Ashlee’s new baby, Chance.
It’s a patchwork quilt with baby elephants and bears and took two months to hand sew. Making the blanket, my very first, was heartwarming because it’s something he can keep forever. And it gave me a lot of hope. While I was sewing, I’d pray that someday I’ll be making a blanket for our own baby. Our big, big thing is that we want to start a family and we feel really confident that it’s going to happen.