Get serious for your future family’s sakeCourtesy Lindsay Shenk
When my husband and I had difficulty starting a family after trying for five years, I decided to see a fertility specialist. I was well over 400 pounds at that time and he told me there was nothing he could do for me until I lost weight.
My aha moment: After hearing the doctor’s news, I received an unexpected pregnancy announcement from a family member. That announcement broke me, but I also credit it with finally giving me the kick in the butt I needed. It made me realize if I ever wanted a family that I needed to do something a little more drastic. I’ve been overweight my whole life, and I’d tried every diet from Weight Watchers to South Beach. I decided to get a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, and it has completely changed my life. Since January 2016, I have lost 220 pounds. A few years back, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome which makes losing weight very difficult. At the time, I had considered weight-loss surgery, but I was worried people would judge me. It wasn’t until I wanted to start a family and couldn’t do so without intervention that I really got serious. Losing weight isn’t just about eating right or exercising. It’s about finding a balance between the two, and setting attainable goals. Start with small goals and celebrate your progress along the way. For me, accountability is key, I use social media to keep myself accountable for what I’m eating, ensuring I’m exercising and doing weekly weigh-ins. My husband and I are still hoping to conceive! —Lindsay Hackman Shenk, 34, PA, human services program specialist