For Your Soul Style’s Jenny Greenstein, the fertility process has been filled with ups and downs. And a handful of extra pounds.
Since starting the fertility process, I've taken more medication than I could count--HCG, Ganirelix, Gonal F, Lupron, Estradiol, Vivelle, Crinone--is your head spinning yet? Mine is, but maybe that's from the meds. Kidding. Unfortunately while they do their job of helping me make a babe--which I'm grateful for--they are also royally fu*king up my hormone levels, landing me with some extra unwanted pounds...specifically seven. While I pride myself on eating a strict, clean diet (some may argue to a fault), not being in control of my body during this time in spite of that is something I've had to contend with and ultimately accept. Staying consistent with yoga has been difficult too because of the countless times my doctor has advised me to stop. And I really haven't felt up to it either. I've tried to make further adjustments to my regimen, but while on this cocktail of medications, the scale is not budging. It actually may be continuously going up. Did I mention my boobs are also a size bigger? It feels like I've been pregnant since January already without actually being pregnant. Good times. When your hormone levels are out of balance, so is your metabolism. Simply put, all the estrogen I'm getting pumped with to prep for a fertility cycle causes estrogen dominance and weight gain. Add on an autoimmune disease like Hashimoto's (which is what the DNA gods have predisposed me with) and it makes things even more complicated. If you're struggling to lose weight and not on fertility drugs, this article by Dr. Amy Shah breaks it down, as does this one by Dr. William Cole and this one from Natasha Turner, N.D. naturopathic doctor). Despite all my complaining, I truly have surrendered to this process and to my current shape, which I believe is half the battle, but that didn't happen overnight. It's been a slow-building process to ultimately reach a place of acceptance, and I finally decided that instead of getting caught up in my head about not maintaining my weight, I would pour that toxic energy into other areas of my life that I'm passionate about. Our bodies are constantly changing and while I spent many months ruminating over the loss of control, I have released it. I give it back. It held me hostage from truly embracing the beauty of this magical journey. We are making a baby! Letting go has been a very positive step and a breath of fresh air, and it has allowed my focus to remain on maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle from an emotional, mental and physical perspective. I've learned to see my life through a new lens--one that involves gratitude, patience, humility and acceptance. And that I'm holding on to. I won't give that back--ever. I will carry these valuable lessons forward with me into motherhood and do my best to pass them on to the soul we bring into this world. What I've gained in numbers, I've also gained in infinite wisdom. Worth the trade off. What's also really helped is working out a few styling tricks along the way--choices which have made a huge difference and allowed me to find an ease within this new body. Here are 10 styling techniques for dealing with those unwanted pounds, whether it be pre, during or post a new babe. 1. Go Deep. Pay attention to the necklines of your clothing, which can create an illusion of a slimmer frame. A lower neckline, such as a v-neck, balances proportions and helps eliminate looking top heavy (if you're fuller in middle or have a big bust). 2. Size Up. Do not put on the pants that dig into your stomach. Let me repeat this: DO NOT put pants on that dig into your stomach. It is masochistic to wear clothes that are too tight so while your body is in a different phase, and possibly a little bigger - size up. Don't pretend to be the same size you were and squeeze into your clothes. Purchase the size you are. Just like age is just a number, so is size. Be comfortable! You exude way more sex appeal (and confidence) when you're not squirming to adjust your muffin top. 3. Skip the Brights. While I realize that not everyone loves the color black as much as I do, wearing darker colors such as navy, dark grey, burgundy and army green will help shade the areas you're self-conscious of. Also, darker colors are most flattering in photos and during this cultures current obsession with social media (me included), you know your friend is going to request a selfie at Saturday night's dinner. Be subtle. Skip the brights until you're back at your comfortable weight. 4. Boyfriend Bestie. My skinny jeans are on a sabbatical. I want to be comfortable so I stocked up on boyfriend jeans (in blue, white and black) that are slouchy and relaxed. I would even recommend sizing up. Add a shoe like a black pointy toe pump or bootie to elevate the sexy. Paired with a top that has a deep v-neck of course. 5. SuperSize It. Remember when I discussed bigger being better this season? Well, oversized sweaters, dresses, coats and bottoms are all the rage so if you're not at your comfortable weight, embrace the sh*t out of this trend. 6. Fashion Tuck (or half-tuck). Do you know what a fashion tuck is? Here's a photo for reference. While this may be a silly little tweak, it goes a very long way. Especially if you're wearing items that are baggier and need more shape. This clever little maneuver will create a waistline, and add the perfect amount of scrunch to conceal the mid-section. 7. Shoes. I am not much of a heel-wearer, however during this time I've decided to bust mine out. Because truth be told, they add height and length to provide an overall slimmer appearance. For all the non-believers out there, comfortable heels DO exist, you just need to find them. The ones I wear here are from Banana Republic and I think they've got some of the most walkable heels around. But every person's foot shape is different so make sure you find the designer that works for you. Here's an article from Who What Wear that provides some great pointers. And as always, I'm always here to help out if you need guidance. 8. Silhouette. The shape of a garment is half the battle and strategic draping can provide ruching in your desired "problem-areas", for me, my mid-section. Pay attention to the silhouette of a garment because as your body's shape continues to change, so should the item you're wearing. 9. Highlight your Assets. Sexy doesn't always mean tight and skimpy. There is more to sexy then butt, boobs and belly. Shoulders are sexy, as are backs, chests and most importantly personalities! Put on your relaxed boyfriend jeans with an oversized sweater, sexy shoes, a bright red lipstick and smile! 10. Acceptance. Accept that you work really hard at living a balanced and healthy life. Accept that your body is beautiful no matter what shape it is. Accept that your body will change throughout life contingent upon circumstances. Be grateful for having the ability to grow a life inside of your body. Be empowered by that. Accept that we have one body to love, honor and respect. Accept. SHOP IT: dress: Zara, old (similar) // shoes: Banana Republic, old (similar) // moto jacket: Sfera, old (similar) // clutch: Just Female Get more of Jenny's style tips at Your Soul Style.