ASK AMBER – THE AGONY AUNT BLOGS

On this page I am offering my advice to you about ANYTHING! Whether this is relationship advice, workplace problems, girl talk, body confidence, mental health, or the obvious topic of infertility, I am here to help as best I can. I will reply to every single email I receive – don’t be shy!

Please email your questions to: amberinateacup@outlook.com with ‘Ask Amber’ in the subject field. I look forward to hearing from you!

DISCLAIMER | Any advice, and all content provided by me on this page is provided purely for general information purposes only. This should not be treated as a replacement for services such as face to face therapy, legal advice, medical help or any kind of therapy. This is simply my own opinion on the situations you present to me, with no correct or incorrect answer. The names detailed on each post are not the initial posters real name; confidentiality is very important to me and has been changed to keep this persons identity safe.

My PCOS has lead to comfort eating and a weight gain… how do I get back to myself?

Q: Hey Amber, I’d really love some advice on the following. Since I was told I had PCOS I’ve been eating and drinking to comfort myself. I used to be a size 8/10 and now I’ve shot up to a 16. I hate myself and every time I say I’m going to do something about it I just have no motivation to do it. Food is my only comfort but I feel horrible. I hate my husband seeing me and I drastically want to change me. What would be your advice? How can I break the cycle and get back to me?
Lauren, 28

A: I’m sorry to hear you have PCOS too… it can be an absolute mare to control. With any ‘bad news’, it’s easy to comfort eat (and drink!) – food and wine are my biggest vices and so I totally get it. It’s so easy to put the weight on, but really can be quite difficult to lose, particularly with PCOS. I think the key is finding food that you enjoy that is PCOS friendly and can help to control it. Unfortunately, I do think when it comes to losing weight the best way is a lifestyle change as opposed to a ‘diet’. I wrote a blog post on Gemma Collins & ‘Skinny Jab’ and at the end of that I have recommended some dieticians/nutritionist Instagram pages specifically for PCOS that can help manage symptoms and lose weight. I’m really not a fan of these fad diets so I won’t recommend any of them, but I will recommend doing your research and finding some really scrummy meals that make you look forward to your dinner and not shudder at the thought of a plate of lettuce. One of my favourite cook books to use is ‘Pinch of Nom’! Don’t be too hard on yourself either – if you want a doughnut, eat a doughnut, but remember it is all about consistency and moderation. One of my biggest issues is the fact that I will want a chocolate bar and eat 5 instead of 1, so it’s the moderation bit that I really had to work on! Your husband married you for you, and you are so much more than your size. It’s hard to remember sometimes but your size is just a number; what’s important is who you are. I’m not sure what your relationship is like with exercise but I recommend finding something you enjoy. It took about 10 runs before I fell in love with running, so you do have to be disciplined, but it will make you feel so much better mentally too. Treat yourself to some gym clothes… I decided once I’d spent money on them, I had to work out, or it was a waste of money and then my husband really would have a reason to moan at me! I would also suggest getting yourself some clothes that fit your new, current figure, so you can look in the mirror and feel like the spicy sass Queen you are. Love, Amber x

How do I navigate my friendships whilst struggling with infertility?

Q: Hey Amber, I would really love some advice on how to navigate friendships whilst struggling with infertility. I’ve reached a point where I basically just avoid my friends for fear of getting upset when the topic arises. I’ve had a couple of face to face pregnancy announcements from friends recently and I cannot explain how dreadful it makes me feel, like my actual heart has been stamped on. Please tell me I am not a bad person! I’m of course happy for them but I find the news so extremely hard to process. Any advice on maintaining friendships whilst going through this would be so helpful. Thank you!
– Chloe, 31.

A: Oh, you are not a bad person AT ALL! It is completely normal to feel this way. Over the years I have (often unintentionally) distanced myself and in some cases totally cut off from friendships when they have proceeded to have children. When you are struggling with infertility, it is hard to not feel at least a pang of jealousy/envy when it feels like everyone is getting pregnant except you. I did a video about 6 months ago on YouTube about finding out my best friend was pregnant. I really struggled with this initially but it has forced me to deal with this head on. Do your friends know the situation you are in, that you are struggling to conceive? If not, although I know the initial conversation is hard, I would talk to them. Explain to them that you are so happy for them but you are sad for you. I think if you want to maintain these friendships, you need to somewhat resign to the situation and accept that things will change. Be a good friend, but also ask your friends to respect that sometimes you don’t want to talk baby. Explain you still want to be included and invited to things but sometimes it might be harder for you. Communication is absolutely key. It’s hard, and it’s a process that is a marathon and not a sprint, but my personal viewpoint is that I don’t want to look back in years to come and feel I missed out on the most special time of my good friends lives. I wouldn’t wish what we have gone through on anyone, so I try to turn it into joy and positive feelings – they are blessed, they haven’t had to experience the same trauma, and I will enjoy being a ‘fun aunt’ to their child. Perhaps write your feelings down… and if I’m honest, I think the pregnancy is the hardest part. Once the child is here, I think you see it differently. Communicate with your friends about how you feel; it should open up a dialogue. They might be feeling just as uncomfortable as you and be very conscious of the fact they know you’re hurting, but don’t know how to help. I hope that helps. Love, Amber x