Today was a great day! It wasn’t rainy and I received a couple of great things in the mail. Both of which were surprising.
Parcel 1: It is no secret I have a sick Twitter addiction. I love it and I have twitter-friendships with people that I don’t know in “real life.” A dog snack company, Snausages, has been interacting with me lately because I post photos of my Bugg dog, Popple and they think shes pretty cute. They’d be daft not to, I mean have you seen her face? I could kiss it off!
I’m thinking the company must have a new social media management firm taking care of them because they sent me an amazing care package for Popple complete with a hand written Thank You note from their mascot dog, Snocrates. It was just a wonderful gesture from them and it really brightened my day. Popple’s too! She is going absolutely bonkers for the treats. She just loves them.
Since it was so not rainy out, I took Popple to the dog park and she had a blast romping with her buddies. She is only 27 lbs but she manages to wrestle with a Great Pyrenees and a German Shepherd confidently. It was great to get outside and get some fresh air. We both needed it!
Parcel 2: I received a really nice welcome letter from the Dean of my degree program. It was a great personal touch and it made things real! Gulp! I’m moving away soon (which I said I would never do again) with my boyfriend (which I said I would never do again), going back to school for another degree (which I also said I’d never do again), and low and behold, I’m feeling pretty darn good about those choices. I guess Bieber was right – Never say never. Yup, that just happened.
We will be heading over in early August to find an apartment and get our resumes out. Yikes! I’m so scared but really looking forward to it all at the same time.
So far so good. Everything is going according to plan and I have plenty to be grateful for.
Hope you had a great Wednesday.
I did my weigh in like I said I would. Now I feel like I should get a cookie. Previously I had mentioned I thought I would be around 5 lbs lost but I was really surprised when I saw the number on the scale. 7 lbs gone! Woohoo! That is a great number to see and I’m pretty shocked. My diet has been crap and filled with preservatives and allergens. Oh well. I guess the working out is helping the weight come off but I will have to make better changes with my eating habits.
Today at the gym, my cousin and I started our 30 day squat challenge and it is brutal. Day 1 required us to do 50 squats. Owchie. Today was also “Butts and Guts” day so I am just so sore. Even after a nice bath and getting cleaned up, I still look like I was ridden hard and put away wet. Tomorrow will prove interesting for chest and back day. Also, we are upping our cardio from 30 minutes of low to medium intensity to a more medium-high intensity. My cardio is currently peddling my butt off on the recumbent bike for 30 minutes of rolling hills on level 6. Don’t get me wrong – it is a fabulous work out but I never feel it in my hips, which are pretty saddle baggy at the moment. The Arc trainer will be my new victim I reckon. That thing makes me WORK.
It is so rainy here today. It was definitely a lazy day. I spent the morning in bed snuggled up with my little dog. We had naps, would wake up, go get a drink, and then fall back to sleep. Apparently that is our routine on rainy days and I don’t mind that one little bit. Hopefully the rain eases up because she is starting to get a little grumpy being cooped up without her daily romp at the dog park. Popple, my dog, is part Pug and part Boston Terrier and she is a little ham but she hates the rain. I need to put a raincoat on her or else she will not step outside. She will hold her “business” for days if I didn’t dress her up. It is pretty crazy how much she hates water. She is going to get a shock once I take her to the beach this summer. Her life-jacket is waiting for her. Muahaha.
My dang ovary is still being a little bugger. My baby grape just can’t give me a break. I guess it is my body’s way of telling me to stop eating crap. Dangit. Does anyone have any tips to help get rid of this pain? It is just awful.
Also, I noticed the other day that I have published over 50 posts! Do I ever shut up? Nope. haha
I hope you’re all staying dry and having a great week.
I’m feeling kinda barfy tonight. My right ovary is on a war path to destroy everything apparently so I’ve been feeling all kinds of rotten. Despite the nausea I’m in a pretty good mood. I’m so excited for the weekend I cannot even think straight. Our Murder Mystery weekend was cancelled so he came up with different travel plans. Regardless of where we go I’m sure it will be great just to recharge. The hotel we are staying at has a gym, hot tub, and a nice pool so I will be able to maintain my routine while I am away. I am looking forward to that. Who doesn’t love a relaxing late night hot tub dip or a good wake up swim?
Lately I’ve been mulling over which direction to take my schooling in September. It hasn’t been an easy decision. The Recreation degree program has 2 different paths: Outdoor and Therapeutic. I won’t get into too many details but you can check the program out here. I’ve decided to take the Therapeutic route strangely enough. The decision was made because ease of employment, my interest, my transferable courses, and salary. SO! I’m pretty darn excited. I hope the next 3-4 years fly by because I cannot wait to get started as a Recreation Therapist. Unfortunately taking this course means that I have to move to a different province but I am looking forward to a change of pace. I am thankful it is on the East coast and I will have companion moving with me. Yup, the bf and I have decided to try cohabitation. Hopefully you won’t be hearing about me on Nancy Grace for murder. haha So that has been a really exciting thing. It was great having that big conversation and weighing the pro’s and con’s out together. So far so good.
Gym is still going well. I’ve been going now for about 6 weeks consistently and am down a total of 15 lbs. I pack weight on so easily but it does come off pretty quickly too once I get my butt in gear. The hardest part is keeping it off. Thankfully now that I have a career path that requires me to be fit I will be committed to taking care of myself. Wanting my personal training certification is also a big motivator as well. Today was back, shoulder, and arm day. It will be a miracle if I can wash my hair tomorrow morning in the shower. My upper body strength is really lacking. I’m hoping that it starts to build itself up as I take more weight off.
Things here are shaping up!
Hopefully my ovary stops being a jerk and I start feeling well again. I’m getting there though.
Occasionally I like to lurk on internet forums and just read. I don’t often make comments or even register for that matter but I am there taking it all in like a fly on the wall. Today on my internet adventures I was reading about weight loss and the effect it has on people’s confidence. No surprise there were many comments both condemning the newly found confidence and those who love it. I read the following comment regarding a person’s weight loss and I kind of had an Aha moment:
“It’s just too bad that she didn’t feel as confident before. I’ve been many sizes and self-confidence should not be related to your dress size.”
We should love ourselves no matter what size we are, however; I know from experience that the confidence and love we gain doesn’t come from the size we are. The confidence comes from the fact we are doing something and following through with it. We’re being successful on our own terms. While we are making these changes it is a vulnerable and intimidating time.
It is difficult to make your appearance your priority because suddenly you’re looking all of the flaws in the face. You have to analyze them, genuinely understand the cause and deal with that. It is humbling and even a little humiliating. On top of noticing your own issues people start offering unsolicited advice and pointing out more flaws. Even though they have genuinely good intentions it can still be painful to hear. I find myself asking “Why is it so difficult being open-minded and understanding to ourselves and to others?” It is unbearably frustrating.
I always felt like people treated me differently when I was larger than when I was skinny but I realized it was because my confidence level was different. When I was heavier I tried too hard being what I once was rather than embracing the new changes. Like it or not, this is the body, attitude, and outlook I’ve created for myself. I should embrace them. Eventually, I did learn to accept it. Accepting it was challenging but it was incredibly peaceful. It took a lot of meditation, reflection, and floundering but I eventually did it. Once I did it, I noticed more and more people commenting on how nice I looked. My size hadn’t changed but my outlook had. When I stopped apologizing for my weight people stopped treating me with sympathy or with negativity. Once I began became happy, it allowed them to join me.
There are many positives that can go along with accepting ourselves. Our minds become more peaceful and our sense of well-being improves. Our opportunities feel endless but it leaves you wanting more. There is a difference between accepting and loving ourselves. From personal experience, yes you need to accept yourself before you can do the other. As the old saying goes, you need to learn to crawl before you can walk.
Sometimes when we gain weight we stop taking pride in our bodies because we’ve let ourselves down because we’ve lost our self-discipline. Self-discipline is in every aspect of our life: professionally and personally. Once our confidence in discipline falters in one area, cracks in other areas show quickly. We stop being able to do things we once could, wear things we used to, and moving around feels different. It is hard to stop the spiraling and down right scary to feel like you’ve lost control.
Since I’ve begun this blog/journey, I’ve become more accepting of my body, mind, and soul. I am learning to not fear the curves I see in the mirror every morning. Instead of stuffing myself in clothes that are too tight, feels like punishment, and telling myself “someday they’ll be comfy…”I’m wearing more flattering cuts. I’m eating better and making better decisions. Exercise has been fairly easy to stick to as well. Now that I’m doing all of these “little extras” for myself I’m learning to love what I’m getting out of it.
Losing weight is liberating. We shed the comfort blanket that we carry along with us for years. We take ourselves more seriously and other people stop expecting us to be cherubic and funny. It becomes okay to be smart, strong and even a little sassy. We give them permission to accept us because we’ve accepted our self.
The confidence isn’t because we are smaller but it is because we conquered our fear, challenged ourselves, stuck to something and really did it. We decided to be successful and reclaim who we are. Having confidence is more than a smaller pant size. It is learning to accept yourself flaws and all. It is the journey, commitment, stopping, starting over, and never giving up. Confidence is having the guts to look yourself in the mirror and not compare yourself to others. It is looking in the mirror and loving what you see because you’re the one who put it there. It is about loving yourself inside and out.
It is just so beautiful out today. There has literally been such a dramatic shift in the weather and it has been a welcomed change. The sunshine, the mild wind, and the beautiful new growth is turning me into a hippie. I just want to run around nurturing and hugging everything.
The past couple of mornings I’ve woken up full of gratitude for everything. I usually am grateful but sometimes I have to make myself give thanks for all the wonderful things and people around me. The winter is such a struggle because of my Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) but the minute Spring rolls around I feel brand new. Reborn. That sounds so cliche but it is true. The Spring brings out the best of me and maybe that is because I am a May Baby. Spring just feels right. If I could live in a climate that was Spring year round I would.
Last night I was serenaded to sleep by the “Peepers” in the pond. They are little frogs that peep and chirp. It is a wonderful noise and it is great to hear after a really hard few months. This morning I was woken up by small birds chirping in the cedar tree outside my window and my dog shoving her tongue in my ear. I can’t even be angry at that.
I’ve woken up with a smile on my face for the past week and I can honestly say that has never happened. I think I’m going to embrace this and roll with it.
Hurray for Spring.
Happy Tuesday. xo.
So I’ve been working hard at the gym and I have always loved going there. It is just hard getting out of the front door and that is the reason why I stop going every time. This feels different though and I know I say that whenever I start hitting the gym but I really mean it. Now more than ever I need to take care of myself. I’m starting my second degree in September. I am taking Recreation and eventually I’d like to get my Personal Trainer certification (and become involved in recreational programming for the elderly.)
It took me a long time to realize that I HAVE to be active to feel relatively healthy. PCOS & IBS really make my body struggle to function optimally and it is my responsibility to pick up the slack. Turns out I love pumping iron so it “works out” well. See what I did there?
The results I’m feeling are so good. I’ve never been a skinny-mini and I don’t think I have the frame to pull it off. (Or the hormonal balance for that matter.) Being really muscular is something that has always appealed to me and I was well on my way when I began working at the YMCA in High school. Sadly, my priorities changed once I could fit into my prom dress. haha
Of course when I was younger I didn’t embrace the strong stature that I had. I used to wish I could be like a waifish Hollywood starlet. When I realized that wasn’t working out as I loved food too much and struggled losing weight. I started to pump weights hard. I LOVED it. I remember feeling so proud walking around at Prom and our Grand March because I worked and reached my goal. A) I graduated B) No babies C) I lost the weight I set out to lose. I was on top of the World. The lifestyle was easily maintained until mid-way through my first year of university when my PCOS symptoms exploded. I wimped out after that and I’ve been off and on ever since.
I think everyone has a certain body type that they feel is ideal for them – slender, long & lean, and extreme hourglass. The list goes on! Personally, I simply love my physique when it is really, really muscular. Call me crazy but if I had the energy, time, and the money to put into my looks I could see myself really aiming for the Coco T look but with a lot more clothes. (Here is her Wiki. I’ll leave you do the Google’ing. Be mindful as some results are NSFW.) That lady has amazing structure and a little, well a lot of, meat! I have a large chest and my bum is shaping up nicely. I may never look like Coco and that is fine, but day-um. She puts in work and I find her inspiring. Say what you want about her, she takes care of herself.
Now that I understand my hormone situation a little better, I can use it to my benefit. I have high testosterone counts and I gain muscle easily. The game plan from here is to ease off my unhealthy carbohydrate intake, particularly white flour based breads and pastas. It is just so hard to do. Carbs are one of my biggest vices. Glucosmart is supposed to help with cravings so I will give it more time. Apparently it takes about 3 months to see the full effects and I am only 3 weeks in. Does anyone have any pointers that helps to avoid carbs?
I remember ranting about how insecure I am about my butt and I have to say since starting the gym I have noticed a big change. I’m really pleased. There has been lots of squats, back exercises, cardio, and core exercises. Basically my routine consists of picking up heavy things and then putting them down and doing that over and over again. My Cousin has been a great source of strength for me as well. Everyday without fail she drives out to the gym and she motivates me and is so patient with me when I have my bitch fits. Thank God for family. Support really does make a difference. I am lucky to have such amazing family and friends cheering me on constantly through my ups and downs.
Still waiting for my energy levels to get up there. Right now I will work out for about 2 hours and come home and nap. Of course I feel like death for the rest of the day. Napping and I have a love/hate relationship. I know that everything else is starting to come along so that is great. This is actually the 3rd week in a row I’ve taken all of my medication and supplements without forgetting a single dose. That hasn’t happened in ages. It is really rewarding taking better care of myself. I don’t know what else to do about my energy levels and I’m feeling pretty frustrated. Ahh well, there is certainly more positive things than negatives so I feel really grateful. The saying is true – you really do get back what you put in.
One of the great side effects of being more mindful of how I take care of myself is my acne is really clearing up! Holy Dina, my face is smooth. SMOOTH! Like a baby’s arse. I have one small cluster of cysts on my chin and one doozey on my cheek but you can actually see skin under there. It is amazing. I believe a lot of it is from the Vit D3, the Glucosmart, and exercising (sweating & clearing my pores.) In a previous post I’ve mentioned that I used Clean & Clear but I was using the blackhead scrub and blackhead wash for a while because I was having a hard time with blackheads. As my face changed I didn’t think to change my face wash. So I recently switched to Clean & Clear Advantage 5% Peroxide cream cleanser and only exfoliate my face 2x’s a week. Those changes have made a big impact. It really helped the process along. Persa-Gel is in the mix for my big cysts too. Love that stuff! (2x’s day max though of your face will dry out and get VERY itchy! I actually woke myself out of a deep sleep by scratching. When I looked in the mirror I had made my face a million times worse. There were plenty of tears that day.)
The gentleman I am seeing has booked us a weekend away at a lovely golf resort for an interactive Murder Mystery weekend for my birthday and I am so excited about it. Perhaps a weekend away with some fun is just what I need to recharge my batteries. I have no idea what to expect so I’m looking forward to letting go of control and just going with the flow. It is great to have someone who actually plans something like this. This type of thing is right up my alley and the fact he has similar interests makes all the difference.
All in all, things are really shaping up so nicely in my life. I am really excited to see what the next phase is!
I hope you all had a great week.
In previous blogs I know I’ve mentioned/whined about my lack of energy a million times and I know I’ve been doing everything right. My brain just always feels foggy and I’m always getting congestion headaches! It makes NO sense.
-Taking a multi-vit = Check!
-Taking Vit D3 = Check!
-Taking my Stress supplement = Check!
-Taking Blood builders (Iron) = Check!
-Taking Calcium & Magnesium = Check!
-Taking Folic Acid = Check!
-Eased off on Alcohol = Check! (grumble)
-Taking GlucoSmart = Check!
-Exercising (Cardio & Resistance & Flexibility)
-Taking my depression & anxiety medication = Check!
-Vega One Nutritional Powder = Check!
-Align for IBS = Check!
-Cranberry supplement = Check!
Checkity, check, check, flippin’, gosh darn check! I feel like I’ve been doing all of the right things but my face is still a mess, my head hurts all the time, and now I’m just getting frustrated. Judging by all the supplements I take I should be hardcore parkour’ing around. Instead of feeling bouncy and effervescent when I get home from the gym, I simply want to nap for a few hours. I could nap all day. If it wasn’t for my cousin I don’t think I’d make the gym at all.
(The gym was pretty awesome today. I can’t lie. It was the first day that I went back and actually felt like I wanted to genuinely work out and not just walk on the treadmill and whine about the incline.)
Aside from the great workout I had today, I was feeling pretty “out of it.” When I came home from the gym I felt like I had drank too much. My brain was fuzzy, I was shaky, and I had all of the text-book symptoms of low blood sugar. (Grumble.) I laid down for a little while and munched on some almonds and dried cranberries but I just couldn’t recharge. So I Google’d my symptoms (Google never lies!) and the last suggestion on the first search result page was for Candida overgrowth. It made me think.
I’ve known for some time now that Candida and PCOS go hand in hand but I haven’t had a yeast infection so I thought I was in the clear. Strangely enough, you can have Candida overgrowth and not get a vaginal yeast infection but the overgrowth manifests itself in different (and strange) ways. Depression, joint pain, brain fog (ha!), congestion (ha!), bowel irregularity, bad breath, smelly sweat, exhaustion, hyperactivity, OCD, sleep problems (double ha!), metabolic syndrome (let me just say this – I look like a bag of milk), hypoglycemia, unusually green eyes (I can’t even make this stuff up! I have dark green eyes and I’ve commented on how green they’ve been the past year or so to people), reoccurring infections (sinus, bladder, ears, colds) (story of my ding dang life), and Penicillin allergy (also double ha!). The list goes on and it is really surprising how many symptoms truly do correspond with PCOS. It is freaky! (For a complete list of Candida symptoms and lots of information click HERE.) (For the correlation between PCOS and Candida click HERE.)
All of this information made me curious. Have I been barking up the wrong tree this whole time? (Well, not quite as I do have unusually high testosterone levels in my blood and crazy low estrogen levels…Deep voice, acne, hair. I feel like a 16-year-old boy but that is a WHOLE other post. haha) There is actually an at-home test you can do for free to check for Candida! All you need is a glass, tap water, spit, and an hour of time. (Click HERE for more information on the Candida Test) Many people poo-poo this test and say it is a gimmick but I’ve done it before at a Diabetes Summer Camp I used to work at and came out Candida clean too, might I add. This time around I did not do so well.
If watching your spit separate in a glass for an hour grosses you out there is also a highly accurate questionnaire available HERE.
Due to my crazy sinus, chest, and ear infections I was on antibiotics over 7 times in 3 years. Gross, right? Needless to say my guts are still suffering the ramifications of that and I think it explains a lot of my sickliness in recent years. Never once was Candida overgrowth ever mentioned to me and I never even thought it could be a factor with anything. Now I realize I may have over looked something I previously thought of as mundane.
To remedy the situation I’ve decided to do a candida friendly diet for 4 weeks to eliminate it from my system and heal a bit. (Click HERE for Candida Diet Foods to Avoid.) It is also recommended I avoid most of the mentioned foods with PCOS anyway so it is a win-win! After the four weeks, it is suggested to introduce a small amount of yeast back into the diet to see what the effects are. Yikes.
Does anyone have any experience with the Candida diet, Candida, and/or PCOS? Have you had any success with certain remedies? Also will tweaking my supplements do anything? Should I bother with the elimination diet or do you think the overgrowth business is all BS?
After reading over the hormonal imbalance entry I did, I realized I could have been a bit more descriptive about treatments and triggers for Androgenic and Estrogenic imbalances. Below I’ve complied a list of my favorite sites that I refer to and use frequently.
For information regarding individual hormones and PCOS click here: Hormone Levels and PCOS by E. Sterling Since I’m not overly familiar with ALL of the hormones I will leave the description to the professionals.
For information regarding hormone imbalance triggers click here: Keeper of the Home: Living with PCOS: Things to Avoid This is extremely informative. It goes over all kinds of triggers from soy to caffeine. If it will hurt your levels – it is on the list. (HERE is her PCOS homepage. She is very religious but it has good science based information as well!)
PCOS is a complicated condition, requiring long term attention and regular medical attention, keeping in mind the potential for increased risks of diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, uterine cancer.
As a practitioner with more awareness and experience with PCOS, we have an important role in detecting the long undiagnosed patient, the inadequately managed patient, and the discouraged patient.
In summary, a comprehensive plan for PCOS would include:
Weight loss in those who are overweight
Daily aerobic exercise one hour per day
Low simple carbohydrates (Up to 80 gm/day of carbohydrates and 60-90 gm per day of protein)
Flax seeds 1-2 tbsp per day
Soy food 1 to 2 servings per day
Vitamin D 2,000 i.u. per day or without testing, up to 5,000 i.u. per day
Calcium 1,000mg-1,500 mg per day (including dietary sources)
Chromium 1,000 mcg per day
Green tea (90% polyphenols, 80% catechins, 45% EGCG) 300mg-500 mg per day or 3 cups of tea per day
Nettles root 600 mg per day
Saw Palmetto extract 400 mg per day
Pinitol 600 mg twice per day
Consider Licorice root extract
(Click quote to be taken to source site.)
I feel so conflicted about soy. If you read Keeper of the Home’s blog about things to avoid, you know she suggested staying away from it. However, it is clearly listed as a treatment on another sight. For some it is a miracle worker but for others it is a nightmare. There are so many debates about soy leading to breast cancer and other problems. Does anyone have any personal stories about soy? I’d love it if you’d share them. (Click here for more information about soy and PCOS from the PCOS Network.)
Hopefully this provides a little more information about what it all means.