The Itchy Travel Bug

There’s been a slowdown at work today and I may have spent it perusing travel pins on Pinterest and travel blogs. In doing so, I realized I never really posted anything about our trip to Denver, CO last year, so I plan to share a post on that soon. This also got me wishing we could just pick up and go on a vacation! My job and bosses are super chill and allow me to have a lot of flexibility, especially when it’s our quieter seasons. Unfortunately, my hubby doesn’t have that luxury and has to ask for time off from his fairly new job way ahead of time. Sure, we could do weekend trips, except his new schedule has him with split weekends. Friday off, Saturday on, Sunday off. Woe is me.

It was about this time last year when I wrote another post about my wanderlust. We had a pretty great set of adventures planned in 2016 and luckily were able to add in a few extra trips: our belated honeymoon to Colorado was in February, Tokyo in April/May, Pennsylvania in October, and our bonus trip to Georgia for the PCOS Symposium was in September. My in-laws moved to Galveston at the end of 2015 so we spent several weekends with them during the warmer months.

This year we will probably spend some time in Galveston with my in-laws again. The only other real trip/vacation we have planned is for my husband’s cousin’s wedding. It’s a destination wedding so we’ll be traveling to Florida. I’ve seen photos of the white beaches and can’t wait to put up my feet and lay back with a mimosa or two in hand. It’ll probably be rum and coke but you get what I’m sayin’. Alas, that’s not until the end of JULY!! Until then I’ll satisfy my travel bug by reading more blogs and figuring out how to convince my husband that we NEED to get away. Perhaps on a cruise ship. 😉

Galveston

Exploring Downtown Galveston

 

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February Check In

Hi again! If you’re like me, February was the new official start of New Year’s resolutions. January was a trial month. Everyone knows that. Moving on. This month, I

This month, I reeeeeally wanted to follow through as I am so, so very terrible at it. I made a pretty little tracking chart in my bullet journal and used lots of pinks and reds. Tons of hearts – it is the month of love after all. For about half of the month, I stuck with my highest priority goals. I took my medicine and supplements and logged my meals. I stayed around my carbohydrate goal in general but due to my lack of dedicated exercise, my calorie intake has probably been too high to really lose any weight. However, we managed to decrease our fast food spending this month due to forcing myself to take leftovers to work. It also helps that I have an AMAZING husband who offered to make me breakfast every weekday along with his.

 

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Eggs and uncured bacon every day with the occasional toast. This day included salsa and queso fresco. Yum!

Today I went to get some labwork done ahead of next week’s endocrinologist appointment. Hopefully, my results move in the right direction. PCOS is not fun and is very defeating. I haven’t had as many breakdowns recently so that’s good. I’m trying to stay positive and keeping in mind why I want to lose weight and get healthy.

 

I also got a new computer today! So this may translate into more frequent blog posts. We’ll see. 😉

Oh, one final thing: Everyone needs to go check out April the Giraffe on YouTube. I’m obsessed and absolutely way too invested in this live giraffe birth for my own good, but I need people to discuss the adorableness of it all with. Tweet at me or find me on Instagram so we can have all sorts of giraffe-related convos. 🙂

It’s Official…

…I am at my highest weight, ever! It’s depressing and shameful, but not all that surprising. There is so much I could be doing for my health but haven’t been trying hard enough, or at all if I’m being honest.

Over the weekend I took a look at my goals and figured out which ones I was on track with and which ones I wasn’t. I saw a meme the other day on Instagram: January was a free trial month. My knee is healing and I’m moving around more now. Slowly, but surely, my daily steps have increased. I restarted my supplement regimen and am taking my medicine more consistently. For the most part, I’ve really cut back on dining out this month as well.

January wraps up today and tomorrow is a new day. A new month. A fresh start. I’m going to continue my progress on the things mentioned above that I’m doing OK at. Changes for the month include starting PT for my knee, focusing on nutrition, and decluttering our apartment.

For physical therapy, I’m supposed to be working on my range of motion. This means hitting the gym at my apartment complex and becoming friends with the stationary bike for at least 20 mins a day. Alright, that’s easy enough, right? Then why haven’t I been doing it?? This HAS TO BE a priority if my knee surgery is to truly be a success. I don’t want a messed up knee.

Logging my food will probably be my best bet to get my nutrition on track. How can something be fixed if you don’t know the extent of the problem? Decreasing carb intake is the main goal of logging my meals. Insulin resistance makes it difficult to process carbs normally and has really lead to weight gain, especially around my belly. A ketogenic diet has worked the best for me previously in trying to lose weight. However, that was difficult because the best foods in life are carb-ilicious! Paleo, Whole 30, and Clean Eating are all fairly similar to me and I’ll be using their recipes and meal ideas as starting points. I will be trying to cut back on carbs to my previous doctor’s recommendation of less than 100g. Gotta go home and dust off our little food scale.

The last major change this coming month is decluttering and getting rid of stuff. Having a messy home can cause stress, even if you’re not consciously aware of it. Why do you think so many people clean when they have a big project to work on? Yes, it’s procrastination, but it is also a way of clearing your mind and allowing creativity to flow. We have a small apartment and two dogs. We’re not hoarders but we’re also not neat freaks. We have more clothes than we need (mostly my husband – in my obese state, I currently hate clothes shopping). This leads to piles of laundry and I hate putting up laundry so there are clothes all over the freaking place. I also have lots of art and crafts type items that I don’t use. I keep them around “just in case” a project needs them. Unfortunately, I’m all ideas and no execution. I’m just tired of seeing all the cluttered spaces around our home because it overwhelms me to the point that I don’t even know where to start and give up immediately. But no more!  So buh-bye. You gots to go, stuff.

Who’s with me on pushing the restart button to the year?!

 

 

 

 

New Year, Same Me

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Alrighty…it’s now 2017. Time for “new year, new me” right? Well, with my track record that’ll only last a short time. I’m on a never-ending cycle of motivated action, not seeing the results I want, feeling defeated and giving up, and repeat. Somehow there must be a way to break this cycle.

Taking it one day, one week, one month at a time is probably the best. Evaluate and modify. Try again.

So again for this year my goals include getting healthy and losing weight. This year that means having my knee surgery (it’s just two days away!! *freak out*) and taking the time to recover. As soon as I am able, I will start on a workout routine that I can stick to. What that will be is still to be determined. This month I’m also focusing on increasing my water intake.

Other resolutions for this year include date night once a month, reading at least six books, making a cookbook recipe at least twice a month, learning a new language (check out the Duolingo app), and paying off our car loan ahead of time.

Today I’m feeling unusually motivated and positive. Perhaps it’s the fact that I slept over 8 hours last night (according to my Fitbit…I’m suspicious of that number though). Or perhaps, it’s because the weather is nice out. Who knows? The fact is, if I can hold on to this feeling for a while I can probably be more productive and make some real changes.

Here’s to a new year, same me, but different… 🙂

No Cute Title Here

Oh my! My last post was over two months ago! The year is almost over and I’ve gone off track so badly. I gained back the weight I had lost after the Sparkle cleanse and more. I only have myself to blame. Not only did I stop tracking what I ate, I also stopped working out and even going on long walks. I stopped taking my vitamins/supplements regularly and I’ve even forgotten to take my medicine consistently. Earlier this month I tried going to the gym more with my husband but kind of stopped. I was trying to do cardio (mostly the recumbent bike and some treadmill walking) but even that started aggravating my knee. I can’t do upper body weight training because my shoulder still hurts. My body is broken all around.

Tomorrow I have an appointment for my annual checkup and will be discussing having the pre-op exams needed to get the go ahead for my knee surgery. That’s currently scheduled for the second week of the new year! I’m excited to get this taken care of right away so I can get to healing. The sooner that happens, the sooner I can get moving again. I really to get on a workout regime quick. We’re attending three weddings this year, including one at the beach! :O

So with the start of a new year right around the corner, I’m planning my resolutions. Trying to get motivated. Working on not beating myself up and feeling like a complete failure. So long 2016. Buh bye!

 

PCOS Challenge Symposium 2016

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PCOS Positivity support group pic

This past weekend I had the privilege  of attending the PCOS Challenge Symposium and Bolt 5K in Atlanta, GA (a Facebook support group I’m in raised the most money for the 5K!) My very supportive husband joined me and we made a quick vacation out of it. We both learned so many new things that will help me along this journey of treating my PCOS and wrangling in my health. We also heard a lot of things we’ve heard before, but hey, sometimes you just need to be hit with the same information over again to help it stick. At least I do…often.

PCOS is a syndrome that has many symptoms and they’re not all the same for everyone. There is no one official way to treat it and treatment plans can vary from traditional medicines to holistic and natural approaches. Every person with PCOS must have a personalized plan and it takes a lot of time, energy, and trial and error. Not to mention finding a team of doctors who are supportive, knowledgeable, and willing to work together to find the right treatment.

At the symposium there were several breakaway sessions with different topic choices. Dustin and I focused on the integrative health and nutrition/fitness tracks. There were also some on emotional/mental health and fertility but we didn’t do those since we’ve got to get a hold of my health before starting a family. There were also Q&A panels with leading PCOS experts that included health professionals and advocates. It was definitely a wonderful experience and I hope to attend the next one.

I purchased an awareness bracelet and was entered into a raffle. There were several prizes, including books, cookbooks, fertility treatments, fitness packages, electrolysis, and even a very popular detox program. Guess who won one of the detox programs?! C’est moi! That’s right! I was surprised because I never win anything in raffles and I almost didn’t even buy the ticket! While I’m not one for “detox” programs and living off of shakes I figured I’ll give it a try and report my results to my fellow cysters (probably via my instagram). I prefer real food but I’ve never tried a shake program so let’s see how it goes. This program consists of 2 weeks of shakes and supplements geared towards women with PCOS. We tend to have insulin resistance/metabolic disorder so sugar can be really bad for us. This program focuses on getting all the necessary nutrients and a little extra of the vitamins and minerals that can help with insulin resistance. It also helps to cut back the amount of processed sugars in the body.

So far I’m halfway through day 2. The shake tastes alright. I’ve done protein shakes before so I’m ok with the texture and taste. It’s a mild berry/vanilla flavor. My husband tried a sip and didn’t like it. He said it was chalky but then again, he doesn’t like protein shakes either (and he likes nato which is fermented soybeans so his palate can’t be trusted sometimes haha). By dinner I was a tad irritable and hangry. But I get like that whenever I start lowering my carb and sugar intake. It takes me a few days to adjust. So, for the next two weeks I’ll be doing two shakes a day and a well balanced meal with healthy snacks (as necessary). Fitness-wise I’m planning on going for walks during my lunch hour at work and I’m in a few daily and weekly step challenges via Fitbit. I did so much walking and hiking during our trip that I managed to lose over 4 lbs! But I also don’t trust my scale…She can be sketchy. I’ll try to update again when I’m done with week 1.

Peace out, y’all.

Japan Day 4 – Hoot! Hoot!

Alrighty, it’s time for our 4th day of adventure in Japan!

It was a pleasant Sunday. Sis-in-law and I woke up at the crack of dawn (5 AM-ish) and went to 7-Eleven to grab breakfast. After waiting for my husband to wake up, eat, and get ready we were ready to start our day. At some point during this day, or the night before, I realized I left one of my bags at our friends’ house! :O Oh no! We had to make a plan to meet up later to grab it before they left for their honeymoon. Until then we were off to explore beautiful Japan.

Our first stop was the Meiji Shrine in Shibuya. When we got off the train, the area was PACKED with people. We did not realize how close it was to the Harijuku shopping area. There was also some kind of protest going on so there were a lot of onlookers blocking the sidewalk. Somehow we managed to get by and found the park where the shrine is located. It was gorgeous! We looked at a map but figured we’d just go where most people seemed to be going. Surely that’s the way to the shrine (it was). Outside of the temple was a fountain and people were getting water. We didn’t know what it was or the meaning behind it because the English pamphlets were all gone. We took a couple of selfies with the shrine gate behind us. As we went past it there was a wedding procession going by. It was a cool site to see. Once they were gone, we kept making our way to the temple. We spent a few minutes people-watching there. We then went out a different way and found another fountain. This one was less crowded and we found a pamphlet explaining the prayer and cleansing tradition. We took a few more photos and were on our way to our next stop: Yoyogi Park to find some cosplayers.

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Meiji Shrine Gate

Shrine fountain

The fountain

We used GPS on my phone to try and find the actual area where the cosplayers would be. We walked for sooooo long. We found our way out of the park where the shrine is and wandered into the entrance for the actual park area. There were a lot of people once again. Out on the street we thought the protest was still going on, but it turned out to be a parade for Children’s Day. At the park there were many people walking around, picnicking, and just enjoying the day and scenery. There were a few street entertainers who were really interesting. We did some more walking around the park and never came across any cosplayers. By this point, I was getting tired, hot, and grumpy. I tried to keep my grumpiness and disappointment to myself as long as possible but eventually couldn’t anymore. I was done. Hubby and sis kept trying to get me out of my funk but I was having none of that, so we headed towards our hotel because I wanted to nap and get some rest.

We decided to walk and on our way there passed a shopping area. The smell of food was all around us. Since it was about time for us to eat, we looked for an inexpensive place to chow down. In an alley, we found a little restaurant underground. We dined, relaxed, and recharged. I was good to go. I guess I was just hangry before. It’s a real problem guys! Don’t judge. Our next stop was only a few minutes away. I wanted to go to a very popular Japanese stationery store (I don’t know why…). We regrouped and headed off. We found the place and had to cross the street. As we were crossing we heard an alarm go off and just watched as everyone in the street scattered. So what did we do? Run! Follow! Once we were safely across we looked around and laughed at what had just happened. We realized we were just a part of the famous Shibuya Crossing. It’s much like the Times Square of Japan (or so I’ve been told). We took some photos and got to see the Hachiko statue. After our little trip at the stationery store we had finally set up a time to meet up with our friend for my bag. We had some time to kill until then. Fortunately, we weren’t too far from another place we REALLY wanted to visit: an owl cafe!!!

The Scramble

“The Scramble” Shibuya Crossing at night

My goodness y’all. You have not lived until you get to be up close and personal with these precious creatures. It was like being in Harry Potter! Well, probably not at all, but let me dream. We walked through Takeshita Street to check out all the shops on our way to the cafe. If you love fashion, shopping, or people-watching, this is definitely a place to visit. It’s very close to the Harajuku area. We eventually found the owl cafe around an alley and had to take the elevator up a few floors. We were very excited! I mean, who wouldn’t be? Unless you’re a fun-hater. We got to pet, hold, and even feed the owls. There were several kinds of owls, in all shapes and sizes. They were all so soft!! I can’t even find the words to properly convey my feelings for this event. Seriously. It was amazing. Just look at the joy on my hubby’s face in the pictures! We had a hoot! (See what I did there???)

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The largest owl

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The smallest owl

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Schola

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Cool owl

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Hubby with the large owl

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Hubby and his new BFF, Schola ❤

After our wonderful owl experience we were headed to meet our friend near his house. We made the trip all the way there and met up at a restaurant. After eating and chatting with him and his family his lovely wife offered to go home and grab my bag on her bike so we could make it to the train on time. In the time it took us to wait for the local bus and get to the train station, she was able to make it home and back. I was so grateful to have my stuff back and to be able to head back to the hotel. We were all pretty tired by this point. Unfortunately, we exited the train station on the wrong side and it took us a while to find our way to the hotel. We went in circles a few times. All in all, it was a fun day exploring the Shibuya area.